For an amateur golfer (and to some degree, PGA Professionals) , every ounce of forgiveness you can get from your clubs is welcomed with open arms. For some, hitting driver is one of the toughest things to do on the golf course. There’s nothing worse than lacking confidence in your swing stepping up to the tee, then proceeding to hit a huge slice into the trees, or hitting a wild hook straight into the water. It sucks.
Thanks to advancements in technology, for the most part drivers have never been more forgiving. Big brands have produced drivers with bigger sweet spots, and additional customization that can instantly improve your driving. More forgiveness in your driver translates to better mis-hits, and longer straighter drives.
Therefore, this article explores the most forgiving drivers for golfers who want to improve their drives and lower their scores. Read on to see the best options this year!
Make sure to check out our other golf club pages you’re looking for some forgiving irons too!
Table of Contents
Short on time? Here are our top picks!
Our Top Pick: Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver
Best Premium Option: TaylorMade SIM Max
Best Value Driver: Cobra Golf F9 Men’s Speedback
Buying Guide: Choosing the Most Forgiving Driver for you
There are enough drivers on the market to make any golfer’s head spin. There are a few essentials to look at when selecting the best drivers in 2020; check them out below!
Clubhead Features and Adjustability
At first glance, most drivers look pretty similar, but they all have subtle differences that change forgiveness, distance, and direction.
To choose a driver, you need to evaluate your own golf game and see what you’d like to improve. If accuracy is not an issue for you, but distance is, you should look at drivers that have optimized thinner clubfaces, which will translate to better distance on your misses.
On the other hand, if you struggle with accuracy, adjustability will allow you to tweak the loft and angle of the face. This adjustability will allow you to offset your weaknesses for better accuracy.
If you’re thinking “I need help on distance AND direction,” you’re not alone! In that case, check out drivers with a low center of gravity and a more loft, to create a naturally higher launch angle. The lower center of gravity will generate slightly more backspin on your shots, but in turn will straighten out your misses.
While the loft represents the angle of the clubhead, the ideal loft will depend on your skills. Remember, higher lofts translate to higher launch angle. If you struggle to get significant distance off the tee, getting a driver with higher loft or more adjustable loft will help you carry the ball further. Therefore, beginners that want to increase their distance should generally opt for a higher loft, whereas lower handicap players may be more comfortable with lower loft angles.
To ensure that you get optimal distance and accuracy from your drive, make sure you consider the shaft flex. The ideal shaft flex for you depends on your swing speed. For slower swing speeds, Regular flex shafts are more appropriate, and will translate to more distance. On the other hand, stiff shafts are more suitable for players that have a higher swing speed. The reduced flexibility of the shaft will make these drives more accurate and consistent.
The shaft of your driver is like the engine of a car; the right shaft will improve your launch angle, accuracy, distance. Before you buy a driver, you should have a pretty good idea of how fast you swing a driver to make sure you get the best shaft for your game!
Find this interesting? Here’s our guide on the best driver shafts out there this year!
If you’re either shorter or taller than average, the driver length may come into play. If you’re 5′ 8′ to maybe 6′ 1″, you can probably ignore this section, as a standard length will do just fine. While most driver shafts are about 44.5 inches long, you can generally find shafts anywhere from 44 to 46 inches. Longer driver shafts usher in the difficulty of squaring the clubface during contact with the ball for an average height player.
The best drivers in 2020 are of course the most expensive, usually costing $300-500 or more; the driver is the single most expensive club you’ll ever buy for your golf bag. The way around this? Buy last years model. Chances are, it’s probably better than what you have already, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for a new one! Buying last years model brand new can save you a couple hundred bucks. For me, a driver is an investment and not something I’d cheap out on; a low budget driver will give you low budget results, unfortunately.
The Most Forgiving Drivers in 2020: Our List
Best Driver for High Handicappers: Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver
Cleveland has asserted dominance over game improvement clubs, and their 2020 Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver doesn’t disappoint. The state-of-the-art Hi Bore Crown makes the Cleveland Launcher one of the most forgiving golf drivers that you can find. It creates a deep and low center of gravity placement, translating to optimal launch off the face. Cleveland also uses deep weighting to significantly increase the MOI, directly translating to more speed. This helps any golfer with a lower swing speed achieve longer distance.
This year’s model has an improved Turbocharged cup face, helping players maximize energy transfer to increase ball speed and ultimately increase distance. Cleveland have included an ultralight hostel, made to for higher launch and better forgiveness. Forgiveness in this club is even allocated to the shaft, which has a higher center of gravity to increase Moment of Inertia (MOI).
Overall, this is a premium, ultra forgiving driver with an awesome design and great feel. If you’re looking to add distance, and gain more consistency in your drives, we found this driver to be the most forgiving driver overall.
Want to save some money? Here’s last year’s model
Best Premium Option: TaylorMade SIM Max Driver
Taylormade’s 2020 driver series is the Taylormade SIM, which stands for Shape in Motion. Out of these drivers, the most forgiving option is definitely the Taylormade SIM Max. Everything about this driver is optimized to provide both forgiveness on mis-hits and consistency.
The SIM Max produces a high launch angle, especially compared to the Taylormade SIM standard version. This should come as no surprise, as the higher launch will typically allow for further and more forgiving shots. Taylormade deploys their Twist Face technology for a slightly larger clubface. This tech uses a naturally corrective face angle, designed to battle typical mis-hits and produce straighter shots. The driver does have adjustability, allowing you to change the loft by up to 2 degrees, as well as change the face angle. The changes will help change your launch angle and fight off a slice or hook tendency.
Taylormade are an absolute powerhouse when it comes to making top notch drivers, and this one is no exception. The 2020 version is easy to use, forgiving, and will provide you optimal distance and trajectory. This is our favorite premium driver this year, if you’re looking to spend a little extra cash.
Want to save some money? Last year’s model is the m6
Budget Pick: Callaway Big Bertha Fusion
While this driver is a few years old, it is a massive upgrade for anyone using an older driver, and comes at an ultra competitive price. Distance, forgiveness, and accuracy are the most essential factors to consider when selecting a driver, and Callaway’s Big Bertha Fusion caters for all. Its most outstanding feature is the Fusion Technology that delivers optimum stability and forgiveness. As the perfect ‘cocktail’ of Ultralight Triaxial Carbon Crown and Titanium Exo-Cage, this world-class technology delivers longer and straighter drives. It also facilitates weight reposition for increased swing speed and forgiveness.
For greater distance and increased ball speeds, this Callaway driver is designed using industry-leading aerodynamics that use proprietary speed to diminish drag. Available in different shaft options, golfers get to enjoy the perks of sufficient control and power. Overall, if you’re on a tighter budget this is a great pick.
Want something newer? Check out this year’s Callaway Maverik Max!
Cobra Golf F9 Men’s Speedback Driver: Best Value Driver
Cobra’s F9 Speedback came to market in 2019 with the lowest center of gravity they’ve ever produced, and in turn it became the longest and fastest Cobra driver. Cobra deployed Speedback weighting to lower and deepen the center of gravity for the club.
The F9’s weight offers complete adjustability, allowing you to change the launch angle and spin on the driver to change the shot shape you produce.The sweet spot is an elliptical shape across the driver clubface, allowing for better mis-hits from off center shots. The F9 also has a CNC Milled face, which is thinner and hotter than previous models. The thinner face translates to faster ball speed off the face.
Overall, this is a great adjustable driver from Cobra that produces plenty of forgiveness that will help you hit the ball further.
Lesser Known: Tour Edge Hot Launch HL3
Tour Edge is a lesser known brand, but has been around since the 1980’s and is based outside Chicago. They don’t have muchpress on the PGA Tour, but there are a few PGA Pros who use their drivers and woods; Brandt Snedeker had their 3 wood in his bag when he took home his FedEx cup in 2012!
Perfect for golfers that are on a low budget, the Tour Edge HL3 has a Power Channel behind the clubface that facilitates low struck shots. It also pushes the coefficient of restitution the highest allowed. The adjustable center of gravity facilitates thinly hit even shots to achieve strikingly similar distances to well-struck shots.
The face of the HL3 has a variable thickness, which provides increased forgiveness when a mishit arises. With two loft options available (10.5 and 9 degrees), the low-impact clubface delivers an amazing rollout, increasing average driving distance. The use of Cup Face Technology helps amplify ball speed as well. While the HL3 lacks the vibrant markings and colors found in premium drivers, its pear-shaped clubhead marks where players can find the sweet spot. This suffices for most users seeking value rather than aesthetics.
Perfect for fixing a slice: Callaway Rogue Draw
Many players struggle with the slice, and for a long time I had a bad slice that I eventually overcame. Seeing the ball fly out to the right and end up in the wrong fairway, or worse, is absolutely maddening. Callaway’s Rogue Draw was designed to fix that exact issue.
A large carbon crown surface area, high MOI shape, and greater address footprint form the perfect ‘cocktail’ to optimize forgiveness and stability. Rogue Draw’s Speed Step Technology redefines the leading edge’s geometry for improved airflow which ushers in greater head speed. Callaway uses both internal and external weighting to move the center of gravity inward. This elevates the gear effect on open-faced impacts to lower slice-spin and instead support a slight draw.
A forgiving driver can lower your scores significantly by allowing you to find the fairway more consistently, and hit longer straighter drives. For us, the most forgiving driver on the market is definitely the 2020 Cleveland Launcher Turbo Driver. Every ounce of this driver is optimized for performance and it’s probably the best driver for high handicappers this year.
Thanks for reading! Did you like this post? Make sure you check out more of our reviews and guides that can help you improve your game and hit longer golf shots!