If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what is the Best Golf Drivers for High Handicappers, then we recommend the Callaway XR16 driver as the best one.
Golf can be daunting in the beginning, especially when you have to learn about all the equipment you have to use. Drivers are the trickiest clubs to shop for because they have the longest shaft, which increases the chances for things going awry.
In this article, we have listed 5 best golf drivers for high handicappers along with their pros and cons so that it’d be easier for you to make the best decision.
What’s a high handicap?
- What’s a high handicap?
- What’s a driver club?
- What should a high handicap look for in a driver the most?
- What degree loft is appropriate for a high handicapper?
- What about the shaft of the driver?
- How many/often should I purchase drivers?
- How do I take care of my driver?
- 1. Callaway XR16 driver
- 2. Cobra F-Max Offset Driver
- 3. TaylorMade RBZ Black
- 4. PGX Offset Golf
- 5. Wilson Staff Golf Men’s D7 Driver
The term “handicap” is used a lot in golf but many don’t know its official definition. Handicap is the numerical calculation of a golfer’s on-course ability. A person with 3 handicaps is considered better than the one with 13. A handicap can be calculated by compiling and then comparing recent scores with the difficulty of the courses that were played. For example, if a person scores 90 on a course that is rated 72, he would be an 18 handicap. The United States Golf Association (USGA) introduced this system in 1911 for gauging a player’s ability in different courses. According to the USGA maximum-allowed handicap for men is 36 and for women, it’s 40.
What’s a driver club?
A driver is from the woods category of the clubs, it is usually referred to as 1-wood. It may be the longest club in your bag with the biggest head. It is used for taking the ball as far towards the green as possible. That is why it is usually the choice of club for the first stroke from teeing ground on par-4s, par-5s, and even par-3s. The loft in drivers usually varies from 8.5 to 13 degrees. Drivers with small loft degree launch the ball at a lower trajectory while the ones with more loft launch balls at a higher trajectory. Players have the benefit of using tee when they hit with this club. The volume of the head cannot be more than 460 cc. There are five types of shaft flex available, which include; stiff, extra stiff, regular, senior, and ladies. The maximum allowed length of the shaft per rule is 48 inches.
What should a high handicap look for in a driver the most?
When it comes to the characteristics of drivers, a high handicap person should always put forgiveness as the top priority. Long-distance, shaping shots and trajectory are important but you cannot achieve these without a forgiving driver. You will be miserable if you keep re-teeing because of lost balls. This problem may not be helped 100% but forgiving drivers will definitely help. A forgiving driver will let you produce longer shots even if you are on off-center hits. The manufacturers must keep the coefficient of restitution within the legal limit to achieve this. The angle of launch and the center of gravity is adjustable in forgiving drivers. To achieve these manufacturers add weights and sliders to the head of the club. The golfer can set the weight according to his/her preferences.
What degree loft is appropriate for a high handicapper?
Loft determines how high your shot will be when the ball hits the head of your club. The loft is the degree of the angle formed between the straight from the ground and your clubhead when it is sitting straight on the ground. Drivers have a low loft and range from 7 to 20 degrees. Golfers with high handicaps should select drivers with high loft. Higher loft means more forgiveness. The best driver for high handicappers will have a loft from 11 to 13 degrees. Higher loft produces high launch which is necessary for high handicappers because they tend to hit down their drivers, which creates extra spin and unstable launch angle.
Modern drivers that have a high loft also help cover more distance. Higher loft means that there would be increased backspin and reduced sidespin. This makes it less likely for the player to slice the drive out of play. A driver with a higher loft will not have difficulty getting the ball in the air, which is what a high handicapper should aim for.
What about the shaft of the driver?
Selecting a driver with the type of shaft that suits your swing speed is another important thing that you should consider. An unsuitable shaft can cause you to unnecessarily push the ball when it’s too stiff or pull the ball when there is too much whip in it. Most of the shafts made these days are made from graphite, which is a light material and helps a player swing better.
However, different shafts come with different shaft flex. Players that have swing speed below 62 mph should go for the L shaft. L stands for ladies, it is the softest shaft in the category. Golfers with swing speed above 63 and below 76 mph should select a driver with A flex, which stands for senior. Most high handicappers should go for drivers with R flex, which stands for regular. The weight of the shaft will not play that big of a role in the selection of the driver. However, you should know that shafts with low weight help you swing faster compared to heavy shafts.
How many/often should I purchase drivers?
You can own as many drivers as you want but according to rules you can only carry 14 clubs. If you are a beginner then you should carry one driver only. You can familiarize yourself with this driver and then slowly improve. You can easily lose your consistency if you switch from drive to drive. A driver can last for at least 3 to 4 years depending on how often you use it and take care of it. However, manufacturers release new drivers every year. If you have the budget and want to upgrade your driver then you can purchase a new one.
How do I take care of my driver?
Drivers are not safe from scratching so you should take care of them. You should clean them after every game. You can use a soft towel for this purpose. Always keep it in a dry place.
Below are the 5 best golf drivers that we think are well-suited for high handicappers.
1. Callaway XR16 driver
Callaway is very famous for its legendary Big Bertha drivers but they are not their only best drivers to date. Their XR15 was a big success and to keep up with that they created XR16. This driver is very versatile and offers many features to many players. The tag line for this driver is “forgiveness meets fast”. It may not be the best option for absolute beginners but it is appropriate for high handicappers. Callaway took help from Boeing engineers for the design of its head. The crown of the titanium head is a bit raised for optimal airflow and improved aerodynamics. This allows for higher swing speeds as a result of low drag. The front to back length is increased which helps lower the CG (center of gravity) and position it to the back. This allows for more forgiveness. The design of the crown is simple with a black matte finish.
The big face of the driver allows for a large sweet spot. It is also light and durable. Callaway claims that this driver is 19% thinner than its previous drivers, which makes it lighter and faster. The MOI (Moment of Inertia) is good across the face which adds to the forgiveness of this driver. This driver also uses the R-motto technology, which consists of internal ribs for extra strength and support of the club. This technology also promotes ball speed, forgiveness, and high launch.
The loft is adjustable; you can select between 9, 10.5, and 12-degree loft. It can be adjusted 1 degree lower and 2 degrees higher. The use of 8-1-1 titanium makes it very light and easy to use. The shaft is graphite. The face of this driver is responsive and makes a strong and appealing sound upon hitting the ball.
What we liked
- Good aerodynamics due to improved head design and use of R-moto technology
- Good ball speed; helps cover the impressive distance
- Very forgiving
- Adjustable loft
- Sounds and feels good
What we didn’t like
- Some players may think the spin is more
- Some golfers don’t like the wide head
2. Cobra F-Max Offset Driver
This driver by Cobra is very lightweight and forgiving. It is appropriate for golfers with medium swing speed who need help with draw bias and ball slice. This offset club aims to improve the chances of you hitting a draw-bias. That is why it is recommended for beginners and golfers with high handicaps because they tend to slice the ball. This driver with its offset hosel and backward heel weighting improve your chances of hitting straight driver shots that everyone will be in awe of.
It comes with midsize and large grips that make it comfortable to hold in hands. Large grips reduce the tension and allow you to produce more speed. Since it is aimed at lower and mid-swing speeds the lighter shaft will help the club head increase its speed without being too whippy. The internal weight pad at the back of the heel improves the center of gravity. Improved CG encourages closed face on impact and allows for straight ball flight.
The loft varies from 9.5 to 11.5 degrees. The hosel doesn’t allow for any adjustment because it is an offset driver but that would not be problematic for high handicappers. It is also available with non-offset options. The straight with reduced draw-bias allows the golfers to choose their level of forgiveness. A larger grip and lighter shaft helps golfers with low swing speed and improve their launch angle and clubhead speed. It will have a positive impact on the distance achieved.
The crown of the club is glossy black and very appealing. The faded alignment aid helps the player to line-up the driver with the target. The polished blackhead has metallic gold accents that look stylish and feel good. The sound of the club is metallic when it hits the ball, which is not unpleasant.
What we liked
- Offset and improves chances of draw bias
- Attractive looks
- Best-suited for high handicappers with a moderate swing speed
- Allows for improved speed and better distance
- Helps fight slice
What we didn’t like
- High handicappers with fast swing speed will not benefit from it
- Some players will not appreciate the extra spin
3. TaylorMade RBZ Black
TaylorMade is a popular golf club brand. It is affordable and well-known for its high performance and durable build. This driver has a large steel regal club head and is recommended for tournaments. Its forgiveness with off-center hits is commendable. Its 460 cc titanium head gives the player the confidence to play to his/her maximum ability. It allows a high handicapper to optimize distance but not at the expense of forgiveness. It is not for golfers that are fighting slice.
The ultralite titanium core has allowed the manufacturer to distribute more mass around the perimeter of the clubhead. This permits the club to be more forgiving and to have a high launch. The golfer will also have more control over the shot. The loft sleeves are adjustable, which allows the golfer to customize the launch and trajectory. When the golfer has a preferred trajectory he/she will be able to control the golf spin and hit it with accuracy.
The shaft of the driver is made of graphite, which allows you to have the right flex when you are swinging. You can choose between senior, regular, and stiff flex. The great looks of the crown of this driver will boost your confidence and help you improve your alignment. The graphics on the crown are clean and well designed. The small logo helps you line-up the middle of the clubface. The sole of the clubhead features a TaylorMade speed pocket, which helps provide maximum spring on impact with the ball. This driver is available with three lofts, which include 9, 10.5, and 12. Loft can be adjusted with the included tool by loosening the clubhead, setting your desired loft, and then tightening the shaft back on the clubhead. The trampoline effect of the face of this club allows for low spin and promotes high launch, which helps achieve more distance.
What we liked
- Affordable price
- Elegant design with a satin finish
- Comes with free headcover
- Promotes high ball speed
- Adjustable loft
- Encourages high launch and low spin
What we didn’t like
- The sweet spot could have a bigger
4. PGX Offset Golf
This affordable driver has been on the market for a while but there is a lot going on with it for you to pass it off as useless. One reason for it being cheap is that Pinemeadow is an independent golf club manufacturer. This high quality and affordable driver are among the bestselling budget drivers out there. The reason is not just the price but its features and performance right off the tee.
This driver is appropriate for beginners and golfers with high handicaps. The club head of this driver is not made from expensive titanium that you may find on other drivers from famous brands. It is made from an alloy that is slightly heavier than titanium. It is not very heavy but you’ll definitely feel the difference when you swing the club. That being said, for most of the golfers swinging a 200-gram driver is not an issue but if you’d still like a lighter driver and have the budget to afford it then you can consider other options in this list.
The club head of this driver is offset, meaning its face is set back further, which helps you hit the ball straighter and correct the slice. The loft angle that it offers is 10.5 degrees, which is standard for a driver. The 460 cc clubhead provides a big sweet spot for maximum forgiveness on the point of impact. The hosel can be adjusted up and down. There is also a small plug that can add weights between 0.5 to 0.2 grams to the clubhead. To counterbalance the slightly heavy club head the shaft is made with light graphite. It is well-suited for a golfer that needs more forgiveness when driving the ball. The flex on the shaft is normal which is good for a high handicapper. The rubber grip does its job pretty well but you may need to replace it in a 6-month time.
What we liked
- The shaft is made of high-quality graphite
- Adjustable hosel and clubhead weight
- Attractive design and clean finish
- Features offset technology for straighter shots
- Sports large sweet spot
- The light driver can be swung by anyone
- Very affordable
What we didn’t like
- The adjustment process could have been easier
- It is a bit short than most top brands
5. Wilson Staff Golf Men’s D7 Driver
Wilson makes high-quality drivers but surprisingly enough it wasn’t into making clubs at first. But when their first few products saw amazing sales they started making clubs. This driver offers many features but the one characteristic that makes it unique is its extreme lightweight. This is the reason for the name “superlight” for this design. You will get very good speed and distance thanks to the feather lightweight. The secret behind the lightweight of this driver is its head, it only weighs 192 grams. Further, the crown of this driver is made with composite material. In the carbon fiber, there is a Dupont Kevlar layer, which reduces vibrations. It also creates a sound that players love.
The feel that this driver provides is a bit on the firmer side. Due to the Dynamic Launch Control technology in place, the golfer will be able to optimize ball flight easily. This technology allows the correct distribution of weight in the head, which promotes the perfect ball flight. You can select between 9, 10.5, and 13-degree loft. High handicappers can go for the 13-degree loft that will encourage very high launch, which is what they want. The shaft is UST Mamiya, which reduces weight and provides the player with good stability. The cast air pockets further reduce 5 grams from the weight of this driver. If you want to strike your ball far then you should go for this driver.
The face of the club has Carpenter stainless steel construction. You will get your desired distance with a great feel. The Lamkin Crossline grip makes holding it comfortable. Some golfers may not like the adjustment that it offers, they think manufacturers should have provided more options with the changes it introduced in the driver. But once you find your preferred settings on this driver you’ll never feel the need to adjust it ever.
What we liked
- Very powerful driver
- Extra lightweight
- Encourages high ball speed and distance
- Dupont Kevlar layer reduces vibrations
- Lamkin Crossline grip is very comfortable
- Gives desired distance consistently
What we didn’t like
- Forgiveness is not up to the mark
There is a great range of drivers available with various swing speeds, offset technology, and the ability to fight a slice. They also provide fastball speed and offer good distance. The drivers that we have listed here have all those properties. They are the best choices for high handicappers with medium to low swing speeds.
The one that we liked the most is the Callaway XR16 driver. This driver is lightweight and very forgiving. The clubhead is designed to reduce airflow resistance. It comes with a loft up to 12 degrees, which is what a high handicapper should choose for high launch. The driver itself looks attractive with the rod design. The R-moto technology in the face of the club head further adds to the forgiveness of the driver and also increases MOI but not at the expense of strength.
It produces low spin which is desirable for high handicappers since there won’t be much deviation from the line. You will be able to use this driver even when improving to mid-handicap level, which makes it a great choice. Form meets function with this club.