Best Driver For Mid Handicappers — (Golf Coach's Advice)
As the head of the Golf Instructor team at Tell Me More Golf, I’m helping you make an informed buying decision; getting you the Best Drive for Mid Handicappers that we can!
These expert review guidelines are used by Tell Me More Golf’s review team:
Our testers were impressed with how forgiving the PING G425 Max Driver was as they reported finding every fairway, even on mishits.
The PING G425 MAX driver’s forgiveness comes from the 26-gram movable tungsten weight that produces the highest MOI yet in a PING driver. Additionally, its Dragonfly technology delivers an ultra-thin crown, and the T9S+ forged face has fast ball speeds for excellent distance.
The driver hosel adapter has eight settings to customize your lie and angle, loft, and a 26-gram tungsten weight that you can set for neutral, draw, or fade.
Some testers didn’t like the loud sound the driver made at impact.
- Excellent forgiveness, thanks to a high MOI and low CG
- Great distance from T9S+ forged face and Dragonfly technology
- Easy to adjust the lie angle, loft, and bias of the club
- The G425 MAX driver is loud at impact and a few testers didn’t like this.
Our testers found the Callaway Rogue ST Max driver an excellent choice for golfers looking for a driver with low-spin rates and a large sweet spot.
The Rogue ST Max has the highest MOI of any Callaway driver thanks to its 26-gram Tungsten Speed Cartridge, which makes it very forgiving. Thanks to the combination of its Jailbreak Technology Speed Frame and face is designed with artificial intelligence that produces low spin and excellent distance.
It has an adjustable adapter that allows you to easily adjust the lie angle and three degrees of loft on the club.
The Rogue ST Max does have a draw bias to it which some of our testers didn’t care for as they tend to draw the ball naturally.
- Low-Spin for excellent distance
- High MOI makes it very forgiving
- The Hosel adapter makes it easy to change the lie angle and loft of the club
- It has a built-in draw bias which can be an issue for golfers who pull the ball naturally
Our testers were impressed with the PXG 0811 X GEN4 driver’s adjustability and consistent forgiveness and distance.
The PXG 0811 X GEN4 driver has precision weighing technology with three weight ports that allow a golfer to easily adjust the club’s spin, bias, and trajectory. It has a tall face with a low CG that produces a high launch, with low spin, for incredible distance and forgiveness.
The PXG 0811 also has a Hybrid Crown Construction with a Honeycomb TPE insert that helps maximize the club’s CG and Moment of Inertia.
It does have an Aluminum Vapor crown that is reflective and was distracting in bright sunshine to some testers.
- Very easy to adjust the bias, loft, and spin characteristics of the club
- A tall face with a steep slope to the back produces low CG for low-spin, high-launching distance
- The hybrid Crown and Honeycomb insert make it very forgiving
- Aluminum Vapor Crown can produce glare in bright sun for some golfers
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The easy distance of the Cobra Radspeed XB impressed our testers as even on mishits, they found consistent carry distance and shot dispersion.
The Cobra Radspeed XB has radial weighting, a strategic placement of 48 grams in relation to the CG, which helps optimize ball speed and forgiveness. In addition, its CNC-milled Infinity-Face design covers 95% of the driver face adding to the already impressive ball speed.
It also features a lightweight T-Bar Chassis and Thin-Ply Carbon crown, which help lighten the club but keep it stable. The Cobra Radspeed XB has adjustable weights on the back and front of the driver and an adjustable hosel to adjust the club’s loft.
The driver’s slightly oversized profile at address was distracting to some of our testers.
- Radial weighting combined with low CG produces low spin and forgiveness
- Infinity Milled Face delivers excellent ball speed
- Adjustable weights and hosel allow for adjustment of loft and bias
- Its slightly oversized look can take some getting used to
The TaylorMade Stealth driver drew high marks from our testers for its distance and narrow shot dispersion.
The TaylorMade Stealth driver has a 60-layered Carbon Twist Face technology with a nanotexture cover. The Speed Pocket provides excellent distance and feel. It also has weight positioned low and deep on the club head for added MOI to make it very forgiving on mishits.
The TaylorMade Stealth driver has excellent aerodynamic properties, including an Inertia Generator, that help golfers of every level to get more swing speed.
The Stealth driver comes with an adjustable sleeve on the hosel for adjusting the loft and lie angle of the club.
The Carbon Twist Face has a more muted sound at impact that some of our testers didn’t like.
- Carbon Twist Face provides excellent distance
- High MOI makes it very forgiving with low shot dispersion
- Adjustable sleeve for easy adjustments of loft and lie angle
- Carbon Twist Face has muted sound at impact, which took some getting used to
The Best Driver for Mid-Handicappers – The Tell Me More Golf Buying Guide
Mid-handicappers should look for two key things when looking at modern drivers: the driver’s shaft flex and adjustability.
Driver Shaft Flex
A large part of finding the best new driver for your game is using the correct driver shaft flex for your swing.
One of the critical factors for selecting the right driver shaft is knowing your average swing speed. Your swing speed is typically a good indicator of the correct driver flex for your driver.
If you can’t see a golf club fitter to measure your swing speed, you can use the average distance of your driver to calculate your approximate swing speed.
Here’s a quick chart with swing speeds and their correlating driver distances:
Swing Speed and Average Driver Distance:
- 60 MPH – 155 Yards
- 70 MPH – 185 Yards
- 80 MPH – 210 Yards
- 90 MPH – 235 Yards
- 100 MPH – 260 Yards
- 110 MPH – 290 Yards
- 120 MPH – 315 Yards
As a rule, the faster your swing speed, the stiffer the driver shaft flex. This is because the faster your swing speed, the stiffer the driver shaft has to be to handle the stresses put on it.
Let’s look at the most common driver shaft flexes and what swing speed matches them.
Ladies’ driver shafts are labeled with an L and are designed for clubhead speeds of less than 70 mph or an average driver distance of fewer than 185 yards.
Senior driver shafts are labeled with an A and designed for slower swing speeds between 75 and 85 mph or an average driver distance of 210 yards.
Regular Flex (R)
Regular driver shafts are labeled with an R and are designed for swing speeds between 85 and 95 mph or an average driver distance of 235 yards.
Still Flex (S)
Stiff driver shafts are labeled with an S and are designed for swing speeds between 95 and 105 mph or an average driver distance of 260 yards.
Extra Stiff (X)
Extra-stiff driver shafts are labeled with an X and are best for 105 mph swing speeds and higher or an average driver distance of 290 yards.
The stiffer the driver shaft flex, the more it will weigh. While there are some mechanical advantages to a stiffer, longer driver shaft. For most golfers, the result is a decrease in swing speed, a lower launch angle, and more inconsistency.
Modern adjustable drivers can be adjusted in two ways: adjustable hosels and moveable weights on the driver’s head. Let’s examine how adjustable hosels and moveable weights can impact your golf swing.
Adjustable hosels on a driver shaft allow you to change two aspects of your ball flight: the loft and the lie angle.
Changing the Loft
Drivers with adjustable lofts will typically allow you to change the loft of your driver around two degrees from its neutral setting.
In other words, if the driver is a natural 9.5 degrees, you can either add two degrees to take it to 11.5 or remove two degrees, changing it to 7.5 degrees of loft.
Adding loft will help you hit the ball higher and fractionally close the clubface.
Subtracting the loft will lower your ball flight and fractionally open the clubface.
Adjusting the Lie Angle
Many drivers with adjustable hosels will also allow you to adjust the lie angle. The lie angle for drivers is typically between 55 and 60 degrees. You can change the lie angle up a degree or two to flatten or increase the lie angle.
As a rule, the higher the lie angle from neutral, the more of a draw bias the club will have.
The lower the lie angle, the more you increase the fade bias of the club.
A player can significantly maximize the ball flight for their golf swing by adjusting the loft, the lie angle, or both.
Adjusting the loft and lie angle with the hosel adapter can affect a golf ball’s flight, so can adjusting the moveable weights on the driver’s head.
There are two ways in which sliding weight can affect the ball’s flight: moving the weights forward and backward or from the toe to the heel. Moving the weights can adjust the center of gravity, affecting the ball’s flight.
Moving the weight forward from neutral on a driver will lower the spin and launch angle for a more piercing ball flight and rollout.
Moving the weights toward the back of the club will produce a higher launch for more carry and less rollout.
Moving the weights of a driver toward the heel of the club will produce a draw bias.
When you move the weights of a driver toward the toe of the club, it will produce a fade bias.
Tell Me More Golf – Frequently Asked Questions
What loft driver should a mid-handicapper use?
Mid-handicap golfers should look at drivers with a loft between 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. These average lofts allow the club to be adjusted up or down several degrees in the loft from its natural setting to optimize the golfer’s ball flight.
The G425 Max is extremely forgiving on mishits which can help to reduce the shot dispersion for a mid-handicap golfer.
What is considered a mid-handicap?
A mid-handicap in golf is a handicap that ranges from 11-20. Mid-handicap golfers will typically shoot between 80 and 94 from round to round.
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The best golf drivers for mid-handicappers have a combination of distance, forgiveness, and adjustability.
Mid-handicap players have fairly consistent golf swings that they can start to fine-tune aspects of their game.
The proper combination of the shaft, the lie angle, the loft, and the bias on the club will help golfers of their skill level get the most out of their drivers.
Golfers also should be aware of finding the right driver shaft flex to match their swing speed.
In the end, mid-handicap golfers will have to find a driver that looks, feels, and plays great for them on the golf course.