If you thought that you had to spend a fortune to get a good driver, then you are wrong. Clearly more expensive drivers will tend to have additional features and technology contained within them, but not everyone is going to want to spend a fortune.
After all, if you are simply starting out on your golf journey, then do you want to break the bank to get a quality driver? Absolutely not, and that is where you need to consider spending under $200 to get something that will satisfy all of your needs and requirements.
So, that is what we will focus on here. Each driver you see listed below is available for under $200, and yet it is still more than capable of performing to a high level.
1. Best for Forgiveness - Cleveland Launcher HB
Available in different loft degrees
Available in three different flexes
Comes with turbocharged face for added speed and power
Low CoG for optimum launch angle
Deep weighting for more speed
The Cleveland Launcher HB driver is an amazing club to have in your bag simply because it will push your drive to new distances by helping you get the best launch angle while also factoring in a whole lot of forgiveness.
The key here is the club allows you to really let go with your drives, and the way it enhances speed and energy does mean the drive will reach new distances. Add in the size of the sweet spot, and this club will help you out even if you do hit off the middle of the face.
You will also encounter a number of options when it comes to this club. Not only does it have different degrees of loft, but having different flexes will also make a difference.
That does mean you will have no difficulty getting the ball up into the air. Add in the deep weighting that comes in the head, and you will quickly discover that this club makes it easier to hit the ball, and to get a pretty good connection as well.
Ultimately, this club is all about speed, hitting long, and allowing you to relax into the shot knowing it will help keep your drive on the straight and narrow.
This club keeps things nice and simple, and the entire aim is to help you to connect with the ball, and send it down the fairway.
It does this with ease, unless you hit a real wayward shot, but the sound it makes won’t fill you with confidence in your shot. That kind of thing can dent your ability to really let go, so it loses part of a mark thanks to that reason.
2. Best for Speed - Mazel Z35
Lightweight adding a whole lot of speed to the drive
Available in different flexes
Cup face design for added speed and forgiveness
Massive sweet spot
If you are wary about really letting go with your driver, then you will be losing out on distance. However, this Mazel driver seeks to counteract that by increasing speed thanks to reducing weight, and also reducing the amount of energy lost through the shot.
It still comes with the maximum 460cc head, but the cup face design is where it really makes a difference.
The face comes with a massive sweet spot, so you should also be capable of getting the maximum distance no matter where you make contact on the face.
Also, it comes with a high rebound, and that means less energy is lost between club and ball, so you have faster speeds, and even greater distances.
Overall, this driver is going to help you add a few yards to your drive, but the fact it allows you to make contact with almost any part of the face, and not suffer, is a huge bonus.
If you feel that you struggle with your swing speed, or losing power through mishits, then this driver could counteract those issues with some ease. It will lift that speed quite considerably, and the results will often be relatively positive.
However, it’s not as well balanced as other options, and the noise it makes is not the best, so it does need to lose some marks simply because of its very basic approach.
3. Best for Power - Tour Edge Bazooka Driver
Designed for absolute power off the tee
460cc head included
Delivers high ball flight off the tee
Offers accuracy and precision driving
Lightweight for added speed
The Tour Edge Bazooka driver may not be the most visually appealing of clubs, but there’s little doubting its effectiveness off the tee.
This driver really does go big on power, and it pushes the limits as to what is allowed from a driver.
It comes with a 460cc titanium head, and that’s as big as you can get, legally at least, but that’s not all. Instead, it also shaves some weight off via its variable face technology, so you don’t have the same thickness across the entire driver.
Speaking of the variable face technology, this will help you out when it comes to hitting those long tee shots. It adds in some extra forgiveness as well, and that’s not exactly a bad thing with any driver.
Overall though, this driver is all about getting as much power out of the shot as possible.
This driver goes for one thing, and one thing only which is power. It tries to push your drive as fat as possible, and it’s something that it will achieve.
However, there is a bit of a risk of losing some control over your drives with this club, and that is why it loses some marks.
4. Best Offset - PGX Offset Golf Driver
Comes wtih 10.5 degrees of loft
Contains anti-slice technology
Graphite shaft included
Lightweight for increased speed and power
Comes with standard grip
The best thing about this PGX offset driver is the fact that it focuses almost entirely on getting you to stop slicing your drives, and making sure you land on the fairway.
This is huge because it’s pretty obvious that a lot of people starting out in the game will pull or slice their drive, so having a club that counteracts this can make a massive difference to your game.
This club is all about pulling those shots back by squaring up the face to stop you from sending the ball way off line by hitting off the edge of the face. That also means it’s highly forgiving, and the sweet spot covers pretty much the entire face.
But that’s not all it does.
This club is also lightweight, and is accompanied by a graphite shaft to reduce the weight even more. That does mean it’s going to swing with ease, and if you are short on speed and power, then this club could very well make a bit of a difference to you.
Overall, this driver is designed to help with one very specific point, and that’s slicing off the tee. However, as this is a common event for people starting out, then a driver for under $200 that helps to correct the problem is a huge advantage.
But if you don’t struggle with a slice, then this driver will destroy your game, so care has to be taken and that’s why it loses some marks.
5. Best for Absolute Beginners - Tour Edge Hot Launch HL4
Available in both regular and stiff flex
Available in two different degrees of loft
Deep cup face design for added speed
Lower CoG for better ball flight
This driver by Tour Edge is another fantastic example of what is possible even on a budget. It comes with limited technology incorporated into the club, but it does boost both speed and power in an instant.
The aim of this driver is to help you get the ball up into the air, and it partly achieves this via a lower CoG and a high MOI. That is going to push the ball up off the tee and yet, at the same time, not giving too much height that it then leads to you losing some distance.
Of course, power is another huge thing when it comes to distance, and the deep cup face design is intended to stop you losing some of that energy at the point of contact. This also increases the level of flex off the face, and that will also increase speed at the same time.
As more of a beginner driver, the sweet spot is absolutely perfect on this model, and it is certainly going to be forgiving enough for anybody hitting off the edge of the face instead of in at the heart. That means you can let go with this club and it should help you out to a certain extent.
Overall, it’s impressive enough, and it still comes in at just under $200, which is always an added bonus.
This club covers the basics, and it’s something that it does pretty well. It certainly won’t let you down on the tee, but don’t expect it to do too much apart from getting you to hit better off the tee.
Ultimately, it may be a bit harder to control the ball with this driver, and the sound is not going to fill you with confidence, so that is why it loses part of a mark.
What to Look For In a Cheap Driver
So, you plan on spending less than $200 on a driver, and while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, it does mean you need to be aware of what you are getting yourself into.
What this means is you must understand what you should expect from this type of driver. Yes, you might not be spending a whole lot of money on it, but you still want it to be capable of performing to the best of its ability.
So, this is what you need to be looking out for.
Its Main Strengths
These drivers will tend to focus in key areas as the manufacturer will be aware that most people looking to spend as little as possible on a driver will be in the early days of their love affair with golf.
That is why you need to identify the main strengths associated with any particular driver.
For most, it’s going to often focus on the distance you can achieve with the club followed by how forgiving it will be off the tee. Remember, those are two areas where people will generally struggle, so having a driver that counteracts those issues is a huge deal.
Ignore the Technology
Fitting in somewhat with the strengths idea, you should not pay as much attention to the potential technology contained within the driver. Now, clubs around this price bracket will generally be going pretty light on technology anyway, but ignore most of what is said.
All you need to understand is the basic concept of what the driver is going to do for you, and whether or not it works. Don’t be tied down to details about MOI or CoG. Just know if the club performs in the way you hope.
How it Fits with Your Game
Look at the flex options that come with each driver, and also examine the degree of loft that comes with it.
Now, you won’t be able to get a driver that allows you to change the weight distribution or do any of those fancy things, but that’s not a bad thing.
However, looking at the flex and loft are two key areas, but it’s only key when it goes ahead and fits in with your own particular game.
Covering Speed, Precision, and Power
But here is a final major thing to think about when looking at only spending in the vicinity of $200 on a driver.
When starting out with golf, you worry about letting go with your shots and putting as much power as possible into your swing. The tension in your shoulders will mean you don’t swing right, and you will either pull or slice your shots.
These drivers are designed to deal with these issues. Each one listed above is going to focus on speed, precision, and power since those are the areas where people tend to be lacking.
But while those things will help, you also need to be aware of one other important area, and that is how forgiving the club is through the shot. You don’t want to be generating more speed and power only to then find out that the club kills you when you have a mishit.
The sweet spot on these drivers should pretty much cover the entire face. That means they will forgive you as much as possible even when you hit off the edge.
Ultimately, it’s a balance between what you are good at, what you need corrected, and how the club can enhance your game.
What to Avoid
When looking for a driver under this price, then you need to also be aware of what to avoid.
This will often focus more on your current game and where you are running into problems. Take the PGX driver as an example.
That driver is designed to help people who tend to slice the ball off the tee. If you don’t slice the ball, then all this driver will do is turn a reasonable drive into something that is being pulled.
The same can be said if you have a fast swing speed. The last thing you need is a driver that is designed to help boost swing speeds to generate more power.
If this is the case, then a driver that is lightweight and offers faster speeds will only lead to you basically losing some control over your shots, and that’s not something that you want to happen.
A driver, even at this type of price range, should enhance what you are good at, and seek to counteract whatever you are struggling with. Anything else is just not that important.
But Does Cheap Equal Bad?
But you are probably wondering if a cheap driver, or a budget one if you would prefer, is going to equal a bad club? Well, that is not necessarily the case.
What you need to remember is that you will pay a premium for a certain name. Also, the more technology contained within a club, then the more you will be paying to have it in your bag.
A budget driver is not going to be offering you the finer aspects of a driver that is priced at well over $200. However, here’s the point you need to remember.
These drivers still have a number of positives associated with them. By keeping things simple, it allows you to just get used to hitting the ball off the tee, and perhaps gaining some distance on your shots as well.
That is not a bad thing. It is not a bad thing if it allows you to focus more on other parts of your game knowing a driver is going to be helping you out a bit.
So don’t be put off by spending under $200 on a brand new driver. Odds are it will work out as a real positive event for you.
While each driver listed above is going to help your game, and do so without breaking the bank, the best driver, in our opinion, is the Tour Edge HL-4.
It keeps things nice and simple while adding distance and power to your game. It doesn’t seek to complicate matters, and yet it delivers on some of the key areas that people starting out in the game will be looking for.
That driver aside, we also feel the PGX Offset driver is another excellent club if you are struggling with a slice. If this is the case, then you should see a significant difference to the outcome of your shots simply because of how this driver operates.