If you’re a newcomer to golf, it’s natural to think that investing in the best possible equipment might help mitigate some of your limitations in experience. But in the case of your driver, one of the most important clubs in your bag, it doesn’t really work that way.
How beginners play golf is quite different to how the professionals do it, and the requirements from a driver are therefore different. Most novices who spend hundreds of pounds or more on a driver because they saw Bryson DeChambeau or Rory McIlroy use it on TV are wasting their money. Instead, as many top UK golf blogs will attest, it’s far more important to get a driver that suits your individual style and characteristics.
What doesn’t help matters is that many golf club manufacturers focus on developing high-end clubs for the pro and scratch amateur games, rather than entry-level products for the keen novice. However, there are plenty of options out there that are ideally suited to newbies. This guide highlights what you should look for in a novice-friendly driver and some of the best choices currently on the market.
What should a new golfer look for in a driver?
So, what is a good driver for a new golfer more specifically? Well, this can vary a little bit depending on preference and initial ability, but two things stand out.
The first is the loft angle. This is because beginners and players with high handicaps tend to hit ‘line drives’, where the ball flies low to the ground and reconnects with the earth sooner. A driver with a more pronounced loft angle will make it easier for players to get the ball higher into the air and maximise the distance it travels.
The second thing that is particularly helpful for beginners is driver weight – or rather, the lack of it. Beginner golfers won’t have the experience, honed swing technique or upper body power to swing a huge, heavy driver and ensure the highest speed at the clubhead (how fast the club is travelling at the point when it hits the ball). A lighter driver is therefore easier for a novice to swing, and helps them keep their clubhead speed up.
Our picks of good drivers for a new golfer?
There are a number of good choices of drivers on the market that will suit a beginner. Most of them will come with a range of different loft angles, so players who particularly struggle with ball height have options that will help them. These are our favourite novice golf driver choices:
Callaway has designed the MAVRIK to be as user-friendly as possible for a broad range of golfers, and it’s packed with technology and innovation to achieve it. All its models are adjustable with a three-degree range of loft angles, allowing novices to fine-tune their drivers to suit their natural swing. There are also innovations such as Flash Face, where thickness is added to the areas where beginners often mis-hit drives, and ‘Jail Break’ titanium bars which maximise the amount of energy that flows through the club to the ball.
Cobra Air X
If you’re looking at going down the ultra-lightweight route, then the Cobra Air X should be one of your first ports of call. Clubhead, shaft and even the grip have been designed to keep weight down to a minimum and refocus its centre of gravity towards the back of the driver for more stability. Not only is it designed to keep the risk of slices low, but it’s reported to increase clubhead speed by as much as 4mph for some players.
The Stealth is by no means the cheapest driver you can buy, but it represents a sound long-term investment because it will still be suitable as you improve your game and get your handicap further down. It has a carbon-fibre face, which represents a significant departure from the traditional titanium and can add both distance and a more forgiving feel. Many golfers don’t feel comfortable with the carbon face, but if you’re new to the sport and have nothing to compare it to, this is much less of a problem.
Ping G425 Max
The G425 Max is probably the best option if you want maximum adjustability and the chance to tinker with your set-up as you learn. It has five different loft settings, an adjustable hosel and even an adjustable tungsten weight in the rear, making it versatile for every style of beginner play. One thing to watch out for is its distinctive deep noise as you play your shots, but with a year’s access to the Arccos Caddie data-tracking service free with every purchase, it’s perfect for those who want to improve their game analytically.
Get golf insurance with SportsCover Direct
Getting up to speed when starting out in golf can be difficult, hence the reason it’s so important to pick the right driver for your game. However, there are other risks to take into account as well: in more extreme cases, if you hit an errant drive which happens to hit someone else out on the course, you could be subject to a claim if they get hurt.
This is just one of the reasons why it’s vital to take out specialist golf insurance, which SportsCover Direct provides for all levels of ability. Our policies also include protection if you hurt yourself while out on the course, or if your clubs get lost, stolen or damaged. Either way, we’ll make sure that you don’t suffer financially as a result.
If you’re trying to keep your golf costs down to a minimum, then don’t worry: our flexible payment plans mean that our policies start at just a few pounds a month. Find out more about what we can offer you here.