6 Best Drivers For High Handicappers (…and 2 to avoid)


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Most of us need a little help off the tee but the good news is that modern drivers are designed with us in mind and made to maximize distance and forgiveness.

I took a look at dozens of drivers and I think the best driver for high handicappers is the Callaway Rogue ST Max.

But that’s not the only option out there for you, here’s my breakdown of the best golf drivers for high handicappers…

Top Pick

1. Callaway Rogue ST Max

The Rogue ST Max gives high handicappers a lot of the two things they need most…distance and forgiveness.

The Rogue ST Max is the highest MOI head in Callaway’s new Rogue lineup and has a slight draw bias. These are two things that are exactly what most high handicappers need in a driver.

This driver also made the top of our list of the Most Forgiving Drivers.

Callaway Rogue ST Max Specs

  • Lofts: 9° (Adjustable 8°-11°), 10.5° (Adjustable 9.5°-12.5°), 12° (Adjustable 11°-14°)
  • Lie: 59° (adjustable from -1° to +2°)
  • Head Size: 460cc
  • Swing Weight: D3
  • Adjustable Hosel: Yes
  • Adjustable Weights: No
  • Stock Shafts:
    • Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 55 Graphite 55g
    • Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65 Graphite 65g
    • Mitsubishi Tensei AV White 65 Graphite 65g
    • Fujikura Ventus Blue 5 (non-velocore) Graphite 50g
    • Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 (non-velocore) Graphite 60g

The ST Max has the heaviest rear-weight cartridge of all the new Rogue models. This means a high launch that helps to increase distance even on off-center hits.

One thing I really like about the new Rogue lineup is the matte black crown. Callaway was never all that concerned with making a driver with classic looks, but this is a club that isn’t distracting to look down at. It gives you confidence when setting up to the ball.

When testing this club I was getting great ball speed and distance numbers, even when I missed the sweet spot. This club and the next pick below really outpaced the rest of them in terms of forgiveness and ball speed on mis-hits.

The reason the Callaway Rogue ST makes the top spot here is that Callaway seems to be just a little bit ahead in terms of their technology and forgiveness.


  • High MOI and lots of forgiveness
  • Good ball speed off the face
  • The somewhat classic look is much more appealing than other Callaway drivers


  • Very expensive

The Rogue ST Max also comes in a “draw” version for those of you that tend to slice the ball. Generally, I am not a fan of draw bias drivers because I think they encourage bad swing habits, but if you’re a high handicapper with a slice that just wants to have fun on the weekends and not work on improving your swing, then the draw version of this club is the perfect option for you. 

Read our full review of the Callaway Rogue ST Max here.


2. Titleist TSR2

The TSR2 seems like a bigger evolution of Titleist’s driver lineup than usual. It feels and looks great and delivers distance and forgiveness as well.

If you prefer a more classic look but still want the forgiveness and technology to help your game then Titleist may be the perfect fit for you. They have a long history of sticking to more traditional-looking clubs but as of late have been keeping up with the other big names in terms of game improvement technology.

The TSR2 is the latest Titleist driver that is specifically designed for golfers that are less consistent with their face contact.

According to Titleist they employed something called a “Multi-Plateau Variable Face Thickness design” that is supposed to boost golf ball speed for contact all across the face. The result is that you’ll see less ball speed loss when you miss the sweet spot of the driver.

Titleist TSR2 Specs

  • Lofts: 8°, 9°, 10°, 11° (same for left-handed)
  • Lie: 58.5° (adjustable from -.75° to +1.5°)
  • Head Size: 460cc
  • Adjustable Hosel: Yes
  • Adjustable Weights: No
  • Stock Shafts:
    • HZRDUS RED CB 50g, 60g
    • HZRDUS Black 4G 60g, 70g, 80g
    • Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 55g, 65g, 75g
    • Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 65g, 75g, 85g

The other major change in the TSR lineup (and specifically the TSR2) is the clubhead shape design.

Titliest claims they have improved the aerodynamics of the club head. This should mean that the reduced air resistance helps you generate more clubhead speed. What that actually means in terms of MPH is difficult to say but even just an increase of 1 MPH can give you an extra 2-3 yards off the tee. That may not seem like much but if you start averaging 2-3 more yards every time, that can have a positive impact on your scrore.

The other aspect of the new shape is that Titleist was able to make these aerodynamic changes while also making the club look more traditional at address. This is certainly a personal preference, but I have always felt that the classic looking clubs are less distracting when you address the ball before a shot.

My experience with the TSR2 was very positive. Using a launch monitor I was consistently getting solid results in terms of distance compared to the other clubs I tested. This club was right up there with the top pick above so it really comes down to personal preference.


  • Great ball speed even on mis-hits
  • Classic look makes you feel confident at address
  • Adjustable hosel has many options


  • Very expensive
  • Only a minor upgrade from the previous TSi2

The most noticeable differences were on shots where I missed the center of the clubface where this club outperformed the others as well, which is why it is my top pick for high-handicap golfers.

Lastly, it has an adjustable hosel, which I think is a necessity for all but the most accomplished and consistent golfers.

The reality is that most of us are always looking to improve our games, so the ability to have a pro help you make adjustments to your club to match any swing improvements can make a big difference.

Overall, I was quite impressed with this club and there’s a good chance it may end up having a permanent spot in my bag this year.

Most Innovative

3. TaylorMade Stealth

Solid all-around performer with a new carbon fibre face and a sleek new design.

The TaylorMade Stealth driver introduces some new technology with a carbon fiber face that they claim is going to help improve forgiveness and ball speed across the face.

As is the case with most of the new driver innovations, there are improvements but they are small and incremental. Comparing this club to the prior generation SIM driver, I saw about a 2-3 mph difference in ball speed overall.

The main benefit to using carbon in the driver is that it decreases the weight of the head overall, so TaylorMade could add more weight to the actual weights in the head. That allows them to put the weight of the club in very specific spots and increase forgiveness in the club.

So it’s not really that carbon is necessarily more forgiving of a material, it just gives the engineers more flexibility.

That being said, a lot of golfers that tried this club have said that they lost a lot of distance on off-center hits but got their best distances ever on good strikes. So the forgiveness may not be quite what TaylorMade claims but this is a monster when it comes to distance.

Budget Pick

4. Cobra RADSpeed XB

The RADSpeed XB is designed specifically for high handicappers with a high launch, low spin, and lots of forgiveness. With a recent price drop, it’s a great bargain too.

Perhaps you’re the type of player who is looking to upgrade the driver in your bag, but don’t necessarily want to break the bank to do so.  We would encourage you to consider the Cobra RADSpeed driver.

The RADSpeed XB is the model in the RADSpeed lineup that has a bigger footprint and more weight towards the rear which makes it more forgiving and has a higher launch. It also features an internal weight pad positioned low and back to promote higher launch and straighter ball flights. 

Higher handicappers probably should avoid the “regular” RADSpeed driver as it is less forgiving than the XB.

One thing to be aware of with this club is that it is louder than most. Whether or not you like that is more of a personal preference thing than it is related to actual driver performance. But I have heard some golfers say that a louder sound makes them feel confident hitting the driver and makes them swing smoother because they don’t feel the need to kill it to get that big sound.

Like most of the clubs on this list, this one is also adjustable so you can get a pro to help you dial in the right settings to maximize your distance and help to correct some ball flight issues.


5. Ping G425 Max

The G425 has made some obvious improvements in forgiveness and holds its own with the other (more well-known) drivers on this list in the distance category at a lower price point.

Ping is one of those companies that quietly produces some top-level gear without the advertising fanfare of some of the other companies. The Ping G425 is one of those clubs that I haven’t heard much about but is hard to ignore.

Ping G425 Max Specs

  • Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12° (same for left-handed)
  • Lie: 58.5° (adjustable from -1° to +2°)
  • Head Size: 460cc
  • Swing Weight: D3
  • Adjustable Hosel: Yes (-1.5° to +1.5° loft)
  • Adjustable Weights: Yes
  • Stock Shafts:
    • PING Alta CB 55 Slate (graphite)
    • PING Tour 65 (graphite)
    • Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70 (graphite)
    • Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55, 65 (graphite)
    • PING Alta Distanza (graphite)

Like the Rogue ST above, it also has a rear weight (26g) but the G425 gives you the option to move the weight to change the club to have either a draw, fade, or neutral bias. This makes it a great option for those of you that want maximum forgiveness and distance but also tend to hit the ball relatively straight.

One of the best features of the G425 has nothing to do with club technology and that is the price. You can usually find it for less money than some of the other drivers on this list.

Like almost all the clubs on this list, you aren’t going to see a lot of improvement over the previous years’ models on sweet spot hits. But you will see a decent difference on off-center hits. The G425 is more forgiving than its predecessors.

When I hit the club, I compared it to the G410 and I did see about a 5% improvement on off-center hits. Of course, this wasn’t scientific testing…just a handful of swings on a launch monitor, but noticeable nonetheless.

For Slower Swings

6. Titleist TSi 1

The TSi1 is built to be light and makes it much easier for slower swing-speed players to generate club speed.

The Titleist TSi 1 is a lightweight driver with a design tailored to increase swing speed regardless of what yours is when you start. In other words, playing this driver is an almost guaranteed solution for adding a little bit of juice to your tee game.

Titleist tsI 1 Specs

  • Lofts: 9°, 10°, 12° (10° only for left-handed)
  • Lie: 58.5°
  • Head Size: 460cc
  • Adjustable Hosel: Yes
  • Adjustable Weights: No
  • Stock Shafts:
    • Aldila Ascent UL 41g, 44g, 47g, 48g

One of the most important parts of the club is the shaft. The TSR2 driver has a graphite shaft which is very lightweight and strong. This helps the clubhead move faster through the air and hit the ball harder. The club also has a special grip that helps you hold the club tighter and make sure your hands don’t slip when you swing.

The TSR2 driver also has a few adjustable parts that can be changed to fit your swing. The adjustable hosel allows you to change the angle of the club head, which can help you hit the ball straighter or with more of a draw or fade. The adjustable weighting system allows you to move weight around the clubhead to change the balance and feel of the club. This can help you find the perfect setup for your swing.

How We Choose Drivers

There’s no “best” driver for everyone. That’s why I break down these buying guides by categories like this one that covers the best drivers for high handicappers.

My goal is to give you options that fit your specific needs and golf skill level. Some clubs are designed for a specific skill level or type of player and choosing a club that fits your game is far more important than choosing the “best” club because all the top clubs are equally good in terms of quality.

With that in mind, I also test every club on this list so I can have hands-on experience with the club to tell you about things that aren’t in the marketing materials like feel and how it looks at address.

I am not a professional golfer so my testing isn’t the same kind of testing a swing robot will give you, but I do take note of how clubs perform on less-than-perfect contact. My goal is to give you an idea of how these clubs perfrom in real life.

3 Drivers High Handicappers Should Avoid

Titleist TSR3

The TSR 3 isn’t a bad driver. But it’s not designed for high handicappers.

You might get more distance on sweet spot hits but you’ll lose a lot more on shots that don’t hit the center of the clubface.

In addition, this club is designed for a lower ball flight. This may be great for a good player that has an optimized attack angle on their drives, but for the high handicapper, this means a lot less distance on most hits.

Powerbilt TPS Supertech

I am only listing this club here because I have seen it recommended to high handicap players on other sites.

The biggest appeal of this club is the low cost. But unfortunately, this is a case of getting what you pay for.

If you’re here looking for a club that can improve your game, this isn’t it. You’ll be much better off keeping your current driver and saving up for a used copy of one of the clubs listed above. You can find some great deals on the used market and you’ll get far better results than with a low-budget club like this.

What High Handicap Golfers Should Look For In a Driver

As we’ve indicated above, it can be shockingly easy for the average amateur to get misled by watching golf on TV, and/or the slick golf club commercials which all seem to make the promise that tour player-like performance is just around the corner…. once you buy their driver.  


Perhaps this goes without saying…. But as a high handicapper, this attribute should be priority number one as you’re looking for the right driver for your game. 

Forgiveness in a driver means that you will still see the ball moving down the fairway – and heading in the direction you intended – even when you didn’t make contact with the sweet spot of the driver’s face.   

All of the major golf club manufacturers know that this of utmost importance to the amateur golfer.  It’s the “white whale” of the industry…. a never-ending pursuit.  So these days it’s pretty hard to find a driver that WON’T be marketed as “forgiving”. 

But it’s the subtle differences in forgiveness between the various drivers available out there that can be important for the high handicapper.  So I recommend a couple of things –

(1) Get familiar with your most common misses.  Employ the use of impact tape and figure out where you tend to strike the clubface with your tee shots (On the toe? The heel? Etc.).  Knowing this can be helpful for you as you shop for a new club. 

(2) Try before you buy.  Most golf stores today offer the opportunity for you to test out the new clubs that they carry on a launch monitor or simulator, with no expectation of purchase.  So take advantage of this and take your top few choices for a test drive.  This will almost certainly be an enlightening exercise and should point you toward the driver that offers the most forgiveness to your particular golf swing.  


There are usually two schools of thought here – There’s the viewpoint that I alluded to above, which essentially says that the higher the handicap, the less adjustability will really help you (so just work at improving your game, and don’t get caught up in the needless obsessing over technology).  And then there’s the camp that argues that adjustability in a driver can be a huge help to those who struggle to score well. 

At the end of the day, perhaps it’s best to just say that if you are willing to spend the extra dough in the hope that you just might potentially benefit from an adjustable club…. then, by all means, go for it!  After all, half of the battle when it comes to the golf swing is feeling confident in what you are swinging.

If, however, saving money (which could potentially go towards upgrading another area of your golf set) really does matter the most to you in the end, don’t necessarily assume that that means you have to resign yourself to never seeing improvement off the tee.  Find yourself a quality, affordable and forgiving non-adjustable driver and go to work! 

Common Driver Questions From High Handicappers

What is the most forgiving driver?

All of the drivers we have spotlighted here in this article should offer the high handicapper a great deal of forgiveness.  But if I had to select just one as the “most forgiving”, I would probably land on the Callaway Rogue ST Max.  This is based on my own personal experiences with a lot of drivers, as well as the feedback I have heard from others (both in person and in online forums).

How can I tell if my driver shaft is too stiff for my swing?

In addition to just using the “personal feel” test (i.e. do you feel like you’re able to create the proper amount of “whip” when you take a full golf swing)… you will predominately be able to tell that you are in need of a more flexible/less stiff shaft if all (or most) of your misses tend to be low and to the right of your intended target line (for a right-hander).  Conversely, if it is more common for you to miss high or to the left of the target, a shaft that is too light and too flexible is more likely to blame.

What degree of driver should I pick?

As a general rule, most amateurs (especially high handicappers) tend to not play enough loft on their drivers.  Most teaching pros agree that the ideal launch angle with a driver is between 10 and 15 degrees.  And the slower your swing speed is, the more it should trend toward the higher of those two numbers. 

So, if you are a high handicap golfer with an average driver swing speed (typically between 80-90 mph), my suggestion would be to try out a driver loft of 12 degrees, and then swing at 10.5 degrees and see which seems to be producing a better average carry.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend going lower than 10.5, unless you have an average swing speed of greater than 105 mph.

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Pete | Editor-in-Chief
Pete is an avid golfer since he was 10 years old and currently plays to a 9 handicap. He started Under Par Goals to help other golfers all around the world improve their games and learn more about the game.