Category Archives for Beginners & High Handicappers Guide

Breaking 100 in Golf – How to Break 100 Featuring an Actual Beginner

how to break 100 in golf

Getting hooked on golf is a terrible terrible thing! You want so desperately to improve every single round and when you do, you expect every shot and round to be the same but it never is!

In this guide, I want to help you if you're want to know how to break 100 in golf, consistently.

Too many guides out there don't really show you the actual way that a beginner or 100+ shooter plays, meanwhile some pro is telling you to do this and do that without seeing it in reality. 

So what I did was try help Brian (B-Dog) to break 100 and I recorded as much of it as I could on film.

But you wanna know the craziest part?

We intended to do it after just ONE driving range session and FIVE minutes of chipping. I didn't want him to be hindered by swing thoughts or complicated ideas. I just wanted to focus on course management and thinking like a golfer. That's pretty much all you need to break 100 and if you already shoot 100-110, you can easily break 100 very quickly. 

We also video recorded the majority of his shots and we'll use these further down the page to illustrate the concepts you need to break 100.

A bit of Brian's background is important at this point to put this task into perspective.


About Brian

  • Lowest score 121 - average score unknown because of picking his ball up on so many holes
  • Pain in his left wrist, forearm and shoulder from swinging made him always want to leave the course after 3 holes
  • He hadn't completed 18 holes in since 2012 due to the pain in his arm from swinging
  • When he did play 9 holes, he would pick his ball up after eight shots 7 out of 9 holes

Sounds like an impossible task right? Well truth be told, we didn't break 100 first time out. Brian shot 105 and that's amazing - 16 shots off his best score! With some extra work on bunkers and putting and Brian can easily shoot in the 90's.

But what was even more amazing than finishing every single hole and actually posting a completed scorecard?

Brian actually enjoyed a full round of 18 holes for the first time in years. Why?

Because I showed him how to THINK like a golfer and use good habits and solid fundamentals. And you'll learn these things from this guide. That's the main point of this guide, to show you how to better think your way round the golf course.

The basics are the most important

Fixing the setup

I was so confused every time Brian told me about the pain in his left shoulder and arm when he swung a golf club. He never wanted to play golf because of some mystery 'pain'. I actually thought he just didn't like me.

So I forced him to go to the driving range one fateful Sunday.

For the life of me I couldn't see what he was doing wrong because his swing is quite good especially for a beginner who hasn't taken lessons. But then I saw it...

He was setting up to every shot like it was a chip shot, standing far too close to the ball and getting so cramped at impact, having to do something nasty with his left shoulder. In the left picture below noticed how cramped he was at setup. He fixed it very quickly and after a few adjustment hits, Brian was A for away.

basics first for breaking 100

How to work out distance to the ball 

This little trick will tell you if you're the right distance from the ball. You can do it on the range, just before you hit your shot or whenever you're feeling a bit cramped and it's how we fixed Brian.

Place the top of the grip on your front leg about an inch or two above the kneecap and where the club head rests on the ground is where the ball must go.

This works for every single club from driver to wedge.

Here is a video to help understand this little drill to ensure you're standing the correct distance from the ball.

With Brian swinging with no pain, we hit about 20 more balls on the range and went home and meditated on the changes we'd made. Aummm....

Double check your basics

You want to understand the following and you can get it from a great coach if you have one near you.

  1. The ball position
  2. The posture and stance
  3. The grip

If you can get those nailed down, and understand impact position, you will be a very good golfer quickly. For some people like Brian, they skimmed over lessons so we have to forget about it and play with what we brung.


Basic Strategy to break 100 fast

I'm not going to bore you by telling you it's easy - just make 9 bogeys and 9 doubles. Yeah we all know that, but it's not realistic to expect you to score like a machine.

Brian certainly didn't but there are ways to work around your game and maximize your strengths and practice your weaknesses to make some pars and minimize the triple bogeys! These are outlined below.

Avoid water hazards and out of bounds

You'll find out by reading further that the strategy of hitting shorter but straighter tee shots will keep you from going into bunkers in the fairways as well as not being able to reach the deadly out of bounds and water hazards. We'll also be hitting more short irons and wedges which are easier to control so it makes it very difficult to blast or slice them into the wet stuff.

Par 3's

If you're playing off the correct tees, you can reach these in one shot. If you can either hit the green or be chipping from green side, you're going to be making pars and bogeys here maximum.

Long par 4's

These appear tough. But let's simplify them by saying we hope to be on the green or around the green in three shots.

A 420 yard hole is only three shots of 140 yards. Can you hit a 140 yard shot straightish? Yes you can! The reason you get into trouble is hitting a long club off the tee because you think it's a long hole and you need a boomer.

With this tactic of getting on or around the green in 3 shots, you don't need more than 150 yards off the tee and any club you have that goes further and straight is a bonus!

Short par 4's

These will be easiest to make bogey on by being around the green in two shots. You might sneak in a few pars! If you're not in a position to hit a 7 iron or an 8 iron onto the green with your 2nd shot, I still say you should split the distance in two and hit two wedges onto the green.

Par 5's

Tee shots and 2nd shots need to be in play without penalties on these holes. Those two shots are important because most danger on these holes are 250 to 300 yards from the tee. Once you get past those two shots and have 200 to 250 yards into the hole, you can hit the green in 4 shots and target bogeys and at worst double bogeys.

Hit one club off every par 4 and 5 tee

This club needs to go 150 yards or more and reliably straight. Brian likes his 3 hybrid. Pick whatever club you really feel great hitting off the tee with full confidence. It's totally your game.

Split your approaches into two or three shots

Split that 250 yard approach into two EASY shots

Avoid putting yourself in danger off the tee is the first step and the next step is to assess your approach and divide it into smaller shots. If you have 200 yards left to the green, two pitching wedges of 100 yards is much more reliable than a fairway wood and a 20 yard pitch from the rough or a bunker shot. Let's simplify this game. Look at the diagram above, it illustrates the strategy for all holes. Control and simplicity!

Video of Brian's round using all the concepts in this guide

Pre-game mental prep and admin

Play from the correct tees

It's always a good day to break 100

Be realistic with your game and if you need to move up a tee box, that's alright. Most courses have color defined tee boxes. A quick guide to know if you're playing the correct tees:

  • You can reach three out of four par 3 greens quite easily
  • Most par 4's are under 400-420 yards
  • You can reach the fairways from the tee on almost every par 4 and 5

When it seems like every par 4 is 420+ and you're in the rough before the fairways on solid shots, you should move up a tee box.

Only count your score right at the end

Tell your playing partners that you don't want to know your score after 9 holes and don't keep track of it. 

Keeping track throughout the round will put more pressure on you. Imagine you find out you shoot 48 on the first nine. What's going through your head the second nine? All you're going to be thinking about is shooting that 51 to shoot a 99. Forget it all! Just play and count later!

Know the distances you hit your clubs

Are you sure you want the pitching wedge?

Your perfect 7 iron goes 170 yards, right? That's great but what distance does your 7 iron go MOST OF THE TIME? That's the distance you need to use as a gauge for all your clubs. The distance they go MOST OF THE TIME.

Pulling the right club is essential and in this plan, you're swinging easy and not looking for more distance at all. We want to improve accuracy and consistency through shorter shots into the greens. If you hit your pitching wedge 160 yards once, please don't use it as the norm, because you're going to be in a lot of front side bunkers! A golf rangefinder like the ones in this guide I wrote can help you. 

Relax and remember no one cares if you're bad 

It sucks when you're trying to break 100. You think everyone's impatient and waiting for you and your shots all the time. 

The truth is, we don't care about your score. We enjoy hanging out with good-humored and fun guys who enjoy the game and make it a blast on the course. There's only one thing other golfers in your group don't like and that's when you "cannot believe you hit that shot" or "cannot believe you missed that 6 footer". It's best not to stand with hands on your hips or head looking flabbergasted on every second shot.

Hit your shot, and then walk to play the next one without too much theatrics. It's the incredulity expressed at a bad shot that slows down play and annoys lower handicappers. Have fun, keep moving without rushing your shots and everyone is gonna love you 100%.

Check your ego at the dressing room and leave it there

I won't be giving you tips on hitting long bombs here. Just practical advice that you can genuinely use if you stay disciplined out there on the course. Leave the driver at home. Remove problem clubs for you. Hell, you could break 100 with half your clubs if you wanted to. But resist the temptation to hit shots that are low percentage and high risk. Is it glamorous? No, but it's reliable and it can help you break out of that scoring barrier.

The shots you need to break 100

You need these shots to be able to avoid penalties like out of bounds and dropping the ball at the water hazards. The driver is alway the main culprit getting 100+ shooters into trouble and messing up the scorecard.

1. No drivers allowed - use any club that goes straight, 150 yards or more

Pick anything you like - whatever you can hit really consistently from the tee onto the fairway. Whether it's a hybrid, 6 iron or 7 iron, I know you have one club in your bag that you hit straight! 

Like Brian did in our experiment, leave the driver at home. He says that it's the sole reason he would need to pick up his ball after exceeding his maximum on each hole because it gets him into too much trouble. He loves his 3 hybrid and he used that off the tee most often.

We really want to stay in play off the tee. We don't want to be hitting our second shot from the ladies' tee or reteeing after hitting it Out of Bounds. Our goal is to break 100, not audition for Bubba Watson impersonations.

2. Solid 6, 7, 8, 9, PW and SW

We don't need your clubs to go far. We just need them to go straight and to the distance you determine through practice. This plan doesn't focus on increased distance but rather it focuses on splitting the course up into smaller shots to get you to score 99 by swinging easy and hitting it straight. You never really have to smash the golf ball with this plan but you do need to know how far you hit it.

By solid, I mean learn your distances and shot shape. Learn how much your ball fades or draws and aim for that shape when you're on the course. If you fade, aim left. If you draw it, aim right. By knowing your distance, you'll select the right club for each shot and be more likely to hit the green than be short.

3. Bump and run chip shot

The basic bump and run shot is a chip shot where you get the ball onto the green as soon as possible and let the ball roll up to the hole. I like to use a pitching wedge, but have used as low as a 7 iron. 

4. Short pitch shot that goes anywhere on the green

Sometimes we leave ourselves tough shots inside 50 yards. These are hellishly difficult and get more difficult when you put too much pressure on yourself to hit it close. Your sole focus should be to just get it on the green.

Pick a club like a sand wedge and focus on just hitting the green. It doesn't matter where it goes on the green, just get it on somewhere! Sometimes that even means hitting 30 foot right of the hole intentionally to avoid a bunker between you and the hole. More on this further in the guide.

5. Two-putt from everywhere

We'll find in the videos below this is a key concept. When you do hit a green, you want to two putt everything over 10 feet and try hole your short putts. Three-putts are what we want to eliminate and if you can just eliminate the three-putts while keeping the ball in play off the tee, you'll find your scores drop quickly!


How to practice these shots

You actually don't even need THAT MUCH practice. You just need to practice the basics really well. Two hours at the range and two hours on the chipping and putting green a week and you can break 100 within two weeks. The biggest improvement is going to be when you combine your comfort on these shots with the strategy outlined in the next section.

Driving range for your tee and approach shots

You want to mix up your hitting on the driving range. You need to groove your main shots like your tee shot and your favorite iron as well as your wedge by hitting twenty of them in a row focusing on swinging easy. But you also want to 'play a round' on the range as if you were on the course. So you envision every hole you're playing and use the appropriate club for the imaginary distance to the green.Our subject, Brian did this:

  • 20 x PW; 20 x 6 iron; 20 x hybrid off the tee
  • Played 9 holes on a golf course in his mind. Fairways are decided by you before the shot, between markers on the range for example. Greens are generally the 100, 125 or 150 markers on the range. Pretend you're on a course for more mindful practice.

Concentrate and take your time

Remember on each shot to take your full pre-shot routine and focus on swinging easy. There's no need to try murder every shot as hard as you can. Concentrate on making a very nice, easy, Ernie Els style swing. Don't just beat balls for 20 minutes and go home with blisters and a dented ego.

This range session should be anywhere from an hour to two hours. Really be conscious of how it feels when you hit a good shot. 

Top tip: As silly as it sounds, when you hit a great shot on the range, pretend to put the 'fairy dust' of the shot into your hand and deposit it into a pocket in your golf bag so you'll have a supply of good shots in the bank to bring out when you need one on the course. Sounds stupid, but it works.

Short game practice on the practice greens or at home

If you get it in the fairway off the tee, putting is the easiest way to drop your score

For short putts, you can use a rug or get yourself a piece of artificial turf. You can putt the ball into table legs, big coffee mugs or small plates. You must only focus on keeping your head down forever and hitting the ball into your target from 7 or 5 or 3 feet away depending on available space.

I have a step-by-step guide to putting right here. Try to hit the practice greens for two hours per week. One hour putting and one our chipping. 

Lag putt to 3 feet and be lethal at 5 footers

What I worked on with Brian while we were on the course was the lag putting. You probably have an issue controlling the distance of your long putts. 

So what I did with Brian was make him look at the hole while he swung the putter back and forth to get the feeling of how hard to hit it. He showed immediate improvement and when he gets lethal inside 6 feet by following my advice in my putting guide, his scores, and if you follow the advice, yours too will drop.

The best bump and run chipping drill

Take your chipping club of choice: it could be anything you like. I used to use a 7 iron when I started playing but now I use my pitching wedge exclusively as my chipping club around the greens. 

Pick a spot on the chipping green where you want your ball to land. Put a large coin or poker chip exactly on the spot you want the ball to land. Try land your practice chips on the coin/chip. This is the secret to chipping. Learn your trajectory and how the ball runs out and then adjust where you land the ball. Pick a spot on the green and land the ball on that spot. There's nothing else you need to focus on!


What Brian and I learned

  1. Blue tees were the wrong tees. They measured 6550 yards while the whites measure 6250. This was an oversight by me and recommend he plays off the white tees in future.
  2. Hitting a good tee shot is as important as chipping and putting. Choosing a reliable club that will get you in the fairway and not the water or OB will exponentially increase your chances of breaking 100. Hitting your 2nd or 3rd shot from the ladies' tee will hurt you.
  3. Chipping and putting is vital. Chipping is not as complicated as you think. All you need to do is be aggressive enough to get the ball ANYWHERE on the green and then two putt from there. No need to get cute or try chip it in every time. Sometimes the best chip is one hit away from the pin, avoiding the bunkers or water between you and the pin.
  4. Two putting from distances over 12 feet is essential. Meanwhile, draining your 3 to 6 footers is as important. Practice these by putting on the practice green from 20 feet or longer and try get the ball consistently within 2 or 3 feet of the hole. Practice 3 to 5 footers placed around the hole until you can drain them with ease. TOP SECRET: keep your head down forever! Brian and I didn't go through putting together but he improved over the round as I showed him.
  5. Avoid bunkers at all costs. Leave yourself full shots into the greens and not the 30 to 75 yard pitch shots that are so difficult. Here is my guide to bunker shots.
  6. Don't use your low wedge from the fluffy rough. The club goes right under it and results in 20 yard shots. Use a sand wedge with more bounce. 
  7. Don't feel rushed by other people. Just play your game and if anyone behind you is on your butt, let them play through. Brian was a bit frazzled on the 11th hole because of some guys hitting balls within 40 yards of us. It affected his game later on. Keep up with the group in front of you.
  8. Swing easy. Don't try to smash any of your clubs. This strategy to break 100 doesn't call for maximum power. It calls for finesse and control of yourself. You just need to get the ball in play and break up your approach shots into shorter shots. Smashing the ball results in freshies, slices and bladed shots.
  9. Have fun! Don't count your score. Enjoy talking to your partners and have a great time. By being relaxed, you'll break 100 easily. 

Conclusion

You're equipped with everything you need to break 100 now. You have the swing, you have the game, now it's time to just use your brain! Go out there and do it!

Best Equipment – Beginners and High Handicap

Beginner sets don't come with a wedge and it's vital to have a great wedge to get out of bunkers and for chipping around the green. 

We're price-conscious for beginners too so we've listed the most value for money options out there.

A putter can be the difference between enjoying golf and hating it.

We've found the best value for money putters for beginners so you don't blow the budget on stuff you don't need.

Forgiving irons that go straight and long are important when you're a high handicapper or beginner. They make it easy to hit the ball on the green.

Take a look at the most forgiving irons to help your game instantly.

Hybrids have changed the game in recent years. They're so easy to hit and are an instant replacement for 2, 3 and 4 irons in the set.

Even pros have put these in the bag in place of their long irons because they're just that effective

Fairway woods are a beginners secret weapon on the course.

They go longer and higher and are easier to hit than drivers. We've found the best possible solutions to hit more fairways and greens to slash your handicap and make golf more fun.

While not always 100% necessary, everyone wants to have a nice loud booming driver and we don't blame you!

We've outlined the best possible ones for you to make hitting those long bombs easier.

Knowing the distance to water, bunkers, and the green makes a huge difference to your game. 

These things are generally expensive but we've sourced the very best budget rangefinders out there.

Here we outline the absolute necessities to hit the golf course so you don't have to be that guy who needs to borrow stuff all the time off the other guys!

Golf Balls

Best Putters for Beginners

If you watch my YouTube channel, you will find out that you can shave a load of strokes off your score within weeks, eliminating three-putts (and four-putts). It's that simple and sometimes you just need a decent putter to do it. Guys don't like to admit it, but the putter is the most important golf club in your bag. 

Practicing only an hour a week can easily knock 4 or 5 strokes off your score within a month. I know it can, because I did it. New players and high handicapper take upwards of four 3-putts per round. That's at least 4 unnecessary shots you can eliminate right now with a bit of practice and of course, one of the best putters for beginners on offer.

best putters for beginners

It's easy to see how important putting is to lowering your score and handicap - just check out B-Dog's round of 98 here. He used an Odyssey 2ball putter I bought him. By just two-putting every green, you can knock off a minimum 4 shots!


Best Putters for Beginners

  1. Odyssey Hot Pro OG putters (best putter dollar for dollar)
  2. Cleveland Huntington Beach putters (best budget modern putter for beginners)
  3. Odyssey Two Ball Triple Track putter  (best top end putter for alignment)
  4. Cleveland Frontline ISO putter  (Sleeper pick)
  5. Ping Sigma 2 Anser (best quality blade putter)

Choose the one that suits your eye

odyssey white hot pro 2.0 putter

Without a doubt, the Odyssey White Hot putter insert is simply the best on the market. Odyssey is #1 on the PGA Tour and #1 in golf. There are pretenders to the crown but the true king of putter face inserts is Jon Snow...I mean Odyssey.

Whether you like the blade, the mallet or the oversized heads, each model in this range gives you the same White Hot insert and trusted Odyssey putting technology. And with that you get consistent lag distance control, soft feeling club face and superb alignment on the rear of the club.

The consistency of the strike with Odyssey putters is only matched by other large brands that cost you three or four times the price. I've used every Odyssey iteration since this line and can safely say for this price, I'd use this putter if I were a new golfer.

Pros

  • The best inserts Odyssey have ever made 
  • Incredibly easy to align with the alignment aids
  • Many lengths from 33 to 35 inches
  • Didi uses the Rossie and plays off an 8 handicap on my channel, so never fear!
  • Really softens the feel of a harder ball on the putter face

Cons

  • Not much besides that they're old models

Myriad styles with top quality milled steel faces

Cleveland Huntington Beach Putter
Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT #11 Putter

Cleveland golf have made a superb set of putters in this range. I personally own THREE, yes 3 putters from this range. They are all unique yet have common features. They're all very high quality, well weighted and have milled steel faces.

In contrast to the Odyssey putters above with the insert, the ball comes off the steel face of the Cleveland with a totally different feel. Inserts make for a very soft feel like you're hitting something with a marshmallow or pool noodle. Okay it's not that extreme but it gets the point across, because when you hit it with a steel putter, you notice a much firmer 'hit'.

This is preference you should work out for yourself by hitting a few with inserts and a few with steel or metal faces. I prefer the milled face on the Clevelands because it feels like I have more consistent roll on the ball. The insert can sometimes disguise poor strikes. 

The Huntington putters come in a wide range of head shapes. You get mallet putters, fang-style, blade and there are also center shafted models. My top tip for picking a putter is to go with what you like the look of. That's 80% of the battle won and it's very easy to find one model in the Huntington Beach range to suit your eye,  I am sure. 

Pros

  • Consistent roll with milled steel face
  • Excellent standard fit grip quality
  • Wide range of styles to suit your eye
  • Crisp sound at contact
  • Heavy mallet and larger head styles for slower greens

Cons

  • The traditional style (blade putters) can be a bit light with not enough OOMPH from the sweet spot

Easiest to align 

Odyssey Two-Ball Triple Track putter

With putting, we often find the most difficult part is starting the ball on the right line. Now, it's not that difficult to do, but what is difficult is to know when we adjust the putter face just before we hit the ball.

With an extended back, the two-ball, triple track alignment system is perfect to keep everything going where you want it. These are great mallet putters for those who struggle with aligning their eyes, the putter face and their mind to their target. 

Pros

  • Solid contact with plenty of weight behind the ball
  • One of the easiest putters in the world to align
  • Excellent insert for soft, consistent feel to aid in finesse of putting
  • Excellent for slow or fast greens
  • No need to draw alignment lines on the putter and screw it up anymore

Cons

  • Will not work miracles - you'll need to practice aligning those eyes, face and mind for it to help
  • At address, it can feel like the back alignment aid is way above the ground

Cleveland Frontline Putters

Cleveland make very forgiving putters and the Front Line range is a step above their Huntington Beach range. The black color makes a very nice contrast to the green color of the greens. 

The contrast in the colors makes it especially easy to line the face up to the line you want to hit the golf ball down. The rear of the Iso model has squares cut out of it with a thin solid line extending to the back, maybe it incredibly easy to align your eyes, which is important for confidence, to the line you expect the ball to take.

The Tungsten in the putter moves the center of gravity to a place that allows consistent energy transfer from the club to the ball so your stroke and hit on the golf ball is always the same, producing a pure roll and more chance of getting the ball close to the hole or in the hole.

This type of alignment aid on the back of the putter is especially helpful for short putts where confidence in your alignment is key. You can stand behind it, knowing that the putter is aligned correctly. These are the strokes you can eliminate very quickly and shatter your scoring barriers.

Pros

  • Excellent black coloring for alignment on the greens
  • Weight and feel while swinging feels much higher-end
  • Multiple club head shapes and sizes
  • Balance of the putter is excellent 

Cons

  • None at this price range

PING is and has been the most famous name in putters. Their blade putters have always been sensational in feel and consistency. If you're a blade putter fan, literally anything in the PING range will suit you.

Keep in mind though that this style of putter is best suited to players who have a slight arc in their stroke. It's quite difficult to stroke these blades straight back and through, which is easier to do with mallet style putters, especially center shafted ones. 

They have expanded into all sorts of shapes and sizes and they are all in fact exception. The balance, the craftsmanship and the feel of the PING blade is much like Mizuno in irons. Nothing feels like a Mizuno they say. That's similar to a PING blade putter. 

A PING putter is not merely something to plug the hole. If you invest in one of these for your game, you won't replace. A putter is a very personal thing and once you find the one that suits you, hold onto it. Once people try PING putters, they very very rarely move onto another brand. Choose wisely.

Pros

  • PING craftsmanship is second to none
  • Distance control and consistent roll via the new insert
  • Adjustable length shafts
  • Excellent for slightly arced putting strokes
  • Shape made famous by Tiger Woods

Cons

  • Quite heavy for a blade - depends on your preference

What putter should you avoid totally?

Please avoid the double sided putt putt putter if you're looking for a decent putter to improve your game.

This is a great putter for mini-golf, offices and beating up home invaders. 
It's not however a suitable putter for beginners on the golf course.

There are numerous sites advocating for it but I don't care what the
reviews say and I don't care if it's a top seller. This club won't help you improve your golf one iota. I won't allow any future beginner golfing buddies to be taken advantage of.

It's basically a lump of metal that's been stuck onto a stick and marketed
as a "two-way putter". AVOID


How to be a better putter with almost no practice


While I believe 
a great driver you can hit straight and consistently is the biggest asset you can have, the quickest win thereafter will be from being able to two-putt every single green.

Think about it. Let's say you hit the driver well and get around or on the green in 2 or 3 shots. Then if you three-putt 4 or 5 times on the green per round as well as once or twice from around the green BUT then you learn to two-putt from wherever, you're going to save between 5 and 6 shots a round!

Two hours per week is all it takes

Step 1

Take your putter and 5 - 10 balls. Putt from one hole on the green to another hole on the green 20 to 30 feet away. Putt them until every single one is within 2 feet every time. When you can do that every putt, move onto step 2...

Step 2

Take the 5 to 10 balls and scatter them in a circle around a hole, 3 feet from the hole. Putt from 3 feet until you can hole all of the balls. Then do it again at another hole until you can make all the 3 footers. Once you can do that, go home. Do not leave until you sink every golf ball without missing around five different holes.

What length of putters are available?

Standard length putters

Most standard length putters are 33" to 36" in length and those lengths fit most golfers in good putting posture.

What length is right for me?

The PGA suggest "What you want to do is get into a correct address position. When you tilt from your hips, you want your eyes over the ball, hands under your shoulders, elbows bent but touching your rib cage, and hips over your heels. The putter needs to fit this set-up. If you grip a "standard" length putter and find you're gripping down the shaft, you will need a shorter putter. If you grip beyond the end of the putter, you will need a longer putter. Now with the correct length putter in your hands, the shaft would be in line with your forearms. I have found that most golfers play with too long of a putter."


Broom and belly putters

belly standup putter

Up until recently you could use a putter that was much longer than standard length and anchor it on your body for more stability. The two designs were broom handle and belly putters and while they're still permitted, you're not allowed to let them touch anything other than your arms and hands. I don't recommend these putters for beginners.

The broom handle was normally anchored to your chest with one hand and swung with the other hand and the belly putter was stuck into your abdomen with both hands on the grip swinging the putter like normal. 

Under rule 14-b enforced in 2016, all anchoring of putters to your body was banned. Pros who relied on this method of putting lost their advantage while celebrating the New Year as midnight struck on 1 January 2016. 


What design of putters are available?

The traditional Anser design

This is the most traditional putter. A classic. Ping are the most famous for this putter with their Ping Anser model first introduced in 1966 by Karsten Solheim. All manufacturers now produce at least one model in this style.

The general concept is a very square club head with an offset similar to beginner irons that ensure your hands are ahead of the ball throughout the stroke.

Generally these have always been considered the best putters for beginners. But nowadays people have become aware of the advantages of mallets and are embracing them whole-heartedly with lots of success.


The mallet

The mallet putter is a relatively modern creation that makes it easier to align your putts. The extended piece behind the club face helps to line your putt up with your eyes over the golf ball thanks to long lines and contrasting colors used by the manufacturers.

A mallet putter is also well-known for producing decent distances on mishit putts due to the additional weight behind more of the club face. A traditional Answer style putter lacks that property.

Mallets are fantastic for getting the golf ball rolling because of the additional weight. Combined with an offset shaft to keep your hands ahead of the ball, this is a lethal combination for beginners. These putters are often the best putters for aligning your clubface.


Closing thoughts on beginner putting

When it comes to putting, you just need to practice. You need to practice hitting the sweet spot and making a good stroke on the golf ball. Don't read too much about side spin, or special techniques and other nonsense made to confuse you. You need to just hit the practice green and practice having the putter in your hands. This alone will drop your score. You will learn to love putting instead of fearing it. Make sure you have a putter in your golf bag that you LOVE. It's one of the most important golf clubs (of not the most important) and you will be using it for nearly half of the shots you take on the course. 

Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers & Beginners

If the driver costs you shots, over and over, leave it at home for now and find yourself a trusty fairway wood that can travel over 160 yards off the tee. That's your new secret weapon my friend. Oozing forgiveness and a soft-landing ball, fairway woods can quickly become your favorite club and allow you to play lots of different golf courses. 

On top of that, for slower swingers, higher handicappers and beginners, a fairway wood with more loft will go further and straighter than a lower lofted wood and work much easier than the popular hybrids. You might find that the best fairway woods for high handicappers is the biggest reason you break 90 or 100 for the first time. 


Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers and Beginners

  1. Callaway Big Bertha B21 (easiest fairway wood to launch)
  2. PING G425 Fairway Wood (most forgiving fairway wood)
  3. Taylormade STEALTH Fairway wood (best Taylormade fairway wood)
  4. Cleveland Launcher XL Halo (best for stopping a slice)
  5. Cobra LTDx Max Black Fairway Wood  (ideal option for slower swingers)
  6. Tour Edge Hot Launch E522 Fairway Wood  (best high handicapper focused club)

Callaway Big Bertha B21

Easiest fairway wood to launch

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Wood

The Callaway Big Bertha B21 fairway wood is the easiest club to get into the air and keep it there for longer. I found it to be the easiest fairway wood to hit in a very long time. 

The Callaway Big Bertha B21 fairway wood is offset but the neck is not so obviously offset like a lot of the draw-bias clubs on the market. What really makes this fairway wood one of my favorites is that it has a shallow face, similar to the Pings.

The effect of a shallow, low profile face cannot be overstated. When you have a very tall clubface, it can feel like you're hitting a big old driver off the ground. That is incredibly intimidating as you may know.

The shallow face automatically makes you think you can get under the golf ball without trying and that is its main advantage and why I prefer a shallow faced fairway wood. Because of the shallow face, you can hit this thing from every single lie you can imagine: fairway bunkers, hardpan, dry lies, as well as lush rough and fairway.

Along with the excellent face shape, the dark blue crown is a pleasant sight to look at - not black and boring but not bright like a Nike.  The standard simple alignment aid rounds out the simplified look.

Despite this being a game improvement wood, the Jailbreak (artificial intelligence) tech that Callaway has in its high end models is in the B21, That means more distance, more forgiveness for you because of the lower spin rates and hot face. 

This wood may not be as widely available this golf season, but if you can get your hands on one, you have to try it. I usually do not recommend many fairway woods from Callaway for beginners or high handicappers, but the B21 is a standout. It's easily up there with the Pings in my experience. I may even put it in my golf bag! 

Pros

  • Shallow, Ping-style face means you can swing confidently without trying to 'help the ball into the air'
  • Jailbreak technology in a super game improvement fairway wood
  • Easy to get airborne and generate plenty of speed
  • You can hit the B21 from every imaginable lie on the course

Cons


PING G425 MAX

Forgiving PING quality for more distance and less dispersion

Available in 14.5,17.5, 20.5 and 23.5 degree lofts so you can pick any loft you need for the forgiveness of a PING fairway wood.

The look of the crown is a simple matte black and a traditional style head. The spikey things on the crown are gone now for alignment. They use three little dots on the crown making it a perfect and simple minimalist look to align the golf ball to the center of the face. A shallow face means it is not very tall. 

The low profile clubface is not driver-esque and so it feels easier to get the ball airborne. Off the face, the sound of the clubface is high-pitched and everyone around will know you're hitting a PING. it's easy to hit the ball from many lies on the golf course - the rough, hardpan, soft grass, fairway and the tee.

PINGs G425 is a simple golf club but it's not as easy to launch as the TaylorMade options. The golf ball comes off the face hot and if you're a PING fan, you'll love it. I have recently started to play Ping fairway woods and I'm converted. I have the Ping G425 3 wood and a Ping G410 seven wood in my golf bag and I've fallen in love with the game again. The seven wood has replaced my once trusty two iron and I am using it for a wide variety of shots. The higher lofts  and forgiving faces on these clubs allow me get the ball into play off the tee consistently and also hit greens from all lies and distances without too much trouble. 

If you're looking for a fairway wood that will help you straighten up that slice or fade, the SFT version is going to be much nicer for you. The PING G425 is definitely a consistent, easy to hit club regardless. 

Pros

  • Alignment aid on the crown is vastly improved with 3 little dots
  • Consistent spin, and distance from any lie on the golf course0
  • Premium looks with a sleek, simple package
  • Many loft options to choose from - can adjust loft and face angle

Cons

  • High price
  • May not be as long as other woods if you want distance only

Taylormade STEALTH

Maximum tech to hit it easier off the deck

Taylormade STEALTH driver

First off you can ignore the 15 degree version my good man. The loft is too low. In addition to the 15° woods, they do have the 16.5, 18, 21 and 24 degree versions.

What's interesting about that is that 24 degrees is the modern 6 iron! But it's the traditional 3 or 4 iron loft. So don't be put off by the 24 degree idea. It's much easier to get one of these in the air than a jacked up loft on a 5 or 6 iron in todays irons.

It would be hard to beat the near perfect TaylorMade SIM fairway wood, but the STEALTH does just that. The excellent V Steel feature is still in this head with the addition of a 3D Carbon Crown and advanced Laser alignment. This new crown moves mass from the high toe area to the back of the club to maximise MOI and forgiveness. A laser etched alignment aid on the top of the club makes lining the face up a breeze.

As with all TaylorMade clubs, the tech keeps coming. We still have Twist Face technology to help compensate for off center hits, keeping the ball straighter and reducing dispersion left and right. The head shape of the stealth is really appealing to the eye at address. The matte carbon fiber crown and slightly shiny black detailing make you just want to rip one right down the fairway!

Site contributor Joe tested this club on a launch monitor at the Belfry Golf Club in the UK and was blown away. He tested the ball off a driving rage matt and grass and the launch monitor was showing really consistent number for his swing speed and delivery. A high handicapper friend of his hit the high launch option with a regular graphite shaft and it was showing 20-30 yard gains on his current 3 wood, even at a higher loft! If you can, try to hit this club on a launch monitor, you won't believe the numbers! 

Pros

  • Good choice for those who hit it low in the face
  • Easiest to hit off the deck
  • High-launching and glides through the turf
  • Packed with modern technology
  • Stunning looks - especially the head shape

Cons

  • Not for golfers who want to shape the ball flight

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo

Good for beginners and high handicappers who slice the ball

Cleveland Launcher XL Halo wood

Cleveland are the kings of game improvement clubs but very sneaky popular. There's not much fanfare out there, but a lot of golfers at club level jam Cleveland woods and irons. Their fairway woods have always been easy to hit and the Launcher XL Halo is a dream. 

The Launcher XL Halo 3 wood with 15 degrees is easy to launch but the 5 wood is where the game gets easy for the high handicappers. Cleveland have made a fairway wood that looks great and performs really easy because they moved attention away from developing the face.

They created variable stiffness and flexible areas of the sole and the crown to help focus more energy moving into the ball at impact with a bouncy face. 

The rails on the bottom of the club are reminiscent of the Cobra T rails and help prevent the fat shots. The club prefers to bounce through the turf gliding over a fat shot so the club still contacts the ball instead of digging in.

The face and hosel are created to be draw-biased to help eliminate that pesky slice. Now if you're slashing across the ball heavily, it's best to fix that swing, but if you're a light slicer, the offset can really bring the ball more left. 

BDog from the channel found it difficult to hit off the mats indoors and was just hitting hooks and big draws. He found it performed better on the grass and natural lies. For this reason, I think it works better on normal turf but not hardpan. But then again, which fairway woods do well on hardpan?

I found that at address, the toe and heel sit closer to the ground leaving more face area low down, where most golfers need help with fairway woods to get the ball airborne. The step-down shape of the crown also helps to get more weight lower, which also helps to get the ball in the air ASAP. 

Pros

  • Fights the slice with an offset hosel
  • Nice and light to increase swing speed because there is no adjustable hosel
  • High-launching and glides through the turf thanks to rails on the sole
  • Crisp sound at contact
  • Looks very attractive at address, one of the prime factors for selecting a club

Cons

  • Matte finish means scratches are much more pronounced.

Cobra LTDx Max Black 

Ideal option for beginners and high handicappers with slower swings

Cobra LTDx Max Black fairway

Cobra golf clubs are always a hit with amateurs. The LTDx MAX is a really classic-looking fairway wood with a plain black carbon fiber head but with a touch of offset to get rid of a slice. The matte black crown looks inviting at address and stops any glare from the sun. 

If you're a slower swinger, the Cobra LTDx Max is a good choice

The inclusion of two strategically placed tungsten weights in the head, combined with a very lightweight shaft will help you get some more mph on your swing. Cobra placed the weight low and forward in the sole to reduce that spin down and reduce the weight on top of the club.

More swing speed means more distance. The weights in the head are also designed to eliminate a slice, so swing free and aim right down the middle. 

A very wide club face gives you a long surface area to make contact with. With more sweet spot areas to hit the ball, you'll find more forgiveness and straighter shots. I do not recommend getting a 3 wood in this range. It's a bit too big and cumbersome to hit off the deck especially as a higher handicapper.

You'll find the 3 wood good as a back-up driver but the 5 wood and up are going to be your best friend from the fairway. They are much easier to hit off the ground and at address, they just LOOK like they are easy to hit, giving you much more confidence. 

I recommend the 16°,  20° and 23° fairway woods. Combining a higher loft than normal fairway woods with light weight and the perimeter head weights means less slice and in turn tons more distance. The head is also adjustable meaning you can dial in you preferred loft. 

JMac from my YouTube channel is a Cobra fairway wood convert. Using them he has gone from a high handicapper to single figure player. 

Pros

  • Lands softly on approach shots with medium high flight
  • Slower swingers show best results in distance and flight
  • Buttery soft feel at impact
  • Crisp sound at contact
  • Adjustable head so you can fine tune you preferred loft

Cons

  • Faster swingers should avoid this

Tour Edge Hot Launch E522

So easy to launch and play from anywhere

Tour Edge Hot Launch E522 wood

There are two options in the 522 range, C522 and E522. Tour Edge’s game-improvement metal-woods assist golfers who need some help (C522) and a lot of help (E522). The Tour Edge ranges of fairway woods is always top notch. If you like them, you should also check out the Exotics range once you level up your skills.

The E522 has a lot of offset, and a low center of gravity to help get the ball up and also, to stop the slice that cripples their games. I find the main purpose of the E522 to be to reduce the errors and be less crippling when we hit bad shots. The Tour Edge E-range is adept at getting the most out of a fat or thin shot.

The curved leading edge on the other side of the sole improves the friction with the ground, so you'll get cleaner contact and your club won't dig in behind the ball, instead gliding through the turf to make contact with the ball much cleaner.

On the E522, the Cup Face design is shallower than the previous model, so you can sweep the ball nice and easy and get it airborne off almost any lie. Tour Edge are the bosses of fairway play and these are superb.

The images you find on the websites do not do the clubs justice as they are very high quality finishes and look every bit as premium as any other "top" brand. The clubface is clean and alignment aids on the crown are understated and professional for a confident feel behind the ball.

Available in 20, 23, 25 and 27 degrees for a replacement all the way down to 6 or 7 iron! That's what I call winning. 

The E522 uses slightly shorter shafts and higher lofts. It's just totally optimized to help you hit better, more accurate shots. Whether you hit it low in the face or in the sweet spot, the E522 range has been designed to forgive you.

Pros

  • Offset to stop the big slices
  • Helps getting the ball airborne and easy to play from many lies
  • Well-priced value club from a great fairway wood manufacturer
  • Very wide range of lofts to choose from in conjunction with the C521 range as well

Cons

  • Not for fast swingers
  • Micro scratches show easily because of high gloss finish

Important information about fairway woods for high handicappers

Fairway woods for beginners and high handicappers are a tough subject. Because they're difficult to hit, I tried to simplify the whole process of finding the best fairway wood for you. 

best fairway woods for high handicappers and beginners

1. Distance isn't everything 

Fairway woods don't need to be SMASHED and shouldn't be. A smooth swing with a slight downward hit on the ball will produce a nice consistent and accurate shot that will travel straighter and with more height.

Hitting a fairway wood HARD hurts your chances of that desired accuracy and consistency. My best advice for hitting a fairway wood is to relax and trust the club to do the work and swing EASSYYYYYYY. Trying to get the ball up in the air will result in a lot of slices and thinned shots. 

The clubs are designed in a way to make your life easier. Trust them.

2. Loft is your best friend

Low lofted clubs produce much lower ball flight. Usually, we would associate a lower loft with more distance. That is the case if the swing speed is fast enough. A slower swing speed and lower loft means a very low short shot.

Fairway wood loft explained

The more loft a club has, the more forgiveness it has. This can be seen with a 3 iron vs a 9 iron. The 9 iron is much easier to hit. The surprising thing is that a golfer with a slower swing speed could hit the ball further with a higher lofted wood than with a lower lofted.

For example, a high handicapper is often able to carry a 5 or 7 wood much further than 3 woods because the 3 wood flies lower with less forgiveness. The extra backspin and loft of a 5 or 7 wood produces much more elevation and in turn more carry distance, even on mishits.

3. Different skill levels for different clubs

  • Higher handicappers and beginners usually swing a little slower and require a bit more loft than normal and so a FIVE WOOD would be the best place to start for most higher handicappers - that's usually 17° of loft.
  • Lower and mid handicappers are more experienced and have developed a faster swing. They can play lower lofted fairway woods because the lower a loft, the more skill and speed you need to elevate the ball.

4. Fairway woods are better to start with than hybrids

In my opinion, newer golfers should learn to hit DOWN on a fairway wood before moving onto the hybrids. Hybrids have made long iron play much easier but I believe a 17°, 19° or 21° fairway wood is far more forgiving and easier to hit than a hybrid of the same loft. 

Hitting hybrids requires a downward strike on the ball but learning to do that with a club that looks meatier like a fairway wood makes the transition to hitting hybrids so much easier. 

Learning to hit a 3 or 4 hybrid immediately as a beginner or high handicapper will be difficult because essentially it is still a 3 or 4 iron but it just has a chunk of metal stuck on the back. And you and I both know how difficult it is to master a long iron!

5. Difference between fairway woods and hybrids

Fairway woods

  •  Bigger clubhead
  • More weight behind the ball in the clubhead
  • Easier to hit especially when learning to hit down on the ball
  • Longer shaft 42"
  • Head volume between 150 and 180 cc
  • Face resembles a driver

Hybrids

  • Smaller clubhead with smaller footprint
  • Looks like an iron from the top with a chunk of metal on the back
  • Must have steeper swing into the ball
  • Shorter shaft 40"
  • Head volume around 110 cc
  • Face resembles an iron

6. When should we use fairway woods?

Appropriate times

  • Long par 3s
  • On approach shots where the fairway wood will reach the distance to the center of the green
  • On the tees of holes or courses where accuracy is more important than distance
  • When escaping rough because the round shape of a fairway woods head doesn't get tangled like the sharpness of an irons blade

Inappropriate times

  • When we're 250 yards out and a fairway wood will 'get us somewhere up there' - it's better to divide the yardage into 2 shots you prefer. Something like 150 yards with 100 yards into the green. A blasted 185 yard 5 wood will leave us with the extremely difficult 65 yard pitch - partial shots are very difficult.
  • When the distance to the green is in our range but the fairway wood won't CARRY the bunkers or water short of the green.

Why I selected these fairway woods for you

The best fairway woods for high handicappers and beginners must come in lofts higher than 17 degrees. You'll be able to hit them consistently and get them to travel longer distances. I also think you should have as many fairway woods as you like but never going below 17° of loft. 

The fairway woods you see the pro's hitting from 13° to 15° are much more difficult to get airborne off the tee and even harder to do off the fairways. The caveat to this is PING. PING woods are so easy to launch, it will make your hair stand on end!

I absolutely recommend you start with fairway woods and add hybrids later - once you're used to hitting down on the ball. If you're looking for a beautiful driver to help you as a high handicapper looking for a driver guide helpful. 

How I found golf zen with fairway woods

For months I struggled to get a 15 degree 3 wood into the air and carry more than 140 yards. At the time, I was still learning to play golf and someone told me 3 wood was better than driver to start off with. So I tried. And tried and tried and tried.

I practiced and practiced and nothing ever changed - I may as well have used a putter. I didn't have a great set of high handicapper irons.

Until one day, a retiree golfer at the course told me 'try a 5 wood or a 7 wood'. I never even knew there was such a thing as a 7 wood! 

I saw the man again a few days later and he gave me a Slazenger 5 wood. 

Let me tell you, it changed my whole universe. I hit that thing perfectly immediately! Carried 180 with a little draw! You read that right - a 19 degree fairway wood went further than a 15 degree  3 wood. Needless to say, I also got a 7 wood, dropped my handicap to 11 and since then I've been preaching the virtues of fairway woods to anyone who'll listen.

So as you can see, fairway woods come in handy and are made in a wide range of lofts to get you around the course easily. They're just so easy to hit and I hope the woods I've tried and found for you will change your game for the better too...

What's the best type face for a fairway wood?

two fairway wood golf clbus - explaining the difference between shallow and deep faces

Can I use a fairway wood off the tee?

If you want to use a fairway wood off the tee, you want a taller face. What that means is the distance from the bottom of the face to the top of the face is a longer distance. 

This type of tall face club looks GREAT behind a tee and makes the club feel like a mini-driver. You can hit a shallow face fairway wood off the tee, of course. But if you're looking for a more dominant look, a taller face will serve you well. 

Is a fairway wood easy to hit off the ground?

Most of us want a fairway wood that we can hit off the ground a lot. That is why I prefer a SHALLOW face. What I mean by a shallow face is that the distance between the bottom of the face and the top of the face is shorter. 

It's easier to launch a shallower face fairway wood from a hard lie, a soft lie, a fairway lie or a lie in the rough. It's far more difficult mentally, to hit a tall-faced fairway wood because it feels like you have to 'help the ball' into the air. 

Are the cheap fairway woods any good?

I prefer to be level with you so I can't send you to try the cheaper products like Pine Meadow or some other junk. Orlimar used to be good but they are junky nowadays. Adams is still a great brand so if you can find any of them online, I would give Adams Tight Lies a try.

When you see fairway woods like the Pine Meadow clubs at such a cheap price, there is something important to remember. Those clubs are cheap for a reason and it's because of the lower quality materials and manufacturing.

Tour Edge and Cleveland are well-priced because they do spend less on marketing and are a reputable brand. Their fairway woods will serve you well and you'll never regret purchasing from them. You make even use the same fairway wood for 5-10 years.

That will rarely, if ever, happen with a cheap brand that has thousands of reviews on it and under $75. There is no comparison between a decent brand and the cheap ones. You may enjoy the cheaper club but the day you switch it out for something better, only then will you realize what you've been missing. 

If there's just one thing I can recommend to any newer player or higher handicap, is that you should start at an advantage with decent clubs rather than cheap, ugly, awful golf clubs. It gives you a better start to your experience in golf and will help you stay with the game. The technology in the pricier clubs makes your life infinitely more enjoyable. 

Conclusion

I really suggest finding yourself a set of fairway woods that start at 16.5 or 17 degrees and work in intervals up to 24 degrees because these babies are going to be your new favorites!

You never have to be ashamed of how many of any club you have in your bag. Whatever gets the job done is what you play and with the assortment of woods and hybrids out there, you can practically fill your bag with them! Get out there and find the best fairway wood for your golf game. 

Best Golf Clubs for Beginners

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.

Information overload can hurt you in the beginning and I want to clear up some of the difficult aspects of getting the best clubs for beginners. It's always nice to see a beginner or new golfer find the right club for them and see the joy they get from it.

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 beginner golf clubs.

TWO best options for beginners

Picking a set is intimidating with all the marketing hype and peer pressure out there. So what I've done is give you two options and how to do either one without spending too much:

Complete Prepackaged Set - these include 9-14 clubs so you don't have to think too much and just start

Make Your Own Set - you can start small and add more clubs as you need super simply

I wish you luck and welcome you to the golfing brethren. I hope you find happiness on the golf course!

Be sure to check out the Driving Range for Beginners guide to help you improve with your new golf clubs.


  1. Wilson Profile Men's Set (best budget set)
  2. Callaway Men's Strata Set (one of the most popular options)
  3. Prosimmon X9 V2 Taller players Set (best for players over 6 ft 2)
  4. Wilson Men's Stretch Golf Set (available in extended length for taller players)
  5. Mens Callaway EDGE Golf Set (best quality set you won't ever replace)
  6. MacGregor Golf DCT3000 Set (3 sizes - shorter, standard, longer)
  7. Taylormade RBZ Speedlite Set (top quality golf clubs from a top manufacturer)

Perfect selection of easiest to hit clubs for any beginner

wilson golf club set

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 clubs 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. 

Pros

  • Catchy colors 
  • Well-selected golf clubs for the new player
  • Fewer clubs for a lighter golf bag when carrying
  • Inclusion of a sand wedge is a good touch
  • Available for ladies, kids, teens, average height and taller players. 

Cons

  • On rare occasions, club heads fly off like most beginner sets 

Many options for number of clubs in a set

callawya strata golf club 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 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

Pros

  • Driver has plenty of loft for excellent ease-of-use
  • Best price to value ratio
  • Callaway golf is one of the most famous name brands in the game
  • Fewer golf clubs for a lighter golf bag when carrying
  • Easy to aim with the mallet style putter

Cons

  • Only for players 6'2" and under
  • No Sand Wedge included - need to buy separately

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 int his set too. 

*There is no SW included which is a pity
*For golfers from 5 ft all the way to over 6ft 2

Pros

  • Two hybrids and a fairway wood for maximum options on longer shots
  • Brilliant three sizes for all heights of players
  • 11 good quality golf clubs in the set
  • Big mallet putter allows for easy alignment
  • High quality golf bag

Cons

  • No sand wedge

Best for tall beginners

prosimmon golf club set

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

Pros

  • The only beginner set designed specifically for guys over 6'2"
  • Two hybrids give you more versatility off the tee
  • Fewer clubs for a lighter bag when carrying

Cons

  • A sand wedge instead of a 5 iron would have been a better inclusion in the bag

Guide to Beginner Golf Clubs

Beginner Golf Club Sets

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.

What Clubs Should a Beginner High Handicapper Carry?

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.

You need:

  1. A tee club
  2. An approach club
  3. A chipping club
  4. A bunker club
  5. 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 irons

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.

Can you spot the cavity back, perimeter weighting and wide sole?

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

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.

Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners

The game inside 120 yards is the most important part of golf and in this one area alone, you can drop from a high handicapper to a mid handicapper in weeks. You need to be hitting the greens when you have a wedge in hand. But if you don't, you want that same wedge to help you get up and down.

The confidence that you get on the golf course from a good wedge game, bunker game and chipping game is unlike any other high in golf. It's an emotional protective shield around you. You're untouchable when you have one of the best wedges for high handicappers in your hands. It filters up into the rest of your bag, relieving pressure on the approach, on the tee shot, and making you a happier golfer. 

If you get only one wedge, get a sand wedge

If you're unsure what kind of wedge you need, if you’re only going to buy one wedge, get a great sand wedge with either 56 or 58 degrees of loft and at least 10 degrees of bounce. Keep reading to find out why.


The Best Wedges for High Handicappers and Beginners

  1. Cleveland SmartSole 4 S Wedge (best sand wedge for bunkers and green side chipping)
  2. Wilson Harmonized Wedge (best budget option)
  3. Cleveland CBX 2 Cavity Back Wedge (most closely resembles the rest of your irons)
  4. Ping Glide 3.0 SS Wedge (easiest to use premium model)
  5. Square Strike Wedge (best 'gimmicky' set of wedges for chunkers)
  6. Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge (best performing wedge long term)
  7. TaylorMade Hi-toe wedge (get spin from anywhere on the face)

Best wedges for immediate results

Cleveland Smart Sole 4 S 58° Wedge

Cleveland golf has been the foremost name in wedges for years. They’ve really thought about the higher handicap player with the way they've designed this wedge. Thick bottom and 58° so you don't even have to open the face up. 


Their data analysis showed that golfers with a handicap over 12, find the green only 54% of the time out of the bunker so they've created a sand wedge that will get you out 100% of the time.


The Smart Sole S wedge gets you out the bunker in one shot with almost no effort with the very wide sole. The weird looking underside is unnoticeable from the top when addressing the ball and actually looks like a standard wedge. The face already has 58° of loft, so there really isn't much need to open the face like you do with other wedges.


But if you do want to, you can because that big fat booty is not going to let you dig into the sand. It's going to bounce right out and get the ball floating out on a magic pillow of sand.

The weight behind the sweet spot has been distributed around the perimeter of the club like a standard iron. The Tour style wedges are designed with all the weight behind the sweet spot which makes them harder to hit.

This perimeter weighting makes the wedge even more forgiving and will more than likely match your cavity backed irons in design. 

These things work, period.

You can find me using both C and S wedge in this video on my Youtube channel. The newest version of these wedges now includes a G wedge so you have C, G and S for a full complement of wedges.

Add the C wedge and G wedge in unison with the Smart Sole range and you have two potent wedges that are going to severely lower your scores. The C wedge is 42 degrees which is pretty much an 8 iron while the G wedge is 50 degrees to give you a nice gapping between the C and S wedge These 8 degrees allow for a lot of versatility for the shots inside 100 yards.

With the large sole of the club, you're going to glide through tall grass and fairways alike. Around the green you're not gonna hit those duffed chips that go a a foot or two. You know, the ones you hit and look around to see if anyone noticed...

The C wedge has less loft at 42°and has been designed for playing around the green but can be used just as effectively from 125 yards with a full swing. While it looks quite radical, this club gets the job done every time. The G wedge at 50° is the between club for more chipping precision and a bit of a shorter full shot than the 42° club. 

Easily the best wedges for a high handicapper or beginner struggling with the short game or looking for their first wedges. These two clubs have the potential to rapidly revolutionize your short game from bunkers to green side to pitch shots within 100 yards. No BS.

Pros

  • Playable from any lie
  • Get out of sand FIRST TIME
  • S wedge purpose built for bunkers and preventing CHUNKS
  • C wedge purpose built for chipping and running balls up from the fairway

Cons

  • Unusual shape that will take time to get used to
  • A few rounds to get used to hitting full shots

Best Value for Money Wedge

Wilson harmonized wedge

These are the best wedges for beginners to start with and getting the consistent gapping between your wedges will help with hitting the right distances from 120 yards down to 70 yards time and time again. The confidence you’ll get by not having to hit half shots into greens will change your outlook on life.

One warning though. As a new player or high handicapper, banish the thought of a 64°  lob wedge. These are not recommended if you are learning with wedges. They are INCREDIBLY difficult to hit consistently even for skilled players and while Wilson make one, I would avoid it like the plague.

It makes sense to get a couple of these wedges if you're new to the game or on a budget. And remember, if in doubt, get a sand wedge with 56° of loft. 

Pros

  • 56° sand wedge has ideal 12° of bounce to get through the turf
  • Classic blade shape wedge 
  • One of the best value for money options
  • Look for the black versions to reduce glare from the chrome ones
  • Wide range of lofts in Harmonized range 50, 52, 56  and 60 degrees

Cons

  • Highly reflective chrome finish will cause glare into your eyes
  • AVOID the 64° club at all costs - it's just a gimmick

Most forgiving premium wedge

Cleveland CBX 2 Wedge

Once again Cleveland appears on this list. There’s no escaping the quality of their wedges. I really like the 56° Cleveland CBX  wedge. This wedge is really easy to hit because Cleveland have put 12 degrees bounce on this club with a nice thick sole to glide through the turf, getting the ball into the air easily. 

The cavity-back design in the CBX 2 is more forgiving than the blade wedges most often found nowadays. Forgiveness is the magic word for high handicappers and beginners and in a wedge, it's even more important so you can get onto the green easily to putt for some pars.  

With the cavity back and chunky sole on the CBX, it's going to be much easier to get out of the bunkers, prevent chunked chips around the green and improve approach shots onto the greens.

Like with irons, the cavity back allows for more perimeter weighting which is unique for a premium wedge.The perimeter weighting means you’ll still get distance and spin on off-center strikes because of the extra weight behind the ball even on mishits.

This premium wedge functions as a game improvement club by bringing all the elements of forgiveness to the club head. It's always a safe bet with Cleveland wedges but this is easily of the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners looking to upgrade.

Pros

  • High and soft spinning bunker shots
  • Extra forgiveness through the thick sole and cavity back
  • Famous Cleveland quality grooves, spin and shot making properties
  • Matches the feel and look of your existing cavity back irons
  • Lots of loft options, from gap wedge to lob wedge

Cons

  • Pricey for your first try with a specialty wedge but worth every cent

Famous yet unknown contender

PING make superb irons and drivers, but their wedges are just like the rest of their golf clubs - easy to hit and easy to use.

The PING Glide comes with a specially designed grip with white markings on it to use as a guide for where to put your hands when gripping down. They designed the wedge from the hands down so you can be in control as much as possible.

Weighting has been shifted to the perimeters to improve the off center strikes on the longer shots so there is less distance variability. This is a massive help because those partial shots are everyone's worst nightmare.

Site contributor Joe from the UK has a 54 degree PING glide sand wedge and he uses it for a variety of shots on the golf course. He find that the forgiving look of the club makes it easier to hit committed three quatre swings and he loves the amount of bounce the club has. This is ideal for the different ground conditions he can find on his home golf course. 

Pros

  • Special grip design to aid with partial shots 
  • Perimeter weighting gives extra forgiveness 
  • Low centre of gravity to help prevent fat shots
  • Premium look and feel

Cons

  • Expensive but will last you for a long time

Best for players who chunk a lot

Square Strike Wedge

A lot of people dismiss these kinds of wedges but I have personally seen people change their games with these. They are usually really scared of hitting the ground before the ball and usually do because of that fear. 

The way to use these wedges is to learn the bump and run technique which they help to get you started learning. After a while playing these, you grow in confidence and are able to get into "normal" wedges again.

I'm not very impressed with people who dismiss these types of clubs out of hand without even trying them. The struggles for a lot of golfers is the chipping and these are legal for tournament play and help the average person with a problem, to learn the basics of a bump and run shot which is the essential chipping shot for golf. 

Forget the high lobbed shots and try them around the greens for the lower shot which is far more reliable and more predictable than the normal high lofted wedges that you feel you need to help into the air. 

That's not to say this is a miracle club, but it's a step in the direction you need to go and build confidence as a high handicapper or beginner. Please ignore all the people who know nothing about your game trying to shame you into playing professional level shots. All you want is to get it on the green!

Pros

  • Easy to use when using the correct type of stroke for the shot
  • Three different lofts to collect a set if you like them
  • Great introduction to the chip and run with a putting style stroke - great for learning
  • Allowed in golf tournament play
  • Anti chunking sole for more of a putting style stroke

Cons

  • Bright green colors and feels plasticky in the back
  • People will tell you to "just learn to hit wedges" with their fake bravado
  • Cheap grips
  • Not strictly a "sand wedge"

Callaway Mack Daddy CB

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB is a forgiving, cavity back wedge. These are popular with Cleveland enthusiasts and now Callaway has one too.

Normal Mack Daddies were the blade type of wedge, and can be difficult to hit solid if you're not quite skilled. When you're playing a certain wedge and you like it, it's always good to get a collection of the same model.

Callaway's Mack Daddy CB range goes from 46 degrees all the way up to 60 degrees loft, with increments of 2 degrees. That's superb if you're trying to fill some gaps in your distances inside 100 yards. In combination with all the loft variations, you can select different bounce options to get the right bounce for your course condition. 

The Groove in Groove (legal) technology means you get more spin on your wedges because of micro grooves in the main grooves. There are 4 sole grinds for every type of playing style and course conditions. 

For forgiveness and accuracy, it's hard to beat a Mack Daddy CB. 

Pros

  • Very good for players who don't hit the sweet spot on wedges
  • Many loft options to craft a whole set of wedges in future
  • Glides through the turf with the S grind on many types of turf
  • No need to replace these other than if you wear out the grooves - these are top quality

Cons

  • The head shape is a bit large make sure that it suits your eye
  • Many loft and bounce variables are annoying if you don't know what to get

Grooves which span the whole face giving you maximum spin

Taylormade Milled Grind Wedge

I have to say, I thought hi-toe clubs were a gimmick when I first saw them. I couldn't see how the full face grooves could make a difference. Then I tried one. Wow.

Out of thick rough and sand, this thing is a DEMON. Have you ever hit a wedge high in the face out of the cabbage, and watched it run off the back of the green? I have, and that didn't happen with this club. 

Out of the sand, I found it really easy to manipulate the face to get maximum spin, even in the ball was sat down or plugged. Around the green, the club performed like any premium wedge. 

The more triangular shape of the head might put some people off, especially if you favour a more traditional "tear drop" style head like a Vokey. If that sort of thing doesn't bother you, give this a try. It's as forgiving as any wedge I've played. 

Pros

  • Wide variety of finishes 
  • Very forgiving from the rough
  • Full face grooves make bunker shots easier 
  • Many loft options, from gap wedge to lob wedge 

Cons

  • Some may find the look off putting at first 

Frequently asked questions about high handicap wedges

What factors make wedges good for high handicappers?

From my experience and taking inspiration from master club fitter Tom Wishon, I recommend a sand wedge with a wide sole to take your short game to the next level. This bigger sole gives the wedge what is called bounce. More bounce means it's easier to get the ball airborne.

But you’re probably thinking “what the hell is bounce”? Before we get into that, understand that it’s the most important characteristic of a wedge to give us more forgiveness. Forgiveness is our priority as higher handicappers so we can get the ball off the ground and going where we want when we want. Bounce helps us do that. 

To help you find the best wedge for high handicappers & beginners, I focused on bounce as the main criteria.

What is bounce on a wedge?

“Bounce refers to the lowest part of the sole, that part of the wedge sole that is actually in contact with the ground at address and that causes the front of the sole to be off the ground at address.

Bounce angle is a measurement, expressed in degrees, of the angle between the leading edge of the sole and that lowest point on the sole. The higher the bounce angle, the more the leading edge of the sole is off the ground at address.”

How does bounce make a wedge forgiving?

Bounce moves the club through sand in the bunkers

Do you find it difficult to hit the ball out of bunkers first time? I know I used to. There's nothing more embarrassing than taking 4 to get out of a bunker. But check out my guide to hitting bunker shots for beginners.

For 90% of golfers, the wedge should have a lot bounce to literally bounce off the surface of the sand and float the ball out on a pillow of sand.

Bounce controls the digging of the club into the turf

When we start golf we all hit a lot of fat shots. Fat means you hit the earth before your ball.
If your SW has too little bounce, it will dig into the ground on a fat shot and your ball will go nowhere.

I
f the wedge has more bounce, it will literally bounce off the earth and make good contact, sending the ball to your target. This will help your shots inside 100 yards.

Short guide on the best wedges for high handicappers and beginners

What’s a wedge?

What defines a wedge from an iron is loft. The 9 iron normally has around 44° of loft. Anything above 45° is considered a wedge.

Wedges can be used on fuller shots from 140 yards and in depending on your swing speed. It’s often said that a wedge should not be hit at full power. The idea behind wedges is to use them for controlled shots instead of power shots. Their job is to get you close to the hole, not long distances.

The higher loft produces higher ball flight and often more spin.

Bigger soles increase bounce

What wedges should I use as a high handicapper or beginner?

If you only own the Sand Wedge from your set, you can definitely try a stand alone wedge. But you need to know what you're looking for. Then you can narrow down what you should purchase and try out.

There are a handful of reasons people have for needing wedges in all skill levels. I will list them here in order most applicable to higher handicaps down to what is more applicable to lower handicaps.

  1. Get out of bunkers first time: If your primary concern is just getting out of that damn bunker, I definitely would go with something with a VERY thick sole and loft between 56 and 59°. You can start with a Cleveland Smart Sole or one of the other crazy fat soled wedges like an X-out or Tour Edge 1out. These are great for JUST GETTING IT OUT OF THE SAND.
  2. Chipping: Now here you can actually get away with chipping with your irons if you learn the bump and run style chip which I promote on my Youtube channel. But of course, you may find yourself in some tricky spots as a high handicapper and want to chip over bunkers and water and obstacles.
    You want a wedge that will be versatile from the rough as well as the fairway so something with a cavity back like a Ping Glide or a Cleveland CBX wedge can really do wonders for you. The Smart Sole is also very suitable for chipping as well. The G wedge in the Smart Sole range is a potent chipping club.

    The loft range for these types of shots can be 50° up to 56° and you will be fine with one or two of these wedges.
  3. Shots from 30-100 yards: These are going to be clubs with 58° loft down to 50° which are swung more 'full'. The types of wedges that are best for this are up to you entirely. You just need to practice with the one you choose and find the distance you hit it with a FULL SHOT and a HALF SHOT. Then adapt your game to use that club and that swing for the specific distance it goes. 

HERE IS MY MAXIMUM WARNING FOR ALL HIGH HANDICAPPERS AND BEGINNERS!

Forget the 'flop shot' and the high lobber. You DO NOT need to learn this shot at this stage. Learn the very basic chipping and pitching move which you can find on Mr Short Game's Youtube channel as well as my Youtube channel and just GET THE BALL ON THE GREEN. Those flop shots you see the pro's playing took YEARS to create. 

Our goal as normal golfers is to get it on the green and then try make a putt and at worst, two putt. EASY LIFE. Avoid a lob wedge with over 58° of loft. 

When do we use wedges?

We use wedges from bunkers and for chipping around the green. Most golfers end up finding one club they like to hit out of bunkers with, chip greenside with and hit ¾ shots with. Personally I like a pitching wedge for greenside chipping, lob wedge from the sand and sand wedge for ¾ approach shots as well as chipping from the rough.

The choice is yours and there is no right or wrong way when you find what works but starting with the above best wedges for high handicappers and beginners will make life a lot easier.

We also use wedges inside 100 yards. This is the absolute most important part of golf and most professionals will tell you that if they took over the game for a 24 handicapper inside 100 yards, that 24 handicapper will play off no more than a 12 handicap. 

Armed with a decent wedge and a LOT of practice, you can significantly SLASH strokes off your score. Treat yourself to a nice investment in a wedge and watch how you quickly nip and tuck a stroke from the bunker here, a stroke from a chip there and some more from inside 100 yards here and there. 

What are the Four Main Wedges?

Pitching wedge

The pitching wedge is most common and has a loft between 44° and 48° which you will get in your set of irons. These are great for greenside chipping.

Gap Wedge

50° to 53° which fills the gap between PW and SW for when you need to close the gap in distance. You will need to get this separately because most good high handicap iron sets don't come with one.

Sand Wedge

The sand wedge normally has 54° to 58° loft with fat soles that have 10° to 12° bounce which is essential for bunkers and shots within 100 yards. The thick underside helps to glide through longer grass and sand while also getting the ball airborne off shorter grass. In our opinion, the best wedge for high handicappers and beginners is a sand wedge.

Lob Wedge

The lob wedge at 60° to 64° loft is perfect for hitting it over bunkers around the green, short bunker shots and within 80 or 90 yards. It can add another dimension to your game allowing you to take fuller swings inside 100 yards instead of those tricky half swings with sand wedges! Lob wedges over 60° are not practical for the average golfer.

Here is how all four wedges work:

How wedges fly

How important are wedges?

Specialized wedge clubs are a dream to play and the number of shots you'll hit with a wedge will surprise you:

  • Pitch from 20 to 100 yards
  • Green side chipping
  • Chipping and pitching over hazards and bunkers
  • Green side sand shots
  • Chips from the rough

If we add up the total shots you play per round with these few clubs in these situations, you’ll see it can be up to 40% of your of the game.

Final thoughts on wedges for high handicappers

The best wedge for high handicappers and beginners is one with maximum FORGIVENESS.

My main aim is to help you pick the best clubs for your game without breaking the bank or being lured into buying crappy clubs that will disappoint you. I hope this guide was helpful and you find yourself a decent wedge or set of wedges to take your game to the next level from within 100 yards.

Best Driver for Beginners and High Handicappers – Most Forgiving Drivers

In my 25 years of playing golf, once you learn the short game, the next biggest leap you can make to slash your golf score is to have a reliable and forgiving driver. Having a driver you have no confidence in will kill your game before you even tee off. That's why I have searched for the best driver for beginners. 

Using one of the best golf drivers for high handicappers, you'll feel that awesome confident feeling. It's a feeling we all want - to KNOW where the ball is going. To have the ball in play so we can approach the green and start cutting strokes quickly and dramatically. 

brian hits driver as a high handicapper

I'm a proponent that you can get into the mid teen handicap with nothing more than a fairway wood and hybrid, but if you do want to get some more distance off the tee, make sure you can hit it well at least 6 out of 10 shots before bringing it to the golf course. Before that stage, please practice your driver at the driving range.

The best golf driver for most higher handicap golfers is currently the PING G425 MAX for its forgiveness. 


The Best Drivers for Beginners and High Handicappers

  1. PING G425 Max driver (most forgiving driver in recent times)
  2. XXIO 12 driver (most expensive but highest quality golf driver)
  3. Cleveland Launcher XL Lite driver (best for slower swing speeds)
  4. Tour Edge Exotics E722 driver (best value beginner golf driver)
  5. Mizuno STX 220 (easiest driver to launch with draw bias)
  6. Callaway Big Bertha B21 (high loft options easy to hit)

Easiest driver to hit for anyone

best golf driver for beginners

PING is the go-to name for so many golfers when it's time for a new driver. Their range of clubs never disappoints. You will almost never hear a golfer telling you the latest PING is crap. The simple fact is, PING drivers are brilliant. 

The TaylorMade Aeroburner and the Ping G425 are probably the two most popular drivers I have seen in my golf groups.

PING have made this G425 launch high and with that, you get more carry than other drivers. I've hit it myself a few times to try out. There is no mistaking the ease of use with a PING.

When you center strike the G425, you can feel a deep THWACK - it feels like a cannon. Their drivers are loud and have a slight high pitched ping but the feeling off the sweet spot is so soft and so delightful. The ball comes off the face hot and while you may look up wondering where it's gone, the answer is, it's probably going straight and at a higher launch angle than you expect.

Ping are always pushing the importance of high MOI in their golf clubs and will usually make this their number one priority when releasing a new driver.

I've found with my PING, that the ball just does not move as far to the right on my wild slices like they did before with other drivers.

The head shape has the usual PING look which seems to look really big behind the ball but really confidence-boosting. It features a matte finish with some spines on the crown. If your preferred look is shiny and plain on a very LARGE crown, this one isn't for you. 

Pros

  • Adjustable loft to aid in forgiveness and launch angle
  • Large sweet spot launching higher for more carry and ball speed
  • Beautiful crown design including alignment aids 
  • Cannon-like sound
  • So forgiving with MUCH smaller dispersion left and right

Cons

  • No adjustable weights for center of gravity like most modern models
  • Not for golfers who want to shape the ball flight

Premium quality driver specifically for moderate swing speeds

XXIO 12 driver

The XXIO brand is under the Srixon and Cleveland umbrella (Dunlop) and it is their high-end premium brand. I know this one is expensive, I know!

But let me explain why I included it. 

I have a friend in Bangkok. Well a friend is a strong word - he is an acquaintance and we have played golf twice. He couldn't hit a driver to save his life - his swing speed is a bit low and he was going for all the ego drivers from the brands we all know - Taylormade, Callaway, you name it. 

Then he discovered the XXIO at a fitting where a pro threw this at him. He hit it a few times and the machine was registering some good drives, so he bit the bullet and spent them money.

Bill can now hit a driver and he is getting 230-240 yards off the tee, where before, all he was hitting was worm burners to the left, about 100 yards. I have hit his XXIO 12 driver and even with a soft regular shaft in it, I can hit it straight. It's a beauty. 

The XXIO 12 driver is super lightweight and made of extremely fine materials. They design these drivers specifically for moderate swing speeds. If your swing speed is below 80 mph, you can really benefit from the smooth and effortless swinging and power of the XXIO 12. 

Pros

  • Premium, top notch materials to genuinely increase speed
  • Simple point and shoot driver no fancy weights etc
  • Made specifically for moderate swing speeds to slow swing speeds
  • Design helps to increase ball speed off the face and launch much higher despite similar lofts

Cons

  • Very expensive

Cleveland Launcher XL Lite

Cleveland may seem like a name that is not heard much on tour, which it isn't. This is the everyday golfers driver and one of the easiest to hit in the available ranges. The Launcher XL Lite is the version of the Launcher range designed for maximum swing speed and forgiveness. 

Brooks Koepka and Shane Lowry play Cleveland and Srixon (the same company) but the truth is that Cleveland make EXCELLENT clubs for the high handicapper and beginner. Their drivers are also in the game improvement category to help launch it higher and longer.

I used a Cleveland driver back in the day to get down to a scratch handicap. They've always made very simple-looking driver faces and very forgiving hitting areas. They fit high end shafts and you can pick one based on your swing speed to maximize your abilities. 

Looking down at the club, it looks like a PING with the matte finish and spines running across the crown. It's simple to swing and easy to hit but mainly for slower swingers. If you swing like a brute, there will be minimal benefit for you.

There is also a version of this driver for you if you want to eliminate a slice and want the ball to shape right to left. It's called the Launcher XL Lite Draw

The club comes in 10.5 and 12 degree versions. Usually I would say anyone with a slower swing speed would do well to pick a higher lofted driver (12°) to get it launching longer with more carry. It's almost always the case that you'll see an increase in yardage by going higher loft. 

Pros

  • Easy to swing and look down at - looks similar to PING 
  • Clean design with lines on the crown for easy alignment
  • Very friendly on the pocket
  • The Launcher XL Lite Draw will help to negate a big fade 

Cons

  • Loud sound

Tour Edge Exotics E722 driver

Tour Edge 722 range of two drivers. The bigger E722 model uses a 30-gram weight in the in the back perimeter of the club head for maximum forgiveness and increase club head speed. The E722 is the model of choice for you if you're looking for pure ease of use. 

The big feature is the carbon composite crown but besides the performance benefits from the lightweight material, the alignment aid on the crown is not talked about enough.

A black 'T' shape runs the length of the crown with the crossbar of the T along the edge aligned to your target and the tail piece of the T extending to the back of the crown. Anything that helps a high handicapper (even a low handicapper) with alignment is a winner.

A stand-out feature I like is that you can adjust loft up and down by two degrees. The E722 comes in starting lofts of 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees which makes it perfect for what we're looking for. The 12 degree model is definitely one to look for if you're having trouble launching a driver. 

Depending on each flex of the shaft you want, Tour Edge has selected different shafts to make the driver perform better at each flex. Amazing. 

Tour Edge always deliver excellent clubs for the average golfer, maximizing strike and reducing negative impact of mis-hits. The E722 range does all of that and this is easily the best driver in their catalog to date. I found it easy to hit when I compared it to the lower handicapper C722. 

In fact, after trying a couple of them in the USA, I would definitely, even as a 3 handicap, use the E722. It's just that good. 

Pros

  • Very very forgiving driver much like their fairway woods
  • Perfect range of lofts: 9.5° 10.5° and 12°
  • Simple point and shoot no frilly weight adjustments
  • Impact sounds like a beast of out hell

Cons

  • Shots higher in the face balloon a lot and fly really short
  • Sweet spot graphic on the clubface may be a turn off

Easy to launch draw biased for the connoisseur 

STX 220 Driver

The Mizuno SX drivers feature a 20-gram weight set in the back of the head, and the weight is more toward the heel int he X model to help pull the ball more toward the left. That's great for slicers and faders who want to straighten up their flight.

Everyone knows Mizuno irons and wedges but their woods have become extremely good. They improve on them year after year and this is the best one they have created. The STX model is to assist in moving the ball right to left but the face, unlike a lot of models, does not point straight left. That means you feel like your clubface is square at impact.

That's a huge bonus because often, your body and mind will adjust to a closed or open face with compromises. When I laid the club behind the ball while testing them with Pro Mo from my channel, I would have picked the STX model because of the forgiveness.

All we want is the ball to go where we desire it. That is what the STX model does so well. I'm a lower handicap but the driver is my weakness. The STX felt like a driver with training wheels. You swing it, and wonder where it's going to go, and miraculously, it stays high and handsome, with much less deviation than some of the more famous 'driver' brands.

The STX model is offered in the 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degree option which is perfect for a higher handicapper. The 10.5 degree is easy enough to launch and the 12 degree, if your swing is a bit slower, is perfect for high launching bombs.

Pros

  • Very big-looking at address makes you feel like the ball is so small and easy to hit
  • Weighting has been arranged according to needs and the STX model is specific for forgiveness and less slicing
  • 9.5°, 10.5° and 12° options means anyone can fit into one of these
  • Weighting inside the head helps to reduce a slice but the face looks square at address

Cons

  • Boring aesthetics - not a driver you pick up off the rack with excitement

Callaway Big Bertha B21

Best Callaway driver for beginner players 

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Driver - driver for beginners

The Big Bertha range is back with an offset option to stop the big slices and more exciting for the higher handicapper players, there are higher lofted options.

I love the sound of a 12.5 degree driver and Callaway have done it with the B21. The face is also created by AI (artificial intelligence) to increase ball speeds which makes this a very high launching driver with very low spin. We want that to avoid the big slices and we want the high launch for more carry.

Anything that helps a high handicapper feel confident like this will allow you to move on to a different driver in the future. But start here - why put the game of golf on "expert" mode before you've built that base of confidence? 

The Big Bertha B21 can be a gamechanger for many people. It's almost a mini driver when it gets to the higher loft of 12.5 degrees, but it's a maximum 460CC in size so you're not hitting a smaller clubhead. 

On top of the forgiveness and increased distance, the looks are stunning for such a maximum game improvement driver. 

Pros

  • Offset and draw bias to remove the big slices
  • Higher loft option at 12.5 degrees is available for higher launch if you struggle
  • Brilliant good looks for a maximum game improver
  • Lightweight shaft options for more swing speed

Cons

  • Slower swings only - shafts and clubhead setup is not for quick swings

What makes the best driver for beginners and high handicappers?

Ideal Specifications for Forgiving High Handicap Drivers

  • 10.5° to 14° loft 
  • Regular flex shaft
  • 460cc head size
  • Adjustable loft preferred

Forgiveness

What makes a driver forgiving?

Forgiveness refers to how much or little a driver punishes a bad strike. If you miss the sweet spot of the club, there'll be a loss of distance and direction. Forgiving clubs lose much less distance and promote straighter ball flights on mishits than tour spec drivers.

Luckily, modern drivers aimed at the casual golfer are the most forgiving ever made. Mishits are very common for new golfers. Older drivers used to punish mishits with pain in your fingers, shots that went nowhere and lost balls. Mishits now go further and straighter than ever before making it easier to find the best drivers for high handicappers.

Higher loft means more forgiveness

A driver has the lowest loft in the bag. Automatically that makes it harder to hit in the air and keep straight. An easy analogy is the difference between a 3 iron and a 9 iron. The 3 iron (24° loft) is difficult to control while a 9 iron (44° loft) is very easy to hit high and straight due to higher loft.

Pros use lower lofted drivers (7°-10°) and because their swings speeds are incredibly fast (110+mph), they are able to get the ball flying 280+ yards.

Amateurs generally swing at 80-90 mph and require much more loft to make up for the slower swing speed. The additional loft also creates more back-spin which prevents too much movement left or right in the air. All off this combined will mean an increase in driving distance. 

For maximum forgiveness for a beginner, we recommend loft of 10.5° to 14°

The Correct Driver Shaft for Your Swing Speed

The shaft is the most important part of the driver. It will determine how the ball flies through the air and consistency of your shots. Driver shafts are all graphite now and steel is used only in irons and putters.

Golf club shaft flexibilities are labelled in the following ways:

  • L for Ladies (slow swing speed)
  • A or M for Senior Flex (slow swing speed)
  • R for Regular (slow or average swing speed)
  • S for Stiff (faster swing speed)
  • X for Extra Stiff aka Tour (very fast swing speed)

The faster your swing, the stiffer you need the shaft to be, so you can hit a consistent ball flight. A shaft that is too stiff for your swing produces a ball flight that goes low and to the right. A shaft too flexible for your swing causes an inconsistent shape on your shots. It's all about creating optimum energy transfer from the club head into the golf ball. 

In general, beginners’ swing speeds are between 80 and 90mph so we recommend a Regular ( R ) flex shaft to help promote a straighter, consistent ball flight.

Big Driver Heads Help the High Handicapper

Nowadays, all drivers’ heads are between 440 and 460 cubic centimeters (cc). This has increased the club face size and with it, the sweet spot. It is always advisable for newer golfers to go with a 460cc driver head because well, it’s the maximum!

What is Moment of Inertia (MOI)?

Moment of Inertia in golf drivers (MoI) relates to the ability of the club head to resist a change of its position when a force is applied to it. In golf drivers, the centre of gravity (CoG) is move as far back from the clubface as possible to increase the driver’s MoI when the ball is struck off the toe or the heel of the golf club.

Drivers with high MoI, like the PING G425 will feel really good when you strike the sweet spot or near to it. As these clubs are very stable with perimeter weighting, you'll find that the face will twist less on impact resulting in longer, straighter drivers. 

Drivers will lower MoI will twist more the further you strike away from the sweet spot. Skilled players may want some flexibility in this area so they can shape the ball flight more easily. However for beginners, this leads to less accurate drives and less distance for off-centre hits. The best golf drivers for high handicappers and beginners will have high levels of MoI.

Adjustable Golf Drivers - Be your own golf club fitter

Adjustable & Fixed Weights

In the latest drivers there are weights attached to the sole of the club head that can be adjusted by sliding them around into different positions to alter the shape of the shot. This technology sounds good, but it can be highly confusing for a new player to grasp all the combinations and effects on center of gravity and MOI and all the other jargon terms used to market the clubs. We don’t recommend these expensive golf drivers for new golfers.

On the other hand there are weights that can be replaced or moved to fixed locations which are much easier to play.

Adjustable Lofts

For the purpose of this guide, which is to find you a simple-to-hit and forgiving golf driver, this is the technology that can help you most. Some of the recommendations here have this technology. It's is steep learning curve understanding how to adjust lofts and fine tune when you're a beginner, so I recommend having the settings adjusted by a PGA Professional or club fitter at first. 

The shafts can be unscrewed from the head and rotated to increase or decrease the loft of the driver from 9° to 14°. This is very valuable tech for a new player to adjust the loft to their preferred number.

Difference Between the Pros and High Handicappers

Feature

High Handicappers

Pros

Swing speed

75-85 mph

105+ mph

Loft 

10.5° to 14°

7° to 10°

Shaft

Regular

Stiff/X Stiff

Forgiveness

High

Moderate

Club Head Size

460 cc

440-460 cc

It's tempting to think the clubs the pros play on TV are the ones we should be playing. There is a massive difference between pros and amateur golfers so there is no shame in playing different clubs to the guys who do it for a living.  Play what works for you. That could be a used club from the junk store or it could be the latest Titleist 8.5° monstrosity. 

Also remember, the clubs on television are "Tour Issue", that means they have been made available only to the Tour players. The golf drivers you find in a retail shop are NOTHING like the one the pros are playing. I only state this so you can make a selection based on performance and looks to YOU, not what Brooks Koepka or Dustin Johnson or Tiger Woods is hitting. They have the means to fine tune their equipment with the best information and technology possible. 

Best budget driver for beginners

If you are low on cash but want to get most bang for your buck I'd suggest the Tour Exotics E722 driver. It's got all of the premium level technology and component for a fraction of the cost of some of the big names. 

Conclusion

I hope this guide was useful in finding the best drivers for beginners. If you decide to put a driver in your golf bag to take your game to the next level, always have it fit with a shaft by a professional club fitter to fully maximize its potential. It can literally change your life.

You can find confidence off the tee, which will put you in a better position for your approach shots and that puts you in a better position to score. 

Once you've become more experienced and are becoming more consistent with the driver in hand, you'll be ready to check out this driver guide for mid handicappers

If you're on a budget and looking for the best value golf drivers, check out this guide. There you may find the best second hand driver for high handicappers.