Do Beginners Need A Driver Or Can You Play Without It

The driver can be the most beneficial club in your bag, it’s the club that hits the ball the furthest, which can put you in a great position off the tee to make a good score. There is also nothing better than hitting a great drive, the satisfaction is far greater than any other club in your bag.

However, the driver can easily become the most dreaded club in your bag, and can make you blow out the hole before you even get off the tee box. The driver is the longest club in your bag, this means you’ll swing it the fastest, giving you the greatest distance, but speed can also mean poor accuracy when you hit it badly.

In my experience the driver has been my best friend and worst enemy, sometimes even in the same round. Knowing when to take out the driver and when to leave it in your bag is incredibly important, and can save you loads of shots.

There is no shame in taking out a 3 wood or iron when the hole is tight, or you just don’t feel comfortable. At the end of the day your score is what matters most.

Should Beginners Use A Driver?

Yes and no, it all depends on how you hit it. Everyone is different, and some people learn to hit the driver faster than others. There is no doubt you need to learn how to hit a driver, but when you first start, there is no need to hit it on the course if you struggle with it.

Take out a club that you are most comfortable with and tee off with that. There is no need to put yourself in a poor position off the tee just because you think you need to hit a driver.

Having said that, when you are on the range I highly recommend practicing with a driver, it is a club you will eventually need to hit, so when you are still learning it is beneficial to learn from the get go, it will actually speed up the process later on.

Once you master hitting a driver on the range, you can slowly take it onto the course, but do not feel pressured to hit it every hole. Start with holes that have a little more space, this will give you confidence, and if it goes wrong, you will still be in a position to go for the green in two.

Pros And Cons Of Drivers For Beginners


  • Distance – When hit right the driver will go the furthest out of any club in your bag, this will put you in a good position off the tee, and will also build confidence for your next shot.
  • Technique – To hit a driver well, you need to have a good technique, practicing your driver will fast track your progress.
  • Power – Hitting your driver will help increase your swing speed. The nature of the club is speed, the length of the club will help you swing faster, and this will translate into the rest of your game.


  • Accuracy – The driver is the longest club in your bag, this means you will swing it the fastest and make it harder to square up the fast and strike it out of the middle, this makes it the least accurate club in your bag. Hitting your driver skew will put you in a bad position off the tee, causing you to shoot higher scores.
  • Confidence – Hitting your driver badly on the golf course can hurt your confidence tremendously, if you are not hitting it well on the day, leave it in your bag.

Driver Vs 3 Wood Off The Tee For Beginners

If you struggle with your driver off the tee as a beginner, using a 3 wood as an alternative is a great solution. A 3 wood is slightly shorter than a driver making it easier to hit, this and having more loft will make the ball go shorter than a driver, but if you are in play that beats being 20/30 meters further.

In some casing when starting out, you will actually hit the ball further with a 3 wood compared to the driver. The driver being longer makes it harder to hit and make square contact, the driver also has less loft, so if you struggle to hit it in the air, it won’t go as far. A 3 wood is shorter, which helps you to hit the centre of the face, and it has more loft allowing the ball to go higher and fly further.

Driver Vs Hybrid Off The Tee For Beginners

Similar to the 3 wood, the hybrid acts as a great alternative if the driver is not going well on the day. As a beginner it will be easier to make contact with a hybrid as it is shorter. It will however go shorter than a driver, but the gain in accuracy can sometimes be more beneficial. A hybrid has even more loft than a 3 wood, this also makes the club easier to hit.

Driver Vs Irons Off The Tee For Beginners

An iron can be a good alternative off the tee, similar to the 3 wood and hybrid, the shorter length provides a lot more accuracy. An iron however does go a lot shorter compared to a driver, so going with it off the tee can become a disadvantage. I would recommend using a hybrid instead, it is easier to hit and goes much further.

If I Don’t Use A Driver At The Course, Should I Still Practice At The Range

100% yes! There is no shame in not using a driver on the course, I have done it many times. But that shouldn’t mean you shouldn’t practice hitting it. A driver is a very difficult club to hit, so going for a lesson or two with your local professional won’t do you any harm. Sometimes the smallest fixes can make the biggest difference.

Using a driver on the course can make the game so much easier. First practice on the range and then take it onto the course.

Tips For Hitting A Driver For Beginners

Shoulder tilt

There is a good reason you tee your ball up when hitting a driver, this helps you hit the ball on the up. To get the best results on a driver, you need to have an upward angle of attack.

Your shoulder tilt can affect this dramatically. Often I see beginners with the shoulders level to the ground when hitting a driver, this is incorrect. You need to have a slight tilt in your shoulders, this helps launch the ball into the air.

Take your normal set up position, from there feel like your right shoulder (right handed golfer) drops below the level of your left shoulder. This will help you to make an upward swing, launching your drive into the air.

Tee it high, let it fly

Teeing the ball higher also promotes hitting the ball on the up, it is natural to tee the ball lower, especially when your shoulders are in a level position, tilt your shoulders and tee it high for maximum distance.

Wider stance

Widen your stance slightly with a driver, this will help you to be more stable over the ball. Being stable when hitting a driver is very important, because you are swinging much faster than the rest of your clubs. Having a stable base will help maintain your balance through the swing, helping you make better contact with the ball.

Hold your finish

No one has ever hit a good shot by falling over, I know this sounds weird because you have hit the shot, so what does your finish have to do with it?

It’s been found that just the thought of being stable and holding your finish after your swing, can help with your backswing and follow through.


Don’t be scared of your driver, but don’t let it affect your scores either. The driver can be one of the most important clubs in your bag, but it can also cause your scores to skyrocket.

As a beginner, using a driver can be difficult, I suggest that if you are struggling with your driver, leave it in your bag and use your 3 wood or hybrid instead. Leaving your ego in the parking lot can be the best thing you do all day, people care more about what you shot, than what you used to shoot that score.

But, don’t forget about your driver entirely, practice it on the range. The range is the best place to hone your skills. I highly suggest becoming comfortable with your driver before you go onto the course.

To make things interesting on the range, set up imaginary fairways between poles or trees, this gives you a target and gives you the closest thing to on course play, give yourself rewards and consequences to make things more challenging.

Tilt your right shoulder down, widen your stance, tee it high and hold your finish to become a great driver of the ball.