Best mid handicap golf drivers to get to Single Figure Handicap

Best Golf Drivers for Mid Handicappers 2024

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Matt Greene
*Read our review guidelines.

The biggest difference impact on your game comes from a good driver. When you stand on the tee and you know where the ball is going, you're in control.

You dip your score into the 70s when you put yourself in better approach distance ranges. Your driver will be your biggest weapon and there are so many created today to help you hit it long and straight like never before.

Our team has tested clubs from every manufacturer for many years and we include only the best drivers on this list even if they're a year or two old. Driver tech is stalling and any model made in the last 3-4 years performs well.

Best Drivers for Mid Handicappers in 2024

  1. PING G430 MAX 10K (Editor's choice - most forgiving for everyone)
  2. Cobra DarkSpeed X (longest driver for medium swings)
  3. Cleveland Launcher XL 2 (best value driver pound-for-pound)
  4. TaylorMade Qi 10 Max (best driver for most golfers)
  5. Srixon ZX5 Mk II (best for golfers who hit it toward the toe)
  6. Callaway Ai Smoke Max (best looking driver on the list)
  7. PXG 0811X (best sleeper pick for mid handicap golfers)

PING G430 Max 10K

The easiest driver to hit for any mid handicapper

best driver for mid handicap

The PING G430 Max 10K is the best driver for mid handicap golfers because it offers the high 10k MOI similar to Taylormade Qi10. PING have upgraded the G430 Max with this significant change in the G430 Max 10K. 

My experience with the G430 Max 10K:

  • Regardless of model name, in my experience, PING make the most forgiving drivers on the market for the average golfer. I have gamed a PING driver since 2020.
  • The G430 Max 10k is the straightest and the most forgiving driver, setting a record at 10K MOI by adding a fixed back-weight, pushing the weight down and back in the driver head.
  • The sound of the G430 Max 10k is LOUD with a tinny sound rather than the muted whack you get from older models. 
  • It's a mid-low spin driver with mid launch, so I experieced penetrating ballflight with a lot of rollouts.
  • For faster swings, you won't notice a big distance boost, but rather a straighter, higher flight
  • The main difference I see in the G430 Max 10k and other drivers is a higher ball flight and longer carry. I do not see much difference between other PING models however. 

The ball flight is penetrating and high yet when you compare the G430 Max 10k to the G430 Max, it is not THAT much different. Is it worth the upgrade from the prior G430 if you own one already? No.

Conclusion: If you're a moderate swing speed 88-100mph, you may see some increase in distance if you have a driver model from pre-2020, but almost definitely will see a better off-center strike performance.

The ball just stays on the golf course instead of flying left and right uncontrollably. That's the hallmark of a PING driver.

Recommendation: Any golfer who wants a stress free experience from the tee should try the Ping G430 Max 10k.


  • 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
  • Bigger sweet spot than ever on a PING driver

Cobra DarkSpeed X

Longest driver for medium swing speeds

best driver for mid handicaps

The Cobra Darkspeed X is our best driver average swing speed mid handicappers for it's low spin and mid launch. The Darkspeed improves on the prior model Aerojet by improving the looks, removing the shiny club head and creating a dark matte finish. 

The Darkspeed X produces around 6% lower spin compared to the Aerojet in our testing.

My experience with the Darkspeed X:

  1. The Cobra Darkspeed is one of the best drivers of the year in terms of looks and performance.
  2. Forgiveness is the main priority - you swing and hit and the ball goes straighter and it FEELS like the ball is flying hotter off the face than other driver.
  3. The feeling of fastness also produces fast ball speeds and booming distance.
  4. The differences in distances between good and bad strikes were marginal and my worst drives ended up in the left side semi rough.
  5. The price is slightly lower than other new models from other brands and for the money, it's a great value option.

The Darkspeed X was as enjoyable as one of my favorite drivers of all time, the Cobra F9. 

Recommendation: I recommend the Darkspeed X to any mid handicapper between 8 and 20 handicap who wants to save a few bucks. If you struggle for carry and have a slower swing speed, try the 12 degree version.


  • Sweet spot designed to help toe and heel hits
  • Simple adjustability of weight plates that makes it easy to see which you prefer
  • Face graphics looks very pleasing and do not distract you.
  • Good selection of lofts all the way up to 12 degrees
  • Dark matte crown for less glare and muted look behind the ball


  • Not for golfers who want to shape the ball flight

Cleveland Launcher XL 2

Best value driver for slower swings

best driver for mid handicap

Cleveland Launcher XL 2

The Cleveland Launcher XL 2 is good upgrade to one of their best ever drivers - the Launcher XL with more forgiveness and simplicity. Cleveland, PING and Cobra don't get much love on the PGA Tour, but there are no better brands for mid handicap amateurs who want a forgiving driver.

My experience with the Launcher XL 2:

  • For a simple driver, I enjoyed the 12 different adjustable launch positions and found that the higher the loft, the straighter the shots.
  • High shots toward the toe on the club face rolled for a long time similar to the Srixon ZX5 MKII
  • The XL2 is very light and two testers on the course found longer carries on course compared to the prior Launcher XL.
  • Slower swing mid handicappers will enjoy this driver most of all because of the light weight to generate speed and high launch for longer carries.

You can adjust the loft from 9 to 12 degrees on the driver which is excellent as slower swingers will love the extra loft for more carry distance and control. 

Recommendation: The Launcher XL 2 is aimed directly at mid to high handicap golfers and I would suggest if your driver swing is between 70 and 85 mph, this is the driver for you. 


  • Very lightweight for increasing swing speed and distance on slow/moderate swings
  • Well priced - dollar to extra yards ratio is perfect - one of Cleveland's hallmarks
  • Great for those struggling with a slice


  • Not for high swing speeds
  • LOUD

TaylorMade Qi 10 Max 

Stable driver through impact with amazing sound off the face

best driver for most golfers

TaylorMade Qi 10 Max

The TaylorMade QI10 Max improves on the prior Stealth model through better sound and feel. If you're still using any of the M series models, you'll notice a significant increase in distance and smaller dispersion with the Qi10 Max. 

The Qi10 Max is engineered to help you square up the head at impact easily, for straighter drives. 

My experience with the Qi10 Max:

  • The Max model Qi10 is an all-round performer achieving the latest buzz of 10K MOI as the Qi10 name suggests
  • I liked that the TaylorMade Qi10 Max Driver looks totally different compared to the red and black of the Stealth and Stealth 2 drivers.
  • The red club face is gone and the Qi10 has a navy-blue face so the looks are muted which I found much less distracting.
  • I found the Qi10 Max equally or more forgiving compared to my favorite Taylormade SIM models. You can genuinely feel the stability of the club head especially on slight mis-hits. The head doesn't twist violently in your hands.
  • Adjusting the loft with the shaft sleeve is easy and can help manipulate ball flights.

It's very difficult to describe but the TaylorMade Qi10 feels like taking a mallet putter back and forward. It's very stable and feels easier to keep along the target line than other drivers. The face feels like it stays square easier throughout my swing.

Recommendation: Despite the high price tag, I am confident the Qi10 Max is a driver for any mid handicapper and any golfer struggling to keep the driver in play. TaylorMade have made a real winner especially if you feel like the club rotates too much in your hand usually.


  • Fast ball speeds with the new face
  • Aerodynamic head along the lines of the great Cobra F9 and prior SIM models
  • The crown of the club is back to classic black without grey or white alignment lines
  • The sound at impact is unique from the carbon face but very forgiving


  • Very high price
  •  Extremely fast swing speeds have been known to crack the face off

Srixon ZX5 Mk II

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

I've played 2 models of Srixon drivers, 4 sets of their irons and wedges. They are the perfect golf club for mid handicappers - solid form the tee and with superb quality materials in the irons for approach shots.

My experience with the Srixon ZX5 MK II:

  • The ball felt very soft off the club face during testing
  • I felt less twisting at impact and the face of the driver felt like a hammer nailing a nail into the back of the ball
  • My ball flight wanted to turn right to left so it could be a big help to faders of the ball
  • The club head looks massive behind the golf ball which makes the ball feel small so it's easier to hit
  • I noticed medium to high spin which is great for forgiveness

The Rebound Frame tech works like a spring inside a spring. After you make contact with the ball, the impact is absorbed in the second frame sending a rebound to transfer as much force to the club face as possible, creating maximal distance.

Recommendation: The Srixon ZX5 MKII is the best option for a mid handicapper looking for more controlled tee shots that go closer ot the fairway. You might pick up yardage but mainly is a forgiving driver to help you on mis-hits and keep the ball in playable positions more than HUGE distance.


  • Rebound technology maximizes your strike for more distance
  • Extremely large sweet spot where toe hits go almost as far as middle hits
  • No sliding weight so you know you have the only settings there are - no FOMO
  • The crown has very little detail on it, it is very classic looking


  • None

Callaway Ai Smoke Max

The best Callaway driver for mid handicappers

best looking driver for mid handicap

Callaway Ai Smoke Max

The Callaway Paradym driver is the best looking driver for mid handicap golfers and so easy to hit.

My experience with the Paradym:

  1. I found the Callaway Paradym the easiest driver to hit in the last 3 models of Callaway driver
  2. The sound is fantastic similar to the older Epic and Mavrick Callaway drivers - a verifiable THUMP
  3. Best looking driver I’ve seen in years.

I played the Callaway Epic Flash for a while so I really like Callaway drivers. The Paradym is even better than the Epic and that was a solid driver. The ball flies with a penetrating flight and much like the Ping, I feel the face turning ovr with gear effect to keep the big slices down to baby fades. It's astonishing.

Recommendation: The Paradym is quite an investment at the price so try to hit the club before deciding. The Paradym will help to straighten out your flight on slight mis-hits and poor swings. Warning: it won't work miracles but works hard to keep you in the game.


  • Large looking face at impact, showing more to the ball makes alignment easy
  • Best looking driver of the current generation of drivers
  • Solid feeling at impact much like a Stealth 2 but with the gearing effect of the Ping to straighten your shot


  • One of the priciest drivers

PXG 0811X

Craftsmanship for mid handicappers

PXG were once known as way too expensive for most people but the price is coming down and is lower than new offerings by the biggest known brands. They're also known mainly for their buttery irons and I was never convinced of their drivers which is why I have never featured them until now. 

The GEN 4 0811 range from Parsons Golf has enough space for everyone. The crown of the X slopes down to bring the center of gravity down for lower spin and more distance. 

The face of the clubs is made of a titanium alloy. That leaves enough space and weight for the three weights they put in the sole. If you move the heaviest weight to the back of the clubhead, the forgiveness improves while moving it to the front will bring the spin down even more. This will reduce forgiveness overall but may increase distance 

Moving the weight in into the heel will help you close the face quicker and help you bring the ball more toward the left instead of blocking or slicing the ball right. The fact the weights are moveable and not sliding is a big plus because sliding weights can have infinite combinations while this provides concise and clear options.

When you put the club down at address, you'll notice the silver area which is a carbon fiber coated with a thin layer of Aluminum Vapor (AV)

The aluminum panel helps to stiffen the head and direct more of the power into the clubhead instead of being absorbed into the crown.

PXG 0811 X model has the tallest face which if you read my reviews on clubs, is my favorite aspect of a driver. You can tee it high and let it fly. You don't have to worry about skying the ball with a tall face and any club that makes the ball feel smaller, instills confidence. 

This PXG 0811 X model will be the most popular in the range among most golfers. It's easily the longest in the range and sounds brilliant. I'd rate this as highly as a PING in terms of ease of hitting and sound. 


  • Well-priced and not overly expensive compared to what you may expect
  • Long and high launching with low spin but very forgiving
  • Very easy to use weight system in the sole - not sliding weights, just moveable


  • The head looks larger than it should
  • The face gets marked easily by the balls

How to pick the right driver as a mid handicap

Looks at address

This is 90% of the decision/ You first judge the driver by the looks. Does it appeal to you?

If yes, keep going. If no, put it down.

You narrow down your selection to the heads that you like the look of. If it's not a hell yes, then it's a hell no. That's how simple it is. The look of a club behind the ball either makes you 100% confident or 0%.


You narrowed it down to a few heads. When I talk about feel though, I mean how does it feel in your hands? Waggle it a few times. 

Does the driver feel good or bad? Does it feel like something you want to swing?  How does the weight of the driver feel?

If you like it, keep going. If you're less than 75% confident, get rid of it. We are eliminating the clubs we do not feel GREAT with. 

How does the strike feel?

The most important part is to hit a few balls with the driver that you like with the right shaft in. 

You will know immediately with the weight and your swing speed if the strike feels decent. We don't need perfect immediately, but you should feel a small feeling of yes or no after a few hits.

There is no objective measure here. You MUST enjoy hitting it and feel a few center strikes as you hit more balls.

Pick your favorite and take it

You went through a very feel-based process above. 

Hopefully you selected your club by watching it in the air, or seeing the stats on a Trackman. If you cannot make a decision, sleep on it and go back again. If you find you didn't like any of your final options, start the process again!

You will have your best option by the end of this process but you need to maximize the equipment with the shaft and ball to really add some value to your game. 

Shafts are important at mid handicap level

You need to know your swing speed to select the correct shaft. Your tempo also makes a difference to the shaft you choose. 

Here's a rough 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. There is a wide range of swing speeds in the mid handicap golf game. 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 online!

Carry distance depends on loft too

Loft is the 2nd most important aspect to a good driver. Less loft is less forgiving which is evidenced by how much easier it is to hit a 9 iron than a 3 iron. If you're playing a set of mid handicap designed irons, you will know exactly what I am talking about.

You swing speed needs to be high to elevate a low lofted golf club an that is why a lot of golfers try to hit the ball so hard. The loft works for you, so you just need to swing and accept the loft that your speed requires.

  • Fast swings (100 mph +) that hit the ball reliably near the fairway, your best driver is 9 degrees, up to 11 degrees loft for extra forgiveness.
  • Average swing speeds (80-95 mph) should play 10.5 to 13 degrees of loft for more carry.
  • Slower swing speeds below 85mph should use a driver with 12 to 14 degrees of loft to enjoy golf more.

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.

The golf ball improves your drives too

Paired with the right golf ball, modern drivers can add significant yardage to your long game, or even help you hit it straighter to drop from mid handicap, into the low handicap range.

Some golfers even notice 20 yard gains paired with the right ball. Try a few types of balls with your driver. You're good enough now at golf to really get a feel for what ball suits you best.

Is a mid handicapper driver fitting essential?

Whenever possible, get a fitting. You can fit it before purchasing or you can fit it retro-fitted by taking your existing driver that you really like, to a fitter. 

He can assess your swing and shots and suggest a new shaft for it.

To be honest, while the fitting is always good, most of the clubs on the rack work well as they are.

 Your swing speed probably falls within the average range for a regular, stiff regular or stiff shaft. The other factor to consider is your height. Are you below 5 foot 7 or taller than 6 foot 1? You might need a shaft different to standard.

These are all available at your local golf store. Only softer and much stronger shafts will be needed if you have a super slow or super fast swing or are not within normal height ranges.

What's the best golf driver for average golfers?

The majority of golf drivers on the market will suit average golfers, but the one which stands out above all is the Ping G425 Max. This driver has been designed specifically for the average golfer, which means it has one of the biggest sweet spots and highest MOI. This creates high launch and long distance, with plenty of forgiveness. These are features which help an intermediate golfer drop his scores. 

Conclusion: mid handicap drivers

Hands down, the best driver for mid handicap golfers is the Ping G430 Max. It's easy to hit high and straight. I play Ping and have no problems recommending it to anyone.

Thank you for reading my review of the best drivers for mid handicappers & average golfers.

Please let me know which one you go for and upfate me with your progress!

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.

Last Updated on July 13, 2024 by Matt Greene


Comments are closed