Our recommendations for beginners:
The game of golf is currently growing at a rapid rate, with young players increasing by 20%, from 2.5 million in 2010 to more than 3 million in 2015. In America alone, there are now 24 million regular players, playing 465 million rounds every year in total.
The growth of golf is surely a good thing for golfers, as it means more and better courses, better rates for greens fees, and more options for golf clubs.
The most common question we receive from our readers is: what's the best equipment for a beginner? This can certainly be a confusing choice to make.
In this article, we'll tell you exactly what products we think are the best golf clubs for beginners.
There is quite a wide variety of beginner clubs available from numerous different brands, from the most well-known to small upstart companies. There's a wide range of various technologies represented as well.
Since beginners are often lacking in both knowledge of the game and what comprises a set of good quality clubs, major confusion as to what to buy can then occur.
This article is geared towards educating newer players on how to choose the best starter set of golf clubs. We will begin by answering a few frequently asked questions that will also act as the basis for how we give our product recommendations.
Now that we've answered all the common questions and have discussed some knowledge you should have before making any purchase decision, here are some sets we recommend for beginners:
Callaway Men's Strata 12-piece (Complete Club Set with Bag)
Callaway is one of the most prominent golf equipment manufacturers out there, being used by many Tour players while also being popular for players on any levels.
The Callaway Men's Strata Set is a very affordable club set for beginners. It includes everything you need to get out on the course: a bag, a driver, a 3-wood, a 5-hybrid, 6- to 9-irons, a pitching wedge, and a mallet putter designed for forgiveness.
Keep in mind that the 12-piece doesn't mean 12 clubs, but 9 clubs, 2 headcovers for the woods, and 1 bag.
Here are why we liked the Callaway Men's Strata 12-piece Set, and some cons.
- The driver and 3-wood have very large sweet spots
- The 5-hybrid is perfect for beginners, designed to replace the difficult to use long irons
- Irons and wedges included are designed with progressive sole width and perimeter weighting technology for more control
- T-Style mallet putter with increased moment of inertia (MOI), more forgiving on mis-hits
- The included stand bag is lightweight and includes five pockets, a cooler pocket, and a rain hood
- Only 9 clubs included, while you are allowed to carry 14
- No Sand Wedge included
- Large distance gap between 3-wood and 5-hybrid
- The driver head separated from the shaft for some reviewers (strange, especially for Callaway's standard of excellence). If this happens to you, we recommend contacting Callaway for a replacement.
To address the 9-clubs only issue, Callaway also offers 16- and 18-piece set for a slightly higher price tag.
You Want More? Get These Extended Versions:
Callaway Men's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with Bag 16 Piece
The 16-piece includes a sand wedge and a 4-hybrid, so now you have 11 clubs in total and 4 included headcovers.
Callaway Men's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with Bag 18 Piece
The 18-piece adds a 5-wood for more versatility on the fairway, totaling the number to 12 clubs and 5 headcovers.
Callaway Men's Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set
The Callaway Men's Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set is one of the most comprehensive starter sets we've ever seen for a beginner.
Starting with the woods, the set features a 460cc titanium driver that has the look and shape of your typical oversized driver. During our testing, we noted that the driver had a solid feel and performance off the tee.
Also included is a fairway wood with a low profile that handles longer shots on par-5s nicely as well the occasional use off the tee box.
- One of the more extensive club sets on the market, perfect for the beginner just starting their golfing career
- Two wedges are included giving the golfer a full array of clubs to use around the green
- The driver is well constructed and large enough for power off the tee for golfers of all skill levels
- Even though this is a comprehensive set of clubs, it is on the lower end of quality but does present a substantial value for beginning golfers
Two hybrids are included in the Strata set, and they are listed as the equivalent of a 4 and 5-iron from a loft standpoint. Both hybrids have a large sole, making them look and feel a bit more like a fairway wood than your typical hybrid.
Moving onto the irons, the Strata set incorporates cavity-backed irons ranging from the 6-through-9 irons. All four irons did admirably at delivering length consistently with high trajectory and a nice, soft landing on the green.
From a feel perspective, the irons did leave a little to be desired, but for beginners, these perimeter-weighted clubs are perfect for doing the job of getting the ball down to the target area with strength and accuracy.
One feature of this set that we really adored was the inclusion of a pitching and sand wedge. Too many beginner sets leave these two vital clubs out of the mix and as a result, inexperienced golfers try to navigate the greens with a 9-iron which is not ideal.
A milled-face putter rounds out the set. The blade-style putter is offset for a better look at the golf ball at address. During our testing, we felt the putter was solid, if unexceptional but very functional for a beginning golfer.
A sturdy, dependable stand bag is also included in the Strata collection here, and it provides everything you could need for your round. From deep pockets for storage of balls and tees to a comfortable strap that aids in helping you carry the bag, this stand bag is quite good for a set of this price.
We liked the Callaway Men's Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set as nothing has been left out as it features a wide array of clubs including two wedges for exceptional coverage around the green. This collection of clubs is a great starter set for the beginning golfer.
Wilson Men's Ultra Complete Golf Set, Standard Edition
Wilson is a brand synonymous with affordability, and that is why we feel the Ultra Complete Golf Set is an affordable yet high-quality for beginners out there.
The Complete Set features:
- 5- to 9- Irons
- A Pitching Wedge
- A Putter
So, you will have 10 clubs in total and a stand bag with a pretty good value.
One major downside (in our opinion), you might want to consider is the steel shafts instead of graphite. Graphite shafts can significantly improve distance for beginners with lower swing speed.
Using steel shafts from early days can indeed help beginners to get used to feedback and responses.
We feel that this Wilson Complete Golf Set can especially be suitable for beginners with naturally high swing speed. The steel shaft can help you control your tempo.
Here are some pros and cons you can expect from the Wilson Ultra Complete Golf Set.
- The driver and fairway woods are very forgiving and feature natural inclination to allow more accuracy and high flight trajectory. These features promote easier swing tempo and more distance for beginners
- The included putter features a Heel-Toe weight alignment for more control, accuracy, and forgiveness
10 clubs and a bag in one package, a great overall value
- Does not come with a sand wedge, which we feel is very important to scoring well on the golf course
- Some reviewers experienced a lack of durability with the graphite-shafted driver and 3-wood
- Use steel instead of graphite shafts, which might not be ideal for beginners although they are still lightweight overall
Overall, the Standard edition of Wilson Complete Golf Set offers a very decent overall value, including 10 different clubs in a very affordable price tag. Although it was released in 2015, we felt that this package provides a great overall value as a whole package.
Wilson Golf Profile SGI Men's Complete Golf Set with Bag
Wilson has been a longtime creator of quality beginning golf sets that provide the amateur with a full complement of clubs that has them ready to go from the moment they unbox the set.
We're happy to report that the Wilson Golf Profile SGI Men's Complete Golf Set with Bag is another excellent addition to their long line of quality beginning club sets.
The set has everything that a beginning golfer could need from a quality collection of clubs to a stand bag that is lightweight and easy to carry.
- Stylish set that sparkles on the course with a sharp yellow-black color base
- Excellent lightweight stand bag that has lots of storage for all your necessities
- Great group of woods and hybrids help beginners get the ball into the air
- Missing a few clubs, we would have like to see such as a mid-range lofted fairway wood and an additional hybrid.
There are three woods in the Wilson set, starting with a 10.5-degree driver. The top wood in this set is your standard 460cc driver with a sleek design. We enjoyed that the crown of the driver provided exceptional contrast for lining up with the center of the clubface.
Also, the fairway wood is listed as a five wood, and although we'd rather see a 15-to-17 degree wood in our beginning golf club sets, this five wood has a low profile for use anywhere on the course.
The hybrid is a substitute for a 5-iron, and it also has the low profile look that we like to see on our hybrids. This club is a bit wider in the sole, taking on the appearance of a fairway wood rather than your typical boxy hybrid.
Both of the lower woods in the Wilson set does an excellent job at lifting the ball from the grass and getting height on your shots. We also found the hybrid did well when using off the tee on shorter par-4s.
Moving onto the irons, the collection starts with a 6-iron and moves through the 9-iron. All of the irons in this set are cavity backed but thinner than your typical beginner-level iron. Most beginning irons are bulky with perimeter-weighting that is quite pronounced on the club, but that's not wholly the case with the Wilson set.
Instead, these irons are flatter and thinner, making them a little easier to swing but also not as easy, perhaps as other similar irons. And that is not necessarily a bad thing because as golfers gain experience, the Wilson set will last longer due to this style of iron.
A pitching and sand wedge are included, and we must say that we adored the sand wedge. With a sleek bladed look, the sand wedge performed exceptionally well around the green and from inside traps.
A blade-style putter is also included with a face insert that promotes better feel than some of the typical complete set putters that you may find elsewhere.
Rounding out this collection is a lightweight stand bag that has several pockets for plenty of storage. Another helpful inclusion is head covers to keep the woods safe from dings and scratches during transport.
A very solid set that all beginning golfers looking to purchase a well-made collection of clubs should consider, the Wilson Profile SGI Golf Set is a winner that will help anyone learn the game.
Pinemeadow Men's PGX Golf Set-Driver, 3 Wood, Hybrid, 5-PW Irons
The Pinemeadow PGX set leaves a few things out of their collection that we would have liked to see included such as a bag, sand wedge, and putter, but the grouping of clubs does provide a solid value for the beginning golfer.
The driver in this set is your standard graphite-shafted wood that has 460cc of volume for a large sweet spot that may not have a ton of feel at impact but can get the ball down the fairway.
Same goes for the fairway wood and hybrid in Pinemeadow set. Both clubs are actually better for beginning golfers because they provide more loft to help the inexperienced amateur improve their lift on the golf ball.
- Large driver with broad sweet spot helps lift the ball off the tee
- Fairway wood is at 15-degrees, perfect loft for beginners needing help with launch angle
- The irons are cavity backed and perimeter weighted for better forgiveness
- The set comes without a bag, sand wedge, or putter.
- The quality of the club set pales in comparison to some of the other sets on this list
The hybrid is easily the best of the three woods as it has a low profile but keeps a boxier look for more energy behind the golf ball. On the range, our testers liked how the hybrid responded from a variety of locations on the golf course. Whether it was off the tee, in the rough or from the fairway, the hybrid was the top performer of this collection.
Moving onto the irons, Pinemeadow has started at the 5-iron and included irons reaching all the way to the pitching wedge. Each has a perimeter-weighted look and feel that does assist the beginner in keeping the ball relatively straight with solid contact.
Each iron is steel-shafted that creates a heavier feel and slower swing speed. For older golfers, this could create a small issue that really holds back the player from getting their maximum distance.
If we had a major complaint about the Pinemeadow choice of irons, we wished they had included a sand wedge in this collection because we feel that one club is essential for all beginners to have in their bag. The sand wedge makes it so much easier for inexperienced golfers to lift and land the ball softly onto the green.
Also, the lack of putter and bag in this set does leave the golfer with more work to do to finish out their collection and become ready for the course. But overall, at this price point, the Pinemeadow PGX Golf Set could work well as the base for a beginner looking to save some cash while picking up the game.
Confidence Golf Mens Power Hybrid Club Set & Stand Bag
The brand Confidence might not be as famous as other top brands such as Callaway or TaylorMade. However, they have consistently produced many great products with exceptional quality and affordable price.
These key factors are the major highlight of the Confidence POWER Hybrid Club Set.
While it's very affordable, it includes 6- to 9- iron and a pitching wedge, along with a 24 degree lofted hybrid.
It also includes a 460 cc titanium driver with a nice 12-degree loft for easy elevation and forgiveness, and a semi-mallet putter.
Being even more low-priced than the Wilson Complete Golf Set mentioned above, it is an excellent overall value.
The included irons are full cavity-back models, excellent for their forgiveness and ease of use.
The Titanium driver is also especially excellent, encouraging higher launch and trajectory, forgiveness, and better overall control. It only includes a single hybrid club, but the 24-degree loft is actually very versatile, and can easily replace your long irons.
Of course, it also includes a nice stand bag with plenty of external storage. For its price, it is a complete package and great overall value. You will still have a budget space to buy the wedges and woods not included in the package.
Here are what we like (and dislike) from the Confidence POWER Hybrid club set.
- Very affordable, definitely the main selling point of this club set
- The club faces of the irons are big, providing bigger sweet spot to assist beginners
- You get a titanium Driver, a 3-wood, pitching wedge, 6- to 9- irons, and a bag. Excellent value for the price.
- The included bag is decent and is worth almost half the total package price if you were to buy it separately
- Not very durable
- The driver and hybrid use steel shafts, which can hinder a beginner's swing tempo
- The included putter is relatively heavy, and might not help beginners learn to putt with feel
Quality-wise, the Confidence POWER Hybrid set is admittedly not the best on this list.
Yet, this package is the most affordable, and with the excellent price tag, the quality of the package is very decent.
The included hybrid is quite good with a 24-degree loft angle, which is very versatile. It's easier to get the ball up and flying through the air than with a comparable long-iron.
Admittedly, the included driver and putter are not very good, yet they are still decent enough to help beginners improve their game. If you're not ready to make a big investment in golf, this set provides enough performance to get you hooked on the game and ready to upgrade.
Due to the affordability of the package, however, you might want to use some of that money you save to add a 3-wood and a sand wedge.
Overall, affordability is the main selling point of the Confidence POWER Hybrid Club Set. A very decent overall value.
Nitro Golf Blaster 15 Piece Complete Set with Bag Graphite/Steel
The Nitro Blaster 15-piece Complete Set is a reliable and thorough set for beginners and high-handicappers looking for a budget-conscious set to grow into their golfing journey. With three woods, six irons, a heavy putter and bag, the Blaster set covers all the bases for first-time golfers.
Starting with the woods in this set, the Nitro Blaster collection provides the golfer with a driver, 3-wood, and 3-hybrid. The driver is lofted at 10.5 degrees, which works well for a beginning golfer. One of the hardest things for high handicap golfers to do is get the ball into the air off the tee box, and this driver does help provide extra loft on your drives.
The 3-wood is lofted at 15 degrees, making it a solid choice on shorter par 4s and for second shots on long par 5s. The hybrid has the loft of a 3-iron, 21 degrees, and has a low profile to get under the ball for more lift. All three woods have graphite shafts and performed admirably during our testing as the clubs had a nice feel for a budget-level set.
There are six cavity-back style irons in this set, starting with the 5-iron and ending with the pitching wedge. Yes, the set lacks a sand wedge, so you’ll have to get additional wedges elsewhere, which is certainly a pain to do but that doesn’t mean this set doesn’t cover a lot of territory for a complete set.
Each iron has a heavier feel than your typical big brand iron, but the large sweet spot and perimeter weighting helps keep the ball straight at your target. You may find yourself wanting to replace the 5-iron with a 5-hybrid, and that would undoubtedly work to your advantage over time with this set.
Rounding out the club set is a large, heavy putter that is in the shape of a half-moon on the back. There are a few positives with this putter that we noted during our practice sessions. The first highlight is that the heft of the putter keeps it low to the ground throughout the stroke, promoting a smooth forward roll on the green.
The next positive for this Nitro putter is the large surface area on the face. On off-center hits, we noticed our putts stayed closer to the hole and more online than they would when we made mistakes with a budget level blade-style putter.
The bag in the Nitro Blaster set is very sharp with black and red trim, multiple padded single club holders and a putter well that keeps the large putter away from the other clubs. The bag also has an umbrella holder, numerous pockets in a variety of sizes and plenty of room for valuables and extra equipment.
A well rounded complete set for beginners and high handicappers on a budget, the Nitro Blaster 15-piece Complete Set is a solid entry that will have you off and running the moment you take the clubs from the box.
- Heavy, perimeter-weighted putter does well at providing an accurate roll and smooth stroke
- Large cavity back irons have a large sweet spot for solid contact and high launch angle
- The three woods profile nicely with proper loft angle for beginners and high handicappers
- Not as well constructed as complete sets by brands such as Callaway and Wilson
Pinemeadow PRE Complete Golf Set (16-Piece)
The Pinemeadow PRE Complete Golf Set is one of the most popular complete packages for beginners, being fairly affordable yet packing a very good quality.
The package is a 16-piece and includes a very nice driver with a graphite shaft and 10.5-degree loft angle. The choice of a 10.5-degree loft angle is interesting since many beginners' drivers use 12-degree loft angle for higher elevation.
A 10.5-degree loft can produce more distance for faster swingers and combined with the graphite shaft, it can encourage beginners to improve their swing by constantly producing satisfying distances.
The package also includes a 3-wood with 15-degree of loft, which will be easier to hit off the tee than a 10.5 degree drivers. If you find the driver too hard to hit, try using your 3-wood off the tee until you're more comfortable on the golf course.
Of course, it also includes a hybrid to replace the long irons, a standard feature of most beginner sets.
The included hybrid features a 21-degree loft angle, again, this is a relatively odd choice, but it is designed to close the gap with the long irons better.
For the iron set, the Pinemeadow PRE includes 4- to 9-irons along with a pitching wedge. The irons are made of stainless steel, and the club heads are big enough to promote forgiveness by making the sweet spots big.
Last but not least, the included mallet putter has a large, helpful alignment line that both helps beginners see the line and provides a high Moment of Inertia. It is well thought out and well-made.
The included bag and covers are actually some of the best quality compared to other packages on this list. With the 11 clubs included, although it is not as affordable as the aforementioned Confidence POWER Hybrid Set, the Pinemeadow PRE provides a great overall value.
Here are some pros and cons for the Pinemeadow PRE Complete Golf Set.
- Decently priced. It is not the most affordable set on this list, but for the included clubs (11 of them) and their qualities, it's a great overall value
- 11 included clubs, a driver, a 3-wood, a hybrid, 4- to 9-irons, a pitching wedge, and a putter. Among the most clubs included in one set
- The driver is exceptional with a 10.5-degree loft and a graphite shaft. This combination will ensure boosted distance for beginner players with higher swing speed
- The irons and 3-wood are well-made. They are very well-crafted with forgiveness in mind.
- The included stand bag is one of the best among this list, very comfortable with backpack-style dual straps, included stand, and also very spacious with a lot of exterior pockets
- The putter has one of the best alignment lines of any we reviewed
- The 21-degree loft on the hybrid is a little awkward. Some beginners may find it hard to hit this off the ground.
- No sand wedge included, and an additional 5-wood would greatly improve the set
Overall, the Pinemeadow PRE Complete Golf set is one of the most complete packages available in the market today. With 11 included clubs, it provides extra versatility over some of the 10-club packages, and its durability was among the best of the beginner sets we reviewed.
Although it is not the most affordable on this list, the Pinemeadow PRE Complete Golf Set is still decently priced. It includes 11 clubs and a very nice stand bag, and the durability makes this a solid long-term investment.
Questions & Answers
What are the different types of golf clubs and when in the game are they most relevant?
Photo by plovedstuff
The different golf clubs in a golf set
Before we answer this question, let us first understand the principle behind it: why do you actually need that many different golf club types?
The golf course is a very large space, averaging 74 acres.
In that vast space, there is a wide variety of different terrains you will face during the game.
That fact, in turn, creates a lot of different situations as you play the game, and that is where the need for diverse golf clubs arise.
One golf club for every situation...
For long shots on the fairway, for example, there is a specific type of golf clubs designed for maximizing distance: the fairway woods or the driver.
For mid-range and shorter shots, you can use irons.
When you are trapped in the sand bunker or hitting short chips around the green, there is the sand wedge.
When you are on the green and you need precision instead of distance, there is the putter.
Can you do it all with only one club? Technically, sure. I suppose you can grab a single club and hit the course, but that's a variation of the game known as One-Club. If you want to actually enjoy the game of golf, you'll need a full set of clubs to accomplish all the different shots required. Practicing occasionally with a single club can help you learn how to be creative and hit different types of shots with a club you wouldn't normally use, but that's for more experienced players.
Keep in mind that the rules of golf will limit you to take a maximum of 14 different clubs for a round of golf. Here we describe in detail each different type of golf clubs, and how they are commonly used.
Golf Club Type #1: The Woods
We have briefly mentioned the woods above, and highlighted that they are all about distance. The club we call the driver is the lowest-lofted of the woods, often deemed the 1-wood, and is typically used to hit the ball off an elevated tee. The lower the loft angle is, the farther a well-struck ball will travel.
The name woods derives from the fact that they used to be actually made of wood, commonly hickory or persimmon. Nowadays, they are made of metal (and often called the oxymoron "metalwoods"), such as titanium or steel, mainly because metal manufacturing technology has improved so much that they can be lighter than wood while being much more durable. This allows manufacturers to construct very large, forgiving clubheads that help beginners hit better shots from the start, true beginner golf clubs that is.
Photo by bmetlzz
2 woods and their covers
The club face of the woods is relatively large compared to other clubs, and the loft angle is lower to produce the most distance.
The higher numbers of the woods are generally known as the fairway woods, and as the name suggests, are designed to hit the ball from the fairway. They are generally smaller than the driver, with a smaller profile needed to pick the golf ball deftly off the grass.
Golf Club Type #2: The Irons
The irons get their name from the metal club head, and are commonly used when a golfer is less than 200 yards away from the green. When you are purchasing an iron, typically they come in a set, numbered from 3 to 9 with the higher number represents a higher loft. While they do exist, it is rare to find any golfer using a 1- or 2-iron, as they're considered incredibly difficult to hit successfully. Even professional golfers would rather use a 5-wood or a hybrid rather than attempt to hit a 1-iron.
The 3-, 4-, and 5-irons are called the long irons. They both have the longest shafts of the irons in a set and are used for longer-distance shots; hence the moniker "long irons". They are often the hardest clubs for beginners to hit and are often replaced in a set with hybrids.
The 6-, 7-, and 8-irons are known as middle irons, typically used when the ball is roughly 130-180 yards away from the green.
Last but not least, the short irons are the 9-iron and pitching wedge, which are designed to hit higher, shorter shots to the green.
Photo by deepdivetrepairman
1 iron club
Nowadays, the typical iron set contains 3- through 9- irons along with a pitching wedge and sometimes a gap wedge (used to cover distances between your pitching wedge and sand wedge range).
Golf Club Type #3: The Hybrids
As the name may suggest, the hybrids is a hybrid of irons and woods, mixing some of their features and qualities. The club face of a hybrid club is similar to the irons, but the head is rounded like the woods.
As a result, the hybrids have a lower center of gravity that is also pushed further back, which in turn creates forgiveness. Hybrids are considered more forgiving than both the woods and the irons, and they come with more variations in loft angle from 16 to 26 degrees.
When to use them? They are generally used as more forgiving alternatives to the long irons (1- to 6-irons).
Photo by jman_thp
1 hybrid club
Alternatively, you can also use the hybrids to fill the gap between the fairway woods and the mid-short irons. Your lowest numbered hybrid should be 10 to 15 yards shorter than your highest fairway wood to maintain consistent distance gapping.
"Distance gapping" refers to the difference between number of yards between the average distance you hit one club and the next club. For instance, if you hit a 3-wood 200 yards, you should hit your 5-wood 190 yards and your 3-iron 180 yards. This will allow you to cover as many different situations as possible when you're on the golf course.
Having overly large or small distance gaps can be either a swing or an equipment issue. It's a good idea to visit your local pro to help figure out how far you hit each club.
Golf Club Type #4: The Wedges
Wedges are lofted higher than any other clubs, and are designed to lift the ball high into the air quickly, for shots known as pitches, lobs, and chips. There are several wedge subtypes, the four main ones being:
- The pitching wedge, commonly included when you purchase an iron set, has a loft between 46 to 51 degrees. It is usually used when the ball is around 120 yards from the green.
- The sand wedge is used to escape the sand bunkers or very tall grass, or from 100 yards and in.
- A gap wedge is also commonly included in an iron set, and is used to fill the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge to hit the ball around 110 yards.
- The lob wedge is used to produce a lob or flop shot, when you need the get the ball high in the air quickly and land without much rollout. A flop shot should fly high and land softly, stopping close to where it landed. It's a difficult shot to pull off and should only be attempted by intermediate to advanced golfers. Beginners can still use a lob wedge to hit short shots inside 80 yards and short greenside chips.
Wedges are very versatile with a lot of applications and can get you out from a lot of tricky situations when applied correctly.
Golf Club Type #5: The Putters
Last but not least, there is the putter, arguably the most important club in the bag. The putter is often used for more strokes per round than all the other clubs in the bag combined. Putters are made with only one purpose: to roll the ball along the green towards the hole.
Putters come in different shaft lengths, with the standard being about 32" to 35" long. The ideal putter length often comes down to personal preference. If your putter feels too long, you can choke down on the grip to make it effectively shorter. Some golfers purposely buy an overly long putter and choke down a few inches on the grip because they like the feel of the extra weight at the grip end of the putter.
There are also different varieties of putter heads, but nowadays there are two types commonly used:
- The blade putter, where the head is formed like a flat blade. Blade putters are the "classic" putter style, but generally have a small sweet spot and low forgiveness
- The mallet putter, on the other hand, is more forgiving and typically has a high moment of inertia, allowing the ball to roll the intended distance even when the sweet spot is missed.
Photo by bam_mcfarlane
1 putter club
The belly putter and broomstick putter are much taller clubs and are used to give the golfer a better putting stroke when the player has problems using a standard putter. However, a recent rule change made it illegal to anchor these putter styles against your body, so the use of these two putter styles has declined dramatically.
There is a variety of golf clubs out there, each with their own purpose. Woods are designed for distance, irons for approaches to the green, hybrids if you find long irons impossible to hit, wedges to lift the ball high in the air, and putters to roll it into the hole.
Why do I need golf clubs specifically aimed at beginners?
Typically, every manufacturer of golf clubs offers a specific version designed for beginners. They all have one thing in common: more forgiveness.
Most problems for newer players result from mis-hit shots, which sacrifice distance and produce unwanted hooks or slices. Beginner clubs are designed to have larger sweet spots and more forgiveness when you miss that sweet spot.
Beginner clubs can still provide top-notch performance while players learn to improve their game. In my personal opinion, forgiving clubs that can help manufacture decent shots from mediocre swings will help new players to engage more, giving them that adrenaline rush that you can only get from watching a good golf shot fly through the air. The more good shots you hit, the more likely you are to play more, practice more, and improve.
As a beginner, you might think that using the same clubs a tour player uses will give you the best chance of success on the golf course. In fact, the opposite is true: tour-level clubs are engineered to perform to the specs of only the best and most experienced players. Equipment specially made for beginners (such as the best golf clubs for beginners) will give you the best chance at falling in love with the game of golf. Trying to start out with hard-to-hit tour-level blades will likely result in discouragement and an early exit from what can be a rewarding lifelong pursuit.
Here are some of the common beginner versions of club types:
- The mallet putter is designed for forgiveness and thus may be better suited for beginner.
- Cavity-back "game improvement" irons are designed for max forgiveness. Beginners should avoid "blade"-style irons, as they're much more difficult to hit. Blades are designed for experienced players who wish to bend their shots, while beginners should be trying to hit shots as straight as possible.
- A lot of drivers are designed for beginners, typically by moving the center of gravity lower and further back, so you can achieve adequate distance even on mis-hits.
A lot of major manufacturers are offering beginner versions for every club type. If you are a newer player, you should take advantage of these clubs to improve your game faster.
As a woman, should I buy a specific golf set or can I use the same as men?
They are on average, shorter and smaller in stature, and the golf clubs for ladies are designed with that fact in mind, where they are typically shorter with more flexible shafts.
The grips found on ladies' clubs are also shorter and smaller in diameter, to accommodate womens' frequently smaller hands.
Women players shouldn't be worried about differences in features or quality, as similar technologies are applied to the ladies' clubs.
Photo by _paige.renee
1 putter club
Besides the smaller stature, it is also common for female golfers to have slower swing speeds.
To accommodate the slower swing speed, ladies' clubs are commonly lighter and have more flexible shafts. Many womens' sets come with graphite shafts throughout the set to help achieve maximum distance.
Here are some other differences you will find on each individual type of clubs:
While men's drivers commonly have 9 to 11 degrees of loft, ladies' drivers typically have a minimum of 12-degree loft to improve the launch angle at a slower swing speed.
The higher loft angle allows higher flight trajectory, which in turn will produce more distance even with slower swing speed.
Ladies' sets often have 7- or 9-woods to replace 3- and 4-irons, as the woods help achieve a higher, longer ball flight at lower swing speeds.
Ladies' irons have more flexible (often graphite) shafts, and the club is lighter overall. The club head is usually slightly heavier to allow better head position with more flex.
To make the weight of the club lighter, ladies' clubs typically come with graphite shafts, which are significantly lighter than steel. Men's clubs, on the other hand, can use steel or graphite.
Graphite shafts are also naturally more flexible, which allows better club head position during the swing.
There are some differences in how women and men play golf, that is why we recommend that women specifically purchase golf clubs tailored to them. There are beginner golf clubs specifically made for women available on the market for all the models reviewed in this article.
What are the brands offering beginner golf clubs and how do these brands differentiate themselves?
Nowadays, many major brands are offering a wide range of clubs for beginners, either individual piece or a complete set. Here are a few examples:
- TaylorMade M1 and M2 clubs are geared towards beginners with more forgiveness
- Callaway offers complete club sets directed for beginners, such as the Strata series.
- Wilson are famous for high-quality yet affordable equipment for many sports, and they also offer a complete club set for beginners
There are still many brands offering beginners' clubs, but how do they differentiate themselves? The main emphasis in both design and technology for beginners' clubs is about forgiveness.
The differences you will find between each manufacturer is generally about their approach in producing more forgiveness.
Generally, there are two ways to create more forgiveness:
- To make the area of impact bigger, giving more Moment of Inertia (MOI). By making the sweet spot bigger, players can produce well-struck shots more.
- To manipulate the center of gravity placement. Generally, a low-back position will allow more forgiveness.
While those are the only two major principles to achieve, there are myriad ways to achieve them, and manufacturers' R&D departments are working to find new ways and technologies every single day.
TaylorMade, Callaway, and Wilson all offer high quality golf sets for beginners. These sets offer maximum forgiveness and distance on off-center hits by optimizing center-of-gravity and maximizing Moment of Inertia.
If I play regularly, how long should I expect to keep these clubs?
This is a tough question to answer, as it might vary with each individual due to many factors.
As a general rule, you can keep your clubs for at least three years before new technology may start to make them obsolete. Also, if you play frequently, the grooves of your irons and wedges may become worn down and you'll find performance will start to degrade.
Another factor you should consider is whether your game will improve during those years, as you might hit a performance wall and need to invest in clubs for better players. If you've fallen in love with the game, you'll want to spring for a custom-fitted set of clubs.
A good quality beginners' set should be good to go for at least three or more years.
Do I need to worry about which shaft to use?
This is a general principle: the slower your swing speed, the lighter and more flexible your shaft should be. Golfers with very slow swing speeds may benefit from using graphite shafts. High-speed swingers can use stiff or extra stiff steel shafts for maximum control.
To get a clearer picture, let us discuss the pros and cons of each shaft type.
Steel Shafts VS Graphite Shafts
- PROS OF GOLF STEEL SHAFTS
- CONS OF GOLF STEEL SHAFTS
Steel shafts typically offer more control than lighter graphite shafts. They also cost much less than typical graphite shafts.
Players with higher swing speed will benefit from the heavier nature of steel shafts, helping them to control the tempo.
There is another clear benefit of the steel shaft: the vibration of the steel material itself, which enables the golfer to feel the quality of the ball strike. The feedback of this vibration can help skilled players to assess their previous swing, which they can use to fix their mistakes as the round goes by.
Steel shafts are heavier and can slightly reduce the swing speed. The difference of swing speed can be up to 4 miles an hour, a loss of roughly 10 yards of distance.
With steel shafts, mis-hit shots can irritate your hands and arms due to the vibrations and weight. This is especially true in colder weather--vibrations from poorly struck shots can really hurt if it's cold out!
- PROS OF GRAPHITE SHAFTS
- CONS OF GRAPHITE SHAFTS
Most golfers can increase their distance by roughly 5 percent by using a graphite shaft. The vibrations on mis-hits are also muffled, so they are less painful. The graphite shaft will be especially helpful for players with slow swing tempos.
Modern graphite shafts such as UST Mamiya Recoil shafts can be built to the specs and feel of steel shafts yet retain the vibration-dampening advantage of graphite.
The flexibility and whip effect of graphite shafts can be hard to control. For players with poor swing habits, those can be exaggerated due to the flexibility of the shaft.
You will need practice to get used to the flexibility. Graphite shafts are also generally more expensive of around 15 percent price difference.
Although the general answer is that graphite shafts will suit beginners better, that isn't always be the case. A lot of newer players have naturally high swing speed and will benefit from the feel of heavier, stiffer steel shafts.
If you have a slow swing speed, use a graphite shaft. Otherwise use a steel shaft.
What should I look for when buying beginner's golf clubs?
If You Are Just Starting Out...
When searching for a new set of clubs, beginners often come across the term “super game improvement irons.” For those golfers who need the most help, super game improvement irons help get the ball in the air quickly. This help in elevation off the club face allows for maximum ball speed that assists the beginner in getting the most distance from their shots.
There are three areas of focus to consider when buying beginner golf clubs.
First characteristic: Forgiveness
The first characteristic is forgiveness. Since beginning golfers won’t have strong fundamentals, they will experience a high percentage of shots where the golf ball doesn’t meet the center of the club face. These occurrences are called off-center hits.
By finding clubs with larger sweet spots in the middle of the club face, the ball will stay straighter on off-center strikes. As a result, the beginner will see improved shot making as well as lower scores.
Second characteristic: Club Weight
The second area for beginners to focus on is finding clubs that are lighter in weight to increase their swing speed.
Remember that it is vital for the club to be moving fast through the golf ball to get the distance necessary to see an improvement in scoring. Longer drives mean shorter second shots which are known to provide a higher percentage of birdie chances.
Older clubs usually haven’t been able to take advantage of the latest technology that helps redistribute and lessen the weight of club heads.
Third characteristic: Shaft Flex
Finally, the last area is finding the correct flex for the shafts in your clubs. Flex rating is connected to the beginner’s current swing speed. Too much or too little flex will cause problems with getting the club face back to square at impact.
When buying golf sets for beginners, watch out specifically for club weight, shaft flex and forgiveness.
Should I buy new or used golf clubs?
It is generally hard to find used beginners' clubs in good condition, due to the fact that beginners tend to make a lot of mistakes during their early days.
This results in lots of excess wear and tear on clubs.
If you can find clubs in good condition from a recent product line that uses modern technology, used clubs can be a good option to save a few bucks.
Credit Photo: golfbidder
Beginners' clubs tend to get obsolete faster than others, because technologies and designs enhancing forgiveness progress rapidly every year.
In our opinion, you are better off buying new clubs, and you can make the most of the improved forgiveness designs. It is also easier to find clubs more suited to your specific needs that way.
We recommend that you buy new golf clubs instead of used ones.
Should I buy a complete set or individual clubs?
In our opinion, beginners are better off buying a complete set. That is due to the fact that many beginners haven't yet developed their playing style. Getting a basic, matched set will help you figure out what you like and don't like about standard golf club setups. When you're ready to upgrade, you'll know if you prefer long irons or hybrids, or if you'd rather have a 5-wood or a lob wedge.
Besides that fact, a complete set is also often a more affordable investment. Sooner or later, your playing style and skill level will improve and you will hit a performance wall, and you will want to upgrade to a set more customized to you.
Investing in a more affordable complete set will enable you to have more options in the future.
We recommend to buy a complete set if you are just starting out.
What golf clubs do I need based on my golf goals?
The beginner should always start their golfing journey with modest goals.
Too many first-time players believe that they should instantly replicate the swing they see from the pros they watch on Sunday afternoons.
Instead, beginners should find clubs that help them do two things that will allow them to play the game better in a shorter period of time.
The first step in finding golf clubs that will help best assist them in increasing their swing speed. More swing speed means more distance. So as you can see, finding clubs that are lightweight and with the right shaft flex is vital to increase your swing speed.
The second area is finding clubs that utilize perimeter-weighted club heads.
Manufacturers have created perimeter-weighted clubs to promote stability and control for high-handicappers. These clubs allow for more forgiveness on off-center hits and boost the ball height.
Therefore, look for lightweight, perimeter-weighted irons and woods when starting to build your first set of golf clubs.
We recommend that you start with easy-to-achieve goals so you stay motivated. Therefore, you need golf clubs aimed at swing speed ideally with perimeter-weighted club heads.
Do I need custom fitting for my clubs?
Many golfers shy away from custom fittings by professionals due to the expense of buying custom-made clubs.
And although this is a valid reason for avoiding a fitting, it does not take into account the value a proper club fitting brings to your game.
If you are concerned that you are not far enough along in developing your swing, then take the time to continue to learn the proper fundamentals.
Practice with the goal of having a professional make an assessment three-to-six months after seriously devoting the time to building your swing.
A club-fitting allows the professional to assess your swing by reading a host of data that influences the choice of finding the correct flex shaft as well as the right loft for your woods and irons. By playing with properly fitted clubs, you are giving yourself the chance to achieve your best score.
If you are ready to pay $1000+ for golf clubs, get them custom fitted. Otherwise, it is not necessary and not worth the extra cost.
What is a normal budget to buy great golf clubs for beginners?
A typical budget for a beginning golfer to find a great set of golf clubs should be directly related to how big you would like the set to be as you start to learn the game.
Before settling on a budget, you must choose between either buying new or used clubs and also deciding if you should buy a full or partial set.
Most coaches will suggest that beginners start with just a handful of lower irons such as a 7 and 9-iron coupled with a couple of wedges. By starting small, the beginner gives themselves a chance to slowly learn the mechanics necessary in building a great swing that lasts a lifetime.
Start with a small number of clubs (handful of irons for example), therefore budget should be between $300 and $500.
What is the right golf club head size for beginners?
Credit Photo: nicodamiana
For the beginning golfer, finding the right clubhead size is extremely important in getting the extra help you need to lower your scores.
The shape of a club head is vital in creating ball height as well as backspin.
Factors such as the width of the sole of the clubhead on an iron to the height of the blade influence how the ball leaves the club face.
Super game improvement irons that are made explicitly for beginners, share such characteristics as perimeter-weighting around the larger clubhead to boost forgiveness as well as a wide sole width to keep the club low through the impact zone.
Both of these features assist the beginner in limiting their thin shots, which produce ugly hooks and slices, and instead, get the ball up into the air quickly so that the length and direction of the shot are straight and matches the swing speed of the golfer.
As you progress in your golf game, you will outgrow the super game improvement irons because they are blunt instruments created to get the ball up into the air and down the fairway, sacrificing control and precision that golfers with more experience tend to prefer.
But these larger headed clubs do serve an important purpose for the beginning golfer looking to capture some joy earlier in their playing careers. By having small victories on the course, beginning golfers catch the golfing fever and will be driven to pursue their lowest possible score.
How do I clean golf clubs?
There are several rules to follow when cleaning your clubs. The first is never to submerge and leave your clubs sitting in water. This mistake will weaken the adhesive that joins the clubhead and shaft together and should be avoided.
To clean your clubs the correct way, you’ll want to start with a bucket of lukewarm water with mild, non-abrasive dish detergent.
There are three areas of cleaning that you’ll want to focus your efforts. They are the grip, the grooves on the clubface, and the complete clubhead.
The grip can be cleaned often to refresh or remove any debris or dirt from the area. Remember, every 40 rounds or so, you should be changing out your grips but always before and after your round, make sure to wipe down your grips with a damp towel but never leave them wet. Simply wipe and dry when cleaning that section of the club.
Next, the grooves of the irons need to be free from dirt to promote backspin and perform at an optimum level. Before you start the cleaning, find a soft wire brush that can work dirt from impacted areas of the club.
Dip the clubhead in the soapy water and then lightly brush away any dirt or grime. Like the grips, after the grooves are completely clean, make sure you completely dry the area before storing so that rust doesn’t form.
And finally, with the clubhead, you can find either impacted dirt or rust on some area of the entire clubhead. If you are simply cleaning dirt from the club, then follow the groove washing section where you dip the club in the water, brush away dirt and then dry.
If you have rust on the clubhead, then first, completely clean the club and wipe dry. Then take steel wool and buff the rust from the afflicted areas of the club without pressing too hard. After you remove all the rust, take a little metal polish and rub the areas where rust once held. Allow the club to dry, then replace in your bag.
How often should I upgrade my club set?
You’ll want to upgrade your club set every few years. The reason why you’ll want to refresh your set is so that you can take advantage of the latest technology that golf manufacturers have to offer.
There are ways to keep your clubs as fresh as possible for the length of time that you own them. One of the easiest ways to keep your clubs playing like new is to change the grips periodically. The current rule of thumb is every 40 rounds, but if you don’t play that often, the suggestion is to change every two years if you do not reach the 40 round threshold.
The reason for changing clubs every so often, especially for mid to high handicappers, is that the new technology will help with forgiveness, launch angle and backspin.
Are graphite shafts better for beginners?
For beginners, the benefit in having graphite over stainless steel shafts in their clubs is that the graphite is lighter allowing for greater swing speed. The added yardage is especially advantageous when hitting second shots into the green.
Golfers who have had physical issues with their back, arms or shoulders can also help ease the pain of swinging a golf club with the lighter graphite shafts. Another area where graphite helps the body is by minimizing vibrations on off-center strikes.
Graphite shafts are better for beginners.
Winner: Best Golf Clubs For Beginners
When we take everything into account, we're able to narrow down all the pros and cons to figure out the best golf club set for beginners. This takes into account quality, completeness of the set, and affordability.
And our winner is:
Callaway Men's Strata 12-piece
There are three different Strata Sets offered by Callaway: a 12-piece (9 included clubs), 16-piece (11 included clubs), and 18-piece (12 clubs). The price difference between each of them is not much, so you might as well invest on the 18-piece for a more complete set and more versatility in your game.
Although they are significantly cheaper than the X2-Hot for example, the Strata Sets are good quality, as you can expect from a respected manufacturer like Callaway.
If you're willing to stretch your budget, the Pinemeadow PRE set has an excellent driver which is more forgiving than the Callaway Strata driver, while the Wilson Complete Set and the Confidence Complete Set will suit players with tighter budget. If price is no object, go with the Callaway X2-Hot set.
We hope you've enjoyed this article and learned a little something about golf clubs as well. Don't hesitate to leave a comment or contact us directly if there are any further questions. We will be glad to help.