Should High Handicappers & Beginners Use Drivers – What Loft Driver And Alternatives


The driver is most popular club in the game of golf by a long way. Every body dreams of smashing the far and straight down the fairway but as many of come to realize, it is easier than it sounds and we can quickly run into problems.

The driver is the most intriguing club in the bag for beginners but also the most difficult to perfect and come to terms with. That leads many golfers to question whether they should even use a driver or swap it out for another club instead. The truth is that, high handicappers should definitely be using a driver.

The fact is that, struggling with a driver can be caused by many different obstacles and situations in the way.



Why High Handicappers Struggle With Their Drivers

As a budding junior golfer, I used my old mans clubs as I’m sure I’m not alone in doing.

Although I didn’t know why at the time I found the driver to be the hardest club in the bag to hit and quickly learned that I could get far better accuracy of the tee with a 3 Iron and preceeded to use that club on the trickier holes.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, my difficulty hitting the driver more than likely came down to my developing swing speed being too slow for the old mans driver.

As I improved and got my own set of fitted clubs, I became a lot more confident with the driver off the tee.

For beginners struggling to hit the barking dog, the problem is going to come down to a few causes.


The Loft Is Too Strong

Bryson Dechambeau, heavyweight, driver hitting king is known to use a loft of driver that is around 7 Degrees, which is extremely strong. Bryson swings the club so hard he can get the required height and distance from a loft that strong.

For most of us, that swing speed isn’t going to be possible and we need to adjust the lofts of our drivers to match our swing speed. By adding more loft to our driver we can get a cleaner contact with the sweet spot and get the right launch angle for the ball speed we are generating.

This is going to be one of the most common reasons that beginners will shy away from using the driver and can be fixed when you know what you are looking for.



The Shaft Flex Is Too Stiff

The flex in the shaft of your driver determines how much the shaft will bend when swung at a particular speed.

High swing speeds need stiffer shafts to be able withstand the force of being swung faster.

Again, high handicap players are likely to have slower swings speeds but still to varying degrees.

If your shaft is too stiff, the face of the club won’t have enough loft at impact and the ball can shoot of fast but low.

If the shaft is too flexible, the head of the driver will arrive at the ball late and cause the shot to ‘Sky’ or go too far up in the air.

Getting the right loft and flex in your driver can have a big impact on how quickly you can start to use this club effectively.

Regular Vs Senior Vs Ladies Flex

These are the flex options you will have for slower swings speeds and you have stiff flex shaft for the higher speed swinging players.




The Driver Is The Longest Club In The Bag

The driver is considerably the longest club in the bag in terms of shaft length and overall wieldiness.

With that being said, it is hardest club to judge your stance for and the longer swing distance will amplify any imperfections with your swing and can lead to a hook or a slice.

If you are hitting low and with a hook or slice it could be down to a combination of loft, flex and stance. It’s common for beginners and high handicappers to have multiple issues with their game and their equipment.

One of the best pieces of advice is to buy a solid beginner set like the Strata or Wilson Platinum Profile and get them fitted to your game at the local golf course.

If your shaft is too long, you should also consider shortening the shaft or asking the pro to help you out.

Record Your Golf Swing and watch it back or send it to a pro for analysis.

Better still will be to go and get some golf lessons of the local pro in your area and iron out any potentials problems in your golf swing.


Step Further Away Or Closer To The Ball

If you are hooking or slicing the ball with your driver, you should try taking half a step further away from the ball or half a step closer to the ball and see if that improves your game.

Stop trying to hit the ball too hard and instead try to get into a rhythm of consistent and straight shots, the distance can come later.

Keeping your eye on the ball through the golf swing can lead to a better connection with the sweet spot.


Other Alternatives To The Driver

So of you will have taken our advice on board and put the plans in place for improvement with their driver. For others among us, the driver still isn’t go to be part of our plans and we want to know what alternatives are out their.

The 3 Wood

Beginners can gravitate towards the 3 wood off the tee because it allows them to get the ball in the air better, straighter and further consistently and that comes down to a number of reasons.

The club has more loft

So if you have a slower swing speed, the loft of the 3 wood is going to give you more of the performance you need off the tee than using a driver that has too strong of a loft.

The Shaft Is Shorter

You have lees club to swing and less space to amplify any problems with your swing.

This could also be down to your driver being to long for your height, if it came as a part of a one size fits all set.

The good news about this situation is that the composition of your driver is contributing to your inability to use it well. If you get fit for a driver, you will surely be able to improve your performance with a tailor fitted driver.


The Trusty 3 Iron Or Driving Iron

Maybe not everyone’s first choice as a replacement for a driver and can also be difficult for high handicappers to get the hang of because of the low loft but for me, it was something that just clicked and gave me the best performance.

If you do find that you can hit a 3 Iron well off the tee and straight consistently, it may be worth your while using it off the tee on holes where accuracy is more important than distance.

You could also considering investing in a driver iron with a stronger loft than the 3 iron to get more distance.


2 Hybrid

The hybrid is a club that really shot to prominence over the past decade and as golf club manufacturing has improved, we now seeing hybrids in the bags of the games top pros like Dustin Johnson.

Hybrid as the name suggest comes from its mixture of the large head of a fairway wood with the length and face of an iron. The result is club that is easier for high handicappers especially to deal with.

If you struggle with the driver off the tee, you may find that you are able to get more distance, accuracy and consistency from substitution your driver for a 2 hybrid.


Driver With Draw Bias

A lot of golfers will have trouble slicing their driver and that group will contain a big percentage of beginners and high handicappers.

By adding weight or adjusting the angle at with you make contact with the ball slightly, you can actually correct the issue with a draw biased driver.


Best Draw Biased Driver – Taylormade M6 D

The Taylormade M6 was the crown piece of the amazing M series from Taylormade.

The D Type Drive has a draw bias incorporated which opens the club face at impact allowing the golfer to hit the ball straight.

The club also has a massive sweet spot on the twist face which is made of thin steel and is very forgiving.

The face is also ‘Speed Injected’ to make the ball fly when it meets the club.

Overall Score: 96/100

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Top Tip

Whatever driver you do decide to use, you should certainly visit the local pro and having the club fit to suit your game. One simple trip to the club shop, as early as possible can set you off down the right path with your driver.



Best Drivers For High Handicappers

When it comes to buying drivers for those just starting out in the game, there are a number of quality clubs to chose from depending on how much money you are willing to spend and exactly what you are looking for in the clubs.


Best Choice Driver For High Handicappers – Taylormade RBZ

The RBZ is a quality driver from Taylormade with 1000’s of 5 star reviews online. It is also considerably less expensive than the brand new premium models.

It’s got a large titanium head and you get to chose between 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees of loft which will be ideal for slower swingers and those just starting out.

The RBZ driver has the patented speed pocket for high launch low on the face, low spin and good launch angle.

The center of gravity is low and you can get expect to see good distance with this one.

Overall Score: 92/100

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Most Forgiving Driver For High Handicappers – Big Bertha B21 Driver

The Big Bertha has a famous name and this new release for 2021 is all about helping beginners get the ball high and straight consistently.

The Big Bertha B21 max is a very forgiving driver with a ton of offset which closes the face on impact and can help to eliminate any slices you may have with the club.

As Suggested by the name, the sweet spot is massive and the flash face technology is created by AI to create fast ballspeeds.

The is is adraw bias driver which offers a beginner friendly 12.5 degree loft option.

Overall a very forgiving driver to consider.

Overall Score: 92/100

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Best Budget Driver For High Handicappers – PGX Offset Golf Driver

If you have a problem with slicer your driver and you only want to spend around $50, The PGX Offset driver is certainly one to consider.

It has a large 460cc head that is highly offset which closes the face on the ball at impact and gives you a straight golf shot.

This could be worth a shot if don’t want to spend a ton of money.

Overall Score: 84/100

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Best Premium Driver For High Handicappers – Taylormade Sim 2 Max Driver

Brand new and out of the box from Taylormade with the Sim 2 Max Driver.

This is also available in Draw bias version for players who tend to slice the ball.

A Massive Sweet Spot, speed injected and with a massive rear for getting superior distances.

The COG is low on the club so it is easy to get the correct launch angle for your swing speed.

The Speed Pocket, forged ring construction and split mass weighting make this club one of the top perfoming models in the world but it will cost around $500 new.

Overall Score: 97/100

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The driver is the most daunting club in the bag by a mile but it can be mastered and getting a club that is fitted and suited to your game is the first stop.

As with anything in golf, practice makes perfect and the more you can get to the range or out on the course, the better you will become and the same can be true for driving the golf ball.