This is our review of the most forgiving drivers of 2023
I tested countless drivers for forgiveness and distance and found the TaylorMade Sim 2 Max offers the most distance, consistency, and forgiveness!
New drivers enter the market every year, and it’s hard to stay up-to-date.
Especially if you are a high handicapper and need that extra bit of forgiveness to keep the ball in play.
We tested many drivers and found the TaylorMade Sim2 Max performs the best overall. The Twist Face Technology works wonders on off-center strikes, and the low center of gravity makes for a particularly easy driver to create high, piercing ball flights.
Other drivers will help if you struggle with particular problems, such as slicing the ball or if you just need more distance off the tee.
Keep reading, and we’ll tell you more about it.
Bryson and co can’t be wrong. This driver is designed for forgiveness and distance and does both exceptionally well. It comes at a price, but Cobra, unlike certain other brands, does not release a new version every year!
All in all, the Sim 2 Max and Max D are everything you look for in a forgiving golf driver! Reliable distance off the tee! We’ve read reports of people that increased their driving distance up to 50! yards off the tee by using the Sim2 Max alone!
Cleveland’s Launcher HB has been on the market for a while, but it’s still one of the best forgiving drivers you can buy at the moment.
Especially if you’re fighting a slice!
Most Forgiving Drivers Review
We have reviewed the most forgiving drivers on the market. Here are our top pics!
TaylorMade Sim 2 Max
The big brother of the Sim Max comes in a new package and with updated tech. The Sim Max was probably one of the best golf drivers TaylorMade released, and the Sim 2 Max has delivered on our expectations. It’s a phenomenal golf driver that offers loads of forgiveness and distance!
- Forged Ring Construction
- SIM Inertia Generator
- Draw-Bias Design available
- Speed Injected Twist Face with a large sweet spot
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket Technology
- Split Mass Weighting
The forged ring construction is designed to add forgiveness to the Sim 2 Max. TaylorMade combined different materials in the construction and added a massive rear weight to the club head.
The rear weight keeps the center of gravity low, which is optimal for high-launch low-spin ball flights. Most slower swingers don’t produce enough ball speed to hit it far with a low ball flight. Launching it higher, with less spin, increases your driving distance substantially!
The TaylorMade SIM inertia generator is designed to increase your clubhead speed. A lightweight carbon sole distributes the mass for an even lower center of gravity.
Increasing your clubhead speed by merely 1 mph adds approximately 2 yards to your driving distance! Most players using the Sim 2 Max will notice an increase in the driving distance right from the first swing.
The D in the name stands for Draw-Bias. This is great if you are a slicer of the ball. Reducing side spin results in more distance. Your ball will pierce through the wind and not get caught, which increases your total driving distance.
The Twist Face Technology is a TaylorMade Sim staple! The corrective design of the clubface helps with toe and heel strikes.
If you miss it, try missing it on the toe rather than the heel. You’ll actually put draw-spin on the ball because of a gear effect and avoid big slices.
Also, the Speed Pocket is designed to improve ball speed on low face strikes. We don’t want to say it’s impossible to miss-hit this driver, but they surely packed a lot of technology in it to keep your ball flight straight!
While the TaylorMade Sim 2 Max has no adjustable weights you’ll still be able to change the loft options through their loft sleeve.
All in all, the Sim 2 Max and Max D are everything you look for in a forgiving golf driver! Reliable distance off the tee!
We’ve read reports of people that increased their driving distance up to 50! yards off the tee by using the Sim2 Max alone!
Cobra Radspeed XB
Cobra came out of the strong with this year’s lineup of drivers! The Radspeed series comes in 3 editions; Radspeed (for higher swing speeds), Radspeed XD (Draw-biased), and Radspeed XB (for forgiveness and distance). If you’re looking for a forgiving golf driver that goes far, look no further!
- 20g weight positioned at the back and 8g in the front
- CNC milled Infinity Face technology with a large sweet spot
- Thinner Carbon-Wrap Crown
- T-bar Speed Chassis
XB stands for extreme black. And looking down at this driver, you get why they called it that. The large clubhead instills confidence at the address and also looks great in your bag!
Cobra added a 20g weight at the back and an 8g weight at the front of the clubface.
The weight at the back is designed to help you launch the ball higher, with less spin. Reducing spin while increasing your launch angle will effectively increase your driving distance.
The weight at the front is also designed for distance, and both of these features do a great job in helping you increase your driving distance.
The CNC Milled Infinity Face effectively expands the sweet spot of the driver. Smartly placed reinforcements and curvatures on the clubface will perform well even if you don’t hit the center of the clubface.
I’d like to say I have no problem finding the center of the clubface consistently, but man, this driver saved me from having to re-stock on golf balls many times already!
The thinner Carbon-Wrap Crown decreases the overall weight and improves the weight distribution.
In a forgiving driver, you’re looking for a low center of gravity (CG) and more weight at the back of the club head. Without going into too much detail, this helps you launch the ball high and keep the spin rate low.
The T-Bar Chassis (Am I buying a car or what…) achieves the same result as the carbon-wrap but puts a little more weight at the front for increased distance.
Bryson and co., can’t be wrong. This driver is designed for forgiveness and distance and does both exceptionally well. It comes at a price, but Cobra, unlike certain other brands, does not release a new version every year!
Cleveland Launcher HB Draw
This driver has been on the market for a while but is still one of the best choices if you’re looking for forgiveness. I personally really like the design as it looks sleek and clean.
But besides that, the performance just speaks for itself. A great addition to the bag for anyone who swings slower and is looking for forgiveness off the tee.
- Turbocharged cup Face technology
- HiBore Crown and Ultralight Hosel
- Deep Weighting
- Counter-Balanced Shaft Design
The Turbocharged Cup Face raises the COR of the driver. COR stands for Coefficient of restitution or energy transfer. Quite the mouthful.
In laymen’s terms, it means that you’ll achieve a high ball speed on off-center strikes. This results in plenty of forgiveness and higher average ball speeds!
The HiBore Crown (where the HB get’s its name from) lowers the center of gravity for higher launch and lower spin ball flights.
For long straight drives, you want a high launch angle (around 11.5%) with a lower spin rate. The low spin rates allow your ball to pierce through the air without getting caught in the wind. While the high launch angle keeps your ball flying longer, and therefore further.
Deep heightening improves the MOI of the Launcher HB. MOI stands for moment of inertia and reflects how much hard it is for a club to twist. The higher the MOI reading, the better the forgiveness.
Higher resistance in twisting helps you keep the clubface center at impact and puts less side spin on the ball. Sidespin is usually the cause for slices and hooks.
Cleveland’s Launcher HB has been on the market for a while, but it’s still one of the best forgiving drivers you can buy at the moment. Especially if you’re fighting a slice! All features are geared towards helping slower swingers and compensating off-center strikes. With the right shaft, this is also a fantastic driver for senior golfers!
Ping G425 Max
Ping has long been known to produce excellent, forgiving drivers. The Ping G425 Max impresses with plenty of forgiveness and complete re-design of the clubface. It has a distinct sound, which we love, but others might dislike. But nobody can argue about the forgiveness on off-center hits – it’s immaculate.
- Internal Dragonfly®
- Precision Forged Face
- Internal Ribbing
- Trajectory Tuning 2.0
- Smart Grips
The Internal Dragonfly Technology consists of an ultra-thin crown and redistributes the weight in the head towards the back. This increases the MOI and optimizes the Center of Gravity (CG) to be lower.
We talked about how a high MOI reading keeps the club head stable and prevents twisting. This, coupled with the low CG of the Ping G425 Max, makes for probably one of the most forgiving drivers coming from Ping.
The Precision-Forged Face has a large sweet spot that optimized ball speed on off-center hits. You hit the ball off the toe or heel, you often lose distance, but with the Ping G425 Max, you won’t notice this as much.
The Internal Rib Structure reinforces key sections of the head for improved acoustics and fell when you hit the ball.
You might argue that this wouldn’t matter in choosing a forgiving driver, but we found that a good sound gives you instead feedback and just makes it more fun to hit it!
The Lightweight Hosel Sleeve gives you 8! different positions to customize the lie angle and loft. It’s easy to change the loft options on the fly, depending on your swing and form.
The Smart Grips are standard with this driver. The embedded sensor automatically records and analyzes every shot, and you’ll be able to view your data in the Accros Caddie App.
We love this feature and have taken many screenshots of well-hit shots to send to our friends. There is no ambiguity about how far you drive the ball, which effectively helps you with course management and club choice at the tee-box.
Ping is always a good choice when looking for forgiving drivers, and the G425 Max is no exception. It performs reliably well, looks great, and gives you that extra bit of confidence on the tee-box.
Callaway Epic Max
With the use of A.I technology, Callaway contributed an impressive piece of engineering to our review of the most forgiving drivers. And they did it well! Plenty of distance and forgiveness makes this a great choice for high handicappers and golfers who want the newest technology in their driver!
- Jailbreak A.I. Speed Frame
- A.I. Designed Flash Face
- Adjustable Perimeter Weighting
Callaway’s Jailbreak Technology has been featured in previous models as well. This year, Callaway redesigned the frame with the help of A.I and promised a stiffened body.
A stiff body immediately increases ball speed at impact as you increase the compression and MOI.
Especially for lower swing speeds, the Epic Max adds yards to your drive without changing your technique.
It still offers plenty of forgiveness, though! Mainly because of the Flash Face Design (with the help of A.I again), which corrects your shot shape on off-center hits.
The Flash Face does a great job decreasing your ball’s spin rate, even if you don’t hit the middle of the face.
Less spin means your ball flight is straighter and more penetrating. That’s great if you play in windy conditions!
Callaway saved around 19 grams of weight by combining carbon materials in the build. This makes the driver easier to swing, and the carbon is usually more forgiving than titanium!
The adjustable perimeter weighting at the back provides around 20 yards of shot shaping correction! Over are the days where you scream fore right, a second after impact. Quickly adjust the loft and lie options on the fly for added distance and accuracy off the tee box.
This driver delivers an exceptional combination of a deep CG, draw bias, and higher MOI for tighter dispersion and straighter drives.
Cobra F Max Offset
A predecessor of the Radpseed, the F Max is one of the best-looking drivers in our review. The lightweight design makes it easy to create ball speed without compromising on distance and accuracy. If you’re looking for a high level of forgiveness with a slower speed, we highly recommend the F Max.
- Light Weight Design
- Carbon Crown
- Heel-Biased weighting
- Off-Set Design
The F Max driver weighs around 50 grams less than any conventional driver. Which makes it effortless to increase your swing speed and ball speed.
The Carbon Crown is also designed to decrease the club head weight and a low center of gravity. With a low center of gravity, your ball will launch higher and have less spin.
It adds forgiveness if you hit the ball low on the face. Still, being able to launch the ball high into the air means that you’ll be driving it further, even on miss-hits.
The F Max comes in a standard and an offset version. An offset driver is draw-biased and will fight that pesky slice you might struggle with. If your natural shot shape is already a draw, an offset driver might not be the right choice for you.
The Heel-Biased Weighting adds to the draw-bias of the driver. Tactically place the weight in the driver’s head, help you close the face at impact.
Again, another feature that helps if you are fighting a slice in your game. Many high handicappers will appreciate this feature.
This driver is an excellent choice if you don’t need the newest tech but still want forgivness. The looks are amazing, and because it’s an offset driver, it might make a good choice for anyone who struggles to keep the ball straight!
How To Buy The Most Forgiving Drivers
Before you choose a driver that gives you extra forgiveness, you need to know what to look out for. Technology has developed rapidly over the years, and brands compete to produce the most forgiving driver every year.
So what exactly do you need to look for to find the most forgiving drivers on the market? Here an overview.
Look for a driver with a large clubhead. That will instill confidence off the tee, and large clubhead drivers have a bigger sweet spot.
Hitting the ball off the center of the clubface is optimal. But it’s hard… Forgiving drivers will get the ball far out there even if you hit it off the toe or heel.
Thanks to new technologies and designs that reinforce the face in different areas and provide improved launch characteristics, even on miss-hits.
The right combination of shaft and driver usually adds yards to your driver without changing your technique. There are two options, steel & graphite.
Steel shafts are heavier and best suited for faster swing speeds. They offer quick feedback at impact, and you’ll be able to feel exactly how well you stuck a ball.
Steel shafts are also harder to hit. Heavier shafts can lead to lower swing speeds if you don’t have the strength to handle them.
On the other hand, graphite shafts are lighter, and high handicappers and beginners often achieve higher swing speeds with them.
We recommend you to try graphite shafts first unless you are already a consistent hitter and have no problem finding the center of the clubface.
Lastly, you’ll have to decide what flex your shaft should have. The rule of thumb is that shafts should be stiffer the faster you swing.
You don’t get the maximum distance out of your driver if you’re fitted for a shaft that is too flexible or too stiff for you.
First, you need to know how fast you normally swing your driver. If you don’t have to access an indoor driving range that uses a launch monitor, you can use this table to figure out your swing speed with a driver.
|Club used for a 150 yards shot||Driver Club Head Speed|
|6 Iron||80 – 90 mph|
|7 Iron||95 – 100 mph|
|8 Iron||105 – 110 mph|
Now that you know your swing speed, here is a table with the recommended shaft stiffness.
|Swing Speed||Shaft Flex|
|Under 75 mph||Senior|
|Over 110 mph||Stiff or Extra Stiff|
You’ll see immediate improvements when fitted for the correct shaft!
Perimeter weighting means that the weight of the clubface is positioned around the perimeter (of confines) of the golf club instead of the center.
The opposite would be that all the weight is placed directly behind the center of the face. If you hit the club perfectly, you’d get maximum distance out of it.
If you are looking for forgiveness, you want the weight to be distributed. Perimeter weighting effectively increases the sweet spot, which compensates for not hitting the center of the clubface.
Left determines how high you’ll launch the golf ball. Drivers optimized for forgiveness have higher lofts that help you get closer to an optimal launch angle of 11.5 degrees.
In a good driver swing, we’re hitting up on the golf ball. Easier said than done. Higher lofts compensate for a swing path the is too level or steep. Getting you closer to these optimal launch conditions, even on a mishit.
Here again, the right lof for you depends on your swing speed. As a rule of thumb, the slower your swing speed, the higher the lof. We recommend a loft of 10.5 degrees for most players looking for forgiveness.
Use the table below for reference.
|Swing Speed||Recommended Loft|
|85 – 95 mph||11 – 13 degrees|
|95 – 105 mph||9 – 10.5 degrees|
|110 – 120 mph||5-9 degrees|
A golfer’s swing changes constantly. Even your swing speed varies from day to day. Being able to adjust a driver means changing the settings on the fly, depending on your current form.
You can change the loft and lie angle of the club. Note that this also affects the center of gravity and can add extra forgiveness to your driver.
Most drivers come with an adjustable loft sleeve, and the tool to access it is often included. You can adjust the driver in both ways, opening or closing the face at address. You call that a draw or fade bias, and it helps to counteract natural shot shapes and flaws in technique.
Center of Gravity
Center of gravity, or CG, refers to the spot where the clubface is perfectly in balance. Many brands make it a point to mention that their club has a low CG. That is a good feature for a drive offering forgiveness but how does it affect the ball flight?
CG closer to the face of the club = Lower launch and more spin. Makes drivers less forgiving
CG closer to the back of the face = Higher launch, less spin. Makes drivers more forgiving
CG closer to the top of the club = Lowerlaunch, less spin. Makes drivers less forgiving
CG closer to the bottom of the club = Higher launch, less spin. Makes drivers more forgiving
There it is, exactly what we want! A center of gravity near the bottom of the club has proven most effective for almost any golfer!
Your golf ball travels the furthest if you create a high launch with a lower spin rate. Look for a Center of Gravity that is closer to the club’s bottom when picking a forgiving golf driver!
In a forgiving golf driver, you’re looking to create high ball speed even if you don’t hit the middle of the clubface.
Taylormade’s Twist Face Technology or Cobras Infinity Face are all designed to offer you max distance and forgiveness with off center strikes.
This is achieved by angulating and reinforcing the clubface in key areas. These correct the flight of your golf ball, depending on where you hit it.
Not a technicality, but it matters! It’s important you like the looks of your driver when you look down on it at the address.
That inspires confidence and commitment. In golf, anything below 100% commitment is the same as 0% commitment.
As in real life, looks are subjective. As long as you like it, you’re good to go.
The prices of drivers have increased a lot over the years. And brands aren’t sleeping! We get new models almost every year, with minor improvements and tweaks!
If you’re a beginner, you might opt to buy a second-hand model or model from last year instead.
If you have the budget, the driver is probably the most used club after your putter. It’s also shown that more yards off the tee box directly improves your game and correlate with scores for beginners.
The confidence of knowing you have a forgiving driver in your hands can be worth the extra money for some people.
Hands down, the Taylormade Sim 2 Max is the most forgiving driver on the market!
With the launch of the Sim Max, Taylormade had raised the bar when it comes to forgiving golf drivers. This version comes with various updates and minor improvements. If you already game the Sim Max Driver, you don’t necessarily need to upgrade. But otherwise, this is the best there is.