TaylorMade produce the most popular drivers on tour. In the age of hybrid club deals, where professional golfers can pick and choose what golf clubs go into their bag from any manufacturer, TaylorMade regularly come out as favourites.
For starters they are constantly innovating and adding new tech to their lineup, and their products offer a nearly infinite level of adjustability.
But what is the most forgiving TaylorMade driver? Are they suitable for players of all skill levels? Let’s take a look at some of their golf drivers and see.
Most Forgiving TaylorMade Driver
Impressive ball speeds and forgiveness
The new STEALTH from TaylorMade looks pretty much like a TaylorMade SIM MAX or SIM 2 MAX but with some subtle but significant differences. The sole has been simplified and the new colors are red and black, like they were in the M range of TaylorMade clubs.
The black finish with matte crown makes this club look really neat and compact behind the ball. The first thing you notice about this new STEALTH driver is the depth of the face. Yes the face is red, but honestly, it's way less bright than the promo photos you will have seen of this club. Also, unless you're playing a super high lifted version with the face wide open, you won't even see much of the face at address.
The club looks the same size as the SIM 2, so how did TaylorMade manage to make the face deeper and more forgiving? The answer is in the new lightweight carbon material the face is made from. This weight saving mean there can be more material put into he face without making the driver illegal. The new carbon fiber face also makes it feel like golf balls explode off the club, it's a great feeling!
Site contributor Joe hit the STEALTH at the Belfry in the UK with the stock Project X Smoke shaft and was blown away by how easy it was to hit. He had the Cobra F Max in his bag and was struggling with hitting the ball high in the face. The deeper face of the STEALTH turned those hits into centre strikes out of the sweet spot with the same swing and tee height. He also noticed in increase in clubhead speed. It was like cheating. He now has the club on order.
Definitely the most forgiving TaylorMade golf driver the OEM has ever produced.
Best golf driver for eliminating a slice
Now an older model, the TaylorMade SIM max driver straight out the gate impressed with the matte color charcoal gray crown. The muted gray top line looks so much sleeker and BOSS than the chunkier versions found on the older models.
Inertia Generator is the name they gave to the bulky thing in the back. You have to see it from the rear to fully FEEL it. When you see someone else holding the club behind the ball, you automatically get a feeling of power. It almost looks like a jet exhaust on a fighter plane. What it means is that when you get to hit with the club, that vision of power is in your mind.
That's the mental, but the physical is that it's supposed to reduce drag on your down swing. Whether that works or not, nothing takes away from the immensely powerful figure it creates behind the ball. I also felt like this feature helped me feel where the sweet spot was in my swing, allowing me to just grip it and rip it.
If you have ever hit a TaylorMade driver, this is much the same as the prior models. I see no difference in performance on the golf course other than the confidence that the underside of the club gave me. Truly, that mental improvement alone is worth the money involved for a potential upgrade.
Best driver for slow swing speeds
The TaylorMade Gloire line of clubs was specifically created for Asian markets and released in 2012. Don't ask me how to pronounce it. This is some fandangled language!
These clubs are expensive, but they do contain features which aren’t found in the standard TaylorMade models. This Gloire driver is straight point and shoot. There's no fiddling with weights or shaft options for changing the lofts. The low centre of gravity in this model will suit players with slower swing speeds who struggle to get the ball airborne.
You'll find the same Speed Slot and Twist Face in the Gloire series but there is no Inertia Generator as found in the latest STEALTH and SIM models. In terms of looks this club most closely resembles the excellent M4 driver and might remind some players of the legendary TaylorMade RBZ. As the Gloire is a premium line, you can be sure that each golf club has been built to the highest standards.
If you want to stand out from the crowd and add some distance to your drives, this is the club for you, especially if you have a steady or slower swing speed.
I played this driver for some time on my channel and I loved it. But like all drivers, I moved onto another model. During its time on my channel, I hit some big dogs with it. It's a good driver.
The weight adjustment is useful as you can control the flight left and right and up and down. The only negative is this thing gets FULL of turf after a round of golf.
Once you have your settings dialed in, don't mess around with them both on the shaft and on the bottom of the club with the weights. The Speed Slot and Twist Face are still major features of this club. For the M5 and M6 they added speed foam into the face to take it past legal limits, then bring it back(?).
If you're in the market for a more budget friendly option, this one will be like a much cheaper STEALTH HD. The reason I would go for the STEALTH HD always is purely because of the sole design. The STEALTH gives me so much confidence because of that.
But if you like a solid, no frills looking driver, the M5 is a delicious piece of machinery available at bargain prices.
What makes a driver forgiving?
If you are looking to buy a forgiving new driver it can be a bit intimidating, especially if you're a beginner. There are so many brands, features and options to navigate.
What we want to focus on is choosing the club which has the most forgiving features - designed to reduce bad shots. Golf brands want to sell their clubs to as many players as possible. To do this they have designed drivers which are easy to hit, promote straight shots, and make the game more fun to play.
Drivers used to made from materials like persimmon and steel. Their shafts were very heavy and heads very small. With the introduction of new compounds like titanium and carbon fiber, manufactures could make bigger, easier to hit heads. Now big drives were an option for everyone! Here's an in depth look at some of the common terms associated with driver forgiveness.
Moment of Inertia
MoI increases the forgiveness of a driver through perimeter weighting. It means that any off center hits are less likely to twist the face and cause a drive to go wildly offline. The higher the MOI the more forgiving the club head. An increase in MoI will also lead to a larger sweet spot. All of this should lead to a good shot being the outcome.
Forgiving drivers will give you the ability to get he ball into the air more easily. For higher handicap golfers with moderate swing speeds, we want the golf ball to be in the air for as long at possible. This will give it the best chance to fly as far as possible.
Increasing your launch angle will increase forgiveness but it has to be combined with a positive attack angle. Here, we are trying to reduce excessive spin which will prevent roll out on drives.
If you want forgiveness in a driver, forget anything below 11 degrees of loft. Yes there will be exceptions to this rule, but the average player won't be able to successfully hit an 8 degree driver. You need the optimum loft for your swing speed and face delivery. The lower the loft, the harder it will be to square up the face at impact.
Ever hit a low drive which falls out of the sky quickly? Check your loft! You may be playing with a driver which has far too little loft for you. If in doubt, go and see a PGA professional or qualified club fitter and hit some balls with a different driver. If you take one thing away from this guide, playing the correct loft should be it.
I would approach adjustable drivers with caution BUT they can give you options to increase forgiveness. The weights and loft can be adjusted to adapt to your game as it changes. I would always suggest getting a club fitter or PGA pro to make adjustments. Then put the wrench away!
I saw a professional fitter and he moved the weights in my TaylorMade driver into the back and perimeter of the club head. This immediately created a more forgiving ball flight. May people have the weights too close to the club face to chase "low spin." This concept has become an obsession with the industry but it is completely misunderstood. Lowering spin on drives can help to keep them straight and add roll out, but spin is what gets the ball into the air. We need to find the optimum position of the weights in our club, combined with the correct loft to give us our desired launch conditions.
Center of Gravity
This can get really confusing but let's try and simplify this concept. For a driver to be forgiving, the club's centre of gravity (CoG) and sweet spot needs to be low and back in the driver head. This means that the club is doing everything it can to promote a higher launch angle and positive angle of attack.
As we have seen with the above points, these are essential to hitting better drives which go higher and farther.
Shaft flex and material
This is another key feature for a forgiving driver but be very careful. Shafts can become a rabbit hole which we can fall into and never come out of.
As a rule of thumb, the slower the swing, the more flexible the shaft needs to be. The idea here is that we want the shaft to help us square the club face up at impact. If you swing slow with a very stiff shaft, you will have to time every part of the club's delivery perfectly to make pure contact with the ball.
Shafts marked, A, R or Lite will be the most forgiving for the vast majority of golfers. All of the main brands will provide these options with their clubs.
It's really not a thing these days, but avoid steel shafts in your woods. Some better players may put them in (rarely) for their own reasons but we need the help provided by modern multi material golf shafts.
Overall TaylorMade makes very forgiving drivers. You can't really go wrong with any that have been made in the last 4-5 years. If you're trying to break 100 or 90, these could be the drivers to but in your golf bag.
The Gloire is great golf club for slow speeds, and any of the others are great for every speed, depending on the shaft you use and if it's right for your swing.
The additional settings on the lie and loft as well as the weights under the club should be set up with a club fitter or a PGA professional and from there, you really can't go wrong. As always, give your golf equipment the attention it deserves.
If you're looking for a forgiving driver and you have any doubt in your mind, get the new STEALTH big stick, it really does live up to the hype.