Best Budget Golf Drivers

Buying one of the best budget golf drivers doesn't mean you'll lose out on performance...

Best Budget Golf Drivers
(Image credit: Future)

Best Budget Golf Drivers 

It's no secret that buying a new driver has become even more expensive over the past decade or so. As manufacturers have started to invest more into new technology, new materials and all-out marketing strategies, golfers have seen the average price of the best golf drivers begin to touch a slightly eye-watering $500/£500.

For some golfers, this investment is well worth it as the new technology allows them to get the best out of their long game on course. It must also be said, that recent testing of the best new drivers has shown increases in performance every three or four years.

For others however $500/£500 is too much money to invest in one club in the bag, a club that some players often struggle with the most. However, having a driver that works well for your swing is essential to playing your best golf, so an investment needs to be made somewhere. That's why we've come up with this list of the best budget golf drivers on the market right now. Our aim in this guide is to collate a group high performing, new drivers that won't break the bank.

For this list of the best budget golf drivers, we've set ourselves a maximum budget of $300/£300 so you can see the best range of drivers at prices that represent excellent value for money. All of these drivers are brand new, so no searching through eBay or any other second hand retailers here.

Keep an eye out for some models that are one or two years old, as these have come down drastically in price and are still packed with modern technology.

Alternatively, check out our guides on the best drivers for slicers, best drivers for beginners or best drivers for seniors if you're after something even more specific for your game.

Best Budget Golf Drivers

Cobra F-Max Airspeed Driver, Best Drivers For Slicers

(Image credit: Cobra)

Cobra F-Max Airspeed Driver

Reasons to buy
+Draw-biased forgiveness will negate a slice+Lightweight feel will help increase speed for most
Reasons to avoid
-Offset look won’t suit everyone’s eye

The Cobra F-Max Airspeed is the lightest driver Cobra has ever made and is a great driver for seniors, beginners and those who have a tendency to slice the ball. While still being one of Cobra's newest drivers, it can be found for well under $300/£300 at many retailers.

For those who struggle with a left-to-right shot shape, more slice-resistant shots are made easier with internal, back/heel weighting and offset hosel design that delivers higher trajectories. 

Some may not like the quite significant amount of offset that can be seen at address, but if you are fed up with seeing your ball fly right off the tee, then the Cobra F-Max Airspeed is a fantastic option. 

Best Golf Drivers For Beginners

Inesis 500 Driver

Reasons to buy
+Solid feel at impact+Great value
Reasons to avoid
-Sounds very loud

For those in the UK familiar with the Decathlon Inesis brand, you won't be surprised to see this driver appear on our best budget drivers list.

This driver that has been created in two lengths, which, the manufacturer says, meet the needs of 90 per cent of people's morphologies. The Inesis golf team creates clubs to reflect how golfer's move, and not the other way round.

It means there are two shaft lengths: size 1 if your hand/ground distance is less than 78.5 cm, and size 2 if your hand/ground distance is more than 78.5 cm. There are also three shaft options for three speeds, too: low, medium and high speed.

Further research is said to demonstrate that 12° of loft enables intermediate golfers to achieve the longest distances with a driver. If you’re new to the game and would rather not spend big on one club, the Inesis 500 is well worth considering.

Some of the theory might sound confusing, but it delivers power and forgiveness at a fantastic price that we think represents serious value for money. It's one of the few clubs in this list where you can choose different club length and grip sizes and it even comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty. 

Wilson Staff D9 Driver

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Reasons to buy
+Satisfying impact sound+Ample off-centre forgiveness
Reasons to avoid
- Limited shaft options

Wilson Staff knows how to provide golfers with great value for money, and the D9 driver is no different. The design of the D9 driver comes from computer modelling software used to simulate hundreds of different clubhead variations to find the most effective design. It also features a three-layer composite crown which helps deal with vibration and reduce the weight of the club.

A 10-gram sole weight comes as standard or there is the option for a super-lightweight 3-gram weight, giving the player the ability to fine-tune the moment of inertia and forgiveness on offer.

TaylorMade SIM Max driver - Best TaylorMade Drivers

(Image credit: TaylorMade)

Reasons to buy
+Easy to align at address+Launch and spin profile will suit a wide audience
Reasons to avoid
-Not adjustable for shot shape

A great way to maximise savings on getting a new driver is buy shopping around models that are one or two years old. A great example of this is the SIM Max drivers from TaylorMade that were released in 2020. Now that it has been twice superseded - with the new Stealth drivers available in February 2022 - a brand new SIM Max driver has come well down in price. 

The SIM Max offers that extra forgiveness for those players who don’t consistently find the centre of the clubface. The main reason for this is the eight per cent larger face and a heavier Inertia Generator in the rear of the clubhead.

If your strike pattern is out of the heel or the toe then that extra forgiveness and higher MOI that you get from the SIM Max is going to help. It's a driver that will appeal to single figures players, as well as those in the high teens, because of how the adjustable loft sleeve allows different player types to get dialled in.

So if you're looking for a forgiving driver at a much-reduced price, it is certainly one our top recommendations. 

Best Golf Drivers For Beginners

(Image credit: Benross)

Benross Delta Driver

Reasons to buy
+Grey/black matte finish reduces glare+Arrow on crown helps alignment
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t feel as solid as some of the others on this list

Although new to the market in 2019, the Benross Delta driver is certainly one for beginners to consider. It's the manufacturer's most forgiving driver, courtesy of a new CT-Face design which means golfers should find the ball still travels a good distance, even when a tee shot isn't middled.

In addition, the Delta Sole Structure stiffens the body of the driver through optimised rib design, increased stability and efficient energy transfer at impact.

This stability is something beginners will really benefit from, helping them to gain in confidence as they play more.

MacGregor V Foil Speed Driver

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Reasons to buy
+Stretched-out look inspires confidence+Cutting edge looks from every angle
Reasons to avoid
-Other drivers feel more solid

Sporting a stylish matte black 460cc full titanium head with elegant lines, the V Foil Speed sits perfectly behind the ball, inspiring confidence at address. The ultra-thin face delivers significant ball speed and distance gains while the expanded sweet spot, bespoke premium lightweight graphite shaft and high MOI design add in the perfect combination of distance, control and forgiveness off the tee.

Finished off with a soft compound MacGregor grip that has been designed to provide the perfect combination of comfort and secure connection to the club, the V Foil Speed driver is packed with performance features perfectly suited to the high handicap golfer.

WIlson Staff Launch Pad driver

(Image credit: Wilson Staff)

Wilson Staff Launch Pad Driver

Reasons to buy
+Draw-bias built in+Premium look and headcover
Reasons to avoid
-Not the best for fast swingers

Another great budget offering from Wilson Staff is the Launch Pad driver, which is one of the best drivers for slicers in this list. 

It comes with built in draw-bias thanks to the heel weighting you can see pictured, which encourages a right-to-left draw shape for right handed golfers. It also has plenty of offset to help encourage a draw shape. The offset has been cleverly hidden though so this driver doesn't look too closed at address.

As always with Wilson Staff, you get a high build quality and premium looks for your money and, with a current £199 sale price, make for a great budget option.

Rife RX7 men's driver

(Image credit: Rife)

Rife RX7 Driver

Reasons to buy
+Large, forigiving face+460cc head +Rear weight aids high launch
Reasons to avoid
-Paintwork prone to chipping

Rife are a brand probably more familiar with those in the UK and have been making great value gloves, shoes and other golf accessories for a while now. Recently however, Rife has entered the hardware market and the RX7 represents its latest driver.

There's a lot to be had here for the £169 RRP and the lightweight graphite shaft and 460c head make for one of the most forgiving drivers in this list. It also has back weighting in the head to increase forgiveness and offer a high launch to golfers who may struggle to get the driver up in the air. 

While the paintwork certainly shows off the budget price tag, a decent headcover and look at address make this driver look a lot more premium than it actually is. 

How We Tested

The first thing we should mention is our overall testing ethos at Golf Monthly which is to put all products through a rigorous testing procedure to give you crucial insights into how they perform, how they compare to their predecessors and where they stack up in relation to the competition.

As such we regularly attend product launches and meet with the manufacturer’s R&D experts to understand the new technology.

Then the first port of call to test golf clubs is usually the indoor simulator at Foresight Sports, where the team can test in a controlled environment using premium balls and the GCQuad launch monitor.

We then do outdoor testing mainly at West Hill Golf Club, a course in Surrey with excellent practice facilities.

Getting more specific, our equipment specialists have hit most drivers out on the market, in testing, practice and competition play, and deduced the above models are the most forgiving models out right now.

What To Consider When Buying A Budget Driver

When it comes to making sure you get the right driver for your game, there are several factors to consider, chief among which is the size.

Size - The larger the clubhead, the more forgiving it tends to be.

When hitting, try and take note of where you are striking the golf ball with the face of the club and see if there is any performance drops. Many forgiving drivers these days are designed to perform regardless of where you strike them off the face and you being able to see and understand that in person will help you be more confident with one model over another.

The other thing to acknowledge when looking at the size is also the looks. It is important you get a driver that suits your eye especially when it is down behind the golf ball. If it is too big, that may put you off, but if it is too small this may dampen confidence. 

Draw-biased? - If you are a slicer of the golf ball then a forgiving, draw-biased driver could be the way to go to eradicate the big slices. These types of drivers won't all of a sudden have you hitting roping draws down the fairway, but they'll do a lot to encourage a draw shape or at least a little but less slice.

Weight - Weight has become a big factor when it comes to drivers, with most brands making models that have a weight towards the back of the head to aid forgiveness and launch. When it comes to whether you want a forgiving driver, it is worth acknowledging whether this is important to you because if not then manufacturers usually make a model without a weight there.

Adjustability - Often, the weights in drivers are moveable and adjustability of drivers has become a huge part of modern golf. Being able to tinker and change loft, lie, and many other factors, has become all the rage and if you like to try new things then plenty of the models above, like the Titleist TSi2, will cater to that. However if that doesn't interest you one bit, there are also models which keep things more simple, like the Ping G425 Max.

Shaft - Some shafts have been designed to help players get as much distance as possible so it is worth thinking about which models will help you achieve those extra yards. Also check out our guide on the best driver shafts too.

Price - Price is obviously an important factor and thankfully there are lots of drivers coming in at different price points. As you have seen in this piece, there are some great drivers out there for well under $300/£300. 

If you want to invest in the best drivers from 2022 though, you'll be looking at around 450-500 units of your local currency. There are benefits to be had from investing this extra cash, but setting yourself an initial budget will make the search much easier.

Dan Parker
Dan Parker

Dan is a Staff Writer and has been with the Golf Monthly team since early 2021. Dan graduated with a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and primarily looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides on the website. Dan was a custom fit specialist at American Golf for two years and has brought his expertise in golf equipment to a huge range of buyer's guides and reviews on the website. A left handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 9.8 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands. His golfing highlight is shooting 76 at Essendon Golf Club on his first ever round with his Golf Monthly colleagues. Dan also runs his own cricket podcast and website in his spare time. 

Dan is currently playing: 

Driver: Ping G425 Max 

Fairway: Ping G425 Max 

Hybrid: TaylorMade Rocketballz 

Irons: Ping i59 (4-PW) 

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro

Putter: Wilson Staff Infinite Buckingham 

Ball: TaylorMade TP5 Pix