Golf clubs, and drivers especially, are not getting any cheaper. Affordable golf drivers are starting to be hard to come by. Understanding that not all golfers can afford nearly $600 for a new golf driver, we set out to find the best budget golf driver on the market. Here are the models that truly stood out as being with the price. Looking for a mix of performance and value is essential in a budget driver.
Best budget golf drivers in 2023:
- PXG 0211 (Best Overall)
- TaylorMade M4 (Best for distance)
- Callaway X Hot (Best for beginners)
- Tour Edge Hot Launch C522 (Best for forgiveness)
This PXG 0211 is an entire line of golf equipment designed to bring affordability to custom-fit golf clubs. Just a few years ago, PXG was set on making the most expensive clubs on the market, and now they are trying to appeal to all budget ranges with the PXG 0211.
The PXG 0211 is a club that is designed for the average golfer. The club has a very low center of gravity giving it a high MOI. The result is more distance even when you don’t strike the center of the clubface exactly. The Railed Sole Geometry also provides a bit of stability at impact that gives the club better sound and feel, even if you miss it a bit.
One of the first areas where you see budget golf drivers start to struggle to compete is distance. To hit the ball far, it is assumed that you will need a driver that is $500 or more. Luckily the ball speeds on the 0211 drivers are still quite good. In addition, when combined with the forgiveness, you can get some excellent ball speed for the driver’s price.
You might gain an extra 3-8 yards on average if money wasn’t a factor and you went for a premium custom fit driver, but this still performs very well given the price.
The PXG 0211 is marketed with a giant slogan ‘easy to hit’ and it doesn’t disappoint. The new variable face thickness and really improved ball speed for off-centre hits and the high MOI design gives you some great tech to help those heel and toe strikes stay as straight as possible.
A brand new, up-to-date golf driver for $200/£200…that just isn’t a thing anymore. The PXG 0211 is a really great value, the club is about half the price of something like the TaylorMade Stealth driver and with the premium shaft offerings and the durable Ti412 face, the value here is very strong.
Golf Insider verdict
The PXG 0211 hangs in there with some of the best drivers on the market. With some great custom fitting options and solid all-around performance, there is a lot you can do with this club.
The TaylorMade M4 is not a new golf club, but TaylorMade continues to give players access to these golf drivers. After the M4 we saw the M6 and then the SIM drivers, and now the Stealth. However, when you break down the technology used in the M4 you will notice that it is still very relevant today.
The TaylorMade M4 features the famous Twist Face Technology. The Twist Face TEchnology encourages the club head to stay stable and square at impact and not rotate. This was a super forgiving driver in its day, it is still good, but you will be losing a bit of yardage and accuracy with off-centre hits compared to TaylorMade’s latest model.
TaylorMade has a need for speed and the Speed Pocket technology gives players considerably more distance. Speed Pocket increases ball speed across the face, and even though this is a few years old, your drives hit out the centre will be right up there with the latest driver model. This is due to the rules of golf limiting the maximum energy transfer from club to ball, this driver maxes out the COR 0.83 limit.
The M4 is not as accurate as the new Stealth driver, but we wouldn’t expect it to be at this price point, and the fact that it was released several years ago. The M4 has some adjustability with the loft sleeve, but no ability to move weights around. This will still offer you some adaptability if you do suffer from a slice or hook.
TaylorMade puts out some of the best equipment in the game. However, after a release, they typically take the clubs off the market and release a new one. There is something about this M4 that allows it to stay around as a forgiving driver, with great feel and impressive distance. Take advantage of the access to the M4 in this price range as it can greatly benefit your game.
Golf Insider verdict
TaylorMade does not produce cheap drivers, the technology, research and development that goes into these golf clubs really sets them apart. We love the higher launch and impressive distance that the TaylorMade M4 brings to the market. You’ll notice the performance from the M4 is incredibly close to the newest releases on the market when both are hit out of the centre.
Callaway X Hot Driver
The Callaway X Hot is similar to the M4 and an older golf driver that still remains available for players to choose from. The X Hot is our favorite choice for a beginner golfer that is trying to build out a set. The sweet spot on the X Hot is large and will help beginners with those early off-center shots.
The Callaway X Hot driver offers some great forgiveness when looking at cheap golf drivers. The driver has adjustability for loft and lie and this can help a beginner get setup exactly as they need to be when looking for forgiveness and overall performance. If you are a beginner that slices the driver a bit, this club is slightly offset, but not enough to be considered an anti-slice driver.
Distance is where the Callaway X Hot lacks just a bit. Although extremely forgiving and featuring a lightweight graphite shaft, the overall ball speed does not compare to a Callaway Epic or Rogue ST. With a VFT face you will notice decent distance, especially if you have a driver that is ten or more years old.
We would describe the Callaway X Hot as consistent and that certainly helps with accuracy. However, accuracy in the sense of workability and ball flight control is lacking a bit in this club head. For the better player looking for a new driver that they can work and control, the X Hot will come up short.
A Callaway golf driver with this price tag on it deserves a second look. For beginners that may be changing golf clubs in less than five years, this is one of the best budget golf drivers to consider.
Golf Insider verdict
If you are getting into golf and are building a set, or if you have a package set and need to upgrade your driver on a budget, then the Callaway X Hot is perfectly positioned for you. It offers great all-around performance, customisation and adjustability all at a great price.
Tour Edge Hot Launch C522 Driver
Tour Edge is a golf driver brand that flies under the radar. If you are looking for some of the best value golf clubs in the industry, Tour Edge Exotics is a great place to start.
The C522 was our favorite choice for forgiveness. This has a lot to do with the latest tech, including variable face thickness to maximise ball speed on off-centre strikes and a rear sole weight to ensure a low center of gravity and stable face through impact. The Tour Edge C522 is up there with the most forgiving drivers on the market.
Tour Edge doesn’t finish top in terms of distance for most golfers, but it doesn’t lag too far behind. The club’s low centre of gravity creates a high launch and low spin rates. This creates a high and long ball flight that still has plenty of roll when the golf ball hits the ground.
The Diamond Face 2.0 technology improved overall accuracy in the driver head. Tour Edge describes this technology as mini trampolines that will help the ball jump off the clubface and head towards the target. The real sole weight increases overall MOI and the deep center of gravity makes it easy to hit the club high.
Tour Edge does a great job keeping the cost of their products fair, without sacrificing too much technology. The value on the C522 is really impressive.
Golf Insider verdict
Each time we do any kind of budget-type article we look for what the Tour Edge brand has to offer. Keeping the pricing fair while still developing the club to be high performing is a tough balance and Tour Edge handles it well. This driver is a great pick if you’re in search of great forgiveness on a budget.
What Do You Sacrifice With A Budget Golf Driver?
This is often what golfers want to know. How can one driver be $600 and a near identical-looking one be less than half the price? Well just like most things, technology moves on and older models lose their value.
The maximum energy transfer from club to the ball was actually capped many years ago in the rules of golf (COR = 0.83). This means even drivers that are a few years old still generate as high ball speeds when hit perfectly. Where new drivers have the advantage is mainly on miss-hits. New drivers have worked hard to maximise ball speed across the face.
The second area where money is saved is in the materials and constructions used. You’ll notice very little carbon in the drivers above and less complex designs. Such design processes allow the most modern golf clubs to eek out a few extra grams here and there to be distributed elsewhere in the club head, again optimizing forgiveness and launch.
The listed driver above are still exceptional drivers and most golfers will notice little to no difference between these and the top-of-the-range products. Our one tip – avoid super-cheap drivers. Below the $200 threshold, and lesser well-known brands, you start to a real dip in performance and feel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the best budget golf drivers on the market.
What is a good driver for an average golfer?
A good driver for an average golfer, that keeps the price fair is the TaylorMade M4 golf driver. For the lower driver price, you are still getting some very relevant and impressive technology. The face of the driver is quite fast, and the speed pocket technology improves overall ball speed. In addition, golfers can benefit from the Twist Face technology that helps square the club face up at impact. For beginners, check out our article on the best drivers for beginners.
What are the best cheap golf drivers?
The best cheap golf drivers are typically models from fair-priced golf manufacturers that are a year or two old. Cobra, Cleveland and Tour Edge all release golf drivers at a very fair price point. If you can wait a year or two to purchase the new clubs they will drop in price $100 or more.
Are budget golf drivers worth it?
Budget golf drivers are worth it if you can find one that matches your swing speed and player preferences.
How often to replace a driver?
Most golf drivers are going to need a replacement about every five years. Some golfers change golf equipment year after year but the differences in technology are minimal. However, if you wait a good five years between replacements you will notice some major changes in technology when switching from one model to the next.
Golf manufacturers release a new hot driver each year in order to compete with other companies, but this does not necessarily mean that you need to change your club. If you are ever unsure go for a fitting and test out the latest gear. If you see a 20-yard gain, it is time to change.
If you find little or no gains in distance and dispersion then it might be best to spend that money elsewhere (golf lessons or green fees).
Hopefully, you now feel a bit more equipped to choose the best budget golf driver on the market. We would stay away from very cheap off-brand drivers. If you can afford it this $250-$325 range for a budget golf driver is really the sweet spot.
The PXG 0211 brings some great functionality and value to players with a wide range of handicaps and swing speeds. If you are in the market for the best budget golf drivers make sure to keep this one on your list.
Sorry that this article was not useful for you.
Would you mind helping me improve this article?
Tell us how we can improve this post?