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?
So, if you’ve decided to take the plunge to buy your first set of beginner golf clubs, here are some useful tips:
- 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
- Its 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
I’ll expand on these points later in the article because they are important.
- 1 What is the ideal beginner golf club set?
- 2 Best Golf Clubs For Beginners – Our Top 3 Recommendations!
- 3 Callaway Strata vs Wilson Ultra Summary
- 4 A Beginners Guide to the Different Types of Golf Clubs
- 5 Points to Consider When Buying Your First Set of Golf Clubs
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6.1 Q. Why are there different types of golf club?
- 6.2 Q. Why should I buy a set of beginners’ golf clubs?
- 6.3 Q. Should I buy cavity back or blade irons?
- 6.4 Q. What are hybrid clubs?
- 6.5 Q. Should women consider specific golf clubs?
- 6.6 Q. Which shaft should I use, steel or graphite?
- 6.7 Q. Should I buy a new or used set of clubs?
- 6.8 Q. Should I get custom-fitted clubs?
- 6.9 Q. How many clubs are in a golf set?
- 6.10 Q. Do I need a full set of clubs to start playing?
- 6.11 Q. Do I need a golf glove?
- 6.12 Q. Do I need golf shoes?
- 7 And finally
What is the ideal beginner golf club set?
The best golf clubs for beginners are ones that will produce maximum forgiveness and improve your ball striking abilities.
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.
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.
If you’re short of time, here is a quick link table containing the best beginner club sets that we recommend.
|Callaway Men’s Strata Complete Golf Set||D,3W,5H,6-9I,PW,P||Stand bag incl|
|Callaway Men’s Strata Ultimate Complete Golf set||D,3W,5W,4H,%h,6-9I,PW,SW,P||Stand bag incl|
|Wilson Golf Men’s 2017 Ultra Complete Package Set||D,3W,4H,5-9I,PW,P||Lightweight bag incl|
#1 Callaway Men’s Strata Complete Golf Set (12-piece)
One of the most comprehensive and stylish golf sets on the market for beginner golfers. Callaway have duly delivered a 12-piece set here which is user-friendly and is underscored by the forgiveness each and every club offers.
Whether wood, hybrid, iron or putter, all incorporate the best of technological features to give you the platform to get the best value for your shots. Not to mention value for your dollar, too.
The whole set is equipped with the accessories you need, and the stand bag itself has an elegant beauty, and comes with a shoulder strap for easy carrying on the golf course. If ever there is a complete set for beginners that ticks all the crucial boxes, this is probably it.
The golf set includes a total of 9 clubs, along with two head covers and a carry bag. There are 3-Fairway Woods, 4-Hybrids, and a 460cc Driver along with 6-PW Irons and Wedges.
Driver. 460cc forged driver has a large sweet spot and provides more forgiveness to help you rip it off the tee. (Headcover included)
Fairway Woods. The 3-wood is very forgiving and has a more aerodynamic head shape for long, high flying shots. (Headcover included)
Hybrids. A great alternative to difficult long irons, allowing for more confidence on a variety of shots.
Irons/wedges. These stainless steel irons offer a great combination of forgiveness and control.
Putter. Mallet with T-Style alignment to help give you incredible accuracy.
Stand bag. The lightweight, durable stand bag comes with five convenient pockets, an additional cooler pocket, a rain hood and a backpack strap system.
#2 Callaway Men’s Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set (18-piece)
The Callaway Strata Ultimate 18-Piece Golf Club Set offers great performance value for the intermediate player, with carefully matched clubs to enhance every aspect of your game. The set includes a driver, 2 fairway woods, 2 hybrids, 4 irons, 2 wedges, a putter, a custom stand bag, and 5 headcovers.
The full titanium driver gives you a large sweet spot with excellent forgiveness for those crushing tee shots. The 3- and 5- woods are aerodynamically crafted to deliver long, high shots to hasten your approach to the pin.
The hybrid clubs replace the traditional long irons, offering better control on a variety of shots; the stainless steel irons and wedges feature Callaway’s high flight technology to ensure solid placement; and the putter face is precisely milled to deliver the accuracy and distance control needed to sink more putts.
The Callaway Strata Ultimate 18-Piece Golf Club Set for Men comes together in a lightweight logo stand bag and is topped off with 5 color-coordinated headcovers, giving you a sharp setup that will look good on any course you aim to conquer.
Driver. Full titanium driver gives you a large sweet spot and more forgiveness to bomb it off the tee. (Headcover included)
Fairway woods. Very forgiving 3-wood and 5-wood built for long, high flying shots in a more aerodynamic head shape. (Headcovers included)
Hybrids. 4H and 5H hybrids provide great alternatives to long irons, so you can play with more confidence on a variety of shots. (Headcovers included)
Irons/wedges. High flight technology delivers distance, forgiveness and control from stainless steel irons. PW and SW provided.
Putter. Precise face milling designed for better accuracy and distance control to help you sink more putts.
Stand bag. Lightweight, durable bag combines a cool authentic look, convenient pockets, tee holders and an easy to carry back strap.
Here’s a really useful review on the Callaway Strata beginner clubs by Dave from Golfin Addicts.
#3 Wilson Golf Men’s 2017 Ultra Complete Package Set
With this impressive and very popular golf set, Wilson have focused on delivering clubs that seek to improve your aim, distance, and accuracy – all underpinned by maximum forgiveness to help you find the sweet spot consistently. A perfect set of beginner golf clubs.
The Wilson Men’s Ultra 2017 Complete Set comprises a 460cc titanium driver, fairway wood, hybrid, 6-PW irons, and an aesthetically-pleasing heel-toe putter. It also comes with a lightweight ergonomic stand bag that has ample pockets and storage space.
Distance. Game improvement design focuses on generating more distance for beginners
Driver. The driver is one of the best on the beginner’s market at the moment. Unbelievably forgiving and easy to hit, massive sweet spot for extra forgiveness. 3-wood included
Hybrid. A 4-hybrid is included
Irons. Large sweet spot irons feature perimeter weighting for improved performance on off center hits, 6-iron to PW
Putter. Alignment putter with soft Paddle grip improves aim and distance for all golfers
Stand bag. Lightweight ergonomic bag features self-activating stand and numerous pockets
Callaway Strata vs Wilson Ultra Summary
These two sets of golf clubs are the main contenders for the best buy. We’ll stick with comparing these two sets since the Callaway Strata Ultimate is more expensive and value for money is one of the main buying criteria. Both sets are highly recommended and great value, but which set is better?
Callaway Men’s Strata Complete
Callaway is a popular brand amongst beginners and pros. The Callaway Men’s Strata Complete golf set includes everything you need to get out onto the golf course as a beginner. The set includes a carry bag, a driver, a 3-wood, a 5-hybrid, 6 to 9-irons, a pitching wedge and a mallet putter.
- The driver and 3-wood have large sweet spots to help the beginner golfer
- The 5-hybrid is the perfect alternative to those long irons which are famously difficult to use
- The 6 to 9-irons are peripherally weighted for forgiveness
- The mallet style putter is designed to make putting and alignment easier
- The carry bag is lightweight, includes 5 pockets, a cooler pocket and a rain hood
The Wilson Men’s Ultra Complete golf set is affordable and of high quality. The driver and fairway woods are very forgiving, giving high trajectory and more distance for the beginner. The putter has alignment aids. 10 clubs and a carry bag provide great value. The shafts are steel, not graphite, where graphite shafts may suit more beginners. The set includes:
- A driver
- A 3-wood
- A 4-hybrid
- 5 to 9-irons
- A pitching wedge
- A putter
Winner: Callaway Men’s Strata Complete Golf Set (latest price)
Callaway Strata vs Wilson Ultra is a tough choice – these two golf sets are great value for the beginner golfer, but we feel that the Callaway Men’s Strata Complete golf set just edges it for the general forgiveness of all the clubs.
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. Even more confusing! Don’t worry after a few rounds, it will all become second nature.
As a beginner, you will be asking which club should I use for this shot? One of the first things to understand is loft.
What is loft?
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.
Which club to use?
As a very basic guide, use a:
- Driver on the tee
- Hybrid 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 for short high shots near the green or from sand bunkers
- Putter to roll the ball into the hole on the green
This category includes drivers and fairway woods. They are called “woods” historically, 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.
Irons have angled faces called the “loft”, the low numbered irons have a lower loft for more distance. 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.
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.
Points to Consider When Buying Your First Set of Golf Clubs
There are a host of issues that you should think about before splashing out on your first golf clubs. If you stick with it, you’ll have plenty of time and desire to upgrade to more expensive clubs. These points will help you with your purchase of the best golf clubs for beginners.
Don’t buy the most expensive set
This is an obvious no-no. At this stage, you probably aren’t sure if you are going to play golf as a passing fad or if you will take up golfing for a long time. Take the advice of experts and purchase cheap clubs that have good reviews as a starter set.
Set a budget
Golf clubs can very expensive but remember it’s not just the clubs, to keep up with your friends and not to upset the course owners, you’ll have to fork out for green fees, drinks after the round, travel costs, golf shoes, appropriate clothes, umbrella, balls, ball marker, etc… it all adds up.
Be clear about your golfing goals
Golf is not a cheap sport to play. If you only intend to play occasionally then it isn’t worth shelling out hundreds of dollars. I however, you are dead keen to get going then buy a recommended starter set. See how you get on then and if your handicap is coming down and you are really enjoying the game, then you can consider buying more expensive, better quality clubs.
Be honest about your levels of skill and dedication
Ask yourself these questions. Are you going to visit the range to practice? Are you going to play regularly? Do you intend to take golfing lessons? If you’re not sure whether you would answer with a resounding “yes” to these questions, then its probably best to start out with a decent cheaper set of clubs.
Read the reviews
I know some of the product reviews are crazy, a bit over the top but if you take the time to read a lot then you’ll get a good idea about the product. Don’t just read a few, read as many as you can to get an overall picture.
Buy a set or individual clubs
This is one of difficult questions that beginners face. If you decide to buy individual clubs then you’ll soon realize that you are spending much more than you planned, and you’ll have tough decisions to make about which clubs to buy. The best advice for a beginner is to save time and money and hassle and go for a reasonable starter golf set, whatever you can afford.
Consider using hybrids
Hybrid clubs are easier to use than their equivalent irons. They usually replace 3,4 and possibly 5-irons. They are certainly more forgiving on those long fairway second shots. It is generally recognised 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
Used sets are as available as new sets and will be cheaper. You’ll have to decide on how often you’re going to play and what are your golfing goals. A set of used clubs might be better quality than a new set; this could be the way to go for you. A set of new golf clubs is very expensive. Before you buy a used set, check the number and type of clubs – you may not need a full set, but certain clubs are essential, for instance, you’ll need maybe a 3-wood, a hybrid, 5-iron, 7-iron, PW and a putter as an absolute minimum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Women Golfers: Best Ladies Golf Sets
Q. 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.
Q. 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.
Q. 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!
Q. 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.
Q. 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 your playing partners always carry 14 clubs then you will probably feel better if you do too.
Q. 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 club basically allows you to grip the handle better.
Q. 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!