Good for you! You’ve decided to have a go at golf, the most frustrating but enjoyable sport in the world, but to get you started, what are the best golf clubs for beginners?
It’s an important question or – if we’re to be more honest – one of many important questions that we are going to try and answer for you in this article and review. You’ve likely played a few rounds with borrowed clubs, or perhaps hired the very basics and tried them out, and now your golfing friends are recommending a whole host of expensive seemingly ‘must have’ clubs. Don’t take their advice without reading on, as while they may have some useful tips, you might end up spending a lot more than you need to, we’ve done the hard work for you, so sit back, relax and enjoy our guide helping you choose your next clubs!
Do you need beginner’s clubs? It’s another of the often asked questions by those taking up the sport. The answer is yes, and no; you can go straight in and buy a top level set of clubs which you will never need to trade up from, but what if you decide after a few months that, in fact, you’re not really into golf that much (we don’t think you will, by the way, but it happens)?
Below, we will be recommending some sets that cover all the bases and budgets, and also be giving you some sound advice on what you need to look for when researching.
So, if you’ve decided to take the plunge to buy your first set of beginner golf clubs, here are some useful tips to begin with, and we will be expanding on these later on in more detail.
- Don’t buy the most expensive golf set
- Set a budget and don’t exceed it
- Be honest about your golf goals
- Study golf set reviews, they are a good source of information
- It’s probably cheaper to buy an affordable set rather than individual clubs
- Try hybrid clubs, they are easier to use than long irons
- Consider buying a used set to start
Put those tips on the back-burner for now because we want to talk about why we recommend a set that is aimed at beginners, so let’s get down to business.
- 1 What Makes an Ideal Beginners Golf Club Set?
- 2 Best Golf Clubs for Beginners: Our Top 5 Recommendations!
- 3 Our Conclusion
- 4 A Beginners Guide to the Different Types of Golf Clubs
- 5 Points to Consider when Buying Your First Set of Golf Clubs
- 6 Some Tips on Golf Etiquette for Beginners
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 And finally
What Makes an Ideal Beginners Golf Club Set?
The major difference between an experienced golfer and a beginner is experience. Golf is a game that does require you to learn and perfect certain skills. As with all sports, some of us learn more quickly than others, and most of us need quite some time to learn how to be consistent. That is perhaps the key word to why a beginner’s golf set is different to a senior set – consistency.
The best golf clubs for beginners are ones that will produce maximum forgiveness and improve your ball striking abilities. What do we mean by forgiveness? Simply, the clubs that are most forgiving are those that work to help the player in the areas he or she may not be experienced in.
For example, to combat the problem of inconsistent hitting, an over-sized club with a larger sweet spot is ideal. The larger the clubface is, the more it decreases the chance of a mishit shot. With irons, the perimeter weighting increases the sweet spot on the clubface, that in turn increases the forgiveness, allowing you to hit straighter more consistently.
Shots that are hit on the toe or the heel of the club can be hit a lot truer with the weighting in place, as the contact is made a lot more solid than without the perimeter weighting. A club with a wide sole will slice through the grass a lot easier and will result in much higher shot trajectory. Also, slightly shorter clubs will help with a better club to ball contact. Consider choking down on the golf club to gain more control.
Don’t be afraid of the technical terms we are using above, because we are also going to offer you one sensible piece of advice: do take lessons. Most clubs will have a pro on hand who is there to offer help and advice, and to take you through proper teaching as to how to play the game. They will help you understand the terms that are used and what they mean, and they will become familiar with experience.
OK, we don’t want to baffle you with the science too much, so here’s a summary of the question – what makes an ideal beginners golf club set? The answer is one of the few we have listed below, as they are designed with all the attributes that will enable you to learn without too much of the inevitable frustration.
Bear in mind that a complete beginner golf set can vary in the number of clubs, though generally, they have 12-17 clubs in them. But remember, according to the rules of golf, the number that you can carry during a round is 14. These can include a driver, fairway wood, irons, hybrid clubs, pitching wedge, sand wedge and a putter.
You will learn about the different jobs these clubs do later – unless you want to come back to the reviews after reading our descriptions – so let’s have a look at a few of the top beginners golf club sets you can buy, beginning with our number one choice.
Best Golf Clubs for Beginners: Our Top 5 Recommendations!
There are a number of brands who have a strong hold in the world of golf accessories, and it’s no surprise to see that Callaway and Wilson both feature in our selection of the top 5 golf club sets for beginners. We have tried to ensure that the sets we picked cover all budgets – in fact, the price range of our five begins at around $100 and extends to around $500 – so that you can choose the one that suits your requirements.
Read through our selections carefully, and check the details on the sellers page; here they are:
Callaway Men’s Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set
This impressive set of clubs from one of the biggest names in the business – Callaway – is a very good price for what you get, and comes very high on our list of the best golf club sets for beginners. Quality and value for money are to the fore here, as is an emphasis on a choice of clubs that will be suitable for beginners.
The set is imbued with Callaway’s famous attention to detail and technical advances, and each club is designed with a level of forgiveness that will encourage the beginner to practice and play as often as possible. The inclusion of woods, irons and hybrids covers all the bases, and it’s as comprehensive a set as you are going to get at this price.
The bag is a decent one with plenty of pockets and a nice design, and you get five headcovers too which is a nice touch, while the set is available in right and left handed form. All in all, a good set that we like a lot.
To summarise, you get the following: stand bag, 5 x head covers, driver, 3 and 5 wood, 4h and 5h hybrids, 6, 7, 8 and 9 irons, pitching wedge and sand wedge, and a putter.
Here’s a really useful review on the Callaway Strata beginner clubs by Dave from Golfin Addicts.
Driver – the titanium driver features a 12 degree loft and a large sweet spot, perfect for beginners and giving you great forgiveness for those long tee shots.
Fairway Woods – a good choice of 3-wood and 5-wood have a specially designed aerodynamic head for ease of use, and are nicely weighted too.
Hybrids – perfect for a beginner’s set, the 4H and 5H hybrids give you better control when you are gaining experience.
Irons – stainless steel irons are designed with high-flight technology for better performance, and cover a wide range of loft angles for greater choice.
Wedges – the set comes with both a sand wedge and putting wedge, again stainless steel, and each with excellent forgiveness built in.
Putter – the putter is a standard length 35” design with a precise-milled face and a 3.5° loft for precise putting.
Bag – lightweight bag with great selection of pockets and tee-holders and a stable stand, perfect for the job.
There is a sense of assurance in the Callaway brand that cannot be overlooked, and this set is one of the most comprehensive for beginners that you will find on the market today. The choice of clubs is pretty much spot on – we really can’t see you needing much more in terms of club selection – and it is a decent price considering the full package. Certainly one to consider carefully, although be aware it will take quite a chunk of your budget – but you will find it lasts a long time.
Wilson Golf Men’s Ultra Complete Package
A set from another of the best-selling brands in golf equipment – Wilson – that is designed specifically to help those looking to improve their game, this one is also high on our list. Perhaps not as comprehensive as the above set, it nevertheless offers a great selection of clubs at what can only be described as a very good price, so you need to give it a close look.
There may be sets you can buy that give you a better feel of quality than this one – but not at this price unless you look for used clubs – and there are a couple of clubs we would like to see that are missing from the set, but it does feature a hybrid, although some may have preferred a second fairway wood as there is only one.
The bag we do like as it has enough compartments and pockets to make it practical and easy to use, and also has a self-activating stand which makes life easier, plus it is ergonomically designed for ease of use and suitably light to carry around. Available in right and left-handed form, this is a decent set for the money.
What you get: driver, fairway wood, hybrid, 6, 7, 8 and 9-irons, pitching wedge, putter, bag.
Driver – the titanium driver has a 460cc head for a larger sweet spot, and is specifically designed for launching longer shots off the tee.
Fairway Wood – only one wood with this set, but it’s a nice 3-wood with decent weighting and favourable comments from users.
Hybrid – included to give more flexibility to the player, this is a nicely weighted hybrid that provides great forgiveness on those important fairway shots.
Irons – including 6,7,8 and 9-irons is a standard selection, and that’s what you get with this set. Designed with extra-large sweet spots, they are perfect for the beginner.
Wedge – only a pitching wedge included in this set, but if that’s fine by you then it’s worth looking at.
Putter – the putter is the heel-and-toe design which will not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s perfectly decent.
Bag – nothing wrong here, it’s a good bag and a nice design, with all the compartments to carry everything you need.
Wilson is a great brand and has put together what may be termed as the perfect basic beginner’s set, with the emphasis on forgiveness, improved shot length and encouragement. We feel that to be spot on the set would need a sand wedge adding and perhaps a 5-wood, but otherwise it’s a very decent purchase at a price that might amaze you. For beginners who are not 100% committed, it’s very much in the frame.
Confidence Golf Power V3 Golf Set
There are bargain golf club sets for beginners out there – and this set from Confidence proves the point. The problem is it is so cheap for what you get that we have to ask the question: is it any good? Well, that’s what we’re here to tell you! To begin with, you should approach this set as being for the absolute beginner – one who is interested in golf but not yet hooked – and if you do that, you’ll find it interesting.
This set is not trying to be a quality golf club set at a bargain price; it’s exactly what it’s priced as, which is a decent set of clubs for someone who wants to practice and get better. That said, there’s a limited range of clubs here – as you would expect at the price – yet the choice is clever enough to warrant interest. For instance, there is no traditional wood include, and just one hybrid fairway wood, but it’s a well-chosen one with a 24° loft for performance and forgiveness.
You get a decent bag with all the compartments and a self-activated stand, plus it has a rain cover as standard, and it’s available in right and left-handed formats. We would suggest this set is great for a young teen to begin his or her golf adventure with, and we can’t get away from that price.
Here’s what’s included: driver, hybrid wood, 6,7,8 and 9-irons, pitching wedge, putter, bag.
Driver – the oversized 460cc driver is the perfect choice for the beginner and offers greater distance with its 12° loft for straighter shots, has a steel shaft and comes with a head cover.
Hybrid Wood – designed to replace the 3 and 4-irons, which are the most difficult clubs to use, the ‘recovery hybrid’ is a clever choice for beginners, and is designed to combine accuracy and distance.
Irons – the cavity-back design irons come in 6,7,8 and 9-iron sizes, and have steel shafts.
Pitching Wedge – same design as the irons, the pitching wedge’s cavity back is intended to encourage consistency.
Putter – alignment aid design means the putter helps the player get the perfect shot every time, with greater ease.
Bag – basic golf bag with all the pockets you need, and a dual-shoulder carry strap.
This is a cheap set of golf clubs in every way – steel shafts and so on highlight that – but if you approach it as an absolute beginner’s or child’s set it makes a lot of sense. There may be a limited amount of clubs – we would have liked at least a 3 or 5-wood in there – and there’s nothing special here, but when you consider you can buy this set for around $100, you can’t help but have another look at it. In short, a true beginner’s set that may need replacing quite soon, but fine for a novice.
Top Flite XL 13-Piece Complete
Top Flite is a popular brand with beginners and relative newcomers, and with sets such as this at a very reasonable price that should come as no surprise. This is a mid-range set of golf clubs that could last a beginner a good length of time – perhaps with a couple of additions along the way – and is aimed at giving a high level of forgiveness plus value for money. If not quite at the level of the Callaway set for quality, it’s certainly more high-grade than that above.
The range of clubs you see here is perhaps what you would expect in a good beginner’s set, with the combination of a traditional wood and hybrids being a good choice. There’s nothing missing as such, but as a player improves we would expect them to want to add to their clubs – despite that, everything is here for playing round after round, with the oversized driver also being a welcome addition.
This is a man’s set and is available in both right and left-handed models, and comes with a nice bag that features all the pockets and compartments you could possibly need from a beginners set of clubs. The bag is decent quality, too, and you also get two headcovers in with the package.
Here’s what you get: driver, 3-wood, 4H & 5H hybrids, 6 to 9-iron, pitching wedge, putter, bag
Driver – the titanium driver has a 460cc head for a larger sweet spot, and for longer distance shots from the tee.
Fairway Wood – only one traditional wood with this set, a 3-wood with a low centre of gravity for greater trajectory and straight shots.
Hybrids – 4H and 5H hybrids are the perfect choice for beginners and offer excellent forgiveness,
Irons – 6 to 9-irons included as you would expect. Designed with extra-large sweet spots, they are perfect for the beginner.
Wedge – only a pitching wedge included in this set, but that is standard for beginner’s sets.
Putter – the putter is a unique mallet design that adds accuracy and ease of use.
Bag – nothing wrong here, it’s a good bag and a nice design, with all the compartments to carry everything you need.
Head Covers – head covers are supplied for the driver and fairway wood for protection
Similar in price and quality to the Wilson set reviewed above, this set of clubs is a good choice for a beginner and – although it’s no bad thing – could be described as very much a standard set. There’s no sand wedge, which is not a big deal and is also standard, and the two hybrids replace the 5-wood, but all in all, if you want a beginner’s set of clubs that will not need replacing in a few months, this set is certainly one to check out.
Precise M3 Men’s Complete Set
Our final set is this beginner’s golf clubs package from Precise, and it’s another that we would describe as mid-range. Once more, it features the usual set of clubs that you would expect from such a set, and it’s presented in a neat package at a decent price. Notably, you can choose from a standard size set or one designed for the taller player – a good option that is worth checking out.
There’s nothing special in the club selection here – you get the usual oversized driver for maximum distance and accuracy from the tee, a traditional 3-wood plus a 5H hybrid, and the required set of irons – but it does come equipped with 3 head covers, and the clubs are nicely made and have very favourable feedback from buyers. It would last a beginner a good length of time before needing to be replaced.
Available in right and left-handed models, and in tall size as we have mentioned, it also comes with a decent bag with dual carry-straps, and a rain hood, so that’s a decent accessory package too.
You get: driver, fairway wood, hybrid, 6 to 9 irons, pitching wedge, putter, bag and 3 x headcovers
Driver – the titanium driver is suitably sized for beginners to get maximum accuracy off the tee, for longer drives
Fairway Wood – only one traditional wood with this set, a 3-wood that is nicely made and weighted, and is designed for maximum forgiveness.
Hybrids – the hybrid is a perfect choice for beginners, and is also intended to help with accuracy and distance improvement.
Irons – 6 to 9-irons included with sensible sweet spots allowing beginners to hit accurately.
Wedge – only a pitching wedge included in this set, but that is standard for beginner’s sets.
Putter – the putter is designed with alignment aids for greater accuracy, something that will help beginners.
Bag – nothing wrong here, it’s a good bag and a nice design, with all the compartments to carry everything you need.
Head Covers – head covers are supplied for the driver, fairway wood and hybrid for protection
When all is said and done, this is a very decent set of golf clubs for a beginner – and also suitable for taller players who may find some of the standard sized clubs to be too short. The selection of clubs is what you would expect from a set such as this, although we would like to have seen a second hybrid or fairway wood and perhaps a sand wedge, and the three head covers are a good accessory. Worth considering, even if it has very close competition in the form of the Wilson model.
Picking one from the five sets of beginner’s golf clubs we have featured is not for us to do, as it will depend entirely upon your personal choice, budgets and needs. There are some excellent deals included that are worth looking at, and again you need to check the details for more information. Here’s our pick of three from different categories:
For the Committed Learner – we recommend the Callaway set as it is head and shoulders above the rest on the list – in both quality, comprehensiveness and also cost. If you are committed to playing golf and can be certain you will practice, take lessons and stick with it, then it’s worth paying the extra for this set of clubs, which will last you a long time.
For Quality Clubs on a Budget – we can’t get past the Wilson clubs for this category, as they come from a known maker, include all the basics and are a lot cheaper than the Callaway set. If you can’t afford the Callaway, but are pretty certain you will continue with your golfing, this is a perfectly good set of golf clubs that will not break the bank.
For Someone Giving it a Go – so, you think you might really enjoy golf, but are not sure if you are going to stick it out? Then spend a mere $100 on the bargain-priced Confidence set. It’s not brilliant – indeed it’s very basic – but it’s a superb price for what you get, and will allow you to get a feel for how you really feel about golf without spending a fortune.
That’s our reviews of the 5 best sets for beginners, and they are by no means the only ones so please search more before you buy. Now, let’s talk a little more about what the different clubs do, elaborate on some important tips, and go through some frequently asked questions.
A Beginners Guide to the Different Types of Golf Clubs
I thought it might be useful to describe briefly the types of golf clubs used today. Golf is unique in that a different club is required for each shot, which may seem confusing for the beginner. There are 5 basic types of golf club and within these types there are many variations. The simple fact is that there are many different varieties to make it easier for you. One of the key strategies to golfing skill lies in choosing which club to use for which shot, and you will learn more about this as you advance in experience.
As a beginner, you will be asking which club should I use for this shot? This is nothing to be ashamed of, as you may be playing with people who have far greater experience than you. So, to give you an idea of what you need to think about, it’s essential to explain that one of the first things to understand is loft – a technical term that you will hear a lot about in golf.
What is loft?
One of the satisfactory aspects of golf is that many areas of the game are quite technical, even perhaps scientific. Loft is one of these areas, as it is all about angles and distance. Once again, don’t be put off, as you will learn from experience.
In simple terms, loft is the angle of the club face that controls the trajectory and distance the ball will travel. The more “upright” the loft, the lower the trajectory and the longer the distance. So, as you can guess, drivers have a low degree of loft for distance, whilst wedges have a high degree of loft to get the ball airborne.
You will get a feel of how to determine loft and the action of a club when you start to practice properly, as you will all other areas of the game. There’s a lot to learn with golf, but stick with it and you’ll find it as enjoyable as it is informative!
So, we’ve talked a lot about different types of clubs in the reviews above; where and when should you choose to use each one?
Which club to use?
The following is a very basic guide to where and when to use the different sort of clubs. As a beginner, it is advisable to stick to this list, although with experience you may decide to go against the grain once in a while!
- Driver – used on the tee. This club has a lower degree of loft and is used for driving the ball a long distance
- Hybrid – used for fairway shots of 150+ yards to get the ball airborne
- 3-9 iron – for hitting the ball toward the green for an approximate distance of 200 to 100 yards
- Wedges – used for short high shots near the green or from sand bunkers
- Putter – this is the club that plays hopefully the final shot of the hole, the one where you neatly and accurately roll the ball into the hole on the green!
We have mentioned distances a few times above, and nobody expects a beginner to understand the clubs needed for a certain distance or hole. This is the knowledge you gain with experience – or from your tutor or other players, and you will grow in confidence in terms of being able to pick your club as you gain experience.
Above we’ve mentioned five different types of clubs, and what they are used for. To complicate matters further, they can also be split into more categories, such as woods, irons and hybrids. Here’s what you need to know.
This category includes drivers and fairway woods. The name is a bit misleading! They are called “woods” historically – as they would originally be wooden – but they are now made of light metal. They have the largest clubheads and the longest shafts and are used for the longest shots, typically off the tee or the second shot on a long par 5 hole. You can read more about finding the best beginner golf driver here. A wood has the lowest loft of between 7 and 12 degrees. Most golfers will also carry a 3-wood and some a 5-wood – these are fairway woods used on long par 5 holes.
Irons are numbered, usually from 3-iron to 9-iron and are generally used on the fairway but can be used on any part of the course apart from the green. They have smaller heads and a shorter shaft than the woods and are usually solid. Irons are generally used when you are less than 200 yards from the green. The closer you are to the green, the higher the number iron you will use.
Here are some tips for the best golf irons for beginners.
Hybrids are a cross between a wood and an iron, often called utility or rescue clubs. They are designed for long fairway shots where 3-irons and 4-irons are more difficult to use. They have a small “wood-like” clubhead with a slightly convex face and are considered to be more forgiving than long irons. Hybrids have become so popular in recent years that many golfers no longer use or even carry 3 or 4-irons. If you are considering buying a hybrid, don’t compare the number with the iron number (a 5-iron to a 5-hybrid), instead always compare the degrees in loft – confusing, we know, but that’s the way it is!
Wedges are irons with the highest loft used for a variety of short distance shots that may require high altitude and high accuracy. This category includes the pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge for bunker shots, and lob wedge. They are often used for short approach shots into the green and for chipping and pitching around the green. Most golfers carry a pitching wedge and a sand wedge at minimum.
Putters are a special type of club used on the green and as such they require special technique. They come in many shapes and sizes, essentially blades or mallets. Choice of putter is personal. Read our article on how to choose the best beginner putter here or if you’re a high handicapper, we’ve put together a list of the best putters for high handicappers.
Now that we’ve given you a little explanation about loft, and the different types of clubs you will carry in your bag, it’s time to go back to the tips we mentioned earlier, and expand on each so you can make the right choice of golf clubs.
Points to Consider when Buying Your First Set of Golf Clubs
Earlier on we listed a number of tips that we said were important. These are mistakes that are often made when beginners buy a set of clubs – or, indeed, when buying equipment for any new sport or pursuit. You will be convinced right now that you are going to take to golf and stick with it, but believe us when we tell you there are any number of unused, quality golf clubs lying around in garages everywhere! So, take these points on board and you lessen the chance of spending more money than you needed to.
Don’t buy the most expensive set you can find
The temptation to get the same set of clubs as your experienced golfing buddies, so you don’t look out of place, is always a strong one, but you really should not go out and buy the most expensive set you can find – or even the most expensive you can afford! Every tutor and pro will tell you to start with a cheaper set aimed at beginners, because this will not only help you by being more forgiving, thus encouraging you to play and practice.
Many, many potential golfers have started with an expensive, professional-level set of clubs, believing this will automatically make them a better player; it won’t, it will just make it more difficult to learn the technique, and you will become frustrated as a result. Not to mention there will be a large hole in your bank balance! Take advice, read reviews, and start with a beginners set, and when you gain the confidence and experience you need, buy yourself a better set then!
Gold plated clubs just aren’t necessary!
Set a budget
Golf – it’s not the cheapest sport around. Your initial outlay will include not only your set of clubs, but appropriate clothing – there are certain rules of etiquette that go with golf – and also shoes. You will also need to pay green fees or perhaps join a club, and there’s a whole host of accessories that can make your game easier, such as a good golf umbrella and so on.
Then, there’s the drinks in the club after a round! You don’t have to indulge, of course, but golf is a sociable game, and if you’re playing with others, it’s polite and also enjoyable to spend some time afterwards – and make sure you get a round in! Your initial budget should be for the clubs, clothes and necessary equipment; following that, you can factor in joining a club and the other expenses that go with it once you are sure it’s something you want to do.
Be clear about your golfing goals
This is a similar point to the above; how serious are you about your golf? Many people think that they are going to get heavily into it, spend a lot of money – and then hardly play at all! It’s worth weighing up the amount of time you are willing to put into your golf, and if you’ve got this far with the article, the chances are you mean business! Have a think about it and also consider the following point.
Be honest about your levels of skill and dedication
To become a really good, skilled golfer with a low handicap takes a lot of practice, effort and time. If you are serious about improving as best you can then you will need to visit the driving range regularly to practice – over and over again – and it can get boring. You will also need to take lessons, as nobody learns by themselves, and this will need to be budgeted for. And, you will surely want to play regularly, so that’s extra time to find.
There’s no point buying yourself a set of clubs for several hundred dollars if you haven’t got the dedication or the time to put into all of the above, so settle for a cheaper, sensible beginners set, and see how it goes.
Read the reviews
We don’t just mean read our reviews – read them all! Read customer appraisals, read everything you can and start drawing up a shortlist of all the sets of clubs that come into your budget. Take the time to do it, and you’ll find that you notice the same points being made again and again – both good and bad – and it’s these that you have to pay attention to. Reviews are there to help you and while some may be over the top, you’ll find others that keep it practical, down to earth and honest.
Do I buy a set or individual clubs?
Here’s the scene: you’re out with your golfing buddies, and they get talking about their latest purchases. They’ve bought this brilliant new driver, or a superb putter that’s like no other, and are telling each other about individual clubs they’ve added to their kit. Surely you need to be looking at this sort of thing for the best set of clubs?
Actually, it’s the last thing a beginner should be doing, and any experienced golfer will tell you that. Individual clubs are all very well and – once you get experienced and your handicap comes down – you may feel the need to add a few individual pieces for better performance in certain situations. But, they’re not cheap, so in the first instance you may be wasting a lot of money. Buy a decent, cheaper beginners set and start that way, get into the game, improve your skills, and then you can choose whether or not you want to add individual clubs to your kit.
Consider using hybrids
You’ll undoubtedly come across many golfers who are full of advice about not using hybrids. These are the ‘traditionalists’ who may have been in the game a long time, know everything, and find the onset of the use of hybrids offensive. Here’s the thing: don’t listen to them. There’s nothing wrong with using hybrids and as they are easier to use than the equivalent, they are better for you – the beginner.
They usually replace 3,4 and possibly 5-irons. They are certainly more forgiving on those long fairway second shots. It is generally recognized that the long irons are the most difficult to have success with. As a beginner, hybrids can help you a lot and you should consider switching to them, over woods.
Consider buying a used set
This is a very sensible route for a beginner, especially if you are on a budget. As we’ve said many a time, there are many people who buy a quality, expensive set of golf clubs, play a few times, and then lose interest. Or, they may no longer have the time to play, and don’t need their clubs any more. You can find some very nice sets of clubs, used but in good condition, for bargain prices. If you’re not 100% sure you are going to stick with it, this is a great way to go.
Check in at your local golf club and ask at the shop if there are any used sets for sale; people trade up all the time and sell on their beginners set – as you will probably do when you get to that point! You might find a used set that is better than any of the beginners sets we have reviewed, so it’s worth asking around. It’s a sensible choice, and one that is surprisingly common.
Buy the Bare Minimum
Finally in this section, if you are not entirely sure you are going to stick with golf – although again we reckon you will once you start to get the hang of it – why not buy a part-set and save more money? You don’t need a full set of clubs to play as a beginner – it makes it easier, of course – but just the bare minimum.
If you buy a used part set that’s even better! Check that you are getting at the very least, a 3-wood, a hybrid, a 5-iron, a 7-iron, a pitching wedge and a putter, and that should be enough for you to start practising. You’ll also need a bag, and if you’re going to play at a club, you’ll need to adhere to the dress rules and follow basic golf etiquette. It’s worth knowing a little about what is expected of you on the golf course, so here are a few tips!
Some Tips on Golf Etiquette for Beginners
Don’t be that guy!
Golf is a gentlemanly game (ladies also play, of course) and one that comes with an inherent and often unwritten set of rules of etiquette, designed to make time on the course more enjoyable and safer for all. It’s important to remember that there will be many people playing a round every time you take to the tee, so to help beginners settle in, here are a few of the most important rules of golf etiquette:
- Do Not Disturb Other Players – when another player is taking a shot, remain quiet and still and do not disturb their concentration. Moving from a green to a tee, or on the fairway, walk quickly and never run.
- Equipment – any equipment, and this includes bags, umbrellas and even golf carts, should be placed away to the side of the green, rather than on the approach, to make life easier for approaching players, and to avoid distracting them. Carts should be kept to paths unless the course specifies otherwise.
- Order of Play – the player with the best score from the previous hole tees off first. If there was no outright winner, then the order remains the same.
- Balls – players must always know the brand of ball they are using, or mark them for identification.
- Line of Sight – when a player is teeing off, others should be alongside and a safe distance away, and not behind or in line of sight. Always respect a request to move if it is given.
- Divots – repair divots when they are seen, by placing sand in them or replacing the grass.
- Pitch Marks – arriving at the green, players should repair the marks made by their balls hitting the green where possible.
- Putting – once again this is about line of sight; keep off the putting line of a player who is taking a shot, and do not distract. Also, a standard rule is that a player should never step within a one-foot radius of the hole.
- Bunkers – there are various rules surrounding bunkers; the important ones are to always enter the bunker from the low side, and to rake smooth after playing.
- Slow Players – it is good etiquette for slower players to allow others through.
These are the most obvious rules of etiquette to be followed when on the golf course, and there is one more we should mention – how to dress!
Golfing Dress Code
It is possible to find a golf course that will allow you to play in jeans and a t-shirt, but in general, you’ll find a ‘no denim’ rule is the way it goes. Furthermore, you want to look the part, so you should follow the general dress code associated with the club you are playing at. Check in advance how you are expected to dress and – as you would any other event – follow the rules.
Usually, the rule tends towards the ‘smart casual’ look, with jeans outlawed. You can find plenty of shops selling golf attire – remember to invest in a pair of golf shoes, and that many courses do not permit spikes – and you’ll find that slacks and a shirt with a collar is usually the way to go.
The best thing to do is talk to the club you are looking to join; they will be more than happy to give you a run-down of the rules they have in place for dress and otherwise, so you can settle in nicely and become part of the club.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are there different types of golf club?
Each of the 5 types of golf club serves a different purpose. The various sections of a golf hole require a different club to be used, a driver on the tee, an iron on the fairway, a putter on the green and so on.
Why should I buy a set of beginners’ golf clubs?
Sets of beginners’ golf clubs are cheaper. Who knows, you might love the game for a few months then decide it’s not for you. By buying a set, you will acquire the golf clubs you need to start practising and playing, and the set may also include a carry bag.
Should I buy cavity back or blade irons?
A basic guideline is, blades are used by more experienced golfers, they have a smaller sweet spot, whereas cavity back irons are used by less experienced golfer being more forgiving.
For some more information, Rick Shiels has done an awesome comparison on cavity backs and blades, check it out below.
What are hybrid clubs?
Hybrids are a cross between a fairway wood and a long iron. They have the shape of a smaller wood head and the length of a long iron. They are good for people who struggle with their fairway woods because of the longer length, and they are more forgiving than long irons. Also they launch the ball higher which enables you to hold the green better with long approach shots.
Should women consider specific golf clubs?
Well yes, but only because women tend to be shorter and so the shafts need to be shorter. It is also true that women don’t hit the ball as far as men, which means women drive the ball less distance which means that they may make more use of a hybrid off the fairway.
Which shaft should I use, steel or graphite?
As a rule, beginner golfers buy clubs with graphite shaft. They are lighter than steel shafted clubs and easier to swing. The pros tend to go for steel shafted clubs which vibrate more giving the golfer more feedback if the shot was hit well or not, off the sweet spot.
Should I buy a new or used set of clubs?
For the beginner golfer, a used set is the most cost-effective way to start. Some sets are virtually new or at least in very good condition but check them all out for dents and scratches.
Should I get custom-fitted clubs?
Not unless you are very tall or very short – its just not worth the expense for a beginner. Incidentally, all golf pros use custom fitted golf clubs, but they are professionals!
How many clubs are in a golf set?
You are allowed 14 clubs on the golf course but when you buy your first set, there may be more or less than 14. Most sets will include the clubs you will definitely need.
Do I need a full set of clubs to start playing?
Not necessarily. Honestly, a real beginner will rarely use all 14 clubs in their bag but if you’re playing partners always carry 14 clubs then you will probably feel better if you do too.
Do I need a golf glove?
Nearly all golfers wear a golf glove on their leading hand until they reach the green, where more feel is required. Years ago, the old leather grips used to have a harsh surface and cause sore hands and calluses. A golf glove basically allows you to grip the handle better.
Do I need golf shoes?
Some clubs will insist on the proper golf attire which includes golf shoes, probably with soft plastic spikes, not metal spikes. They will provide better stability during your swing.
I hope that this helps you to choose the best beginner golf clubs. Good luck with your golfing. Stick with it, it’s not easy, but it’s great fun!
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