You might actually be playing the wrong golf clubs for your skill level right now. It's tough at the beginning when you start out at golf. Everything is so new and difficult but it's also really exciting! You're going to remember the memories of learning when you're an advanced player. You'll look back and smile at those tough times on the golf course.
But don't worry, my goal is to get as many beginners started on the right track as possible.
A lot of us start with a hand-me-down set or an old set from dad's era. Sound familiar?
Sometimes you get lucky and find a decent set but they're often made for someone a bit better at golf. Some clubs are even counterfeit. A friend of mine, Stuart started playing with a beautiful set of Ping Eye irons about 20 years ago. Whenever I hit his beautiful clubs they went 15 yards shorter than mine. After asking around, it turns out they were knock-offs! So be careful out there guys. Keep reading for the lowdown on the best golf cub sets for beginners.
Tl;dr - The best golf clubs for beginners are the Wilson Profile golf clubs. Learn why below.
Perfect selection of easiest to hit clubs for any beginner
The Profile set is a ten piece set with great club selections for a new player. They come in a longer version as well if you're over 6 foot 2 inches tall.
The forgiving driver is 460 cc but be aware the loft is only 10.5° and can be more difficult to get in the air as a new golfer. The more loft we can get on a driver, the better so keep that in mind when contemplating the XD set.
You also get an easier to hit #5 fairway wood and a #5 hybrid which will almost certainly become your go to golf club over the driver. These are easier to hit than irons and with the hybrid in mind, they've included only 6,7,8,9 iron, pitching wedge and sand wedge. This is a perfect start to a beginners career, giving you the easiest to hit golf clubs without providing too many options to confuse you.
The woods and hybrids all have headcovers and the stand bag is quite a catchy color, depending on your tastes.
* There are multiple options for this set. Players over 6'2 are encouraged to go for the 'LONG' set.
Many options for number of clubs in a set
This range is a comprehensive starter set for beginners. It oozes forgiveness and at around this price it's the best value for money set for new players. There are multiple sets to choose from but I really do recommend going with as few as possible.
This Callaway golf Strata 14 piece set will do well for you. That will give you 11 clubs, plus the bag etc. The reason I say go for the 14 piece set over the 12 piece set is in the 14 piece set, they include a SAND WEDGE.
This is actually one of the clubs you definitely will need when you start so you can get out of bunkers and learn to chip and pitch with. The 12 piece doesn't include it. You can get by without it no problems I am sure. But I'd say it's gonna be a club you'll need.
It's tempting to want to purchase the largest set possible but truth be told, by the time you'll be able to hit all those extra clubs and every golf club in the bag, you'll already be buying a new set of clubs. If you are tempted to get the 16 piece set, which I am sure you might be, here's some top tips.
Remove the 3 wood and don't hit it. Use the 5 wood. The loft on the 3 wood is too low to start hitting to start the game. A 5 wood has more loft and it will be easier to hit. You'll have a 4 and a 5 hybrid club. This is an iron that they add a booty to so it looks like a fairway wood. Pick one to use...either the 4 or the 5 hybrid. You don't need to learn both. If I were you, I'd learn with the 5H first.
*For golfers 6'2" and under
Three lengths for shorter, standard or taller players
The Macrgegor complete set is once of a kind in the category offering all three sizes. Standard size, one inch shorter and one in longer. THat's a perfect range for everyone.
Macgregor were a top tier golf manufacturer in the past, supplying clubs for Jack Nicklaus himself. The newer manufacturers have run ahead and Macgregor is a bit more budget but the quality and knowledge is still there behind the clubs.
The set contains everything you'll need but of course, the left out the sand wedge in this set too.
*There is no SW included which is a pity
*For golfers from 5 ft all the way to over 6ft 2
Best for tall beginners
The Prosimmon X9 +1 is for the taller player over 6'2".
The "+1" in the name is important so it is recommended you confirm it is the +1 when purchasing if you're a big guy because the normal X9 V2 set is made for us who are under 6'2" tall. The +1 means the clubs are made 1 inch longer than standard sets.
A titanium matrix 460cc driver with 10.5 degrees loft is included and as a taller player you'll usually be able to generate more swing speed because of your longer arms so 10.5° would be an acceptable loft. You also receive one fairway wood and two hybrids.
Having two hybrids is a massive advantage because they're so simple to hit and also go a long way. Any time you see a set with two hybrids, you should be getting excited! The driver, fairway wood and hybrids give you 4 options off the tee which you can work out on the driving range.
The rest of the set is five iron down to pitching wedge and the best part for you is the clubs are about an inch longer than the other sets listed for beginners. Having the right length of clubs is vital to playing good golf.
A large mallet putter which is easy to align to your target completes the set making these easily the best golf clubs for beginners who are taller than 6 foot 2.
*There is no Sand Wedge
* For golfers 6'2" and over
Guide to Beginner Golf Clubs
To improve your game and become a consistent ball striker, you need a set of clubs designed for beginners or high handicappers. Hitting the center of the club face makes the golf ball travel further but beginner clubs are created with large sweet spots to allow you to hit the ball straighter and longer even when you miss the center of the club face. We call clubs that improve new players mishits, ''FORGIVING' clubs and they make the best golf clubs for beginners.
Above we said the best clubs for beginners are forgiving, but let's dig deeper into what forgiving means.
- Forgiving clubs have offset heads - the face is a little bit behind the shaft to allow the face to be square at impact
- Forgiving clubs have larger clubfaces - this increases the striking area, increasing the chance of actually hitting the golf ball
- Forgiving clubs have larger sweet spots - this allows you to get good distance even when missing the center of the club face.
- Forgiving irons have the weight of the club head distributed around the perimeter of the back of the club and a hollowed out back to get more weight behind your shot. These clubs are are called Cavity Back and are the easiest to hit.
How Many Golf Clubs Do You Really Need?
The maximum is 14 but you could play golf with as few as 4 clubs and a putter!
Most Important Golf Clubs in the Bag
The most important golf clubs are the clubs that you need to get off the tee, toward the green and then chipping around the green. You always need a putter.
Don't I need more than 10 clubs to play golf?
No. Although, according to the rules of golf, you're allowed up to 14 clubs in your bag, it doesn't mean you HAVE TO have 14. And very often, starting with a handful of clubs is more beneficial.
Now as a beginner, you don't even need half of that to be perfectly honest. You just need a few sticks to get you around the course and learn the ropes as simply as possible.
Beginner sets come with between 9 and 12 clubs but the most important clubs for an absolute beginner are the hybrid, the 7 iron, pitching wedge and the putter. Learn to hit those ones first and golf will come easy as you start to build you game from the ground up.
Here's part 1 in a video series of 6 episodes on How to Break 100. If you watch this, you'll begin to understand it's much simpler than you think to play golf.
How Do I Play Golf as a Beginner?
Clubs to Avoid as a Beginner
Very Expensive clubs for better players
They do look lovely and they will help you, but later. For now it's best to start small and get a hang of the game and once you learn more about your swing and your game, you can splash some cash on a swanky set. It takes a lot of time to get to that level so the key is patience. You will get there, I am sure of it, but only if you start prudently.
You can however splash on a decent, high-quality set of clubs because they are much easier to hit and more fun to play with especially starting out. You can start small by buying individual clubs and build a set as you go.
Blade golf clubs from Jack Nicklaus days as well as modern blades are strictly for players with a handicap of 6 or lower.
The back of the club is solid and gives the look of a knife blade.
The sweet spot is tiny and missing it results in actual physical pain throughout your hands and arms. No kidding! These are by far not the best golf clubs for beginners.
Any wedge over 60° loft
These are quite gimmicky and require even more skill to use at all. Phil Mickelson can play with one.
The one I once had ended up wrapped around a tree.
Check out our wedge guide for beginners
What Golf Clubs Do I Need in My Bag?
Best Driver for Beginners
As a beginner you will love the confidence you get from a big driver head (460cc) with a big wide face to hit the ball with. The big head gives us more forgiveness since there is more surface area to make contact with the golf ball.
To give us even more forgiveness a beginner driver should have 11° to 14° degrees of loft. This will get the ball airborne and stay in the air longer. The higher loft also makes it easier to hit it straighter by giving us more backspin.
A a new golfer, you should try find used equipment but if you're interested in new stuff or seeing some ideas of what would suit you, I wrote a Driver guide for beginners and high handicappers
The Easiest Clubs from the Fairway for Beginners
Generally beginners have longer shots into the greens while learning the game. Long irons are probably the most difficult club in the bag for new players to master.
Fairway woods and hybrid clubs take their place and are extremely easy to hit and forgiving because they have more mass behind them to get the ball airborne and going straight than irons.
Luckily manufacturers are targeting the beginner and higher handicap group of players with awesome fairway woods and hybrid clubs. They take the place of 2, 3, 4 and even 5 irons in the set, making mid to long distance approaches easier than ever.
But don't think these clubs are only for long approaches. You can also use these clubs and SHOULD use these clubs to get the ball in the fairway off the tee when starting out at golf. It's satisfying hitting one big bomb drive per round, but shooting a good score is far more satisfying after the round by playing conservatively with fairway woods and hybrids off the tee.
Check out our fairway wood and hybrid guides for high handicappers for some ideas on suitable clubs.
The Most Fun Irons for New Golfers
There are a few buzzwords you hear in the golf world when researching clubs. Super Game Improvement and Game Improvement are two popular ones at the moment.
The basic idea behind a Super Game Improvement iron is that it is aimed at rapidly improving your game as a beginner or high handicapper by using the most forgiving technologies available. Check our guide for the best clubs for beginners.
Technology used to produce forgiving iron golf clubs for beginners
- Cavity back: they hollow out the back of the club to make the face thinner and in turn causing the ball to rebound quicker and travel a longer distance
- Perimeter weighting: They take that hollowed out material in the cavity back an distribute the weight all the way around the outside edge at the back of the club to give more weight behind all your shots regardless of where you hit it on the face.
- Wide soles with low center of gravity: These prevent digging into the earth and instead make the club glide over the turf to get under the ball and produce a much higher ball flight.
The Best Putter for Beginner Golfers
Alignment is key for good putting. Get that part hacked and all you need to do is work on the feel of hitting it the right distance. You're going to be three-putting quite a lot in the beginning of your golf career, but it gets better with time.
Having a putter that has a little offset to keep your hands in front of the ball is ideal. This promoted a forward roll of the ball instead of a skidding hit up into the ball with hands behind it. The mallet patter is easy to align with the lines on the back of the club.
Check out our putters for beginners guide to get some budget ideas for decent putters.
The Best Sand Wedge for Beginner Golfers
Beginner sets often don't come with a sand wedge and you might like to have one for escaping the bunkers. In fact, I'd say if your set doesn't have one, you must get one to have some fun chipping and pitching onto the greens.
We're looking for sand wedges that give us a lot of forgiveness. Big bounce and a wide sole is essential for a forgiving sand wedge. The best type of sand wedge for a beginner is one with 56° to 58° of loft with a minimum of 10° of bounce.
Check out our Wedges for Beginners article to learn more about bounce and wide soles and forgiving wedges. I've found only the best for your game.
Conclusion and more articles
You can build your own set with some good choices, either with individual irons one at a time, settling on a partial set to play the game with or go for a new set of irons from a good manufacturer. As a beginner, you want to invest in a set that will make golf fun immediately and easier on you.
The beginner sets are good value but will one day need to be upgraded. You might be tempted to buy what the pros are playing because you see them on TV. They are some of the best golfers in the world and beginners should be starting off really easy and simple to gain confidence to move through the ranks.You may one day be a professional. But let's start off at the right spot.