Most Forgiving Drivers 2024: The top fairway finders backed by our Head-to-Head data

What are the most forgiving golf drivers in 2024? Today’s Golfer runs the numbers and reveals the ‘tightest off the tee’ to give your off-center strikes a fighting chance.

Most Forgiving Drivers – Jump To:

It’s easy to be seduced by distance when choosing the best golf driver for your game, but it’s important to remember that nobody rips their driver out the middle of the face every time – not even the pros! Consider forgiveness as a ‘built-in damage limiter’, keeping off-center strikes flying straighter and longer than they truly deserve.

Whether you’re prone to striking out the toe, closer to the heel, or like to make full use of the face across your round – considering the type of forgiveness best suited to your game is arguably the most important decision to make. Just because we’ve categorized the models below as ‘forgiving’ is not to say they all perform the same function. Some are draw-biased drivers to help correct a slice, some prioritize launch characteristics and ball speed to preserve carry distance, while others load weight in the back of the clubhead to encourage stability through impact. The technology incorporated into every driver varies, and identifying the best tools to end your typical tee-box tantrums is vital.

Best At A Glance:

Best for ‘carry drop-off’ performance: TaylorMade Qi10 Max | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Best for ball speed: Ping G430 Max 10K | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

Best for distance with forgiveness: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max | Buy Now – US | Buy Now – UK

The most forgiving drivers are not exclusively for beginners and high-handicap golfers either. Engineers recognize that competent club golfers with above-average swing speeds are looking for an optimal balance of forgiveness and distance, ensuring they can maintain ball speed while layering on some insurance in the form of tighter dispersion. You only have to look at the taglines from the latest driver launches to see that forgiveness is the name of the game in 2024, irrespective of playing ability.

Don’t overly worry about understanding every piece of technical jargon that’s banded about either, as reading the manufacturer’s claims will have you believe the club will swing itself too! One important term to be aware of, however, is MOI – Moment of Inertia. It provides a quantitative measure of how much resistance the clubhead has to twist during impact. We elaborate more in our buying guide but be aware that the higher this number, the more stable the driver is considered to be and the more assistance your clubhead will have staying aligned to the target through contact.

Callaway Paradym Ai One Smoke driver face

To help you make the most informed buying decision we have independently tested the drivers considered to be ‘most forgiving’ by their manufacturers in 2024. Our test pro’s results can be viewed in the data table, which has narrowed down our shortlist below, where you can read driver summaries from TG’s Equipment Editor – Simon Daddow, with links to full reviews for everything you need to know. And if your looking to keep the forgiveness rolling down the bag, then be sure to check out our most forgiving irons page too.

Most Forgiving Drivers 2024:

TaylorMade's most forgiving driver to date is the complete package.

Thanks to a bigger profile, larger carbon fiber crown, and extreme weighting, the TaylorMade Qi10 Max driver offers a huge 10K MOI without compromising on ball speed. It's the company's biggest MOI gain since the original Burner 44 years ago. The Qi name is an amalgamation of the brand’s ‘Quest for Inertia’ and hitting the ‘10K’ barrier. An idea spurned by the company’s quest to produce the world’s most forgiving driver, without compromising on speed.

In the hands of our test pro, the Qi10 Max produced a ball speed comfortably above our forgiving driver test average. It was also within 2 yards of our very longest driver (with a stock shaft) for carry distance. Numbers that could easily be reversed on another day’s testing. Throw in a 2nd tightest shot area (dispersion) and you have a powerful and incredibly accurate TaylorMade driver on your hands. In my eyes, and based on our test data, as a golfer who’s never played a TaylorMade driver before, the Qi10 Max is one of the best big dogs available in 2024.

TG Test Pro Data (8.5°, Diamana X shaft):
Ball Speed: 162.4 mph | Backspin: 2201 rpm | Carry: 270 yds | Shot Area: 337.5 yds2

Read our full TaylorMade Qi10 Max driver review.

Pros

  • Finally a super forgiving TaylorMade driver.
  • The bigger profile is confidence inspiring at address.
  • The extreme shape and weighting might mean you can use a little less loft to get more ball speed.

Cons

  • I honestly don't see any.
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12°
Stock shafts Speeder NX TCS (High Launch), Mitsubishi Diamana T+60 (Mid-Launch).
Stock grip Golf Pride Z-Grip Plus 2 (52g).

Ping's G430 MAX 10K pushes driver forgiveness to the absolute limit.

The 10K is Ping’s straightest and highest MOI driver to date, surpassing the 10,000 g-cm2 combined moment of inertia threshold first exceeded by the popular G400 MAX in 2018. The addition of a carbon fiber crown that wraps over onto the skirt has allowed Ping’s engineers to free up a decent amount of inefficient weight to further bolster MOI numbers.

For our test pro Neil Wain the 10K wasn’t quite his fastest or longest driver of 2024, as we’d expect of a super-forgiving driver. But, posting a carry distance just 4 yards back from the very longest  (with a stock shaft), whilst being the most forgiving driver on the market (along with the TaylorMade Qi10 MAX) is a truly first-class performance. No matter what level you’re at, if you put a premium on finding the fairway and plan on buying a new driver in 2024, you’re doing your game a disservice if you don’t at least have this model on your shortlist to try.   

TG Test Pro Data (9°):
Ball Speed: 163.1 mph | Backspin: 1993 rpm | Carry: 270 yds | Shot Area: 542.4 yds2

Read our full Ping G430 MAX 10K driver review.

Pros

  • You'll struggle to find a more forgiving driver.
  • Suited to a wide range of golfers.
  • Ping's first proper mass-market carbon crown driver, fill your boots while you can.

Cons

  • Some will complain about the louder sound, I say don't let it put you off.
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12°
Stock shafts PING’s ALTA CB line, Tour 2.0 Chrome, Tour 2.0 Black. <br>Third-party: HRDUS Smoke Red RDX, Mitsubishi Kai’li White.
Stock grip Golf Pride Tour Velvet.

A sweeter performance no matter where shots hit the face.

The Max is Callaway's core Ai-Smoke model. It’s the most forgiving of the family thanks to an Ai-inspired Smart Face design packed with technology, and will likely outstrip all the others put together in terms of sales. The Max is the only one of the four new drivers to have an adjustable sole weight, mass which will help golfers dial in a preferred shot shape.

At 272 yards the Max was our test pro's longest-carrying forgiving driver of 2024 (with and without a non-stock shaft). Unexpectedly this model (with the stock Tensei Blue shaft) also gave our test pro his tightest shot area across two test days. With shots being grouped into an area 37.6% smaller than our second-placed driver (the TaylorMade Qi10 Max) and 61.8% tighter than the test average. Just bear in mind though that dispersion figures usually change from session to session, so we can't say this model will necessarily be more accurate on the golf course over a season than a 10K MOI driver.

TG Test Pro Data (Tensei S shaft):
Ball Speed: 161.5 mph | Backspin: 2212 rpm | Carry: 272 yds | Shot Area: 210.6 yds2

Read our full Callaway Paradym Ai-Smoke Max driver review.

Pros

  • The new Smart Face concept is a really clever idea to tailor a driver more to your game.
  • With four models to choose between, there's a driver solution in the Ai-Smoke family for everyone.
  • These are good-looking, fast, and lovely-sounding drivers.

Cons

  • These are some of the most costly drivers on the market.
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12°
Stock shafts Project X Cypher 2.0 (high launch), Mitsubishi, Tensei AV Blue (mid launch), Project X Denali Black (low launch).
Stock grip Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360.

High launching with maximum forgiveness and draw-biased control.

The Darkspeed Max will be challenging the most forgiving drivers and best draw drivers on the market in 2024 – even though it doesn’t have an MOI touching the magical five figures. The A.I. designed H.O.T. Face helps deliver more efficient speed and spin across the clubface thanks to the 15 different hot spots situated across the face which is 13% larger than its predecessor - the AeroJet Max, improving flexibility to deliver more robust launch conditions.

At 265 yards the Darkspeed Max was 10 yards short of our test pro's longest drives on test. It did however come out on top for launch angle and ranked third-lowest for dispersion. If you’re a golfer playing with a predominant fade or slice then the Darkspeed Max should be on your radar with its two interchangeable weights that can be moved to generate a higher ball flight or a more draw-biased flight shape.

TG Test Pro Data (Back Weight):
Ball Speed: 161.0 mph | Backspin: 2375 rpm | Carry: 268 yds | Shot Area: 370.8 yds2

Read our full Cobra Darkspeed Max driver review.

Pros

  • Incredibly soft and responsive feel off the face 
  • Fantastic workability thanks to MyFly adjustability and interchangeable weights
  • Outstanding aesthetics - looks great in the bag and behind the ball
  • Makes a very sweet sound 
  • Quality stock shaft offerings

Cons

  • Is built to help hit a draw - despite being the most forgiving driver head, if you already hit a draw or hook this won't work for you
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12°
Stock shafts Project X HZRDUS CB Red, UST Mamiya LIN-Q M40X Red.
Stock grip Lamkin Crossline.

Perhaps the best value long-forgiving driver of 2024.

Designed specifically with avid club golfers in mind, the XL2 offers a lot of bang for your buck. Its optimal performance lies within its MainFrame XL Face technology, driven by AI to create a variable-thickness face design that reshapes and enlarges the sweet spot. The net effect is an improved energy transfer that delivers powerful ball speeds for maximum distance.

Up there at 272 yards carry distance it’s the longest forgiving driver (tied with the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max) our test pro hit this year, producing the 3rd fastest ball speeds. The XL2 flighted shots lower and with less spin than our test averages, hitting the ground at a shallower angle and running further. Not bad traits, although average swing-speed players may benefit from more spin to keep the ball in the air longer to help carry.

TG Test Pro Data:
Ball Speed: 162.6 mph | Backspin: 2033 rpm | Carry: 272 yds | Shot Area: 384.0 yds2

Read our full Cleveland Launcher XL2 driver review.

Pros

  • Lots of driver for the money.
  • Designed for club golfers and very forgiving.
  • Great looking head shape. 
  • It's long! 

Cons

  • You won't see it played on Tour.
Lofts 9° / 10.5° / 12°
Stock shafts Mitsubishi Tensei AV Series Blue, Aldila Ascent PL 40 (XL2 Draw)
Stock grip Lamkin Crossline 360.

A maximum-performance driver offering high speed and stability.

The Titleist TSR2 launched in the fall of 2022, and until replaced later in 2024, remains a credible alternative in this most forgiving category of drivers. The TSR2 is a maximum-performance, high-speed driver that has recently been in the bags of Jordan Spieth, Ludvig Aberg, and Cameron Young. Improved aerodynamics make TSR2 faster through the air than its TSi2 predecessor, and a reimagined look and redesigned toe shape to improve the face angle at address.

In both our 2023 and 2024 testing, the TSR2 performed well in almost every single metric with ball speed (161 mph) and carry distance (271 yards) being right up there with the fastest and longest models hit by our test pro. Its consistent downfall though is the wider dispersion than our test averages (see data table). For this reason, those looking for competitive levels of forgiveness from a Titleist model may want to hold fire and see what 2024 brings.

TG Test Pro Data (10°, Tensei Blue S shaft):
Ball Speed: 161.1 mph | Backspin: 2266 rpm | Carry: 271 yds | Shot Area: 792.3 yds2

Read our full Titleist TSR2 driver review.

Pros

  • One of the longest in this category.
  • Aerodynamic and fast through the air.
  • Beautiful looking driver.
  • A popular model with tour pros.

Cons

  • Dispersion is typically wider than our test average.
Lofts 8° / 9° / 10° / 11°
Stock shafts HZRDUS Red CB, TENSEI AV Blue with Xlink Tech, HZRDUS Black 4G, TENSEI 1K Black.
Stock grip Golf Pride 360.

Maximum forgiveness without sacrifices for all abilities.

Taking over from their breakthrough 0311 GEN6 drivers are PXG's 0311 Black Ops driver and Black Ops Tour-1 driver (for high-level players). A new lightweight and high-strength carbon fiber construction has allowed PXG to optimize weight distribution in the driver by pushing mass towards the extreme perimeter of the clubhead, nudging MOI close to 10,000 g/cm2. As per the GEN6 models, Black Ops drivers present three weight ports that are interchangeable to support preferred spin and shape.

With CG now able to sit lower and further back, engineers have been able to create a high launch angle and low spin rate combination that reportedly delivers increased distance performance and forgiveness. We've yet to get Black Ops in the hands of our test pro, but from our initial hit-out in PXG's London South simulator, the driver appears to deliver on its high launch-low spin promise, producing competitive ball speeds and most importantly, tightening dispersion.

Read our full PXG 0311 Black Ops driver review.

Pros

  • PXG Black Ops drivers look the business, sound explosive, and feel exceptional.
  • The unique high launch and low spinning combination is highly appealing.
  • There's a good selection of stock shafts plus lots of premium upgrade choices.
  • PXG's weight and length fitting capability is second to none.

Cons

  • Keep an eye on the PXG website as prices can fluctuate regularly.
Lofts 8° / 9° / 10.5° / 12.5°
Stock shafts A range of premium shaft options are available.
Stock grip PXG Z5 Black as standard.

A great all-round driver from 2023 that will suit a wide selection of golfers.

With an MOI of more than 10,000, the G430 MAX builds on the marque’s legacy by harnessing supreme forgiveness and teaming it with a much more pleasing impact sound than the previous G425, the result of the MAX having a new internal rib structure. It's a brilliant driver option for a wide audience of golfers. A lower-launch Tour 2.0 Black shaft is good for higher-speed players, while a lighter High Launch set-up will optimize ball flight for sub 85mph swing speed players.

Its excellent all-round performance during our 2023 testing justified throwing it into the mix with 2024's releases, and it didn't disappoint. It was just a single yard back from the very longest once again and only 0.3 mph shy on ball speed compared to the fastest - its successor, the Ping G430 MAX 10K. The 2023 MAX didn’t produce the tightest dispersion numbers (experience says results are influenced more by tester than club), but remained tighter than our test average. All things considered, and particularly if you can pick it up at a reduced price, the G430 MAX is absolutely worth considering in 2024.

TG Test Pro Data:
Ball Speed: 162.8 mph | Backspin: 2397 rpm | Carry: 271 yds | Shot Area: 509.0 yds2

Read our full Ping G430 MAX driver review.

Pros

  • Huge amounts of forgiveness. 
  • The 25g backweight gives a good degree of shot shape adjustability. 
  • A new lighter High Launch setup is brilliant for slower-speed players.  

Cons

  • Not huge amounts of premium after-market shaft options.  
Lofts 9 ° / 10.5 °/ 12 °
Stock shafts Alta CB Black, Ping Tour 2.0 Chrome, Ping Tour 2.0, Alta Quick.
Stock grip Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360.

Most Forgiving Drivers 2024: The Data

Below is the data from our independent testing of the most forgiving drivers available in 2024. Only the best ranked for dispersion (shot area) have made our shortlist above, however, you can read about all the other models in our golf club review pages.

DriverBall SpeedLaunch AngleBackspinHeightDescent AngleCarry DistanceShot Area
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max
(Ventus Blue S)
161 MPH11.9º2246 RPM34 YDS38.6º275 YDS (1)406.8 SQYDS
Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Max (Tensei S)161.5 MPH11.4º2212 RPM32 YDS37.9º272 YDS (T2)210.6 SQ YDS (1)
Cleveland Launcher XL 2162.6 MPH9.3º2033 RPM25
YDS
31.4º272 YDS (T2)384 SQ YDS
Ping G430 Max162.8 MPH10.2º2397 RPM31
YDS
37.4º271 YDS509 SQ YDS
Titleist TSR 2
(10º Tensei Blue S)
161.1 MPH10.3º2266 RPM29 YDS35.7º271 YDS792.3 SQ YDS
TaylorMade Qi10 Max (8.5º Diamana X)162.4 MPH9.6º2201 RPM27 YDS34º270 YDS337.5 SQ YDS (2)
Ping G430 Max 10K (9º)163.1 MPH1993 RPM23 YDS30.1º270 YDS542.4 SQ YDS
Cobra Darkspeed X (Front Weight)161.6 MPH9.7º2161
RPM
27 YDS33.7º270 YDS667.5 SQ YDS
Ping G430 Max 10K161.2 MPH11º2556 RPM34 YDS34º268 YDS506 SQ YDS
Cobra Darkspeed X
(Back Weight)
161 MPH9.9º2375 RPM29 YDS36.2º268 YDS370.8 SQ YDS
TaylorMade Qi10159.2 MPH10.6º2338 RPM30 YDS36.8º267 YDS385 SQ YDS
PXG 0311 XF GEN6160 MPH9.9º2226 RPM27 YDS34.5º267 YDS564.2 SQ YDS
PXG 0211160.6
MPH
9.9º2185 RPM27 YDS34.2º267 YDS953.7 SQ YDS
TaylorMade Qi10 Max (8.5º Tensei S)161.9 MPH8.6º2215 RPM24 YDS31.7º266 YDS630.5 SQ YDS
Wilson DynaPWR Ti161 MPH10.7º2532 RPM32 YDS39.1º266 YDS1001.3 SQ YDS
Cobra Darkspeed Max (Mid Launch Shaft)159.4 MPH11.5º2372 RPM33 YDS39.1º265 YDS342 SQ YDS (3)
Srixon ZX5 MK II158.2 MPH10.9º2300 RPM30 YDS37º264 YDS669.2 SQ YDS
TaylorMade Qi10 Max (Tensei S)161.2 MPH9.8º2823 RPM32 YDS39.5º263 YDS404 SQ YDS
Mizuno ST Z157.8 MPH9.6º1954 RPM23 YDS30.5º262 YDS750.5 SQ YDS
Mizuno ST X160 MPH8.6º1956 RPM26 YDS28.4º262 YDS609.6 SQ YDS
AVERAGE160.9 MPH10.1º2267 RPM28.8 YDS35.3º267.8 YDS551.8 SQ YDS

*All lofts at 10.5º unless otherwise stated.

How we tested the most forgiving drivers

We asked the leading brands to send us their 2024 drivers in our Test Pro Neil Wain’s specs. Draw models and those aimed at more moderate speeds were sent in Equipment Editor Simon Daddow’s specs.

We created an indoor test lab at Keele Golf Centre to ensure a controlled environment, which meant we could use premium Titleist Pro V1x golf balls and a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor to create the most reliable data possible. We rejected major misses but recorded how shots launched, span, peaked out, and how far they flew in which direction.

See more about how TG tests golf clubs and other equipment.

TG Test Pro Neil Wain testing the latest golf drivers

Most Forgiving Drivers: Buying Guide

Choosing a new driver should be a decision you take some time over, to research thoroughly and make sure that you are investing in the club that will take your game to the next level. That’s critical for every player, particularly as second to your putter, the driver should be the club you reach for the most. Regarding forgiveness specifically, here are the key things to consider when selecting your perfect fairway finder.

MOI

A term sprayed around in the golf world more than your wayward tee shots. But what does it mean and why is MOI important? Scientifically speaking, forgiveness is quantified using MOI (moment of inertia), measured in grams per centimeter squared, and defines how resistant the club face is to twisting on impact. Higher MOIs will provide greater forgiveness by keeping the clubface square with your alignment at the point of impact. To put the numbers in context, drivers with MOIs of over 9,000g/cm2 are typically at the highest end of the MOI spectrum with some models now hitting the 10K mark.

Weight distribution

R&D teams are constantly refining the optimal positioning of weight distribution across the club head to achieve specific outcomes. When it comes to forgiving drivers, weight tends to be distributed lower and toward the back of the head as this promotes a launch angle that will help you get the ball airborne and provide stability through impact.

Adjustability

Having the ability to tinker with loft and lie is something that can pay dividends for all levels of golfer, and as such is becoming increasingly commonplace in the latest driver releases. This adjustability enables you to achieve launch angles and spin rates that best suit how you deliver the club through the ball.

For example, a common technical flaw seen throughout the handicap range is an out-to-in swing path that slices across the face of the ball, causing a left-to-right flight (for a right-handed player). This is why, as well as being easy launching, drivers in the ‘forgiving space’ often have a slight draw-bias, or adjustable weighting via interchangeable ports or a sliding mechanism so you can customize based on the severity of your slice.

Custom fitting

Often overlooked by club golfers, but dialing in your optimal set-up with a custom fitting session will likely be of more benefit than the slight performance edge you hope to achieve by selecting one driver over another. This point is demonstrated by TG’s Equipment Editor Simon Daddow, who lost 3.1 mph of ball speed overall compared to last year’s test but still gained six yards of distance on average. That’s because he was hitting drives higher and with 700rpm less spin. So of course, ball speed is important, but understanding and finding your optimal set-up is key.

Budget

As with most things in the golf world, prices for drivers can vary considerably. Value for money is subjective and therefore you should spend however much you feel comfortable with, be it a premium model, or one with a more competitive price point. Powerhouse driver brands such as Ping, TaylorMade, and Callaway will typically be positioned at the top end of the market, however, there is excellent value (with performance) to be found with other brands such as PXG, Wilson, and Cobra.

Collin Morikawa is one of the most accurate drivers on the PGA Tour.

Most Forgiving Drivers: FAQs

What golf driver is the most forgiving?

While no driver can turn a complete mishit into a fairway-splitting screamer, it is a fact that some drivers are more forgiving than others. With each new driver launch, manufacturers typically offer one driver geared toward higher-level players and at least one model aimed at those seeking a more forgiving performance off the tee. The TaylorMade Qi10 Max and the Ping G430 MAX 10K are among the most forgiving drivers in 2024.

What makes a driver forgiving?

One of the key factors in the level of forgiveness offered by a driver is the MOI (moment of inertia), which is how stable the clubhead is through impact. This resistance to twisting helps the face stay square to the intended target for longer, encouraging straighter drives, even on off-center strikes.

The most forgiving drivers also pack in technology which helps mishits maintain ball speeds and spin rates closer to what you get from a centered strike, which helps with ball flight and distance.

What is MOI?

MOI is a term used in physics to objectively describe how much resistance an object has to turn about its axis. It stands for ‘Moment of Inertia’ and is used by golf club manufacturers to measure the resistance a clubhead has to twist throughout impact. The higher the MOI, the more stable the club is deemed to be. Scores in the region of 10,000 g/cm2 provide the very highest levels of stability and are generally better suited to beginners and high-handicappers.

What is a draw-biased driver?

Draw-biased drivers are designed to stop the unwanted slice that plagues many amateur golfers. Different draw drivers achieve this differently through fixed or moveable weight systems in the clubhead, but in general, they’re all trying to help you square the clubface to stop the glancing impact that causes the dreaded curved ball flight. Visit our best draw drivers page to see our pick of the bunch in this category.

How do I know which driver is right for me?

Understanding both your swing speed and typical shot shape when hitting from the tee will help you understand the type of driver that is likely to suit you best. Players with slower swing speeds may benefit from drivers with higher launch angles and spin rates that keep the ball in the air a bit longer, helping carry distance.

If you lack consistency off the tee, then prioritizing forgiveness makes sense to help tighten dispersion and also preserve distance on off-center strikes. Ensuring your driver’s hosel is adjustable will also allow you to make tweaks that optimize your swing and help dial in your preferred shot shape.

About the author

Simon Daddow

Simon Daddow – Today’s Golfer Equipment Editor

Having tested and played more than 10,000 clubs in his life, what Simon doesn’t know about golf clubs isn’t worth knowing.

He spent a large part of his career as a golf club maker and product development manager, and has worked in the golf industry for more than 30 years. He joined EMAP Active (now Bauer Media) as Equipment Editor in 2006 and has worked for both Today’s Golfer and Golf World.

You can contact Simon via email and follow him on Twitter for loads more golf equipment insight.

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