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 high handicappers 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’re a player looking to start reducing their score by driving the ball better.
Taking handicapping into account when picking a best driver in 2023 will be more crucial than ever before, so below you will find the best forgiving drivers for high handicap players.
Best Drivers For High Handicappers 2023
Titleist TSR1 Driver
I hit a few more shots with it and was really impressed with how easy it was to hit and how effortlessly I was able to get the ball in the air higher than I ever have. The first shaft I tried was the TSR1 specific shaft which is only 40g, and I loved it. The ball was spinning way too much to be optimal, but I didn’t want to stop using it as it was just so much fun.
The TSR1 is 40g lighter than any of the other TSR drivers, with weight savings in the head shaft and grip. This will allow players to move the club quicker and hit it further. It also has the lowest and furthest back centre of gravity, which provides a high launch and maximum forgiveness.
Overall this is a great addition to the TSR line-up; it will help slower players hit it higher and further whilst also helping low-spin players enjoy hitting driver more often. It won’t be for everyone, but it will help many golfers enjoy their games more.
- High launching
- Super light
- Really forgiving
- Not the best option for high-spin players
- RELATED: Read the full Titleist TSR1 driver review
Right-handed lofts: 9°, 10°, 12°
Left-handed lofts: 10° (9° and 12° custom only)
Titleist featured shafts: Mitsubishi MMT SpeedMesh 40 (Men’s) and 35 (Ladies)
More information: Titleist website
Ping G430 Max Driver
Ping drivers are always very confidence-inspiring over the golf ball and this model is no different. It has a bigger oversized shaping than we see from other brands but we are excepting of this as we know how it boosts performance.
Clearly, the most consistent thing about this data though is the dispersion. Both the front-to-back and left-to-right dispersion is ridiculously small. I’m honestly not even really sure how I generated such consistent data.
This was even with my trying to hit shots full out, and interestingly I actually felt like this flew the straightest when I was swinging my fastest. The only shot I hit decently off target was massively necky and the spin stayed at 2600 rpm, and it still hit the left side if the fairway.
Spinsistency is a huge story in this range and it was really interesting looking at the consistency of the data here. The spin rate only varied by 350 rpm across all my shots which is very consistent.
- Excellent carry distances
- Really consistent data
- Forgiving on off centre strikes
- Great dispersion
- Sound seriously improved vs G425
- Great selection of shaft options
- Bigger club head than some other brands
- RELATED: Read the full Ping G430 Max review
Right-handed lofts: 8°, 9°, 10°, 11°
Ping stock shafts: ALTA CB BLACK 55 / 65 / 70, PING TOUR 2.0 CHROME 65 / 75 / 85, PING TOUR 2.0 BLACK 65 / 75, ALTA QUICK 35 / 45
Optional shafts (no upcharge): PROJECT X HZRDUS SMOKE RED RDX 50/60/70, MITSUBISHI KAI’LI WHITE 60/70,
More information: Ping 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 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
- Centred hits gave very competitive ball speeds compared to more expensive drivers
- Will suit slower swing speeds
- Non-centred centre of gravity won’t suit players who hook the ball
- RELATED: Read the full Wilson Dynapwr driver review
Lofts: 9˚, 10.5˚, 13˚
Featured shafts: Fujkura Ventus Blue & Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX
Grips: Lamkin Crossline 360
Cobra Aerojet Driver
Straight away, it was clear just how easy this club is to launch. It also felt super easy to hit and I could very easily get the ball a long way down the fairway despite where the ball was struck on the club face. If you are someone who struggles to launch the ball, this could be a perfect option.
One of the most impressive things here was just how consistent the front-to-back dispersion was here. This was great out on the golf course as it meant I could consistently carry hazards such as bunkers and leave my ball in a great position.
The left-to-right dispersion was obviously bigger but there is only just over 40 yards from my furthest left and right shot which isn’t bad at all.
Overall this is a great performing driver and when you take into account the price point it is a club that is hard to overlook.
- Great distance
- Will suit lots of golfers
- Slight draw bias
- Easy to hit and launch
- Great loft options
- Some players may hit too high
- RELATED: Read the full Cobra Aerojet driver review
Lofts: 9°, 10.5° & 12°
Stock shafts: MCA Kai’li Blue 60, Project X Hzrdus Black Gen 4, MCA Kai’li White 60
Grip: Lamkin Crossline
More information: Cobra website
Callaway Paradym X Driver
As with the rest of the Paradym range, this is a great-looking driver. Looking at this at address, the club head is more elongated than the rest of the family. This is to allow Callaway to get more weight low and back so this club is easier to launch and is more forgiving.
Callaway have really changed how their drivers look in address position compared to last year’s Rogue ST. The first big change is that the crown now has a gloss finish. I love this change and think a dark glossy crown looks great behind the golf ball. The shaping is much more compact which I massively prefer, and I also like the new matt alignment feature on the front of the crown.
It definitely launched the highest. My highest shot launched at 121.4ft with the average of just over 100ft which was 14ft higher than the Paradym and 18ft higher than the Triple Diamond. If you struggle to get enough height on your driver, this would be a great option to launch the ball higher. It also spun the most, which was to be expected given the CG location is further back.
- Great dispersion
- Very consistent carry distances
- Forgiving on off-centre strikes
- Ball flight may be too high for some
- Bigger head than other Paradym options
- RELATED: Read the full Callaway Paradym X Driver review
Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Stock shafts: MCA Aldila Ascent PL Blue, Project X Hzrdus Silver
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 or WMS Lamkin ST Soft Undersized
More information: Callaway 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 review
Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°
Shafts: Project X Cypher 50 Shaft – A, R, S
More information: Cleveland Website
Best drivers for high handicappers 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, something that is more forgiving 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
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