Finding the best driver for your mid-handicapper game is not an easy task. #AmIRite? Having a handicap between 10 and 20 means you’ve already improved quite a bit, and you’re probably swinging at close to 92 miles per hour when you drive, but…the fine details differ from player to player. Here are our top 3 best golf drivers for mid-handicappers:
Keep reading as we compare and contrast 5 additional best drivers for mid-handicappers so you can choose the perfect one for you.
1. TaylorMade Stealth Driver
- The 60X Carbon Twist Face is encased by a polyurethane cover, featuring a revolutionary new nanotexture technology. The nanotexture cover is used to fine tune launch and spin to optimize...
- The weight savings of the 60x Carbon Twist Face has allowed more weight to be positioned low and deep in the head, this will add 15% more MOI compared to Stealth Plus plus.
- The Inertia Generator remains the foundational source of refined aerodynamic properties. The result is a slippery-fast head shape that aids in swing speed generation on the downswing for...
The TaylorMade Stealth series are drivers that many pro golfers and experienced coaches recommend for mid-handicappers.
The drivers are a bit different from most others, as they don’t have the typical titanium face but opted for a layered carbon fiber option instead. The result is an exceptional driver for someone who’s pretty experienced but still needs some improvement.
The driver balances launch, distance, spin, and forgiveness perfectly.
That being said, the balance between the factors means that it doesn’t exactly excel at any of them, with its forgiveness perhaps being its most vital point. Spin, in particular, isn’t exceptional in the TaylorMade Stealth series, making it a better option for mid-handicappers who swing pretty fast.
It might seem like a minor point, but it’s worth mentioning: the carbon fiber face sounds different.
Instead of the typical metallic sound of the golf ball getting hit by titanium, it has a more wood-like sound, which may disappoint some players. So even though it does not affect the driver’s performance, it’s good to be prepared.
Many buyers have had some bad experiences, so when you decide to open your wallet, look out for a few crucial things:
- Sometimes, the clubs ship without the components that should be included. If possible, check the contents before you leave the store. The most common missing things are the hosel adjustment tool and the cover, so ensure that it includes everything it should.
- Some clubs have broken shafts out of the packaging, so check the club’s condition when you buy it.
- TaylorMade’s support web page is often offline, so buy from a retailer where you can get support if something goes wrong.
Apart from these factors, users are generally impressed with the quality and performance of the club.
2. Titleist TSi4
Titleist is known as a brand for professionals, and the company worked hard to achieve this reputation. With that in mind, few mid-handicappers even consider Titleist as an option, but there are Titleist drivers that fit this niche perfectly, and the TSi4 is one of the best.
It’s an ideal driver for players with a high swing speed. Its design reduces spin considerably while also increasing launch, so you will be hard-pressed to find a driver that will give you a better distance. It has a very aerodynamic design, so the club feels fast in your hands, and coupled with a fast swing speed, you get incredible performance.
The TSi4 is very adjustable. For example, it has a removable weight on its sole and a SureFit hosel with 16 combinations that you can adjust. It is one of the most straightforward drivers on this list to adapt to your particular swing style.
On the downside, it’s not a very forgiving club. Mid-handicappers that struggle to make consistent contact with the ball will have plenty of issues with the Titleist TSi4. Another disadvantage is that the only model available for left-handed players is the nine-degree one, with the eight and 10.5-degree models only being right-handed.
Another complaint is that the TSi4 is not a significant upgrade from the Titleist TSi3, even though it’s much newer and costs much more. It is also hard to find stock, even from massive online retailers like Amazon, except directly through the Titleist online store.
Despite the few negatives, those who have managed to get their hands on one rave about it. It’s an exceptional driver by all standards.
3. Ping G425 Max Driver
Ping is a brand that often pops up in forums and other places where people ask for advice on the best drivers for mid-handicappers. The G425 definitely deserves this spot, being Golf Monthly’s 2022 Editor’s Choice winner for best consistency.
It is an exceptional club for mid-handicappers that need a forgiving driver. Players who used the previous model, the Ping G410, will know how forgiving these clubs can be, but the G425 Max has an even better MOI. But such advancements can be expected from a golf club manufacturer founded by a former engineer.
The improvements are primarily made possible thanks to a new 26-gram movable tungsten weight, adding an average of 14% improvement in MOI.
There are a few complaints from customers, though:
- It’s expensive. The Ping G425 Max costs around $100 more than the Titleist TSi4, which is already quite expensive. But many stores offer it at a considerable discount from time to time, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for such bargains.
- Some players complain about the sound It makes. It is alarmingly loud if you’re not expecting it, so much so that some regard it as a deal-breaker.
Despite the few disadvantages, the Ping G425 Max is an excellent upgrade to an already excellent driver for mid-handicappers. Four professionals even used it during the 2022 PGA Tour: Guillermo Moto Pereira, Cameron Champ, and Sebastian Munoz. That should prove its value even if nothing else does.
4. TaylorMade SIM2
- Multi-Material Construction. A larger 190cc head design features precision weighting and strategic CG placement for explosive distance, enhanced forgivness and high launch.
- New V Steel Design. An updated V Steel design redistributes weight to enhance forgiveness while maintaining low CG properties. A depressed heel and toe minimize sole area, adding to V...
- C300 Steel Twist Face. High-strength C300 steel allows for a strong fast face engineered for explosive ball speeds, paired with Twist Face technology to overcome inherent golfer tendencies...
We’re back with TaylorMade, so there’s no need to review the company’s credentials again. It’s hard to go to any online golfing forum and ask for the best driver for a mid-handicapper and not get loads of recommendations for the SIM2.
The TaylorMade SIM2 is an exceptional driver that’s hard to criticize.
Compared to the disadvantages of the other drivers on this list, it looks great, feels perfect, and even sounds like a driver should. It’s unbelievably forgiving of bad swings and will mainly continue to fly in a straight line regardless of what you throw at it. It must be a terrible swing to ruin a drive with the SIM2.
Players who used the previous generation, the TaylorMade SIM, will feel at home with this one. It has many identical features but with some significant upgrades, like its improved SIM inertia generator. It’s also cheaper than the original SIM and one of the more affordable drivers on this list, but it’s still not a cheap driver.
People’s experiences differ when it comes to distance, though. Some players are amazed, playing shots they were never able to do before, while others complain that the reach of the SIM2 left them wanting.
There have also been some complaints about the driver coming out of the box with scratches on the head, which could not have happened during delivery since they were still in a sealed container. Isolated cases of cracked heads, reportedly without hitting the ground, are also slightly concerning; perhaps someone at TaylorMade is neglecting quality control a bit.
For the most part, though, most players recommend the SIM2 and would buy it again in a heartbeat. It’s popular with intermediate and pro golfers alike, and with recommendations like that, you really can’t go wrong.
5. Cobra LTDx
- Pwr-Cor Technology-Multi material weighting system consisting of steel, titanium and aluminum positions mass low and forward to combine low spin with faster ball speed for maximized distance
- HOT Face-Highly Optimized Technology uses Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning to create our hottest face; The design uses 15 HOT zones with strategic thickness to increase smash...
- CNC Milled Infinity Face-An updated CNC Infinity Face design wraps around the leading edge to crease the zone of maximum ball speed while providing a traditional topline for improved visual...
The Cobra LTDx won Golf Monthly’s Best Overall Driver award for 2022, and it’s another driver that keeps on popping up on most golfing forums and websites. It is widely regarded as an excellent driver for mid-handicappers.
The LTDx is an upgrade from Cobra’s previous generation. One thing that pleases players is that Cobra changed the club enough to improve the sound, which was one of the primary complaints about the older Radspeed range, a problem that now plagues many other club brands.
Other improvements include some aesthetic changes. It looks more modern than the Radspeed, but without changing things that worked, like the matte black carbon crown. Unfortunately, that’s where most of the improvements end; there are very few changes other than a more modern, sleek look.
But some argue that you can’t improve on perfection, and the Cobra LTDx carries on the tradition of the Radspeed with its great distance, excellent forgiveness, and reduced spin.
However, you should note that this driver is not the most robust. It has been known to break occasionally during exceptionally hard swings, especially if it hits the ground. It’s especially common for the crown to come off, so this might not be the absolute best driver for golfers who don’t always play the most accurate shots.
Cobra also offers limited support outside of the United States, so if you’re not in the US, check first if you have local support, either from Cobra or a local agent, before you buy this driver.
6. Callaway Rogue ST Max
- Rogue ST MAX is Callaway’s fastest fairway wood ever.
- The new A.I.-designed Jailbreak system has been completely redesigned to promote speed and stability. The two Jailbreak batwings are pushed to the perimeter, providing stiffness while...
- Callaway is introducing the groundbreaking Tungsten Speed Cartridge for the first time in a fairway wood. By incorporating up to 27g of high-density tungsten, the Center of Gravity (CG) is...
The Callaway Rogue ST Max offers low spin and high MOI with great forgiveness, which is perfect for mid-handicappers. It has a titanium unibody construction specially designed to lower the center of gravity, thereby improving stability and balance. It has a few stand-out features that players rave about:
- Most players are surprised by the distance they get from it. Even some pros can drive the ball further with the Rogue ST Max than with their best clubs, reaching 289 yards almost effortlessly.
- Its speed is considerably better than the previous Callaway Epic Flash, quickly reaching 168 miles per hour.
- It is very comfortable to swing with since it’s very well-balanced.
- It looks like a premium golf club, with every model of the Rogue ST Max looking slightly different from the rest.
The only real complaint about the Rogue ST Max driver is that multiple people received the club broken in the box. It’s not just due to shipping, either; buyers have received cracked heads, loose crowns, and broken shafts in the packaging that it was shipped in from the factory, and with the number of complaints, there can be no doubt that there are some quality control problems.
As with some other brands, there’s limited support for Callaway clubs outside the United States and the United Kingdom, so if you plan to buy this exceptional driver, check for local support in your country first. That way, if you get a broken driver, you know you can quickly get a replacement.
It’s also good to note that, for a driver that is marketed as having significantly reduced spin, it still has a surprising amount of spin. Other drivers, like the Ping G425 Max, definitely have better spin reduction. So, if you really need less spin in your drives, this might not be the perfect driver for you.
7. Cleveland Launcher XL
- LITE-WEIGHT DESIGN - A bonded hosel without the weight-adding adjustability sleeve, together with an ultra-lightweight shaft, makes this driver 12g lighter and 0.25” longer than the...
- XL HEAD DESIGN - This is huge: a bigger head means an MOI of 5,100 g-cm2. Add that forgiveness to a high launch from low-and-deep weighting, and you’ll enjoy maximum distance with maximum...
- REBOUND FRAME - What’s better than one flex zone? Two (duh). Alternating zones of flexibility and rigidity direct more energy into the golf ball for increased ball speed and distance on...
Cleveland is a golf brand known for offering great value at lower-than-average prices, which is just as true of the Launcher XL. You can get it at nearly half the price of some of the other options on this list, so if you’re buying on a budget, this is an excellent option to consider.
The Launcher XL feels extremely well-balanced, and its length is perfect for comfortable playing. Its high MOI and low center of gravity lead to exceptional accuracy and a very forgiving drive. The hosel is also adjustable for that extra bit of fine-tuning.
Unfortunately, this driver is plagued by the same problem that many other mid-handicap drivers have: the sound. This does not directly impact your game, but it can be disarming if you don’t expect it.
Apart from that, some golfers feel that the stock shaft does not work with the head. This is easy enough to fix, but it can be a problem for some, especially since you have already spent good money on the driver.
The package also does not include a head cover, and it’s also important to note that the built-in grip weight will be lost if you regrip the club. There’s no way to get it back, which has led to quite a lot of disappointment among golfers who otherwise love the Launcher XL.
Remember, though, that the Cleveland Launcher XL is a budget club, so it won’t always have all the same features as other premium options. Despite its lower price, it is a well-balanced, forgiving driver that shoots straight, easily offers more than 10 yards’ improvement in driving distance, and drives the ball fast.
Comparing these advantages on a price-per-benefit ratio, the Cleveland Launcher XL is of incredible value compared to the rest.
8. Mizuno ST-X 220
- Highly resilient Forged SAT2041 Beta-Ti Face: As a high strength Beta Ti, SAT2041 maintains its characteristics and resists micro fractures for longer than the commonly used 6-4 Ti.
- NEW Multi-thickness CORTECH Face: Refined to maximize the return from Mizuno's Beta Ti face. Ball speeds most noticeably improved low on the clubface.
- Quick Switch Adaptor: 4 degrees of loft adjustability to fine-tune look and trajectory
Mizuno is not a top-selling golf club brand, and even people who have played with or heard of Mizuno before tend to forget the brand exists when they buy their next set of clubs. However, Mizuno is also great at delivering surprising quality and performance at a relatively low price.
The Mizuno ST-X 220 is made of resilient forged carbon steel. It is considered exceptionally crack-resistant, making it an excellent option for mid-handicappers who still lean towards missing swings. The club’s face has a variable thickness to offer different speeds, with the highest speed coming from the lowest point on the face.
All of these factors lead to an excellent launch, and a sturdy, premium feel to the club. It also has a premium look, offering modern aesthetics to accompany its outstanding performance and quality.
It’s ideal for mid-handicappers with lower swing speeds, as the longer shaft adds considerable speed benefits. The driver also has a quick-switch hosel to make adjustments without wasting too much time with tools. It offers consistent performance, reasonable distance, and great speeds, with the reliability of a strong head that won’t easily crack if you hit the ground.
Unfortunately, it is not without its caveats:
- Mizuno has no LH support. The ST-X 220 is only available for right-handed players.
- There’s nothing that makes it stand out from its competitors. Though it’s far from a bad driver and deserves its spot in a list of the best drivers for mid-handicappers, it just doesn’t do anything truly unique to set it apart from the rest.
- Finding stock can be challenging. Perhaps because Mizuno has never been a top-selling golf club brand, being more well-known for its other sports accessories, you will have to look on the Mizuno website to find a store near you that carries stock.
- In the same way that you may not easily find stock of the Mizuno ST-X 220, you may also struggle to get support if you need it. Though the club is very robust, and you shouldn’t need help very often (if ever), it’s good to know you can get it if you need it. Mizuno doesn’t offer local support everywhere in the world, so be sure to check the website before buying.
The Mizuno driver is not a bad club by any stretch, and it’s worth a look as it offers excellent features for a mid-handicapper at a reasonable price. Just don’t expect anything particularly mind-blowing or original, as it’s very much the same as most of the others on this list.
Conclusion: Best Drivers For Mid Handicappers
Overall, the best golf driver for mid-handicappers is the Ping G425 Max.
It has excellent features, lots of power, and perfect balance. It’s forgiving, reduces spin, and achieves great distances at amazing speeds.
If you can get past the price tag and the unconventional sound it makes on contact, there’s really nothing bad to say about the Ping G425 Max driver.