There are loads of new drivers out in 2023, but which ones actually suit a player who needs help saving shots off the tee? We've got you covered with our list of best drivers for high handicappers 2023
The 2023 season is here, which means there’s a whole host of new drivers on the market, but with so many iterations and models, which is the best driver for golfers shopping on a budget in 2023?
We’ve hit them in the sun, in the rain, abroad, at home, in the heat, in the snow, on the course and in a simulator room with TaylorMade TP5 golf balls using TrackMan to create honest reviews you can actually trust.
We’ve taken a deep dive into the data and the new technology to provide you with a list of drivers that you should consider if you want to upgrade your driver without breaking the bank.
We’re going budget friendly in this best golf drivers on a budget list. We’ll also discuss our favourite best budget golf drivers for beginners and best budget golf drivers for high handicappers, where we’ll come to a conclusion on what are the best budget drivers in golf!
And they’re not only super budget-friendly, the options below are amongst the best drivers of 2023!
Best Budget Golf Drivers 2023
Callaway Mavrik Driver
The Mavrik driver looks superb behind the ball, exactly like you would expect from a Callaway driver. I really liked how the black gloss fades into carbon on the crown of the club and to me, the clubface felt big behind the ball which gives me the confidence to swing confidently at the ball.
Immediately I saw a high launching, slightly higher spinning shot which seemed to stay in the air forever, which might be down to the Triaxial carbon crown that is very light, allowing weight to be distributed differently around the head promoting increased forgiveness.
I took the Callaway Mavrik driver out on the course to play with in my regular Sunday morning four ball and it performed really well. After a few shots with the Mavrik, you get a ‘can’t miss’ feeling which gave me the confidence to hit the driver on holes that normally I might not.
- Sits beautifully behind the ball
- Has that can’t miss feel off the face, so super easy to to hit the ball!
- Sounds fantastic
- Higher spin is not ideal for a player looking for all-out distance
- RELATED: Read the full Callaway Mavrik driver review HERE
Lofts: 9 degrees, 10.5 degrees, 12 degrees
Project X EvenFlow Riptide – regular, stiff, extra stiff
Aldila Rogue White – stiff, extra stiff
Helium Black – light, regular
More information: Callaway website
Wilson Dynapwr Driver
Straight away, the shaping is very different; it’s now much more pear-shaped than before and looks solid behind the ball. The red detailing is subtle but frames the head nicely. The head feels quite light in the swing, which encourages you to swing hard, which I really like.
On average, I carried this 262.4 yards, with my longest carry distance at 271. This is exceedingly long as I tested this club on a frosty morning at -2 degrees, so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of distance and speed.
The 156.4 mph average ball speed is pretty good, with my fastest at 162.6 mph probably one of the fasted ball speeds I’ve seen on test this year, so huge props to Wilson for that.
We can thank artificial intelligence for this impressive speed. Wilson, like many other brands this year, have enlisted the help of computers and A.I. to run thousands of calculations to produce a club face with variable thickness to maximise ball speeds.
Forgiveness is a huge factor when it comes to picking the right driver, and this has to be one of the most forgiving out available at the moment. It is also incredibly adjustable, which we didn’t see in last year’s driver, but this is a huge win for golfers who can now really customise their shot shape.
- Smaller, more classic shape
- Very forgiving, so ideal for high handicap golfers
- Centred hits gave very competitive ball speeds compared to more expensive drivers
- Will suit slower swing speeds as a game improvement model
- Non-centred centre of gravity won’t suit players who hook the ball
- RELATED: Read the full Wilson Dynapwr review HERE
Lofts: 9˚, 10.5˚, 13˚
Featured shafts: Fujkura Ventus Blue & Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX
Grips: Lamkin Crossline 360
Cobra LTDx MAX Driver
The Cobra LTDx Max driver looks the business. Its carbon matte finish crown is subtle but accented with loud orange that really stands out. The graphics on the sole look great, and the adjustable weights contrast nicely with the head; when you stand on the tee with this club, all your playing partners gravitate towards it and want to have a look.
It took a few swings to get used to the lighter head as it does feel pretty different to a lot of other drivers I have tested this year, but as soon as I found the centre of the face I no longer had any doubts about it. It feels so solid at impact it was almost like the ball wasn’t there, the flight was high and seemed to stay in the air for ages.
Overall, this is a great option for all golfers, and shouldn’t be discounted by players who usually turn their noses up at ‘forgiving draw bias’ drivers. The distance it produces is great and with it being so forgiving all players can benefit from more shots in play off the tee.
- Extremely forgiving
- Adjustable weights allow you to set the club up with an even stronger draw bias
- High quality launch angles
- Although the centre strikes sounded amazing, the off-centre hits didn’t sound great
- RELATED: Read the full Cobra LTDx Max review HERE
Lofts: 9 degrees, 10.5 degrees, 12 degrees
PROJECT X HZRDUS Smoke iM10 60: Regular, Stiff
PROJECT X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Blue 60: Stiff, x stiff
UST Helium Nanocore 40, 50: regular, lite
More information: Cobra website
Cleveland Launcher XL Driver
The Cleveland Launcher XL has a huge footprint and looks humongous behind the ball. The clever face design makes you feel like the hitting area of the club is big as well, which gives you the confidence you don’t need perfect swings all of the time.
The Launcher XL driver has a couple of features that result in high long drives. The first is 2 rebound frames that flex on impact which gives more ball speed. The other is that because the head is so big, they can move the centre of gravity lower and deeper to give a higher launch and low spin.
I also must talk about how forgiving the Cleveland Launcher XL driver is. Those recorded shots in my Flightscope were certainly not all out of the centre of the face and there really wasn’t much drop-off in distance. This forgiveness is probably down to the size of the head and the massive MOI it provides.
This is in to make the club feel more balanced and give more control to the player. It made the club feel heavier, which may be why my club head speed wasn’t as high as normal. There is also a Cleveland Launcher XL Lite driver available in the line if you do feel like you want something lighter.
- Huge sweet spot
- Impressively long
- Great adjustability
- The elongated head could be off-putting if you’re used to something more traditionally shaped
Read the full review of the Cleveland Launcher XL driver HERE
Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Shafts: Project X Cypher 50 Shaft – A, R, S
More information: Cleveland Website
Best budget golf drivers 2023
How do we test drivers?
At National Club Golfer we are passionate about producing accurate and thorough reviews and make sure our testing process is rigorous so we get a good understanding of how each club performs.
Each driver is hit with TP5 golf balls to allow us to collect launch monitor data with our in-house TrackMan and Flightscope. After this it is time to head out onto the golf course and test the clubs in practice and competition play. We do this across a variety of golf clubs in our base of Yorkshire.
What is important when buying a new driver?
When buying a new driver it is important to know what you want from that club to help you improve.
Most people are looking for more distance, each driver model is optimised for different things. Depending on your swing and your impact conditions, you may not actually hit the model that is advertised as the longest, the furthest. So if you want more distance it is always worth giving different models a hit before you make a decision.
For most golfers, especially high handicappers, a more forgiving driver is going to yield the best performance. Most forgiving golf drivers have a slightly bigger club head with perimeter weighting for high MOI. They also have a center of gravity that is further back to help players get more height on their shots.
Do you want something that is draw bias? There are so many models out there to help with slice correction, it would be silly not to take a look if you see your ball disappearing into the right trees too often. A closed face and draw bias weighting can get you hitting straighter shots in no time at all.
Don’t forget about the shaft either. Getting the correct shaft can help dial in your spin, launch angle and can also give you some extra distance. Having a club fitting or trying different options with your local pro can really improve the performance of your new driver.
How To Use A Golf Driver
Driving the ball well is one of the most difficult skills in golf to master, but it’s a vital ingredient to improving your golf and being a good player. After the basics of tee the ball up high enough, widening your stance and moving the ball forward in your stance, how do you go about improving?
Check out this video where Equipment Editor Hannah Holden and PGA Professional Jack Backhouse go through some drills you can do to start getting better.
How To Draw The Ball In Golf With a Driver
Learning to draw the ball and fixing your slice makes driving the golf ball a lot further, as not only will you hit it a lot further, but you will be able to control your ball better in the wind and on doglegs.
Hannah and Jack have made a useful video to help you understand why the ball is not drawing, and what to work on to get it drawing properly, which you can check out HERE
You’ve probably spent a small fortune to get the set up that’s right for your game, so don’t forget to get specialist insurance from Golf Care to protect your clubs from theft, loss, and accidental damage. Plus, they even cover GPS watches, trolleys, and other golf equipment. With 30% off annual insurance starting from just £26.59, and a free golf gift bundle worth up to £365 including 12 free Srixon balls, it’s a no brainer. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP.