Matt, Author at Golf Sidekick - Page 9 of 9

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Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers & Beginners

Fairway woods are the most under-rated weapons to get you under 100 and breaking 90.


If the driver costs you shots, over and over, leave it at home for now and find yourself a trusty fairway wood that can travel over 160 yards off the tee into the fairway every time. That's your new secret weapon my friend. Oozing forgiveness and a soft-landing ball, fairway woods can quickly become your favorite club.

On top of that, for slower swingers, higher handicappers and beginners, a fairway wood with more loft will go further and straighter than a lower lofted wood and work much easier than the popular hybrids.

How I found golf zen with fairway woods

For months I struggled to get a 15 degree 3 wood into the air and carry more than 140 yards. At the time, I was still learning to play golf and someone told me 3 wood was better than driver to start off with. So I tried. And tried and tried and tried.

I practiced and practiced and nothing ever changed - I may as well have used a putter.

Until one day, a retiree golfer at the course told me 'try a 5 wood or a 7 wood'. I never even knew there was such a thing as a 7 wood! 

I saw the man again a few days later and he gave me a Slazenger 5 wood. 

Let me tell you, it changed my whole universe. I hit that thing perfectly immediately! Carried 180 with a little draw! You read that right - a 19 degree fairway wood went further than a 15 degree  3 wood. Needless to say, I also got a 7 wood, dropped my handicap to 11 and since then I've been preaching the virtues of fairway woods to anyone who'll listen.

So as you can see, fairway woods come in handy and are made in a wide range of lofts to get you around the course easily. They're just so easy to hit and I hope the woods I've tried and found for you will change your game for the better too...


Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers & Beginners

  1. Taylormade SIM MAX (Best of the best fairway woods)
  2. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo (best for stopping a slice)
  3. Cobra F Max Airspeed Fairway Wood  (value option for slower swingers)
  4. Cobra Radspeed Fairway Wood (beast upgrade to an already good club)
  5. Tour Edge Hot Launch E521 Fairway Wood  (best high handicapper focused club)
  6. PING G425 Fairway Wood (most forgiving fairway wood)

Why I selected these fairway woods for you

The best fairway woods for high handicappers and beginners must come in lofts higher than 17 degrees. You'll be able to hit them consistently and get them to travel longer distances. I also think you should have as many fairway woods as you like but never going below 17° of loft. 

The fairway woods you see the pro's hitting from 13° to 15° are much more difficult to get airborne off the tee and even harder to do off the fairways. 

I absolutely recommend you start with fairway woods and add hybrids later - once you're used to hitting down on the ball. (Yes, you should be hitting down on the ball with your fairway woods)


6 Need-to-know things about fairway woods

Fairway woods for beginners and high handicappers are a tough subject. Because they're difficult to hit, I tried to simplify the whole process of finding decent ones. 

Too Long; Didn't Read version

Learn to hit fairway woods first, then hybrids. Get a higher lofted fairway wood, starting from 17° and up. Swing smooth and hit down on the ball with the fairway wood. Trust the loft of the club to get the ball in the air - you do not need to manufacture the shot and TRY get it in the air. Only hit a fairway wood on an approach shot if it will reach the center of the green or the back of the green.

1. Distance isn't everything 

Fairway woods don't need to be SMASHED and shouldn't be. A smooth swing with a slight downward hit on the ball will produce a nice consistent and accurate shot that will travel straighter and with more height.

Hitting a fairway wood HARD hurts your chances of that desired accuracy and consistency. My best advice for hitting a fairway wood is to relax and trust the club to do the work and swing EASSYYYYYYY. Trying to get the ball up in the air will result in a lot of slices and thinned shots. 

The clubs are designed in a way to make your life easier. Trust them.

2. Loft is your best friend

Low lofted clubs produce much lower ball flight. Usually, we would associate a lower loft with more distance. That is the case if the swing speed is fast enough. A slower swing speed and lower loft means a very low short shot.

How fairway woods look for beginners and high handicappers - more loft means better shots

The more loft a club has, the more forgiveness it has. This can be seen with a 3 iron vs a 9 iron. The 9 iron is much easier to hit. The surprising thing is that a golfer with a slower swing speed could hit the ball further with a higher lofted wood than with a lower lofted.

For example, a high handicapper is often able to carry a 5 or 7 wood much further than a 3 wood because the 3 wood flies lower with less forgiveness. The extra backspin and loft of a 5 or 7 wood produces much more elevation and in turn more carry distance, even on mishits.

3. Different skill levels for different clubs

  • Higher handicappers and beginners usually swing a little slower and require a bit more loft than normal and so a FIVE WOOD would be the best place to start for most higher handicappers - that's usually 17° of loft.
  • Lower and mid handicappers are more experienced and have developed a faster swing. They can play lower lofted fairway woods because the lower a loft, the more skill and speed you need to elevate the ball.

4. Fairway woods are better to start with than hybrids

In my opinion, newer golfers should learn to hit DOWN on a fairway wood before moving onto the hybrids. Hybrids have made long iron play much easier but I believe a 17°, 19° or 21° fairway wood is far more forgiving and easier to hit than a hybrid of the same loft. 

Hitting hybrids requires a downward strike on the ball but learning to do that with a club that looks meatier like a fairway wood makes the transition to hitting hybrids so much easier. 

Learning to hit a 3 or 4 hybrid immediately as a beginner or high handicapper will be difficult because essentially it is still a 3 or 4 iron but it just has a chunk of metal stuck on the back. And you and I both know how difficult it is to master a long iron!

5. Difference between fairway woods and hybrids

Modern example of a fairway wood

  • Bigger clubhead
  • More weight behind the ball in the clubhead
  • Easier to hit especially when learning to hit down on the ball
  • Longer shaft 42"
  • Head volume between 150 and 180 cc
  • Face resembles a driver

Modern example of a hybrid

  • Smaller clubhead with smaller footprint
  • Looks like an iron from the top with a chunk of metal on the back
  • Must have steeper swing into the ball
  • Shorter shaft 40"
  • Head volume around 110 cc
  • Face resembles an iron

Fairway wood vs hybrid in the same range of Nike clubs

6. When should we use fairway woods?

Appropriate times
  • Long par 3s
  • On approach shots where the fairway wood will reach the distance to the center of the green
  • On the tees of holes or courses where accuracy is more important than distance
  • When escaping rough because the round shape of a fairway woods head doesn't get tangled like the sharpness of an irons blade
Inappropriate times


  • When we're 250 yards out and a fairway wood will 'get us somewhere up there' - it's better to divide the yardage into 2 shots you prefer. Something like 150 yards with 100 yards into the green. A blasted 185 yard 5 wood will leave us with the extremely difficult 65 yard pitch - partial shots are very difficult.
  • When the distance to the green is in our range but the fairway wood won't CARRY the bunkers or water short of the green.

Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers and Beginners Reviews


Taylormade SIM Max

Maximum tech to hit it easier off the deck

First off you can ignore the 15 degree version my good man. The loft is too low. In addition to the 15° woods, they do have the 18, 2 and 24 degree versions.

What's interesting about that is that 24 degrees is the modern 6 iron! But it's the traditional 3 or 4 iron loft. So don't be put off by the 24 degree idea. It's much easier to get one of these in the air than a jacked up loft on a 5 or 6 iron in todays irons.

An old feature is back from previous models in the Taylormade range, with V Steel making a renewed appearance. It's now all over the sole, with special steel on the crown in the front and at the rear, a composite carbon to distribute the weight in a way that gets the ball flying higher and further, easier.

The tech keeps coming, with Twist Face technology also implemented in this model as well. They have twisted the face a little to help compensate for off center hits, keeping the straighter and reducing dispersion left and right. 

Pros
  • Good choice for those who hit it low in the face
  • Easiest to hit off the deck
  • High-launching and glides through the turf
  • Crisp sound at contact
Cons
  • Not for golfers who want to shape the ball flight

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

Good for beginners and high handicappers who slice the ball

Cleveland are the kings of game improvement clubs but very sneaky. Not much fanfare out there, but a lot of golfers at club level jam Cleveland woods and irons

The 3 wood with 15 degrees is easy to launch but the 5 wood is where the game gets easy for the high handicappers. Cleveland have made a fairway wood that looks great - in fact so close to a PING, it's scary. The Hi-Bore crown is a proven design as it's been in the woods for the last 10 years.

Face-design is one of my bug-bears and the face on the Cleveland is as it always is, nice and simple. The face and hosel are created to be draw-biased to help eliminate that pesky slice. Now if you're slashing across the ball heavily, it's best to fix that swing, but if you're a light slicer, the offset can really rein that in.

I found it difficult to hit off the mats indoors and was just hitting hooks and big draws. I found it performed better on the grass and natural lies. For this reason, I think it works better on normal turf but not hardpan. But then again, which fairway woods do well on hardpan?

I've personally used Cleveland fairway woods even while I was a scratch handicapper, 13 years ago. 

Pros
  • Fights the slice with an offset hosel
  • Nice and light to increase swing speed because there is no adjustable hosel
  • High-launching and glides through the turf
  • Crisp sound at contact
  • Looks very attractive at address, one of the prime factors for selecting a club
Cons
  • Matte finish means scratches are much more pronounced.
  • Not adjustable at all

Cobra F-Max Airspeed Fairway Wood

Value option for beginners and high handicappers with slower swings

Cobra golf clubs are always a hit with amateurs. The F Max is a really classic-looking fairway wood with a plain black head but with a touch of offset to get rid of a slice. This is the fairway wood of choice for Brian from my channel. you can see him rocking Fmax clubs in his videos of late.

If you're a slower swinger, the Cobra F Max might be just what the doctor ordered.

The lightweight head combined with a very lightweight shaft will help you get some more mph on the old swing. And more swing speed means more distance. Brian was rockin these clubs when his swing was a bit slower. After a couple of lessons, he increased his swing speed to the range that these became unsuitable so he had to change shafts.

A very wide club face gives you a long surface area to make contact with. With more sweet spot areas to hit the ball, you'll find more forgiveness and straighter shots. 

I recommend the 16°  20° and 23° fairway woods. Combining a higher loft than normal fairway woods with light weight and the offset face means less slice and in turn tons more distance.

Pros
  • Lands softly on approach shots with medium high flight
  • Slower swingers show best results in distance and flight
  • Buttery soft feel at impact
  • Crisp sound at contact
  • Lofts of the clubs printed on the bottom so you can buy the right wedges and hybrids!
Cons
  • Faster swingers should avoid this

Cobra Radspeed Fairway Wood

Ultra value for beginners and high handicappers

The Cobra Radspeed is the latest upgrade from Cobra from the Speedzone which was already a great club. 

Loft-wise, the 14.5, 18 and 22.5 degree clubs can be adjusted to suit your needs - the adjustment can be up or down a few degrees.

There are rails on the bottom of the sole which help to guide the clubhead through the turf. The weight plate in the back is not movable which in today's club climate is such a relief. As high handicappers, we don't need to be worrying whether we have the right settings or not.

Cobra made great clubs that were easy to hit in the F9 and the Speedzone and the Radspeed continues to impress with the ease of use. 

Pros
  • Available in loft settings from 14.5 to 22.5 and can adjust in between all settings with the hosel adjustment
  • Easily adjustable on the hosel
  • No annoying weight slider
  • Easy to get airborne and generate plenty of speed
  • Easy to align crown design
Cons
  • Reduced attractiveness compared to SPeedzone and F9
  • Hideous headcover - get a Waddaplaya one instead 

Tour Edge Hot Launch E521

So easy to launch and play from anywhere

There are two options in the 521 range, C521 and E521. Tour Edge’s game-improvement metal-woods assist golfers who need some help (C521) and a lot of help (E521). The Tour Edge ranges of fairway woods is always top notch. If you like them, you should also check out the Exotics range once you level up your skills.

The C521 has a traditional shape and less offset which is the effect that makes the clubface point left to negate a slice. The E521 has a lot more offset, and a low center of gravity to help get the ball up and also, to stop the slice that cripples their games.

The “Houdini Sole”  moves weight from the middle of the sole toward the in the back of the clubhead, on the trailing edge. The curved leading edge on the other side of the sole improves the friction with the ground, so you'll get cleaner contact and your club won't dig in behind the ball, instead gliding through the turf to make contact with the ball much cleaner.

On the E521, the Cup Face design is shallower than the previous model, so you can sweep the ball nice and easy and get it airborne off almost any lie. Tour Edge are the bosses of fairway play and these are superb.

The images you find on the websites do not do the clubs justice as they are very high quality finishes and look every bit as premium as any other "top" brand. The clubface is clean and alignment aids on the crown are understated and professional for a confident feel behind the ball.

Available in 20, 23, 25 and 27 degrees for a replacement all the way down to 6 or 7 iron! If you look into the C521 range you can get even lower lofted.

Pros
  • Offset to stop the big slices
  • Helps getting the ball airborne and easy to play from many lies
  • Well-priced value club from a great fairway wood manufacturer
  • Very wide range of lofts to choose from in conjunction with the C521 range as well
Cons
  • Not for fast swingers
  • Micro scratches show easily because of high gloss finish

PING G425 MAX

Forgiving PING quality for more distance and less dispersion

Available in 14.5,17.5, 20.5 and 23.5 degree lofts so you can pick any loft you need for the forgiveness of a PING fairway wood.

The look of the crown is a simple matte black and a traditional style head. The spikey things on the crown are gone now for alignment. They use three little dots on the crown making it a perfect and simple minimalist look to align the ball to the center of the face. A shallow face means it is not very tall. 

The clubface is not driver-esque and so it feels easier to get the ball airborne. Off the face, the sound of the clubface is high-pitched and everyone around will know you're hitting a PING. it's easy to hit the ball from many lies on the golf course - the rough, hardpan, soft grass, fairway and the tee.

PINGs G425 is a simple golf club but it's not as easy to launch as the Taylormade options. The ball comes off the face hot and if you're a PING fan, you'll love it. 

If you're looking for a fairway wood that will help you straighten up that slice or fade, the SFT version is going to be much nicer for you. The PING G425 is definitely a consistent, easy to hit club regardless. 

Pros
  • Alignment aid on the crown is vastly improved with 3 little dots
  • Consistent spin, and distance from any lie on the golf course0
  • Premium looks with a sleek, simple package
  • Many loft options to choose from - can adjust loft and face angle
Cons
  • High price
  • May not be as long as other woods if you want distance only

Conclusion

I really suggest finding yourself a set of fairway woods that start at 16.5 or 17 degrees and work in intervals up to 24 degrees because these babies are going to be your new favorites!

You never have to be ashamed of how many of any club you have in your bag. Whatever gets the job done is what you play and with the assortment of woods and hybrids out there, you can practically fill your bag with them!

Most Forgiving 3 Wood in 2021

Sometimes we want the ball in play with more than a 5 iron.
Sometimes we need a little help from the fairways on those long approach shots.

That's where a forgiving 3 wood can give you a safe go-to shot on tight holes from the tee and help you hit greens from further away. 

But I don't use or recommend an 'official' 3 wood and I think this concept will revolutionize your game.  

Traditional 14 or 15 degree 3 woods are fine, but they're tough to hit for most people so I recommend something 16° or higher. 


Most Forgiving 3 Wood

  1. Cleveland Turbo HB Launcher (best fairway wood for all golfers)
  2. Cobra RadSpeed  (super distance and easy to hit for ANYONE)
  3. Callaway Epic Max   (large club head with shallow face for confident looks)
  4. Taylormade SIM 2 MAX  (best for mid to high handicappers)
  5. PING G425  (most forgiving fairway wood around)
  6. Titleist TS2 (best for mid handicappers looking to go single figures)
  7. Srixon ZX (low spin, long carry)

The most forgiving 3 wood is not a 3 wood!

From my experience, I very strongly urge you to get a 3 wood with a loft of 16 or 17 degrees, which is essentially a 4 wood.

And I'm not just spinning you a line. I put my money where my mouth is and I've gamed a 16-17 degree four wood for the last 10 years.

It's my go to club off the tee and approaches over 220 yards. It's simply MUCH easier to hit than anything with lower loft. I've hit 13 to 15 degree 3 woods, and nothing so far seems to be worth the time, when compared to how easy it is to get a 17 degree wood airborne.

This setup will benefit you a lot more than a 14 or 15 degree 3 wood. You'll see more carry and have way more fun hitting a higher lofted 3 wood than with the standard loft of 15 degrees. Often the higher loft will get you MORE distance than a lower lofted 3 wood.

Why, you ask? Well, for average swing speeds, more loft means it's easier to get the ball off the naked turf in the fairway and into the air to carry longer distances. Higher lofted woods are the most forgiving fairway woods in a similar way a pitching wedge has a higher loft than a 4 iron and is easier to hit.

If you swing at a faster swing speed (100 mph+) PROFESSIONAL LEVEL though, feel free to try 15 degree 3 woods. 



Cleveland Turbo HB Launcher

Best looking fairway wood of the year

Not really a big name on the tip of anyone's tongue, but Cleveland ranges are some of the most forgiving woods. wedges and irons on the market. 

The hallmark of Cleveland clubs is the lack of fiddly adjustability. They make simple clubs for the every day golfer who doesn't get their equipment for free and want something that will help their game for real.

From the top, at address, the club looks like a PING wood. As always, the Cleveland woods have minimal face decal which means your eye is not distracted when sitting at address. 

If you have trouble with the lower lofted clubs where they tend to slice, or block out to the right, the Cleveland is a tonic for that. It's a draw-bias club, tending to pull the ball more left. Because there is no adjustability in the hosel, Cleveland saved weight to put elsewhere to get the ball airborne even easier. 

It's a very basic point-and-shoot club and as always with Cleveland, is maximum forgiveness for almost any golfer looking to get a fairway wood that doesn't feel like a mission to hit. 

Pros
  • Beautiful matte finish crown reminiscent of PING woods
  • Classic and simple design with only the logo "E" on the black crown
  • No weights or hosel adjusting - you have no decision paralysis or FOMO
  • Low profile yet has a large face and launches high
  • Best value fairway woods for the money
Cons
  • No adjustability if you're into that
  • Can be a bit light for fast swingers and not recommended for drawers of the ball

Cobra RadSpeed

Most forgiving 3 wood for massive distance

Cobra keep bringing out better and better clubs with more forgiveness and distance. But this one also just looks so good from the top at address.

The best part about the newer range is they've got 4 different size and shape heads for different performance which means you can choose the most forgiving model easily. They positioned the 23 grams they saved with the redesign in different positions on the clubhead for different requirements of each golfer.

Think about which model you would prefer. Do you want more right to left ball flight? The DRAW head is best. If you want a straight shooter, the standard RADSPEED model is all you need. It's best to avoid the Tour and Big Tour models. 

Of course with the added forgiveness, you're able to swing freer and getting through the turf better means more distance. The rails on the bottom of the club help glide through every kind of turf. To really benefit from the club, you should decide on which loft you want. Are you looking for less loft or quite a bit more, for more forgiveness?

If you've never tried a Cobra Fairway wood, you need to. 

Pros
  • Rails under the sole of the club glide through the turf preventing sticking
  • FOUR head designs for 4 different needs of golfers
  • Wide range of lofts and adjustable lofts to your specs
  • Forgiving off a tee or a fairway and even the rough
  • Carbon top looks very slick with a matte finish
Cons
  • Sometimes can look closed to some at address - you can change with the hosel adjustability

Callaway Epic Max

Easy to hit point-and-shoot weapon 

A Callaway Epic Max fairway wood is so forgiving. Some Callaway fairway metals may not LOOK forgiving at address, but even I have to admit, when you hit it, it is forgiving. 

Which is why I game a Callaway Epic fairway metal. If you have a faster swing speed, the 15 degree option is going to be fine, but if you're a little slower, opt for a slightly higher loft.You want to avoid the3+ though. That means it's a strong 3 wood.

What makes the Max a great forgiving option is that the face is shallower than the Speed version. The shallower face always looks much more pleasing behind a golf ball. It's very important because if you look at the fairway wood and feel like you must "help to lift it" then it's not the right club for you.

The Jailbreak technology Callaway has been using for a while has been put into this one too. The technology does add a few yards as I experienced with my Epic 3 wood which goes for miles. But what we're looking for is forgiveness and with a nice face right around the sweet spot, the Epic Max gives you a large surface area to hit the ball.

Changeable weights for different flights

If you're into changing the weights underneath, you can switch them back nd forth for more or less spin or higher or lower ball flights. The range of fairway woods is extensive int he Epic Max range and if you're looking for a REALL secret weapon, the famous Heaven Wood from Callaway (a 7 Wood) is the ultimate and most unspoken-of hero in any golf bag.

Pros
  • Extremely forgiving and you can hit the ball anywhere on the club face and produce a good result
  • 18° is a the perfect loft for a forgiving 3 wood - actually a 5 wood.
  • Big pear-shaped head covers the ball for added confidence
  • Jailbreak technology is actually legit
  • Shallower face for less of a "driver" feeling on fairway lies
Cons
  • Fiddling with weights should be reserved for session with a professional fitter
  • Loft isn't adjustable
  • Visual aid on the crown is not prominent enough

Taylormade SIM 2 Max

One of the best recent Taylormade releases

These are TaylorMade’s most forgiving fairway woods with larger faces to make mis hits less penal.

The Max uses a 190CC head with V Steel in the sole for smoother turf interaction and forgiveness when making contact with the ground.

Where the SIM 2 Max wins for forgiveness is not limited to the strike. The look of the matte finished crown with the much-more-pleasing-on-the-eye chalky grey line helps to align the face. On top of the alignment, the lighter grey color helps to frame the ball without looking intimidating to get the ball airborne. 

The range of fairway woods also wins because there are a variety of lofts to choose from and not limited to the standard 15 and 13 degree options.

Pick the HL (High Launch) model

Once again, the higher the loft and launch, the more fun  you're going to have on the course. Nobody wants to send those ground balls down the fairway every shot. 

Try the 16.5° fairway wood if you need some help getting the ball in the air. 

Pros
  • V Steel on the increased footprint allows for smoother turf interaction
  • Very very forgiving on mishits
  • Alignment and look over the ball is confidence building with the matte finish and chalky grey instead of white line on top.
  • High launching 16.5° is perfect for mid and high handicappers
Cons
  • Not a HUGE upgrade from the prior SIM which remains a good club too
  • Loft isn't adjustable

PING G425 

Forgiving fairway woods as good as their drivers

The shape when looking head-on to the face definitely appears to be more of a hybrid shaped face. The sole is much flatter than what you would expect in fairway woods and sits very nicely on the ground behind the ball. This will help getting the ball off tighter lies like fine-grass fairways and of harder pan ground.

It comes in 3, 5 and 7 wood with a 9 wood also included. But you can adjust the loft only 0.6 to 1 degree up or down. Choose wisely. 

The club is light but the head is just heavy enough to actually feel it which is important to know where the face is in the swing. This fairway wood will fit most levels of golfer and is right in line with their drivers...easy to hit and high launching. 

Pros
  • Goes very very straight
  • Distance and accuracy gains are expected with the right shaft
  • Sits flat on the ground which lets you get it airborne off many kinds of lies
  • Face is so thin for more distance that they have to paint the lines on, not engrave them
Cons
  • Loft adjustment is only up to 1 degree each way
  • Spikey alignment aids can be off-putting standing over the shot

Srixon ZX Fairway Wood

Low spin high launch for golfers using fairway woods to approach

Srixon are easily the most unspoken-of top brand on the market. Matsuyama won the Masters with them and I play their irons. This fairway wood is excellent for those approaching the par 4 greens with fairway woods. 

They are creating some of the best clubs in the market and the ZX range is the improvement on the prior Z785 and Z585 clubs. Srixon don't release new clubs every 6 months like some manufacturers, preferring to actually make impactful changes in their clubs, releasing every couple years. 

Even though the ZX fairway wood has some offset to, when you place it at address, the face sits nice and square to the ball. The head has a shiny crown and a more triangular chape than a lot of fairway woods. 

Srixon have created a “Rebound Frame” which separates the face from the crown and makes a sort-of ridge across the head, which looks quite close to the PXG and Callaway. 

The fairway woods create a low spin number but couple with a high launch to be able to stop on the greens instead of bounding on.  This means longer carries that land at a steeper angle of descent for quicker stops. 

Pros
  • Modern looking and the latest as seen on the tour
  • Long carry due to lower spin
  • Higher launch to create steeper landing angle to prevent bounding on approaches
  • Explosive feeling and sound at impact
Cons
  • No adjustable lofts or weights if you re into that

Titleist TS2

Great for a go-to club off the tee

This is the first time I can recommend a Titleist wood of any sort. I have never viewed Titleist's clubs as being aimed at the average golfer but this is the first time they've released really easy to hit clubs.

Immediately the face is what stands out. It's decorated simply with white lines across the face. The classic look continues into the clubhead which is a very traditional shape although quite big. This gives it a more "driveresque" feel which covers the ball, giving a dense of confidence.

For the mid handicapper on the cusp of single figures

While this club is forgiving, it's going to need a level of skill of a mid handicapper (15 and under) to hit, as the feedback from off center hits is clear and you'll known when you haven't hit it well. It's very easy to hit off the tee and sometimes can be hit low in the face off the fairways.  l.  

A lot of other fairway woods for a higher handicap are much more forgiving in terms of mis hits and feedback into your hands. That's why I say this TS2 is for slightly more skilled golfers especially if the driver is a trouble club - this works great off the tee. Once again the 16 or 18 degree loft is going to be ideal for anyone trying to break into the 70's so they can get that all-important go-to club off the tee on tight holes.

Pros
  • Very simple hosel and weight adjustments
  • Face is classic with a few white lines across it making it easy to align to your target line
  • Simple crown and sole design looks and feels so professional
  • Lovely sound out the sweet spot
Cons
  • NOT for anyone above a 15 or 16 handicap
  • Off center strikes are not as forgiving on the hands as other fairway woods

3 Wood Buying Guide


Why you need a 3 wood

A lot of press is given to the driver because it's the club everyone wants to hit like Bubba Watson or Dustin Johnson. Drivers take up most of the hype in the marketing campaigns but there is the little brother that should be a superstar too...the 3 wood.

For ordinary golfers like you and me, the 3 wood presents an alternative to a driver. Sometimes we struggle with the driver, slicing it OB or topping it and not even reaching the ladies' tee (embarrassing). But enter the 3 wood and we can use it in so many situations:

  • For long par 3's you can't reach with your irons/hybrids
  • For long approach shots just outside your hybrid range
  • Excellent distance off the tee, often equal to a driver!
  • Accurate shots due to increased loft which increases forgiveness
  • Reaching par 5's in two shots
  • Customization of modern 3 woods means you can adjust settings to suit your needs

Choosing a 3 Wood Loft - How Many Degrees?

My next suggestion is where I might deviate from conventional thought...

I highly and super strongly recommend  a 3 wood with 16 or 17 degrees loft for the majority of golfers instead of a 14° or 15° club.

Essentially this is a 4 wood loft. This club is going to benefit the majority of players out there. The extra loft is easier to get the ball up in the air off the fairway and will actually produce far more consistent results than a 14° or 15° club.

Some golfers are very skilled and with their skill level they can get the ball airborne easily with a low lofted 3 wood. While this is good for them, I want to help the average golfer and the most forgiving 3 wood in my opinion is a 4 wood.

What to Expect with 3 Wood Distance

This is a tough question. It all depends on your swing speed, your hitting ability and the loft of the club. 

If you're a slower swinger you would benefit more from a higher lofted 3 wood (16°-17°) because you'll get more carry. This will translate into longer shots. The lower lofted 3 woods (14°-15°) will be MUCH more difficult to get travelling in the air and would actually perform too poorly for you. As a slower swinger, you could hit the 16 or 17 degree 3 wood around 180-200 yards. 

If you're an average swinger of 80-90mph then you'd also gain more from a 16° or 17° 3 wood. You'll be able to get it to travel 190-215 yards easily. In fact, a higher lofted 3 wood might go FURTHER than a lower lofted.

If you're a faster swinger and want to use a stiff shaft (90-100 mph) then you could benefit from 14° to 17° 3 woods. You have the swing speed but it depends on your reliability. I still suggest selecting from the upper range of lofts. Even lower handicap players prefer a higher lofted 3 wood for ease of use. You could find yourself hitting the club anywhere from 200 to 240 yards. 

When to use a 3 wood

  • When you've lost confidence with the driver off the tee
  • On a long par 3 
  • Only when you can reach the green in two on a par 5. ONLY when you can actually reach 100%
  • Off the tee on shorter par 4's or par 4's with tight fairways
  • Getting the ball out of a fluffy like that would tangle around your irons - the head of the 3 wood glides through the grass thanks to its round edges
  • When you're playing into the wind
  • When you have room to roll the ball up to the green

When NOT to use a 3 wood

  • If you're a slower swinger and/or a higher handicapper then a forgiving 3 wood (higher loft, softer shorter shaft) will help you gain more distance.
  • When you want to get close to a green in two shots on a par 5. Hit it only when you know you can reach. Leaving a half shot into a green is never ideal.
  • When you're "a long way out" just to advance the ball up there somewhere. This is a big reason golfers have blow-out holes because the 3 wood is not the most forgiving club. If you're 260 yards from a green on a par 4, get it to your favorite distance so you have an easy 3rd shot in. That might mean hitting a 6 iron and then a wedge for those 260 yards.
  •  When there's water around the green and you're at the edge of your 3 wood range

What's the difference between a 3 wood vs a 3 hybrid?

A 3 wood is the equivalent of a 1 iron. A one iron is impossible for 99% of golfers to hit whereas a 3 wood is actually quite easy.

A 3 hybrid is there to replace a 3 iron. 3 irons are infamous for being difficult to hit for most golfers. The creation of hybrid clubs means that a lot of golf iron sets now start at 5 iron because you're expected to buy a 3 and 4 hybrid separately. A bit cheeky from the manufacturers, but it's clear no one misses their long irons after hitting a hybrid.

3 Wood

  • Better from the fairway and tee
  • Potentially longer carry
  • Lower ball flight 
  • Rolls much longer
  • More forgiving than a driver and long irons
  • Difficult from fairway bunkers
  • Needs a sweeping swing like a driver

3 Hybrid

  • Better from the rough
  • Potentially shorter carry
  • Higher ball flight
  • Lands softer
  • More forgiving than a wood and long iron
  • Easier from fairway bunkers
  • Best results from a steep swing hitting down on it like an iron

Modern 3 wood design & materials

The heads of the 3 woods are made from steel, titanium and composites. Technology has advanced so much that some 3 woods can be as long as drivers. Henrik Stenson prefers his 3 wood to the driver. 

3 woods now all come with a graphite shaft. The shaft length makes a big difference - a longer shaft means more distance while a shorter shaft means more accuracy. Talk to your local club fitter about shortening your shaft length to make the club even more forgiving for you.

Conclusion

A high lofted fairway wood will serve all golfers better than lower lofted woods. The premise is simple. More loft = more forgiveness. As I mentioned in the beginning of this guide, my 17 degree wood is my go-to club and when I have no confidence with the driver, I reach for it in a heartbeat.

What will most surprise you is the extra distance you'll get when increasing the loft especially if your swing is a bit slower. Any of the clubs on this list will serve you well and get you in the right areas of the course more often.

Best Golf Clubs for Beginners

Are you new to golf?

Have you played a few times and struggling to get the ball in the air on every shot?

Are you losing a ton of balls in the woods and the water?

You might actually be playing the wrong clubs for your skill level. 

But don't worry, my goal is to get as many beginners started on the right track as possible.

A lot of us start with a hand-me-down set or an old set from dad's era. Sound familiar?

Sometimes you get lucky and find a decent set but they're often made for someone a bit better at golf. Some clubs are even counterfeit. A friend of mine, Stuart started playing with a beautiful set of Ping Eye irons about 20 years ago. Whenever I hit his beautiful clubs they went 15 yards shorter than mine. After asking around, it turns out they were knock-offs! So be careful out there guys. Keep reading for the lowdown on beginner clubs.

TWO best options for beginners

Picking a set is intimidating with all the marketing hype and peer pressure out there. So what I've done is give you two options and how to do either one without spending too much:

    • Complete Prepackaged Set - these include 9-14 clubs so you don't have to think too much and just start
    • Make Your Own Set - you can start small and add more clubs as you need super simply

I wish you luck and welcome you to the golfing brethren. I hope you find happiness on the golf course!

Be sure to check out the Driving Range for Beginners guide to help you improve with your new clubs.


The Best Golf Club Sets for Beginners

  1. Wilson Profile Men's Set (best budget set)
  2. Callaway Men's Strata Set (one of the most popular options)
  3. Prosimmon X9 V2 Taller players Set (best for players over 6 ft 2)
  4. Wilson Men's Stretch Golf Set (available in extended length for taller players)
  5. Mens Callaway EDGE Golf Set (best quality set you won't ever replace)
  6. MacGregor Golf DCT3000 Set (3 sizes - shorter, standard, longer)
  7. Taylormade RBZ Speedlite Set (top quality golf clubs from a top manufacturer)

Beginner Golf Club Complete Set Reviews

Below we'll take a look at a few of the best beginner golf sets. However, if you're interested in building your own set, scroll to the bottom of the page and have a look at my advice for individual club selection. It's not really that difficult, I promise.

Don't I need more than 10 clubs to play golf?

No. Although, according to the rules of golf, you're allowed up to 14 clubs in your bag, it doesn't mean you HAVE TO have 14. And very often, starting with a handful of clubs is more beneficial.

Now as a beginner, you don't even need half of that to be perfectly honest. You just need a few sticks to get you around the course and learn the ropes as simply as possible.

Beginner sets come with between 9 and 12 clubs but the most important clubs for an absolute beginner are the hybrid, the 7 iron, pitching wedge and the putter. Learn to hit those ones first and golf will come easy as you start to build you game from the ground up. 

Here's part 1 in a video series of 6 episodes on How to Break 100. If you watch this, you'll begin to understand it's much simpler than you think to play golf.


Perfect selection of easiest to hit clubs for any beginner

The Profile set is a ten piece set with great club selections for a new player. They come in a longer version as well if you're over 6 foot 2 inches tall.

The forgiving driver is 460 cc but be aware the loft is only 10.5° and can be more difficult to get in the air as a new golfer. The more loft we can get on a driver, the better so keep that in mind when contemplating the XD set.

You also get an easier to hit #5 fairway wood and a #5 hybrid which will almost certainly become your go to clubs over the driver. These are easier to hit than irons and with the hybrid in mind, they've included only 6,7,8,9 iron, pitching wedge and sand wedge. This is a perfect start to a beginners career, giving you the easiest to hit clubs without providing too many options to confuse you.

The woods and hybrids all have headcovers and the stand bag is quite a catchy color, depending on your tastes.
 

* There are multiple options for this set. Players over 6'2 are encouraged to go for the 'LONG' set. 

Pros
  • Catchy colors 
  • Well-selected clubs for the new player
  • Fewer clubs for a lighter bag when carrying
  • Inclusion of a sand wedge is a good touch
  • Available for ladies, kids, teens, average height and taller players. 
Cons
  • On rare occasions, club heads fly off like most beginner sets 

Many options for number of clubs in a set

This range is a comprehensive starter set for beginners. It oozes forgiveness and at around this price it's the best value for money set for new players. There are multiple sets to choose from but I really do recommend going with as few as possible. 

Strata 14 piece set will do well for you. That will give you 11 clubs, plus the bag etc. The reason I say go for the 14 piece set over the 12 piece set is in the 14 piece set, they include a SAND WEDGE.

This is actually one of the clubs you definitely will need when you start so you can get out of bunkers and learn to chip and pitch with. The 12 piece doesn't include it. You can get by without it no problems I am sure. But I'd say it's gonna be a club you'll need.

It's tempting to want to purchase the largest set possible but truth be told, by the time you'll be able to hit all those extra clubs and every club in the bag, you'll already be buying a new set of clubs. If you are tempted to get the 16 piece set, which I am sure you might be, here's some top tips.

Remove the 3 wood snd don't hit it. Use the 5 wood. The loft on the 3 wood is too low to start hitting to start the game. A 5 wood has more loft and it will be easier to hit. You'll have a 4 and a 5 hybrid club. This is an iron that they add a booty to so it looks like a  fairway wood. Pick one to use...either the 4 or the 5 hybrid. You don't need to learn both. If I were you, I'd learn with the 5H first. 

*For golfers 6'2" and under

Pros
  • Driver has plenty of loft for excellent ease-of-use
  • Best price to value ratio
  • Callaway is one of the most famous name brands in golf
  • Fewer clubs for a lighter bag when carrying
  • Easy to aim with the mallet style putter
Cons
  • Only for players 6'2" and under
  • No Sand Wedge included - need to buy separately

Three lengths for shorter, standard or taller players

The Macrgegor complete set is once of a kind in the category offering all three sizes. Standard size, one inch shorter and one in longer. THat's a perfect range for everyone.

Macgregor were a top tier golf manufacturer in the past, supplying clubs for Jack Nicklaus himself. The newer manufacturers have run ahead and Macgregor is a bit more budget but the quality and knowledge is still there behind the clubs.

The set contains everything you'll need but of course, the left out the sand wedge int his set too. 

*There is no SW included which is a pity
*For golfers from 5 ft all the way to over 6ft 2

Pros
  • Two hybrids and a fairway wood for maximum options on longer shots
  • Brilliant three sizes for all heights of players
  • 11 good quality clubs in the set
  • Big mallet putter allows for easy alignment
Cons
  • No sand wedge

Best for tall beginners

The Prosimmon X9 +1 is for the taller player over 6'2".

The "+1" in the name is important so it is recommended you confirm it is the +1 when purchasing if you're a big guy because the normal X9 V2 set is made for us who are under 6'2" tall. The +1 means the clubs are made 1 inch longer than standard sets.

A titanium matrix 460cc driver with 10.5 degrees loft is included and as a taller player you'll usually be able to generate more swing speed because of your longer arms so 10.5° would be an acceptable loft. You also receive one fairway wood and two hybrids. 

Having two hybrids is a massive advantage because they're so simple to hit and also go a long way. Any time you see a set with two hybrids, you should be getting excited! The driver, fairway wood and hybrids give you 4 options off the tee which you can work out on the driving range. 

The rest of the set is five iron down to pitching wedge and the best part for you is the clubs are about an inch longer than the other sets listed for beginners. Having the right length of clubs is vital to playing good golf.

A large mallet putter which is easy to align to your target completes the set making these easily the
 best golf clubs for beginners who are taller than 6 foot 2.


*There is no Sand Wedge
* For golfers 6'2" and over

Pros
  • The only beginner set designed specifically for guys over 6'2"
  • Two hybrids give you more versatility off the tee
  • Fewer clubs for a lighter bag when carrying
Cons
  • A sand wedge instead of a 5 iron would have been a better inclusion in the bag

Mini Guide to Beginner Golf Clubs

The Key to Great Beginner Clubs

To improve your game and become a consistent ball striker, you need a set of clubs designed for beginners or high handicappers. Hitting the center of the club face makes the ball travel further but beginner clubs are created with large sweet spots to allow you to hit the ball straighter and longer even when you miss the center of the club face. We call clubs that improve new players mishits, ''FORGIVING' clubs and they make the best golf clubs for beginners.


What does an Ideal Beginner Set look like?


Above we said the best clubs for beginners are forgiving, but let's dig deeper into what forgiving means. 

•  Forgiving clubs have offset heads - the face is a little bit behind the shaft to allow the face to be square at impact

     •  Forgiving clubs have larger clubfaces - this increases the striking area, increasing the chance of actually hitting the ball

     •  Forgiving clubs have larger sweet spots - this allows you to get good distance even when missing the center of the club face.

    •  Forgiving irons have the weight of the club head distributed around the perimeter of the back of the club and a hollowed out back to get more weight behind your shot. These clubs are are called Cavity Back and are the easiest to hit.

Clubs to AVOID like the plague as a beginner


Expensive clubs

They do look lovely and they will help you, but later. For now it's best to start small and get a hang of the game and once you learn more about your swing and your game, you can splash some cash on a swanky set. It takes a lot of time to get to that level so the key is patience. You will get there, I am sure of it, but only if you start prudently.

Blade irons

No. нет. nein. いいえ

Blade golf clubs from Jack Nicklaus days as well as modern blades are strictly for players with a handicap of 6 or lower.

The back of the club is solid and gives the look of a knife blade.

The sweet spot is tiny and missing it results in actual physical pain throughout your hands and arms. No kidding! These are by far not the best golf clubs for beginners.

Any wedge over 60° loft

These are quite gimmicky and require even more skill to use at all. Phil Mickelson can play with one.
The one I once had ended up wrapped around a tree.

Check out our wedge guide for beginners



The Best Driver for Beginners

As a beginner you will love the confidence you get from a big driver head (460cc) with a big wide face to hit the ball with. The big head gives us more forgiveness since there is more surface area to make contact with the ball.

To give us even more forgiveness a beginner driver should have 11° to 14° degrees of loft. This will get the ball airborne and stay in the air longer. The higher loft also makes it easier to hit it straighter by giving us more backspin.

A a new golfer, you should try find used equipment but if you're interested in new stuff or seeing some ideas of what would suit you, I wrote a 
Driver guide for beginners and high handicappers


The Best Clubs from the Fairway for Beginners

Generally beginners have longer shots into the greens while learning the game. Long irons are probably the most difficult club in the bag for new players to master. 

Fairway woods and hybrid clubs take their place and are extremely easy to hit and forgiving because they have more mass behind them to get the ball airborne and going straight than irons.

Luckily manufacturers are targeting the beginner and higher handicap group of players with awesome fairway woods and hybrid clubs. They take the place of 2, 3, 4 and even 5 irons in the set, making mid to long distance approaches easier than ever.

But don't think these clubs are only for long approaches. You can also use these clubs and SHOULD use these clubs to get the ball in the fairway off the tee when starting out at golf. It's satisfying hitting one big bomb drive per round, but shooting a good score is far more satisfying after the round by playing conservatively with fairway woods and hybrids off the tee.

Check out our fairway wood and hybrid guides for high handicappers for some ideas on suitable clubs.


The Best Irons for New Golfers

There are a few buzzwords you'll hear in the golf world when researching clubs. Super Game Improvement and Game Improvement are two popular ones at the moment.

The basic idea behind a Super Game Improvement iron is that it is aimed at rapidly improving your game as a beginner or high handicapper by using the most forgiving technologies available.
Check our guide for the best clubs for beginners.

Can you spot the cavity back, perimeter weighting and wide sole?

Technology used to produce forgiving golf clubs

  • Cavity back: they hollow out the back of the club to make the face thinner and in turn causing the ball to rebound quicker and travel a longer distance
  • Perimeter weighting: They take that hollowed out material in the cavity back an distribute the weight all the way around the outside edge at the back of the club to give more weight behind all your shots regardless of where you hit it on the face.
  • Wide soles with low center of gravity: These prevent digging into the earth and instead make the club glide over the turf to get under the ball and produce a much higher ball flight.

The Best Putter for Beginner Golfers

Mallet putter with alignment aid

Alignment is key for good putting. Get that part hacked and all you need to do is work on the feel of hitting it the right distance. You're going to be three-putting quite a lot in the beginning of your golf career, but it gets better with time.

Having a putter that has a little offset to keep your hands in front of the ball is ideal. This promoted a forward roll of the ball instead of a skidding hit up into the ball with hands behind it. The mallet patter is easy to align with the lines on the back of the club.

Check out our putters for beginners guide to get some budget ideas for decent putters.


The Best Sand Wedge for Beginner Golfers

Beginner sets often don't come with a sand wedge and you might like to have one for escaping the bunkers. In fact, I'd say if your set doesn't have one, you must get one to have some fun chipping and pitching onto the greens.

We're looking for sand wedges that give us a lot of forgiveness. Big bounce and a wide sole is essential for a forgiving sand wedge. The best type of sand wedge for a beginner is one with 56° to 58° of loft with a minimum of 10° of bounce.

Check out our Wedges for Beginners article to learn more about bounce and wide soles and forgiving wedges. I've found only the best for your game.

Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners

Have you ever hit two shots to go 300 yards, and then 4 more shots from 100 yards for a delicious double bogey?

That sticks with you, and usually affects the rest of the round too, filtering up into your bag.

The secret to better golf is being lethal inside 100 yards and I want to help you become lethal inside 100 yards.

So what I've done is found the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners to give you some suggestions to get more joy on the course without breaking the bank and splurging on unnecessary and expensive equipment. 

best wedges for high handicappers

If you get only one wedge, get a sand wedge

If you're unsure what kind of wedge you need, if you’re only going to buy one wedge, get a great sand wedge with either 56 or 58 degrees of loft and at least 10 degrees of bounce. Keep reading to find out why.


The Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners

  1. Cleveland SmartSole 4 S Wedge (best for bunkers and green side chipping)
  2. Wilson Harmonized Wedge (best budget option)
  3. Cleveland CBX 2 Cavity Back Wedge (most closely resembles the rest of your irons)
  4. Ping Glide 3.0 SS Wedge (easiest to use premium model)
  5. Square Strike Wedge (best 'gimmicky' set of wedges for chunkers)
  6. Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge (best performing wedge long term)

What makes a wedge lethal?

From my experience and taking inspiration from master club fitter Tom Wishon , I recommend a sand wedge with a wide sole to take your short game to the next level. This bigger sole gives the wedge what is called bounce. More bounce means it's easier to get the ball airborne.

But you’re probably thinking “what the hell is bounce”? Before we get into that, understand that it’s the most important characteristic of a wedge to give us more forgiveness. Forgiveness is our priority as higher handicappers so we can get the ball off the ground and going where we want when we want. Bounce helps us do that. 

To help you find the best wedge for high handicappers & beginners, I focused on bounce as the main criteria.

What is bounce?

“Bounce refers to the lowest part of the sole, that part of the wedge sole that is actually in contact with the ground at address and that causes the front of the sole to be off the ground at address.

Bounce angle is a measurement, expressed in degrees, of the angle between the leading edge of the sole and that lowest point on the sole. The higher the bounce angle, the more the leading edge of the sole is off the ground at address.”

Bigger soles increase bounce

How does bounce make a club forgiving?
Bounce moves the club through sand in the bunkers

Do you find it difficult to hit the ball out of bunkers first time? I know I used to. There's nothing more embarrassing than taking 4 to get out of a bunker. But check out my guide to hitting bunker shots for beginners.

For 90% of golfers, the wedge should have a lot bounce to literally bounce off the surface of the sand and float the ball out on a pillow of sand.

Bounce controls the digging of the club into the turf

When we start golf we all hit a lot of fat shots. Fat means you hit the earth before your ball.
If your SW has too little bounce, it will dig into the ground on a fat shot and your ball will go nowhere.

I
f the wedge has more bounce, it will literally bounce off the earth and make good contact, sending the ball to your target. This will help your shots inside 100 yards.


The Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners Reviews


Best wedges for immediate results

Cleveland has been the foremost name in wedges for years. They’ve really thought about the higher handicap player with the way they've designed this wedge. Thick bottom and 58° so you don't even have to open the face up. 


Their data analysis showed that golfers with a handicap over 12, find the green only 54% of the time out of the bunker so they've created a sand wedge that will get you out 100% of the time.

Never fear bunkers again

The Smart Sole S wedge gets you out the bunker in one shot with almost no effort with the very wide sole. The weird looking underside is unnoticeable from the top when addressing the ball and actually looks like a standard wedge. The face is already 58° of loft so there really isn't much need to open the face like you do with other wedges.

But if you do want ti, you can because that big fat booty is not going to let you dig into the sand. It's going to bounce right out and get the ball floating out on a magic pillow of sand.

The weight behind the sweet spot has been distributed around the perimeter of the club like a standard iron. The Tour style wedges are designed with all the weight behind the sweet spot which makes them harder to hit.

This perimeter weighting makes the wedge even more forgiving and will more than likely match your cavity backed irons in design. 

These things work, period.

You can find me using both C and S wedge in this video on my Youtube channel. The newest version of these wedges now includes a G wedge so you have C, G and S for a full complement of wedges. 

Further options in this model for further from the green

Add the C wedge and G wedge in unison with the Smart Sole range and you have two potent wedges that are going to severely lower your scores. The C wedge is 42 degrees which is pretty much an 8 iron while the G wedge is 50 degrees to give you a nice gapping between the C and S wedge These 8 degrees allow for a lot of versatility for the shots inside 100 yards.

Beyond bunkers

With the large sole of the club, you're going to glide through tall grass and fairways alike. Around the green you're not gonna hit those duffed chips that go a a foot or two. You know, the ones you hit and look around to see if anyone noticed...

The C wedge has less loft at 42°and has been designed for playing around the green but can be used just as effectively from 125 yards with a full swing. While it looks quite radical, this club gets the job done every time. The G wedge at 50° is the between club for more chipping precision and a bit of a shorter full shot than the 42° club. 

Recommendation

Easily the best wedges for a high handicapper or beginner struggling with the short game or looking for their first wedges. These two clubs have the potential to rapidly revolutionize your short game from bunkers to green side to pitch shots within 100 yards. No BS.

Pros
  • Playable from any lie
  • Get out of sand FIRST TIME
  • S wedge purpose built for bunkers and preventing CHUNKS
  • C wedge purpose built for chipping and running balls up from the fairway
Cons
  • Unusual shape that will take time to get used to
  • A few rounds to get used to hitting full shots

Best Value for Money Wedge

Wilson is a very underrated but excellent golf club manufacturer. They’ve designed a winner with this range of wedges and it’s going to be very difficult to find better value than the Harmonized range at this price.

Maximum bang for your buck

The 56 degree option has optimal bounce of 12° which promotes forgiveness and helps you strike clean wedge shots consistently. For this price, it's going to be difficult to get better bang for your buck.

The leading edge of the club is designed to get under the ball and prevent too much digging. The feel off the face is responsive and the ball flies high and drops with spin to stick on the greens. 

Consistent distance control made easy

One warning though. As a new player or high handicapper, banish the thought of a 64° wedge. These are not recommended if you are learning with wedges. They are INCREDIBLY difficult to hit consistently even for skilled players and while Wilson make one, I would avoid it like the plague.

These are the best wedges for beginners to start with and getting the consistent gapping between your wedges will help with hitting the right distances from 120 yards down to 70 yards time and time again. The confidence you’ll get by not having to hit half shots into greens will change your outlook on life.

Pros
  • 56° sand wedge has ideal 12° of bounce to get through the turf
  • Classic blade shape wedge 
  • One of the best value for money options
  • Look for the black versions to reduce glare from the chrome ones
  • Wide range of lofts in Harmonized range 50, 52, 56  and 60 degrees
Cons
  • Highly reflective chrome finish will cause glare into your eyes
  • AVOID the 64° club at all costs - it's just a gimmick

Most forgiving premium wedge

Once again Cleveland appears on this list. There’s no escaping the quality of their wedges. I really like the 56° Cleveland CBX  wedge. This wedge is really easy to hit because Cleveland have put 12 degrees bounce on this club with a nice thick sole to glide through the turf, getting the ball into the air easily. 

Cavity back makes it more forgiving

The cavity-back design in the CBX 2 is more forgiving than the blade wedges most often found nowadays. Forgiveness is the magic word for high handicappers and beginners and in a wedge, it's even more important so you can get onto the green easily to putt for some pars.  

With the cavity back and chunky sole on the CBX, it's going to be much easier to get out of the bunkers, prevent chunked chips around the green and improve approach shots onto the greens.

Like with irons, the cavity back allows for more perimeter weighting which is unique for a premium wedge.The perimeter weighting means you’ll still get distance and spin on off-center strikes because of the extra weight behind the ball even on mishits.

This premium wedge functions as a game improvement club by bringing all the elements of forgiveness to the club head. It's always a safe bet with Cleveland wedges but this is easily of the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners looking to upgrade.

Pros
  • High and soft spinning bunker shots
  • Extra forgiveness through the thick sole and cavity back
  • Famous Cleveland quality grooves, spin and shot making properties
  • Matches the feel and look of your existing cavity back irons
Cons
  • Pricey for your first try with a specialty wedge but worth every cent

Famous yet unknown contender

PING make superb irons and drivers but their wedges are just like the rest of their clubs - easy to hit and easy to use.

The PING Glide comes with a specially designed grip with white markings on it to use as a guide for where to put your hands when gripping down. They designed the wedge from the hands down so you an be in control as much as possible.

Weighting has been shifted to the perimeters to improve the off center strikes on the longer shots so there is less distance variability. This is a massive help because those partial shots are everyone's worst nightmare.


Best for players who chunk a lot

A lot of people dismiss these kinds of wedges but I have personally seen people change their games with these. They are usually really scared of hitting the ground before the ball and usually do because of that fear. 

The way to use these wedges is to learn the bump and run technique which they help to get you started learning. After a while playing these, you grow in confidence and are able to get into "normal" wedges again.

I'm not very impressed with people who dismiss these types of clubs out of hand without even trying them. The struggles for a lot of golfers is the chipping and these are legal for tournament play and help the average person with a problem, to learn the basics of a bump and run shot which is the essential chipping shot for golf. 

Forget the high lobbed shots and try them around the greens for the lower shot which is far more reliable and more predictable than the normal high lofted wedges that you feel you need to help into the air. 

That's not to say this is a miracle club, but it's a step in the direction you need to go and build confidence as a high handicapper or beginner. Please ignore all the people who know nothing about your game trying to shame you into playing professional level shots, when all you want is to get it on the green!

Pros
  • Easy to use when using the correct type of stroke for the shot
  • Three different lofts to collect a set if you like them
  • Great introduction to the chip and run with a putting style stroke - great for learning
  • Allowed in golf tournament play
  • Anti chunking sole for more of a putting style stroke
Cons
  • Bright green colors and feels plasticky in the back
  • People will tell you to "just learn to hit wedges" with their fake bravado
  • Cheapo grips

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB is a forgiving, cavity back wedge. These are popular with Cleveland enthusiasts and now Callaway has one too.

Normal Mack Daddies were the blade type of wedge and can be difficult to hit solid if you're not quite skilled. When you're playing a certain wedge and you like it, it's always good to get a collection of the same model.

Callaway's Mack Daddy CB range goes from 46 degrees all the way up to 60 degrees loft, with increments of 2 degrees. That's superb if you're trying to fill some gaps in your distances inside 100 yards. In combination with all the loft variations, you can select different bounce options to get the right bounce for your course condition. 

The Groove in Groove (legal) technology means you get more spin on your wedges because of micro grooves in the main grooves. There are 4 sole grinds for every type of playing style and course conditions. 

For forgiveness and accuracy, it's hard to beat a Mack Daddy CB. 

Pros
  • Very good for players who don't hit the sweet spot on wedges
  • Many loft options to craft a whole set of wedges in future
  • Glides through the turf with the S grind on many types of turf
  • No need to replace these other than if you wear out the grooves - these are top quality
Cons
  • The head shape is a bit large make sure that it suits your eye
  • Many loft and bounce variables are annoying if you don't know what to get

Short guide on the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners

What’s a wedge?

What defines a wedge from an iron is loft. The 9 iron normally has around 44° of loft. Anything above 45° is considered a wedge.

Wedges can be used on fuller shots from 140 yards and in depending on your swing speed. It’s often said that a wedge should not be hit at full power. The idea behind wedges is to use them for controlled shots instead of power shots. Their job is to get you close to the hole, not long distances.

The higher loft produces higher ball flight and often more spin.

What wedges should I use as a high handicapper or beginner?

If you only own the Sand Wedge from your set, you can definitely try a stand alone wedge. But you need to know what you're looking for. Then you can narrow down what you should purchase and try out.

There are a handful of reasons people have for needing wedges in all skill levels. I will list them here in order most applicable to higher handicaps down to what is more applicable to lower handicaps.

  1. Get out of bunkers first time: If your primary concern is just getting out of that damn bunker, I definitely would go with something with a VERY thick sole and loft between 56 and 59°. You can start with a Cleveland Smart Sole or one of the other crazy fat soled wedges like an X-out or Tour Edge 1out. These are great for JUST GETTING IT OUT OF THE SAND.
  2. Chipping: Now here you can actually get away with chipping with your irons if you learn the bump and run style chip which I promote on my Youtube channel. But of course, you may find yourself in some tricky spots as a high handicapper and want to chip over bunkers and water and obstacles.
    You want a wedge that will be versatile from the rough as well as the fairway so something with a cavity back like a Ping Glide or a Cleveland CBX wedge can really do wonders for you. The Smart Sole is also very suitable for chipping as well. The G wedge in the Smart Sole range is a potent chipping club.

    The loft range for these types of shots can be 50° up to 56° and you will be fine with one or two of these wedges.
  3. Shots from 30-100 yards: These are going to be clubs with 58° loft down to 50° which are swung more 'full'. The types of wedges that are best for this are up to you entirely. You just need to practice with the one you choose and find the distance you hit it with a FULL SHOT and a HALF SHOT. Then adapt your game to use that club and that swing for the specific distance it goes. 

HERE IS MY MAXIMUM WARNING FOR ALL HIGH HANDICAPPERS AND BEGINNERS!

Forget the 'flop shot' and the high lobber. You DO NOT need to learn this shot at this stage. Learn the very basic chipping and pitching move which you can find on Mr Short Game's Youtube channel as well as my Youtube channel and just GET THE BALL ON THE GREEN. Those flop shots you see the pro's playing took YEARS to create. 

Our goal as normal golfers is to get it on the green and then try make a putt and at worst, two putt. EASY LIFE.

When do we use wedges?

We use wedges from bunkers and for chipping around the green. Most golfers end up finding one club they like to hit out of bunkers with, chip greenside with and hit ¾ shots with. Personally I like a pitching wedge for greenside chipping, lob wedge from the sand and sand wedge for ¾ approach shots as well as chipping from the rough.

The choice is yours and there is no right or wrong way when you find what works but starting with the above best wedges for high handicappers and beginners will make life a lot easier.

We also use wedges inside 100 yards. This is the absolute most important part of golf and most professionals will tell you that if they took over the game for a 24 handicapper inside 100 yards, that 24 handicapper will play off no more than a 12 handicap. 

Armed with a decent wedge and a LOT of practice, you can significantly SLASH strokes off your score. Treat yourself to a nice investment in a wedge and watch how you quickly nip and tuck a stroke from the bunker here, a stroke from a chip there and some more from inside 100 yards here and there. 

Four Main Wedges

Pitching wedge

The pitching wedge is most common and has a loft between 44° and 48° which you will get in your set of irons. These are great for greenside chipping.

Gap Wedge

50° to 53° which fills the gap between PW and SW for when you need to close the gap in distance.

Sand Wedge

The sand wedge normally has 54° to 58° loft with fat soles that have 10° to 12° bounce which is essential for bunkers and shots within 100 yards. The thick underside helps to glide through longer grass and sand while also getting the ball airborne off shorter grass. In our opinion, the best wedge for high handicappers and beginners is a sand wedge.

Lob Wedge

The lob wedge at 60° to 64° loft is perfect for hitting it over bunkers around the green, short bunker shots and within 80 or 90 yards. It can add another dimension to your game allowing you to take fuller swings inside 100 yards instead of those tricky half swings with sand wedges! Lob wedges over 60° are not practical for the average golfer.

Here is how all four wedges work:

How wedges fly

Are wedges really that important?

Yes. Specialized wedge clubs are a dream to play and the number of shots you'll hit with a wedge will surprise you:

If we add up the total shots you play per round with these few clubs in these situations, you’ll see it can be up to 40% of your of the game.

What is the best wedge for high handicappers and beginners?

The best wedge for high handicappers and beginners is one with maximum FORGIVENESS.

My main aim is to help you pick the best clubs for your game without breaking the bank or being lured into buying crappy clubs that will disappoint you. I hope this guide was helpful and you find yourself a decent wedge or set of wedges to take your game to the next level from within 100 yards.

Best Driver for Beginners & High Handicappers – Most Forgiving Drivers

The biggest handicap drops I've seen in my group of 40 or so golf buds after they sorted out their short game, have come from introducing one club into the bag - a great driver. 

best driver for beginners and high handciappers

I'm a firm believer that you can get into the mid teen handicap with nothing more than a fairway wood and hybrid, but if you do want to get some more distance off the tee, make sure you can hit it well at least 7 out of 10 shots before bringing it to the course. 

The best driver for most higher handicap golfers is currently the PING G425 MAX for its forgiveness. 

The Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers

I've included some budget options and second hand options so you don't have to spend top dollar on a club that works the same as the newest model. Drivers are limited in what they can do by the rules of golf. Most clubs in the last 4-5 years perform exactly like the newest models in the manufacturers range. 

  1. Cobra King Speedzone driver (best all round driver for any golfer)
  2. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo driver (best for slower swings)
  3. Taylormade SIM MAX Driver (best for better alignment)
  4. PING G425 Max driver (most forgiving driver brand on earth)
  5. Wilson Staff Launchpad (best budget driver for high handicapper slicers)
  6. Callaway Big Bertha B21 (high loft options easy to hit)

But 'Drivers are a waste of time for high handicappers'

Of course you can get around the course and shoot brilliant scores using your irons and hybrids. The short game is equally important with good course management but getting into more advantageous positions off the tee will help you to get into better positions near the green.

Introducing the driver on wide open holes is a great way to break it out on the course with minimal frustration. Once you're confident with a good driver for high handicappers, you can start slashing that score down further.

Drivers have advanced so much in the last 20 years that big and straight bombs off the tee are accessible to everyone. But always remember, if you have trouble and the club costs you more strokes than it helps you, do not be afraid to put it back in the bag and use something else until you can figure out the problem!

When considering a new driver and introducing it into the bag, see a pro for a lesson and then decide on your new driver. I want you to have the best time on the course!

They're easier to hit than ever but selecting the best driver for beginners and high handicappers can be confusing. I hope this guide helps you select the best, most forgiving driver possible. 

Ideal specifications for forgiveness and distance
  • 10.5° to 14° loft 
  • Regular flex shaft
  • 460cc head size
  • Adjustable loft preferred

best golf driver for beginners

PING is the go-to name for so many golfers when it's time for a new driver. Their range of clubs never disappoints. You will almost never hear a golfer telling you the latest PING is crap. The simple fact is, PING drivers are brilliant. 

Forgiving High Launch

The Taylormade Aeroburner and the Ping G425 are probably the two most popular drivers I have seen in my golf groups.

PING have made this G425 launch high and with that, you get more carry than other drivers. I've hit it myself a few times to try out. There is no mistaking the ease of use with a PING.

When you center strike the G425, you can feel a deep THWACK - it feels like a cannon. Their drivers are loud and have a slight high pitched ping but the feeling off the sweet spot is so soft and so delightful. The ball comes off the face hot and while you may look up wondering where it's gone, the answer is, it's probably going straight and at a higher launch angle than you expect.

I've found with my PING, that the ball just does not move as far to the right on my wild slices like they did before with other drivers.

The head is the usual PING look which seems to look really big behind the ball but really confidence-boosting. It features a matte finish with some spines on the crown. If your preferred look is shiny and plain on a very LARGE crown, this one isn't for you. 

Pros
  • Adjustable loft to aid in forgiveness and launch angle
  • Large sweet spot launching higher for more carry and ball speed
  • Beautiful crown design including alignment aids with matte finish
  • Cannon-like sound
  • So forgiving with MUCH smaller dispersion left and right
Cons
  • No adjustability for center of gravity like most modern models
  • Not for golfers who want to shape the ball flight

Straight shooting long bomber for higher handicappers

Once you find the right settings for you, it's difficult to really make the ball slice or hook very big, and distance is one of the longest in the Game Improvement driver category. Some golfers report that even on toe hits the is out-driving their previous drivers. 

A pleasant pop sound at impact rounds off the show-stopping looks of the driver. Brian (BDog) from the channel uses one of these and has reduced his handicap from high to mid handicap at the moment with this bad boy in his arsenal.

Adjustability made simple

You can easily adjust the loft of the Speedzone at the hosel between 9 and 12 degrees at increments of 0.5°.

What's more is you can also change the ball flight by switching the heavier weight on the sole to the front and the back. Putting the weight in the back will produce a higher ball flight while putting it in the front will lower it.  

Pros
  • Funky colors that look impressive as you rip this out your bag
  • Weight system and hosel adjustment is simple to use
  • Previous model to the latest Radspeed so the price will be a little bargain
  • Absolutely brilliant sound and trajectory similar to the PING
Cons
  • Not a HUGE improvement on the F9 which is one of their best ever

Cleveland may seem like a name that is not heard much on tour, which it isn't. Jamie Sadlowski and Shane Lowry play Cleveland and Srixon (the same company) but the truth is that Cleveland make EXCELLENT clubs for the high handicapper. Their drivers are also in the game improvement category to help launch it higher and longer.

I used a Cleveland driver back in the day to get down to a scratch handicap. They've always made very simple-looking driver faces and very forgiving hitting areas. They fit high end shafts and you can pick one based on your swing speed to maximize your abilities. 

Looking down at the club, it looks like a PING with the matte finish and spines running across the crown. It's simple to swing and easy to hit but mainly for slower swingers. If you swing like a brute, there will be minimal benefit for you.

If you are not looking for an offset driver, just a reminder that this one has offset to help eliminate the slice.

The club comes in 9, 10 and 12 degree versions. Usually I would say anyone with a slower swing speed would do well to pick a higher lofted driver to get it launching longer with more carry. 

Pros
  • Easy to swing and look down at - looks similar to PING 
  • Clean design with matte finish and lines on the crown for easy alignment
  • Very friendly on the pocket
Cons
  • Loud 
  • Offset is not for everyone and this is not for HIGH swing speeds

The Taylormade M range has gone and we're onto the SIM range. But is it really any better than the M5 or M6?

I played an M5 for a year and it was okay, but the SIM range really looks different. The stripe on top of the driver is a chalky grey color and pleasing on the eye behind the ball. The head is a charcoal matte color and is the best looking Taylormade driver I have ever seen. The side and back profile of the SIM makes it a real winner. 

Taylormade's SIM range offers forgiveness and also superb looks. The twist-face technology may be a laughing point among golfers, but have they ever hit one? That's the difference. Once you hit one of these, the laughing stops because the club works. 

The twist-face has been design to reduce action from toe and heel strikes, straightening up the ball flight and keeping the ball speed high for more distance. 

There is a weight in the back of the sole but it's not moveable. This is great for the high handicapper as we don't need to get too involved with adjusting weights if you're looking for a simple driver. With a "Hammerhead" slot behind the face, the face can be more flexible yet be reinforced for a springier impact.

Pros
  • Easy alignment with the chalk grey and black crown
  • Simple point and shoot no frilly weight adjustments
  • Twistface makes it one of the most forgiving drivers out there
Cons
  • No significant adjustability features
  • LOUD

Wilson are making some top notch clubs lately and while not the premium brand that you'll see plastered everywhere, it's a solid choice for budget and introduction to drivers. 

The face is super simple which is always nice. The graphics they're putting on the faces of drivers nowadays detracts from the look at address. Wilson have also made a lightweight crown on this one that has that carbon look, similar to the Callaway Epic.

What makes a driver easy to hit is a nice tall face, enlarging the hitting area which means more forgiveness up and down the face. The Wilson has a lovely deep face. 

The driver is not adjustable and that's perfect for people who want a simple point-and-shoot driver. Adjustable weights and hosels can confuse people and leave you wondering if the setting you have it on is hurting or helping your game. That's not a thought you want to have while playing a round of golf.

9, 10.5 and 13 degree options are available and for a newer player, I would err on the side of higher loft while a high handicapper with some experience can decide if he needs more or less launch angle and select the loft accordingly.

Wilson's Launchpad is on the friendlier side price-wise and for the money, it's hard to argue better value in another option. The technology is good and the ball goes straight and long. The only thing to get over is whether you are okay jamming a Wilson and not a Big Name Brand.

Pros
  • Increases swing speed in slow to moderate swings
  • Weighting has been arranged according to lofts so higher loft has weight back and lower loft, adjusted to increae launch angle
  • Lightweight and stress-free swinging for more distance
  • Offset creates a draw bias driver
Cons
  • It's a Wilson and some golf club snobs will look down at it

The Big Bertha range is back with an offset option to stop the big slices and more exciting for the higher handicapper players, there are higher lofted options.

I love the sound of a 12.5 degree driver and Callaway have done it with the B21. The face is also created by AI to increase ball speeds which makes this a very high launching driver with very low spin. We want that to avoid the big slices and we want the high launch for more carry.

Anything that helps a high handicapper feel confident like this will allow you to move on to a different driver in the future. But start here - why put the game of golf on "expert" mode before you've built that base of confidence? 

The Big Bertha B21 can be a gamechanger for many people. It's almost a mini driver when it gets to the higher loft of 12.5 degrees, but it's a maximum 460CC in size so you're not hitting a smaller clubhead. 

On top of the forgiveness and increased distance, the looks are stunning for such a maximum game improvement driver. 

Pros
  • Offset and draw bias to remove the big slices
  • Higher loft option at 12.5 degrees is available for higher launch if you struggle
  • Brilliant good looks for a maximum game improver
  • Lightweight shaft options for more swing speed
Cons
  • Slower swings only - shafts and clubhead setup is not for quick swings

What makes the best driver for beginners and high handicappers?

FORGIVENESS

What makes a driver forgiving?

Forgiveness refers to how much or little a driver punishes a bad strike. If you miss the sweet spot of the club, there'll be a loss of distance and direction. Forgiving clubs lose much less distance and promote straighter ball flights on mishits than tour spec drivers.

Luckily, modern drivers aimed at the casual golfer are the most forgiving ever made. Mishits are very common for new golfers. Older drivers used to punish mishits with pain in your fingers, shots that went nowhere and lost balls. Mishits now go further and straighter than ever before making it easier to find the best driver for beginners and high handicaps.


Higher loft means more forgiveness

A driver has the lowest loft in the bag. Automatically that makes it harder to hit in the air and keep straight. An easy analogy is the difference between a 3 iron and a 9 iron. The 3 iron (24° loft) is difficult to control while a 9 iron (44° loft) is very easy to hit high and straight due to higher loft.

Pros use lower lofted drivers (7°-10°) and because their swings speeds are incredibly fast (110+mph), they are able to get the ball flying 280+ yards.

Amateurs generally swing at 80-90 mph and require much more loft to make up for the slower swing speed. The additional loft also creates more back-spin which prevents too much movement left or right in the air.

For maximum forgiveness for a beginner, we recommend loft of 10.5° to 14°


Softer shafts for slower swings

The shaft is the most important part of the driver. It will determine how the ball flies through the air and consistency of your shots. Shafts in the driver are all graphite now and steel is used only in irons and putters.

Shaft flexibilities are labelled in the following ways:

  • L for Ladies
  • A or M for Senior FLex
  • R for Regular
  • S for Stiff
  • X for Extra Stiff also called Tour

The faster your swing, the stiffer you need the shaft to be, so you can hit a consistent ball flight. A shaft that is too stiff for your swing produces a ball flight that goes low and to the right. A shaft too flexible for your swing causes an inconsistent shape on your shots

In general, beginners’ swing speeds are between 80 and 90mph so we recommend a Regular ( R ) flex shaft to help promote a straighter, consistent ball flight.


Big club heads for big forgiveness

Nowadays, all drivers’ heads are between 440 and 460 cubic centimeters (cc). This has increased the club face size and with it, the sweet spot. It is always advisable for newer golfers to go with a 460cc driver head because well, it’s the maximum!


Adjustability technology increases options

Adjustable & Fixed Weights

In the latest drivers there are weights attached to the sole of the club head that can be adjusted by sliding them around into different positions to alter the shape of the shot. This technology sounds good, but it can be highly confusing for a new player to grasp all the combinations and effects on center of gravity and MOI and all the other jargon terms used to market the clubs. We don’t recommend these expensive drivers for new golfers.

On the other hand there are weights that can be replaced or moved to fixed locations which are much easier to play.

Adjustable Lofts

For the purpose of this guide, which is to find you a simple-to-hit and forgiving driver, this is the technology that can help you most. Some of the recommendations here have this technology.

The shafts can be unscrewed from the head and rotated to increase or decrease the loft of the driver from 9° to 14°. This is very valuable tech for a new player to adjust the loft to their preferred number.


Difference Between the Pros and Us

Feature

High Handicappers

Pros

Swing speed

75-85 mph

105+ mph

Loft 

10.5° to 14°

7° to 10°

Shaft

Regular

Stiff/X Stiff

Forgiveness

High

Moderate

Club Head Size

460 cc

440-460 cc

It's tempting to think the clubs the pros play on TV are the ones we should be playing. There is a massive difference between pros and amateur golfers so there is no shame in playing different clubs to the guys who do it for a living.  Play what works for you. That could be a used club from the junk store or it could be the latest Titleist 8.5° monstrosity. 

Also remember, the clubs on television are "Tour Issue", that means they have been made available only to the Tour players. The driver you find in a retail shop is NOTHING like the one the pro's are playing. I only state this so you can make a selection based on performance and looks to YOU, not what brooks or Dustin or Tiger is hitting. 

Conclusion

I hope this guide was useful and if you decide to get a driver to take your game to the next level, always have it fit with a shaft by a professional club fitter to fully maximize its potential. It can literally change your life.

best golf balls for high swing speeds

Best Golf Ball for High Swing Speed in 2021

Boom! That feeling when you nut one down the middle and everyone's staring in wonder as you pick up the tee casually. Just another day in 100 mph plus heaven. 

But with great power comes great responsibility. And by hitting booming drives with no short game, wedge or iron play, you're letting down the rest of the big bombers. We're being painted with the same brush worldwide... big hitters with no finesse, no touch! 

So I'm here to help you long hard swingers out there. Hulking brutes without a delicate touch, heavy hammer swingers lacking tenderness at their finger tips. I've found the best golf balls for high swing speed to help you hit it long, knock it closer and shoot lower scores. Go forth and prosper. Keep reading below.

My own swing speed

I swing at around 110 mph and was up to 117 mph when I was 22. A desk job and less playing time has reduced it a bit!


The Best High Swing Speed Golf Balls

  1. Bridgestone Tour B XS (The ball designed and played by Tiger) 
  2. Taylormade TP5x (Top value brand name ball)
  3. Vice Pro Plus (For Pro level fast swings)
  4. Titleist Pro V1x (The best golf ball in the world)
  5. Callaway Chrome Soft X (best improvements in quality)
  6. Srixon Z-Star XV (Most durable)
  7. Kirkland Signature (Best value urethane ball for wild hitters)

Are Pro V1 and Pro V1x the best golf balls for high swing speed?

The number one ball in golf is Titleist. They are the business and I would play them more often if there weren't so many options to try out in the same category. I LOVE Pro V1 golf balls but with all the competition, I have to try everything at least once. But does that mean their Tour balls - Pro V1 range - are the single best for amateurs in addition to the PGA Tour players? 

Well to be honest, yes... if you're good enough.

I struggle to see how using premium expensive balls benefits anyone shooting high scores and losing golf balls aplenty. Fearing the loss of an expensive golf ball while standing on the tee or hitting over water is a surefire way to sabotage yourself mentally before the shot.

What about higher handicappers with high swing speed?

I recommend that you play off a solid 15 handicap or less to benefit from using the balls on this list - anything from 15 handicap and higher is an average score of 90+ and you'll need to sharpen up to benefit greatly from the softer covers and price of the golf balls. The best golf balls for mid handicappers is a better place to find some more budget friendly, yet acceptable balls to try first. You'll also want to lose less golf balls before committing to premium balls.

If you are swinging it well over 100mph and losing golf balls left and right, I would suggest you're hitting the ball too hard. you need to dial it in and start smaller. Start with softer shots and play cheaper balls until you're not losing them and shooting over 100. These golf balls are not for you and you'll dread playing them, anticipating losing them.

Get some lessons and harness your power. Then once you're able to lose 1 or less balls per round, or earn enough to lose 6 per round, move onto the more premium ball. Until then, almost any golf ball will do for you.


Best Golf Balls for High Swing Speed Reviews


Callaway Chrome Soft X

Now with Triple track alignment

The Callaway Chrome Soft is the most popular ball at golf shops but for the higher swing speeds, Callaway also produce the Chrome Soft X.

There was a bit of controversy a while ago with My Golf Spy claiming the Chrome was a short golf ball. Callaway addressed that. They also introduced the Triple Track marking on the side of the ball which lines up perfectly with their Odyssey Triple track putters. 

They've used a four-piece construction with a larger Dual SoftFast core to get the ball to go as straight and long as any other top premium golf ball when swung at high swing speeds. 

A compression of 95 makes the Chrome Soft X perfect for higher swing speeds plus Callaway ball features hexagonal dimples. If your speed is not high enough, these golf balls will feel like rocks. With a high enough swing speed, the ball will spin enough and instead of creating the ripping effect, of 5 yards of spin, you can control the ball enough to get it to stop closer to the pitch mark.

Bottom line is the ball works well for higher swing speeds. Callaway needed to create a supplement to their popular Chrome Soft range to have something that big bombers and tour players can use and provides an all-round good performance.

Pros
  • Soft feeling on the face of all clubs.
  • Stops close to the pitch mark with not as much rip backwards.
  • All round performance makes it one of the best golf balls for high swing speed
Cons
  • Since I use this ball, I can't find anything particularly wrong with it.

Bridgestone Tour B XS

For maximum distance and Tour spin played by Tiger

Bridgestone - the famous tire and Nike golf ball manufacturer - have made it super easy to find the best golf ball for high swing speeds. It tells you on the box! 

These balls are for people swinging the driver faster than 105 mph. The 'S' on the end of the name stands for Spin. The Tour BXS has a soft feel to it for golfers wanting more feel and spin around the greens. 

In the B XS, you get oodles of control and feel. Distance is equal to any other premium golf balls with the swing speed above 100 mph. But the feel and spin from wedge shots and short irons is something to behold. A redesigned SlipRes cover keeps it gripped to the club face longer for more spin and high trajectory. 

My experience

Overall, one of the best golf balls for high speed swings. I did notice the balls scuffed easily on harder driving wedge shots. Along with that came up to 6 feet of zip backwards when hitting the greens.

You'll need to control that spin when hitting these. The dimple pattern is a little different to what you may be used to and seems much shallower. Sometimes these looks put us off. But you have to hit them to understand it makes no difference and the ball performs just as well as others in the premium category.

Pros
  • Penetrating flight through the wind
  • Soft cover with harder compression for Tour level spin
  • Excellent value/performance price ratio
  • Distance is equal to top premium balls
Cons
  • Cover is soft and gets scuffed really really easily

Taylormade TP5x

Well priced brand name premium ball for high swing speeds

The balls have the fifth layer to help golfers who trap the ball against the ground with their irons instead of sweep it away. Results of every shot become predictable with this ball. You know where the ball is going off the tee, you know where it's going on approaches and you know it's going to stop near the pitchmark.

My experience

An interesting observation using the TP5x for a round was how the ball held a straight shot shape in the air.

But what I also noticed is that it's a bit firmer and the wedge shots didn't spin quite as much as the TP5. They've made the feel a bit firmer and reduced the spin. As you know, when you crunch one with a wedge, at high swing speed, you want the ball to stop near the pitch mark instead of ripping back 10 feet. That's what the TP5x does. It feels pretty much like a Pro V1x.

Pros
  • Durable cover
  • Lower launch off the irons for high ball hitters
  • Straighter shots with less big shape on them
  • Thicker cover for softer and improved feel
Cons
  • Less workable left and right

Vice Pro Plus

Good for very fast swings - 110 mph +

The Germans have produced a minimalist and slick-looking four-piece urethane covered golf ball with the Vice Pro Plus. But look at that logo. If that doesn't scream sexy, nothing does.

Vice take on Pro V1x with the Pro Plus

The Vice Pro Plus feels firmer than the Titleists - pretty similar to the B XS from Bridgestone reviewed a little higher up. With a four-piece construction, golf balls fly a little lower, so if you're looking for a more penetrating flight, the Vice Pro Plus works beautifully. 

Sound off the driver is also different to Titleists Pro V1x. It gives a bigger smack and with a faster swing, the Pro Plus feels firmer and hotter off the face than a lot of Tour balls.

For you big hitting beasts who want some finesse into the greens from inside 150 yards, this ball stops where it drops. The trajectory is high, generating a lot of spin, making the ball stick right where it lands. Can I say it's identical to the market-leader? No, but how about 90% as good? Yes. For so much cheaper, this is a tough competitor to the best golf ball for high swing speeds, the Pro V1x.

Pros
  • Penetrating lower ball flight
  • Firm feeling with moderate spin for more control
  • Pleasant firm feeling on the putter similar to best premium balls
  • Also comes in bright green and red colors
Cons
  • Cover is very soft and cuts occur more than just scuffs
  • Low brand recognition

Titleist Pro V1x

The industry leader gives you peace of mind

There is nothing more to say other than yes this ball is the best in the world. I use them every chance I get when i am not playing around with other golf balls. Gun to head, if I had to pick one ball to play forever, it would be the Pro V1x. You just have the confidence that you are not losing out on anything when you play them. It's just that simple. 

Pros
  • Durable urethane cover
  • Distance gains off the tee
  • Stops where it's supposed to
  • The ultimate golf ball
Cons
  • Nothing besides price but that is starting to level off with most competitors

Srixon Z-Star XZ

The durable underdog

Srixon make some great golf balls and even the Q-Star Tour is a great choice but fits more along the lines of the Taylormade Project (a).

4-Piece Construction starts soft on the inside, and gets firmer at the cover

What makes this golf ball a contender for the high swing speed basher is the construction where the core is softer and the inner layers become firmer toward the outside. 

The compression in the ball has been lowered to 102 from 105 in the previous models but that remains in the higher range for the fast swings. The feel around the greens is exceptional but remember, your short game needs multidimensions to take advantage of that. If you swing it fast but have little feel around the greens, the ball will be softer but that's all.

If you're more of a bump and runner, and rely less on spinny shots, you really could consider one of their more medium range balls like a Soft Feel. But if you're looking for holding power inside 120, and better spin from bunkers and stop and drop style shots, this is definitely the ball you'll prefer in the Srixon range. 

I jam these balls any time anywhere. This and the Q Star Tour.

Pros
  • More durable urethane cover than most
  • Low spin off the tee gives a little boost in distance
  • One of the cheaper premium balls out there
Cons
  • Be careful to get the Z Star XV and not the Z Star which is the softer, shorter ball

Kirkland Signature

The greatest budget urethane golf ball

These balls are rare to find where I am so I ordered some online and I have to tell you, if I lived in the US, this would be my ball of choice. It's so cheap yet goes like a rocket. I don't really like to proclaim too much distance off the tee with a ball but this one was really quite phenomenal. I noticed distance gains, but I was skeptical about their stopping power. 

Cheap but not nasty!

In this Youtube on my channel, I was playing with Steve and included a couple of my shots with the Kirkland signature and on the 10th hole, it was amazing to see how quickly the ball stopped. On the 11th hole, I hit the longest driver I have ever hit on that hole and then followed it up on the 12th with a 6 iron that stopped BEHIND the pitch mark.

I can safely recommend this ball to anyone who is on a budget, hits it hard and doesn't want to lose expensive premium balls!

Pros
  • Absolutely cheap no two ways about it
  • Stop on the spot and don't rip BACKWARD
  • Booming off the tee from my experience
  • Bulk packs are great value
  • Excellent for bump and runners like me - not the best spin for floppers and low skidders
Cons
  • The first few hits with the firm feeling may have you doubting the spin and feel
  • Very firm feel closer to a budget ball feeling off the longer clubs

Conclusion

Most of the top end balls will suit your game it just depends on your skill level. If you are consistent and don't lose many balls, the premium balls are for you. If you're a bit erratic, it's going to be best to test a few balls. The urethane covered premium balls will give you more feel and spin around the greens which the harder balls won't do with your fast swing. 


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