After playing your first few rounds of golf, many of you may have already been frustrated when your primary golf swing shot goes into a rough or the trees. Knowing how to use a golf driver is essential, but finding the best golf drivers for high handicappers is easier said than done. It’s anything but a simple task and for a good reason. Using a golf driver as a novice can be intimidating.
In this article, we list down the top factors, from the material to the design, that you need to consider to narrow down the possibilities effectively.
Before going through the list, let’s make sure that you understand how handicapping works.
What Handicap Means
In golf, you’re a better player the lower your handicap is. For instance, if your handicap is six and your friends have a handicap of 10, you’re four strokes better than the rest of them on average.
To illustrate further, imagine we’re going to play in a par-72, 18-hole course. As a 6-handicap player, you’re expected to finish the entire 18 holes in a total of 78 strokes or, in golf terms, six above par. Meanwhile, your friends who are 10-handicappers should hit the ball 82 times to finish the course or ten more than par.
Simply put, your handicap equates to the number of strokes over par that you should take to play an 18-hole course.
Things to Know
- Before being deemed eligible for a handicap, the rule is you need to play at least ten rounds.
- Once you’re ready to test yourself on a real golf course, you can go ahead and get actual values that correspond to your progress, one for your score and another one for your handicap.
- To keep score, you need to request a golfer friend to tag along with you in a round of 18 holes. They must keep track of your score and sign your card at the end of the round. Note that you need to have two signatures – your own and the signature of the person you’re playing with, for your card to be valid.
- You need to hand in your scores at the course where you usually play. At any one time, your handicap is 96% of the average of your ten best scores in the last 20 rounds you played.
Expect your handicap to drop quite rapidly at first, as most beginners improve a lot after only a few games. After which, your improvement continues but at a much slower pace.
If possible, you wouldn’t want to team up with three low-handicap players in the early stages of your golf journey. Ideally, play with other golfers within the range of your ability at first. Once you get the hang of the game, you may start playing with other golfers who are better than you so that you can learn from them.
Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing a Driver
Admittedly, one of the things that’ll put a big smile on your face as a high-handicap golfer is to execute a drive that sails straight down the fairway for a sizeable distance. Such achievement marks the start of getting your scores down on your way to reducing that high handicap.
Since your driver is one of the most expensive types of golf clubs in your bag, you’d want to make sure that you’re making the proper selection when buying one so that you get to save money in the long term.
To aid you in making an informed decision when purchasing a driver, we’ll list down the most crucial criteria that’ll play a key role in your selection. These are the areas that you must take into consideration when choosing your driver.
Keep in mind that these pointers are aimed at beginner golfers with a high handicap. While it’s true that you require as much assistance as possible, this stage of your golf game is more about enjoyment and improvement rather than anything else.
However, as a general rule, you’d want to select a driver with the biggest head available that conforms to the maximum of 460cc as imposed by golfing authorities.
The specific factors to consider include:
Like other golf clubs, it’s critical to consider the type of material used when looking for the best golf drivers for high handicappers since it’s directly related to the golf club’s performance, durability, and price or value.
Some of the more popular materials are:
Titanium is an excellent option if you’re looking for a premium driver. It may be costly, but it’s worth every penny you’ll be spending. Apart from being exceptionally light, which makes it easy to use, drivers made of titanium are very forgiving, thus is ideal for high handicappers like you. If you value consistency, go for a titanium driver with a large head.
- Stainless Steel
If you’re looking for an alternative to titanium that’s more affordable, steel is an option worth considering. Although heavier, the extra weight isn’t a bad thing. If anything, it allows you to be better at controlling your swing.
- Composite Alloys
Composite alloys make up the best materials for mid-range drivers. These clubs are well-balanced and forgiving, meaning they’re straightforward to use without the risk of going broke.
Among all the golf clubs in your kit, the driver has the least loft. Loft refers to the extent to which your golf club slopes back. Most drivers have lofts that range from 8.5 to 15 degrees.
When evaluating a driver’s loft, keep in mind that it’s equal to the ball height. Professionals prefer their drivers to have a loft between 7-10 degrees. However, as a beginner, a larger loft is better, which should enhance your overall performance on the green when matched perfectly to your swing speed.
Many manufacturers have been more innovative in incorporating new technology into their products for good golf drivers as of late. Many of them have implemented innovations that allow for certain modifications, helping ensure that the driver seamlessly matches the user’s needs.
Some golf drivers even have adjustable weights located at the sole of the clubhead. All you have to do is slide the attachments in different positions, and the weight of the driver will immediately adjust as you desire.
You can also find drivers with an adjustable loft. By unscrewing the loft, you’re able to rotate the head, and depending on the manufacturer, adjust it anywhere from 9 to 14 degrees.
Crucial to the overall performance of the driver is the size of the clubhead. As a high handicapper, part of your task is to be on the lookout for large clubheads. Aside from gaining a more prominent sweet spot, a larger clubhead increases the surface area and minimizes the chances that you’ll miss the ball when its’s hit.
As we mentioned, the maximum head size for a driver is 460cc. Since this is the largest, it’s what you should be getting given your handicap.
The part of the driver that you’ll be holding is the shaft. Therefore, one of the more critical considerations for you is its length. The majority of drivers you’ll find in the market range from 43 to 46 inches. However, the maximum length that’s permitted is 48 inches.
As a rule of thumb, the longer the shaft, the further the ball will travel. Although this might seem like a great thing at first, a longer length may make the driver more challenging to control.
Therefore, you should strike a balance between control and distance; 45 inches is a reasonable compromise when it comes to length.
Apart from length, another crucial factor to take into account when examining the shaft is the flex. Shaft flex dictates how rigid the shaft will be, which directly affects the outcome of your every shot.
As a beginner with a high handicap, the suggested driver should have a stiff or regular flex. If you have a low swing speed, consider looking into drivers classified under ladies or seniors.
Another factor you need to consider is the feel of the driver. Often, you’ll hear seasoned players talk about it, yet beginners often misunderstand it.
Feel is the response the ball gives off as the clubface hits it. Pick a driver with an exceptional feel to it, which will prove vital in boosting your confidence once you play.
As a high handicap player, you need to be aware that you have an extensive selection of drivers to choose from. While the task seems to be daunting, you need to choose your driver wisely early in your golfing career so that you can utilize the equipment for a long time and well into your mid handicap days.
Invest in the best golf drivers for high handicappers and beginners today, and see for yourself what they can do to boost your confidence the next time you’re playing.
See related article: Golf Clubs for Tall Men