The driver can be one of the biggest nemeses to both high handicappers and beginners, who all too often see their golf ball fly straight into the nearest tree or hazard.
In order to help combat the wayward shots, the most forgiving and easy to hit drivers will help improve results.
Game improvement drivers should be high launching, with large sweet spots, a slight offset and lots of stability for mishits.
Luckily modern technology and plenty of research from the biggest golf manufacturers means that there are lots of excellent options. If you can find the right driver it can help transform your confidence from the tee.
These are the best and most forgiving drivers for high handicap and beginner golfers:
1. Ping G425 Max
Excellent for forgiveness
When it comes to knowing game improvement technology, Ping has been at the forefront for many years. Their latest G425 Max driver is another excellent golf club for high handicappers. It features their highest MOI ever and tons of all-around forgiveness.
Ping achieved these results by adding a 26 g tungsten weight that is designed to move the CG deeper in the club head. As an added bonus, the tungsten weight is moveable between a neutral, draw and fade setting. This is perfect for golfers struggling with a hook or slice.
The turbulators on the crown have been toned down from the previous G410 driver. They still reduce drag, but now have a much cleaner appearance at address.
A new lighter crown has allowed for clever weight redistribution through Dragonfly technology as well as an internal ribbing structure for maximum forgiveness and stability.
The G425 Max might not be quite as long as some drivers on this list, but it could be the most forgiving.
- Incredible forgiveness as you expect from the Ping G range.
- Moveable weight is good for combating severe shot shapes.
- Trajectory Tuning 2.0 hosel offers good adjustability.
- Arccos Caddie Smart Grips come as standard.
- Distance not quite as good as some of the drivers on this list.
- Ping drivers are known for their loud distinctive sound that doesn’t appeal to everyone.
2. TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Suitable to a wide range of golfers
TaylorMade SIM Max was the biggest selling model of driver in 2020 and the updated SIM2 Max is likely to be incredibly popular again.
What makes the SIM drivers so popular, other than the backing of top professionals, is that it offers performance to suit such a wide variety of golfers from low handicappers to beginners.
Much of the same technology from the SIM remains in the SIM2, including the Speed Injected Twist Face, Thru-Slot Speed Pocket and Inertia Generator. All are designed for maximizing both distance and forgiveness.
A Forged Ring Constructed brings together all the separate components of the SIM2 Max for more stability, speed and a higher launch.
This driver is an excellent all-round performer that will be able to last your golfing journey no matter how low your handicap might go.
- One of the longest drivers available that will suit higher handicappers.
- Excellent stability and forgiveness for off-center hits.
- Looks amazing with great bag appeal.
- Will suit vast majority of golfers.
- Not a huge upgrade on previous SIM Max model, but will travel bit further.
- Lower spin rates may not suit some higher handicappers.
For more great options from the brand, check out our pick of the best TaylorMade drivers.
3. Wilson D9
Superb value for money
Wilson may have produced their best driver yet with the D9 model. It is forgiving and easy to launch high, plus significantly cheaper than the top manufacturers.
Through computer modeling software, Wilson has simulated hundreds of different club head variations to find the optimum design. The result is a good looking, nice sounding and top performing driver that will compete with the best on this list.
Peak Kinetic Response club face technology produces fast ball speeds across the club face, even on mishits. Also, a three-layer composite crown is lightweight and allows for 10g back-positioned weight to create a lower CG placement.
The result is a high launching ball flight that retains speed and stability through impact. You have the choice of switching to 3 g weight instead for an extremely light option as well.
Wilson are often underappreciated by casual golfers, but the D9 is one of the best drivers on the market for high handicappers and beginners.
Alternatively, if you are a beginner struggling with a big slice, it is also worth checking out the Wilson Launch Pad driver.
- Possibly the best value for money on this list.
- Large sweet spot with plenty of forgiveness.
- One of the higher launching drivers, perfect for slower swing speeds.
- Sound, looks and performance to compete with more premium models.
- Faster swing speeds may lose some distance due to higher launch and spin.
- Lacks any hosel adjustability.
4. Callaway Epic Max
Adjustable with all-round performance
The Callaway Epic Flash released in 2019 was a storming success and for 2021 the Epic range has been given a technology upgrade.
The Epic Max is the most suitable model for higher handicappers and it might just be Callaway’s most forgiving driver ever.
Callaway attribute much of their recent driver breakthroughs to the use of A.I. designed technology. This has been used for both the Jailbreak Speed Frame and Flash Face technology. Both remain from the Epic Flash, but horizontal and torsional stability have been improved for greater ball speeds and forgiveness.
A strong and lightweight Triaxial Carbon has been used on the crown and sole, allowing weight to be repositioned for a deep CG, high MOI and even more forgiveness.
The Epic Max features a 16 g moveable sole weight as well as an OptiFit adjustable hosel. Combining these two features, Callaway claims golfers can benefit from up to 20 yards of shot shape correction.
Given that many high handicappers and beginners struggle with a slice or hook, this can be a helpful tool.
- Exceptional overall forgiveness.
- The most adjustable of all the options on this list.
- Jailbreak technology offers noticeable stability for misstruck shots.
- Competes with the longest drivers available.
- One of the most expensive drivers on the market.
5. Cobra King Radspeed XB
Distance and forgiveness combined
Cobra drivers have always been popular among higher handicap golfers, but the latest King Radspeed XB might be their most complete and forgiving model ever.
The profile is designed to have an oversized appearance at address, hence the Xtreme Back (XB) name, which is likely to appeal to many high handicappers and beginners.
Radial Weighting, with 20 g in the back and 8 g in the front, is used to create stability and forgiveness on mishits. It also keeps spin low for superior distance, whilst retaining a deep CG for easy launching.
Adding 28 g of combined weight has been made possible thanks to a T-Bar Speed Chassis and ultra-lightweight thin-ply carbon crown.
A CNC milled face features an infinity edge for a larger area of top ball speeds.
- One of the biggest hitting drivers on this list.
- Great forgiveness and stability on off-center strikes.
- Cheaper than other top manufacturers and Cobra Connect technology adds extra value.
- The “C” alignment aid and high gloss crown detract from the otherwise great look.
6. Tour Edge Hot Launch E521
Best lower budget option
Tour Edge have specifically targeted high handicappers and beginners with their Hot Launch E521 driver.
Thanks to innovative Houdini Sole technology this driver has an extremely high MOI and low CG placement, putting all the emphasis on a higher launch angle and superior forgiveness.
A shallow Cup Face is also designed to further encourage an easy launching and powerful shot.
A heel weighted draw-bias and slight offset both help to avoid severe slices and promote a straighter or drawing ball flight.
The Hot Launch E521 comes with an extremely lightweight Mitsubishi Fubuki Shaft. Some reviewers have commented this shaft feels softer and more flexible than normal, but this is likely to appeal to many beginner golfers.
Tour Edge claims this is the easiest driver you will ever hit. Whilst we cannot back that claim up, the Hot Launch E521 has all the qualities high handicappers and beginners want and it is brilliant value as well.
- High launching and forgiving.
- Longer club head and offset should inspire confidence.
- Performance is well above the low cost.
- Simple appearance should appeal to most golfers.
- Softer and more flexible shaft could cause some golfers to buy the wrong shaft.
- Does not have any adjustability.
7. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
High launching ball flight ideal for slower swing speeds
Drivers might not be the clubs you think of when you hear Cleveland, but the Launcher HB Turbo is an excellent option for high handicappers and beginners looking for something easy to hit and good value for money.
A HiBore Crown design and ultralight hosel allow for weight redistribution and a lower CG position. This results in superior forgiveness and an easy to launch ball flight.
The Launcher HB Turbo also features a Turbocharged Cup Face with variable thickness, designed to deliver a high COR value over a larger area for distance and ball speeds even on slightly off-center strikes.
A specially designed counterbalanced Miyazaki C. Kua shaft comes as standard. This shaft places more weight towards the grip, promoting quicker club head speed and increased MOI.
- Great value for money against leading brands.
- Black and grey design is simple and classy.
- There is good forgiveness on mishits.
- Counterbalanced shaft is easy to launch and ideal for slower swing speeds.
- Lacks any loft, lie or weight adjustability.
- Not as suited to faster swing speeds.
There you have it, our list of the best, most forgiving drivers for beginners and high handicappers in 2021.
Any of these drivers can help you hit the ball further and straighter, more of the time.