Best Golf Drivers for Mid Handicappers 2021 – Golf Sidekick

Best Golf Drivers for Mid Handicappers 2021

Do you want longer tee shots to hit shorter approaches.
Are you getting close to breaking 80 and want that club to get you into the 70s?
Or maybe something sinister - are you hitting the WRONG fairway?
Wait, wait...or my biggest fear...do you know WHERE the damn ball is even going?

I've been there. That level of anguish sucks the enjoyment out of the game. 

But NOTHING puts more enjoyment into the game like a solid tee-ball with a decent driver and the confidence knowing the ball will BE IN PLAY!

Shaft flex and loft are essential to getting that extra oomph

Modern technology is here to help. Having unshakable confidence standing on every tee box is easily the best feeling in golf. You just know where it's going and the shape it's taking to get there. It does take time to settle into a new driver but when you do, man...it's electric.

I've found the best golf drivers for mid handicappers right here to get you that same nonchalant feeling. You're going to be hitting it longer and straighter with the right club suited for your swing speed. I'll go through shaft flex as well as loft so you can select the correct one for you to have more fun on the golf course.

How to pick the right shaft for you 

best drivers handicap golfer

It's important to choose the correct shaft flex for your driver. To do this, you need to know your swing speed and as mid handicappers, we have a wide range of swing speeds. 

Here's a quick reference to picking a shaft based on your driver swing speed:

70-80 mph : Senior Flex (A)
80-90 mph : Regular Flex (R)
90-100 mph: Stiff Flex (S)
100+ mph: Extra Stiff Flex (X)

You can easily test this at a golf shop or driving range. Most places let you hit in the nets for free because that way they can convince you to buy a driver. I use them to test my swing speed then buy my stuff elsewhere!

Amount of carry depends on the loft too

Loft is the 2nd most important aspect. Less loft is less forgiving which is evidenced by how much easier it is to hit a 9 iron than a 3 iron.

Your slices and hooks will be even worse with a lower lofted (8 to 10 degree) driver while more loft (10.5 to 14 degrees) means your slices and hooks will diminish and the ball will fly higher and straighter, giving you more carry and hence, more distance.

•  Fast swing (100 mph +) and hit it reliably in the fairway, best driver is 9 to 11 degrees loft for extra forgiveness.
•  
Average swing speed (80-95 mph) it's best to get 11 to 13 degrees of loft for more carry.
•  Slower swing speed
, it's best to get a driver with 13 or 14 degrees of loft.

New technology makes you your own club fitter

Paired with the right golf ball, modern drivers can add significant yardage to your long game. Some guys even notice 20 yard gains. Below are the best drivers mid handicappers. 

WARNING: I do not advocate for the hyper-adjustable drivers on the market. While they appear to be 'more value' because you can adjust the settings to anything you like, the problem with them is this very benefit. You're going to be wondering whether you have the right setting every time you hit a drive in the trees.

I prefer making golf simple and making it fun. Removing decision paralysis by setting yourself up with a simple, moderately adjustable driver will serve you well mentally, which is all that really counts. By moderately adjustable driver.

I mean being able to change the loft setting up or down a degree or two, but not sliding weights around the sole of the club. That's where the head worms take over and crawl in your brain, making you question yourself on every tee shot.


Best Golf Drivers for Mid Handicappers

  1. Cobra Radspeed (most forgiving distance driver for any golfer)
  2. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo   (best value driver pound-for-pound)
  3. Taylormade SIM (best adjustable driver)
  4. Srixon ZX5 (best for golfers who hit it toward the toe)
  5. PING G425 MAX  (best driver for higher ball flight)
  6. Cobra Speedzone Driver (best for adding distance with many shaft options)
  7. Titleist TSi2 Driver  (great Titleist for mid handicappers)

All-round best driver for most golfers 

Cobra have become one of the front-runners in golf club tech especially for the forgiveness of their clubs.

As with most drivers on this list, the crown is very simple without any flashy graphics or ridges. It's easy to align and it does so without putting you off while standing over the ball.

Adjustability

You can switch the two weight plates back and forth but honestly, it's fine out -the-box. As with most drivers now, you can adjust the loft up or down to increase height in ball flight or lower it. 

Pros
  • Sweet spot designed to help toe and heel hits
  • Simple adjustability that reduces opportunity to have decision paralysis
  • Lighter crown for more swing speed
  • Crisp sound at contact
  • Superb, simple, milled club face for confidence at address
Cons
  • May not add more distance but go straighter it will
  • Not for golfers who want to shape the ball flight

Looks SO strong at address and well balanced

If you recognize that weird shape on the sole, yes, that's pretty much a copy paste of the Cobra F9 speedback design. It's far more pronounced and is apparently for aerodynamics. The SIM is a a monster. 

This driver is the real deal - the aerodynamics on the bottom of the head are designed in a way to create more speed in your swing by reducing the drag in key areas of the swing. At address, the driver looks like a boss. It covers the ball unlike even the M5 and M6 drivers of the prior generation.

The crown is matte finished gray and black composite which is shaped in such a way that is looks WAY bigger than the ball. The sliding weight is much simpler now without too much tinkering needed to adjust your ball flight. 

Couple the matte-finished composite with the very muted gray color of the top line of the face, and this driver is easy to line up, see the full face at address, and instill confidence just looking at it. 

Same tech as before, now just more aerodynamics in the design

The prior models of the M series bring forward the same tech likeTwist face, Speed Injection, Speed Pocket and Inverted Cone Technology to the SIM design. 

These technologies ave proven successful in their previous models and now with the focus on aerodynamics, it shows a shift in focus away from distance and forgiveness and more toward creating more speed in your swing.

Pros
  • Superb Taylormade sound - unlike the more expensive TM models.
  • Very well priced for the technology inside the driver
  • Aerodynamic head along the lines of the great Cobra F9
  • Top of the crown is muted in color, matte-finished and with a gray alignment line
  • The adjustability is there, but it's just simplified compared to the M5
Cons
  • Is the focus on aerodynamics meaning that there is no more advances in driver tech?
  • Headcover that comes with it is ugly as hell

Best value driver - pound for pound - for slower swings

The Cleveland HB Turbo Launcher has a very tall dominating face and setting up to the ball, it looks like a Cleveland of old. Classic shape and tall face with a massive sweet spot. Definitely in the sleeper category, not many guys will know about this driver and at this price, it's a best kept secret. 

The club is light and by light, I mean REALLY light. That might not appeal to everyone but it can definitely help pick up an extra couple mph in your swing. If you're hovering around 85 mph, this little beauty can bring you up to 90 mph and give you a few yards more off the tee.

They just don't waste time with the adjustability on this driver and in all honesty player, I don't ever use the sliding weights or loft-up or loft-down options on the hosel. I don't even know that many players who do anymore.

On the crown, the detailing is similar to PING with cool shapes that make the driver look streamlined and powerful over the ball. 

Pros
  • They have a DRAW driver as well
  • Very lightweight for increasing swing speed
  • Well priced - dollar to extra yards ratio is perfect
  • Great for those struggling with a slice
Cons
  • Not for high swing speeds
  • Creates a massive noise

Best point-and-shoot pick-up-and-play driver on the market

From the same manufacturer of Cleveland, comes a very very simple driver from Srixon. The Z series is so good, you'll find many many mid handicappers bringing their scores down with this driver at a lot of golf courses. 

Very popular from 5 handicap up to 20

The best part of these drivers is how SIMPLE they look at address. There is almost nothing on the crown except a little mark to show the center of the face.

It's a higher launching and higher spinning driver than the ZX7 which is more like the Tour model. But something you may not know i that the ZX5 looks almost identical to the ZX7 so you get a Tour-looking driver with the forgiveness of a game improvement club.

A personal gripe is the face graphics. While I prefer a clean face with at most, a few horizontal lines on it, Srixon have gone more for a Callaway Epic style face graphic. It's not entirely as off-putting as the Epic face but far from a simple face I am used to with Cleveland and Srixon. 

What I've noticed the most about this club is how on toe hits, the ball actually goes AS FAR AS solid strikes which is perfect for someone like me who hits it toward the toe more often. 

The face has no fancy graphics on it. The crown is super simple and the sweet spot sends feedback up your arms, knowing you've hit it in the pantie.

Pros
  • The beauty is in the simplicity of design and superb performance
  • Extremely large sweet spot where toe hits go almost as far as middle hits
  • ZX7 has some adjustability for loft while the ZX5 is super simple no adjusting
  • The crown has very little detail on it, it is very classic looking
Cons
  • ZX5 model has no adjustability at all
  • Simple decal on the face makes way for Callaway style imagery

One of the simplest to hit drivers in the world

PING has to be the most popular name in amateur mid handicapper golf. This is easily the most gamed club I have seen in guys bags who were NEVER able to hit a driver before. You get the guys who don't play PING and then you get the guys who do, and they LOVE it.

My friend Steve just upgraded to this PING G425 and I haven't seen him hit a driver like that before. He was using a PING G400 then upgraded to a G410, which he was great with, but the G425 just takes it to another level. 

The main difference I see in the G425 and other clubs of the same spec and loft, is the higher ball flight. The ball flight is penetrating and high. It carries much further which gives guys a load more distance with the exact same swing. 

Minimal adjustability and straighter shots

There's only a single tungsten weight plate on the bottom of the club so you'll never be worried about the settings. The loft can be changed up or down a degree or two and that's about all you need to increase or decrease height of the launch. It's quite simple and that is always a plus to prevent decision paralysis and FOMO.

PING keep it simple and are really geared toward the mid handicapper in every sense of the word making forgiving irons, forgiving woods and superb putters. On Tour you might find only a couple of guys like Lee Westwood and Bubba using PING, but really, these clubs are not Ferrari, but they're more like Ford, built tough and reliably.

Pros
  • Very classic head and face design with minimal graphics
  • The ball goes straighter and in some cases reduce shot shapes to baby fades and draws
  • High-launching for much more carry but maybe less rollout on soft fairways
  • Minimal adjustability options for a nice simple point and shoot driver
  • Bigger sweet spot than ever on a PING driver
Cons
  • Sound is very muted and may not appeal
  • Three models get confusing: stick to the MAX for now!

Brilliant update to the F9 if you prefer newer models

The F9 Speed Back is simply superb and you wouldn't make a mistake getting it. But the Speedzone is an improvement in terms of looks. The performance is pretty similar but the look of the new driver at address is quite significant.

Brian from the channel got himself a new Speed zone and has been THUMPING it up to 275 yards. He has a swing speed of around 98 to 103 mph and settled on this driver over the F9 because of the crown. The face melts into the crown in a much smoother way to the F9, giving the face a very BIG feel to it. 

best driver for mid handicappers

The sweet spot is really easy to find on the club and with the right shaft, is a well-weighted and balanced club. You can also purchase 3rd party weight kits to play with the two weights on the bottom of the club for more penetrating flight or more spin.

Pros
  • Large looking face at impact, showing more to the ball makes alignment easy
  • More composite material in the head for more weight saving - more speed
  • Absolutely the best sound and feel at impact of all current drivers
Cons
  • Not a very big difference between F9 and this besides aesthetics
  • Not for golfers who want to shape the ball flight

A Titleist driver that is actually forgiving

The TSi range fo Titleist driver are some of the most played on the Tour.  The range has one for every level of golfer and this one is for players looking for increased distance, but need some forgiveness for when they can't to hit the ball in the center every time which is pretty much everyone over a 2 handicap!

Now that's not to say it's for high handicappers. I wouldn't give a Titleist to a high handicapper. We all struggle with the sweet spot at times, but this driver is one that allows you to maximize speed, even with a smoother swing.

The best part of this driver is the CLEAR and defined boss look on the face. You're not guessing where the sweet spot is and placing it behind the ball, the center of the face is like a pathway between graphics either side of the face. I am a big face-graphics guy and the Titleist wins on that count.

The overall look of the driver is extremely sleek and right up there with the Cobra Speedzone and F9 in terms of sex appeal. 

The TSi2 will have a loopier ball flight with a steeper descent into the ground but that extra air time means more carry. 

Pros
  • Low spin for the forgiveness
  • Very high launching - great for slower swingers or low ball hitters
  • The face is so forgiving on mis hits
Cons
  • The head looks larger than it should
  • The face gets marked easily by the balls

Conclusion

With so many drivers out there to choose from that are designed to help the average golfer, I hope this cleared up some of the options.

The winners are easily the Cobra offerings from the prior two years and the SIM by Taylormade. I've hit so many drivers and the biggest surprise to even make this list is the Titleist TS3. Always remember, the PING drivers are an ever-reliable club that will serve anybody well. 

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2 comments
mark butcko says

great info looking for a new driver handicap 13 68 years old swing sped appx 80

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craig mccann says

very useful info,cheers

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