Callaway Strata Review: The Best Golf Club Set in 2020?

Jordan FullerEdited by: Jordan Fuller
John MarshallReviewed by: John Marshall

Last Update:

The Callaway Strata Golf Set is a 12-piece collection of clubs that are meant to get the beginning golfer ready for the course right after they open the box.

Some of you may be asking if the Callaway Strata Club Set is the best set available for the beginner and if you are looking for an affordable starter club set, the answer is potentially yes.

Sure, we’d like for a wedge or two not found in this set to be here, but as long as you acknowledge that the set will need to be augmented over the coming months, this is a nice collection to kick-start your golfing journey.

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Callaway Strata Complete Golf Set (12-piece)
1,073 Reviews
Callaway Strata Complete Golf Set (12-piece)
Best golf set for beginners – everything you need to start at an affordable price.
  • Large cavity backed irons which helps to keep your shot on target.
  • Large 460cc driver with titanium clubhead and wide sweet spot for plenty of forgiveness.
  • Golf bag and 2 head covers included.

Last updated on 2019-12-07. The links are affiliate links. Product images are served from Amazon Product Advertising API.

Callaway Strata Golf Set

Great Golf Set for the Beginning Golfer

Callaway Golf Men's Strata Complete 12 Piece Package Set (Right Hand, Steel)
Check Price on Amazon

Overall grade93%
Quality of Set93%
Woods95%
Irons92%
Wedges & Putter92%
Accessories95%

PROS

  • Large 460cc driver with titanium clubhead and wide sweet spot for plenty of forgiveness
  • Low profile hybrid is a nice companion for the golfer looking to grow into their game off the tee box
  • Large cavity backed irons have large sweet spot and the perimeter weighting helps with keeping your shot on target

CONS

  • Irons start at the 6-iron, leaving a large gap between the driver and 5-hybrid that the golfer will need to augment with extra clubs as they grow into their game
  • Missing sand or lob wedge, either of which is a club that is very beneficial to the beginning golfer

Technical Specifications

12 Piece Set

The Callaway Strata Golf Set comes with three woods, four irons, one wedge, one putter and a stand bag. This 12-piece set also has two head covers to keep the dings out of your driver and 3-wood. A very nice start for the beginning golfer in your family, the Callaway Strata covers a lot of bases with the collection of clubs chosen for this set.

460cc Driver

The large headed 460cc driver is simple as there are no adjustable features on the club, but even with a fixed hosel, this #1 wood has a wide sweet spot that offers forgiveness on off-center strikes.

Stand Bag

The multi-pocketed stand bag is a wonderful utility that protects all 12 clubs in this set. With two legs and an oversized shoulder strap, the Strata emblazoned bag is great for golfers who want to walk the course, while keeping their clubs free from touching the ground.


Things to consider before buying a complete set

What a Beginning Golfer Needs

The biggest question that needs answering when shopping for a complete set of golf clubs is; does it provide the clubs that will get the beginner off to a good start? The same holds true for high handicappers as they need enough clubs to help in the maturation of their golf game.

The complete set can provide both to a golfer as it allows them to grow to the clubs they can’t necessarily use well at first, such as a driver, but gives them higher irons such as a 8-or-9 iron, that helps them get the ball into the air during their first practice sessions.

Woods

In a complete starter set of clubs, it is common to find anywhere from two-to-four woods. Most sets will have a driver that is of varying size, but the most typical volume is a clubhead that measures 460cc. Next you’ll find some number of fairway wood, such as a 3-wood, that offers a nice mid-range wood that has plenty of loft for helping the amateur get the ball into the air after impact.

Finally, the collection of woods will round out with a hybrid. These woods are smaller than drivers and fairway woods as they hope to replace the low-iron with a club that is easier to hit and provides more success to the high handicapper.

Irons

Another area of importance in a starter set is the irons contained among the group of clubs. Most sets will start with the 5-or 6-iron and work their way through the 9-iron. In starter sets, it is common to find super-game improvement irons that have cavity-backing with wide soles on the bottom of the irons and perimeter weighting that provides forgiveness on off-center hits.

Not only is the number of irons in the set important to know, but the style of iron and how it will fit into the future of the golfer is essential as well. This reasoning is why having super-game improvement irons is crucial for the beginning golfer to get as much help as possible when starting their own golfing journey.

Wedges

Wedges are a tricky compliment to the starter set because most companies don’t include enough of them to help out the high handicapper. These short game clubs have a lot of loft to help the golfer get the ball closer to the cup, while sliding under the golf ball for better contact at impact and higher flight, two areas that beginning golfers struggle with at the start of their learning.

Some of the more intricate sets will include both a pitching and sand wedge but that is the exception to the norm, and not what many sets offer golfers looking at this specific type of product. Knowing that you will have to add a sand and/or lob wedge at some point to your collection certainly helps you understand the complete cost of adding clubs to your starter set along the way.

Accessories

One of the best features of the out of the box golf set is that many of them include extra accessories such as a bag and head covers. Having a multi-pocketed bag helps the beginning golfer bring everything to course they will need, such as extra golf balls, room for rain gear as well as pockets to protect your valuables on the course.

For the beginning golfer, a quality stand bag is great for the range and helps keeps your clubs dry by not having to rest on the wet ground. Having clubhead covers is also convenient because it keeps the woods clean and without dings that affect the appearance and performance of the club.

Features & Benefits

Key Feature #1: 460cc Titanium Driver

While it is certainly important to have a driver in a complete set, for beginning golfers, it comes with a slight warning. Most novices are not going to be able to hit their driver with any consistency and the thought of immediately opening the Strata Set and heading to the range with the intent of using the driver is slightly mad.

That said, knowing what to look for in a driver and understanding how important it is to the future of your game makes the driver an essential club for any collection of clubs that come straight from the box.

The Strata Set offers a 10.5-degree driver made from titanium that measures 460cc in volume. It has a large club head and, as a result, a sizable sweet spot with nice forgiveness off the tee box. Although it may take a few months before you use the driver, the one in the Strata Set will perform admirably over time.

Key Feature #2: Low profile 3-wood

The 3-wood in the Strata Set is lofted at 15.5 degrees, making it a dependable club for high handicappers to use off the tee box until their game gets the consistency and distance to allow the golfer to take the next step in their skill level.

With a low profile that keeps the center of gravity toward the rear of the club, the Strata 3-wood helps beginning golfers get the ball into the air for maximum distance and carry on their drives. With a shaft that measures at roughly 42 inches, high handicappers will notice an improvement in swing speed and control with this club over the longer driver in the set.

Great for feeling comfortable on the tee box, this 3-wood will certainly provide useful service from the fairway as your game grows.

Key Feature #3: Wide Soled 5-hybrid

The 5-hybrid takes the place of a 5-iron that is definitely tougher to hit for beginning golfers. In exchange, the 5-hybrid helps provide solid contact at impact and the structure of the club allows the wide sole of the club head to slide underneath the golf ball for a better launch angle and more ball height.

As you continue to gain more experience in your game, the 5-hybrid becomes incredibly essential to your game, allowing you a dependable club to use on the tee box and from the fairway on longer par-4s and par-5s.

Lofted at 26 degrees, there’s not much difference here between the hybrid and the set’s 6-iron but the style of the club head certainly provides an advantage for the inexperienced golfer that an iron cannot duplicate.

Key Feature #4: Cavity-Backed Irons

There are four irons in the Strata 12-piece set, beginning with the 6-iron and ending with the 9-iron. All four irons are cavity-backed, pushing extra steel to the outer rim of the clubhead for better balance and maximum forgiveness.

These irons would be classified as game-improvement irons, meaning they are built to help the high handicapper get the ball into the air easily and help keep it straight with a destination that goes where you are aimed.

While the irons in the Strata set might not be sophisticated, for the beginner, they provide a durable and solid option for your first set of irons. Even though they are a tad heavier than we’d prefer from our starter set irons, the extra heft does keep the club low to the ground for improved contact.

Key Feature #5: Perimeter-Weighted Pitching Wedge

Although we’d like to see an additional sand and/or lob wedge included in this set, the pitching wedge is a nice addition that will certainly help the average beginning golfer from anywhere under a 100 yards to the green.

The loft on the Strata Set’s pitching wedge is 44 degrees and although that is a little higher than we’d like, the wedge is a performer from anywhere on the course, whether it be the fairway or the light rough.

The heaviest iron in the bag, the pitching wedge in this collection is made to help the beginner find some accuracy while adding a little distance to your short game.

Key Feature #6: Blade-Style Putter

The putter is a blade-style putter that has some extension steel behind the face that helps balance and level the flat stick on the green. While most putters you’ll find in a complete set struggle to provide quality work around the green, the Strata Set’s putter does a nice job of promoting forward roll and getting the ball to the cup.

The shaft of the putter measures 35 inches, which is standard for an off-the-shelf putter. A small tip for beginning golfers looking to purchase the Strata Set: You may want to add a larger putting grip that will help stabilize your strokes and keep the putter square throughout the impact zone.

Key Feature #7: Lightweight Multi-Pocketed Stand Bag

The lightweight bag comes equipped with several pockets of varying length that can handle all your extra necessities including rain gear, your valuables, and extra towels, balls and tees. The bag has five pockets, a cooler pocket to keep your drinks cold, a rain hood and a comfortable backpack strap system.

With two sturdy legs, the stand bag is great for golfers who want to mix in a little exercise with their round by walking the course. The bag will keep your clubs dry and off the ground, great for golfers who like to play in the morning dew but don’t want that standing moisture to reach the grips of the clubs, where water can do some serious damage.

Key Feature #8: Two Head Covers

Provided in the set is two head covers that protect and cushion the top two woods included in the set. One of the biggest reasons why head covers are important to use is that woods are the largest clubs in your bag and through the rigors of traveling and while riding on the course, these specific clubs have a tendency to collect unsightly scratches and cosmetic dings that can affect the drag on the club, causing inconsistencies in your shots.

By using the head covers throughout your time on the course and while you travel to and from the course, you can significantly lower your chances of damage to the wood’s club heads and elongate the life of the clubs by keeping them pristine.

Key Feature #9: Complete Starter Set for Beginner and High Handicapper

For the beginning golfer and high handicapper, a complete golf set that comes ready to go, straight from the box is advantageous because you don’t spend any time tracking down individual clubs and the sets typically cover everything you need to immediately start your golfing journey.

The Strata Golf Set provides the golfer with three woods, four irons, one wedge and a putter. This ensemble assures that the golfer has everything they need to complete a round. Yes, the set may not be as extensive as more experienced golfers will use on the course, but for a starter set, you can do much worse than this particular model and brand.

Great for the inexperienced weekend warrior in your family who wants to save his money for the green fees, the Strata 12-piece Set is comprehensive and offers beginning golfers plenty of options on the course.

Key Feature #10: Additional Options for Sets

There are two other options for golfers who like the 12-piece Strata set, the first is a Strata Tour 16-piece Set and the other is a regular Strata 16-piece Set.

The Strata Tour edition is the most extensive version of the Callaway set. Not only are there four more pieces to the set, but it fills some of the gaps that the 12-piece leaves behind. The additions start with a 60-degree sand wedge, that has slightly more loft than your typical sand wedge and will help beginners in when their ball is in the heavy rough and, of course, the sand.

Other inclusions for the Strata Tour Set include a 4-hybrid and two extra head covers to round out the collection at 16 pieces.

If you are looking for the difference between the Tour and standard Strata 16-piece Set, there is negligible difference as it appears that the sand wedge is slightly lower in loft at 56 degrees in the standard set and the putter is a blade-style rather than the mallet in the Tour collection.


Questions & Answers

What level of golfer is ideal for the Callaway Strata Club Set?

Ideally, the golfer that would best benefit from the Strata Set is the beginner or high handicapper. Since starter sets are meant to be a one-stop shop to begin a golfing career, this collection does admirably at building a group of clubs that can get the golfer from the tee box to the green without any issues.

Just because a beginning golfer buys this set does not mean they will use each club right away. For first timers, finding clubs with a high loft that provide comfort and ease of use is a smart way to get started. And this is why starter sets are an intelligent place to start for novice golfers because the group offers them plenty of clubs in this mold to choose from when beginning.

Starter sets are not the best place for mid handicappers or experienced golfers because they lack the nuance and selection that choosing individual clubs can bring this level of player.

How many wedges come in the Strata Set?

One of the most varying areas between different companies starter sets is the inclusion or, in some cases, exclusion of extra wedges. Most professional golfers can carry up to four wedges in their bag, but starter sets usually don’t include more than two wedges at best.

In all actuality, the majority of starter sets include just one wedge, the pitching wedge in their collection. This can cause a few problems that will stunt the growth and lengthen the learning curve of the beginning golfer.

First, wedges are the highest lofted clubs in the bag making them the easiest to hit, making them valuable for the beginning golfer to have in their collection from the start. That said, most manufacturers, in an effort to keep costs low, do not include additional wedges such as a lob or sand in their collection leaving the golfer without these clubs.

What can I put in the pockets on the stand bag?

One of the most forward thinking decisions you can make when choosing a starter set that works best for you is taking into account how versatile the bag is in the set. By that we mean finding a bag that offers plenty of pockets for items that you may need on the course on a moment’s notice.

The best bags come with a variety of pockets sized for the items that many golfers use throughout their round. For example, smaller pockets can be used to store extra balls and tees. Typically, there is one large pocket that runs the length of the bag and that is perfect for rain gear such as a hooded jacket and pants that are waterproof keeping the precipitation away from your skin.

Another pocket that more and more golfers look for in their bags is a valuables pocket that can protect watches, wallets and smartphones. These pockets are usually lined with soft velour to keep scratches away from the surface of the item.

What are the lofts on all three of the woods included in the set?

When doing your due diligence on a starter set it is wise to examine the lofts of the woods in the collection. For beginning golfers, finding clubs with higher lofts allows for more room for error. More loft equates to more ball height and launch angle on each shot.

In the Callaway Strata Set, there are three woods that are included in this selection. The first is a 460cc driver with a loft of 10.5 degrees. Now, while this setting is good for the mid-handicapper, it might not work well for the tee box novice until they gain experience and confidence with their swing.

The same cannot be said for the other two woods in the Strata collection. The 3-wood sits at 15.5 degrees and is a nice club to start with on the tee box. This fairway wood has a low profile, meaning it sits low to the ground and does not have the height of a driver, making it easier to get underneath the golf ball.

The 5-hybrid is set at 25 degrees and takes the place of your common 5-iron. Although more in the shape of a fairway wood than an iron, the 5-hybrid can offer considerable help to the amateur struggling to get the ball into the air and down the fairway.

What clubs in this set missing and would later need to be added?

The tricky thing with buying starter sets is that none of them will ever offer you a “complete” set, or at least what you will eventually believe should come in a complete set of clubs. For beginners, we always suggest looking at adding a sand and lob wedge and, if your pocketbook can manage it, a new putter.

The reason for buying new wedges is that they will help you around the green and on the range, they are a great club to use while gaining an understanding of rhythm and tempo.

A new putter is a wise choice because, frankly, most putters that come in complete sets are severely lacking in quality. By finding a putter that you like from the start, you’ll grow in comfort with the flat stick and begin to trust it with putts from a variety of lengths. 


What Others Are Saying


Alternatives

Wilson SGI Golf Set

Great Complete Set for the Walking Golfer

Wilson Golf Profile SGI Men's Complete Golf Set — Teen, Right Hand
Check Price on Amazon

Overall grade94%
Quality of Set94%
Woods93%
Irons92%
Wedges & Putter95%
Accessories96%

PROS

  • Excellent accessories highlighted by durable stand bag and protective head covers
  • Three woods that provide exceptional feel at impact and vary greatly for help on the tee box, and fairway
  • Includes six irons including two wedges, a pitching and sand, making this set more complete than your typical starter collection

CONS

  • Driver is set a 10.5-degrees, not ideal for beginning golfer who needs help with launch angle and ball height on their drives
  • Blade-style putter might not be enjoyed by the golfer who likes a heavy, wide faced putter

The Wilson SGI Golf Set is one of the more professional and sleek looking sets on the market geared toward the beginning golfer. The 13-piece collection has three woods, four irons, two wedges, a blade-style putter, carry bag and two head covers.

The woods in the Wilson set cover the driver, 3-wood, and 5-hybrid and offer the beginning golfer a solid group to start their game. The driver’s loft is 10.5 degrees and while we’d like to see a higher loft in a starter set, the large club head helps keep the ball in the fairway.

The four game improvement irons in the set begin at the 6-iron and run through the 9-iron. All irons have a wide sole that assist in providing solid contact, while reducing fat shots where the golfer hits behind the golf ball.

Finally, the set rounds out with two wedges, a pitching and sand wedge, a blade-style putter that performs nicely on the green and a durable carry bag with two head covers for protecting the top two woods. All in all, the Wilson SGI Golf Set is a wonderful choice for the high handicapper who can afford a pricier starter set.

Precise NX460 Golf Club Set

 Affordable Complete Set for the Budget Seeking Beginner

Precise NX460 Men's Complete Golf Clubs Package Set Includes Driver, S.S. Fairway, S.S. Hybrid, 5 Stainless Irons, Putter, Stand Bag, 3 H/C's Right Hand (Right Hand Tall Size +1')
Check Price on Amazon

Overall grade89%
Quality of Set88%
Woods90%
Irons90%
Wedges & Putter85%
Accessories90%

PROS

  • Three superb wide-soled woods that offer a variety of lofts and maximum forgiveness with broad sweet spots
  • Lightweight stand bag that has a shoulder strap making it easy to carry along the course and setup when needing a club
  • Incredibly affordable with a host of accessories such as head covers, stand bag and rain cover

CONS

  • The irons are hybrid lofts and numbers, meaning they are in-between two common irons, such as a 6/7 or 8/9
  • The mallet putter in this set is strange in style and construction and doesn’t offer great feel at impact

The Precise NX460 Golf Club Set is an affordable starter collection of clubs that might not dazzle you straight from the box but provides a solid option for the budget seeking golfer who isn’t worried about carrying a name brand on the course.

The set begins with three woods that handle their task admirably, as the group includes a driver, 3-wood and 5-hybrid. There are five stainless steel irons, all cavity-backed, starting with a 6-iron and running through the 9-iron. The irons are perimeter-weighted and we noticed during our testing that although they run a bit heavier than we’d like, we didn’t notice a terrible difference in our distance.

To cap the set, Precise included a pitching wedge, mallet putter, stand bag and two head covers. Although the pitching wedge and putter failed to excite us, the stand bag and head covers are a nice addition to this budget set. The putter is a half mallet that is draped all in white, making for a distracting contrast with the golf ball at address.

If you are hoping to start your golfing career without hurting your wallet, then the Precise NX460 is a worthy option that won’t turn heads but could help you until your game rounds into shape and you are ready to take the plunge with a nicer set.


Conclusion

For high handicappers and beginning golfers, finding a complete set of golf clubs that does not break the bank but offers plenty of options is very important for getting their golfing journey off on the right foot.

Straight from the box, the Callaway Strata Golf Set doesn’t disappoint, offering 12 clubs that certainly puts the beginning golfer in the position of starting the game off the right way and with the right clubs. And with a sleek multi-pocketed stand bag that is versatile, the Strata bag makes it easy for the golfer to walk or ride the course and not have to worry if their clubs are protected.

If you are looking for a complete set that checks a lot of boxes for the beginning golfer, then you will certainly be happy with where the Callaway Strata Golf Set puts you at the moment you first hit the course. Click here to check out this comprehensive and exciting golf set.