There is a budget category for golf clubs that include the best budget golf driver, but I have a better idea for you.
My idea is that you take a look at the cheaper end, yes. But also the higher end, perhaps a second hand model of a driver that is 4-5 years old. The drivers made in the last 4 or 5 years have no changed much and you can pick up a steal on either a new or used one.
Of course, if you want to spend as little as possible, I have a couple of options in this guide, but if I can give you one piece of advice it's to spend as much as you can afford on your equipment. It does make a massive difference to play premium materials instead of the composites that the budget manufacturers make.
How do I know that? I grew up with not much money to spend on golf clubs and so I always played equipment that was WAY inferior to everyone else. My driver was for the longest time some kind of titanium alloy, Taylormade Burner knockoff. It did not perform as well as stuff made just 3 or 4 years prior.
Best Budget Golf Drivers for Affordable Distance
Forgiving and easy to hit for slower swings
The Cleveland HB Launcher has a very tall dominating face and setting up to the ball, it looks like a traditional Cleveland. Classic shape and tall face with a massive sweet spot, especially forgiving on toe hits. Used or new, it's a bargain and one of unsung heroes of amateur golf when ti comes to accessibility to good equipment at decent prices.
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.
On the crown, the detailing is similar to PING with cool shapes that make the driver look streamlined and powerful over the ball.
One of the best budget options
The 460CC head can be adjusted to lofts of 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees. Whether you swing it fast, slow or medium, you can adjust it to create more height and carry.
Wilson's Launch Pad driver has an ultra-thin face to generate much faster ball speeds for which in turn produces longer carries for more distance. They've expanded the sweet-spot for greater forgiveness but don't think that just because it's a budget golf driver, that it's no good.
Wilson have been around for years, only being overtaken in the modern era similar to Nokia being overtaken by Apple and Samsung. They still make great phones, but people just focused their attention onto the shinier objects. Wilson are always a sleeper pick but currently also produce some of the nicest putters and wedges I have tried.
One of the best drivers of the last 5 years
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.
The stock shaft is a Project X HZRDS which is a high quality shaft indeed. The shaft really is the powerhouse of the club and these come fit with a very strong engine.
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.
Looking down at this club is not distracting at all and the top of the crown makes it easy to line the ball up to the sweet spot and with minimal decal and lines on the face, it looks classic and not full of gimmicks. A real simple point and shoot.
Couple years old means you get great value on the best
The Epic Flash driver is one of the best Callaway have produced. The Jail Break technology in the crown and head makes it difficult to beat in terms of distance and sweet spot extension.
Callaway put a technology called Flash Face into the driver to help you get more ball speed off the face to gain more distance. In other words, they made a bigger sweet spot on the driver and in the center of the sweet spot, it's even bouncier.
The computers Callaway used cycled through different 15,000 face iterations, learning from each iteration to finally settle on the best option being the technology they call Flash Face.
Jailbreak bars inside the head near the face stiffen and stabilize the crown plus the sole, so when you hit the ball it places the impact load in the right places for more consistent and long ball flight.
You do not need the latest driver if you want to have a nice one. Didi on my channel has recently "upgraded" to this driver because it's 3 models old!
He was using an RBZ driver prior to this and has seen a massive improvement in drives into the wind. The shape is much more penetrating and his big fade is reduced to a small fade.
How much does a good driver cost?
A good golf driver will cost you between $100 and $300. Anything less than $100 will be trash and anything more than $300 probably isn't going to add that much to your game.
Best affordable drivers for high handicappers
If I have to recommend one of these drivers for a high handicapper, it has to be the Cleveland Launcher HB driver. It's the best combination of distance, forgiveness and price.
If you're looking for a new driver under the $400 price tag, the Wilson Launchpad is a great option.
Now available at around the $250 mark, the Cleveland Launcher HB Driver is a complete steal at this price point. Long bombs for little money!
It's hard to believe it, but you can now snag a Srixon Z 585 Driver for under $200. This is one of the best drivers of the last 5 years so you won't be disappointed with one of these bad boys.
Why I don't suggest super budget driver
I do not recommend really cheap drivers because they stunt your enjoyment of the game whether you're a new player or been playing a while. If you're not playing something in the last 4,5 or 6 years, you're missing out on a lot of fun and a lot of enjoyment of the game.
How I know this, is that my sister took up golf only after she realized that she could finally afford decent equipment. When she was young, she couldn't have nice clubs and so she never got into golf because it was so difficult to play the cheaper, less effective clubs we could afford.
It changes your whole outlook on the game when you have a decent driver not just a junky one that is cheap.
You can go for the ultra budget stuff, or you can settle for a new or even USED item from recent years. I would suggest a second hand driver to extract max value on the best budget golf drivers out there.