Golf Essentials for Beginners - Golf Bag Necessities

Golf Essentials for Beginners – Golf Bag Necessities

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Matt Greene

It's seriously intimidating starting golf as a total newbie, no doubt about it. 

but it's also the best time because you learn so much and it's all new. One day in the future, you'll look back and laugh at how fun it was to be so innocent.

Everything can be simplified to make golf less embarrassing as a beginner. It's a skill and skills can be learned. I'm going to show you everything you need to fit in at the course instantly.

Golf Clubs

callawya strata golf club set

The easiest option is to get yourself a completed beginner set made specifically for beginners.

They're well-priced and contain everything you need to start the game.

The next and more complex but interesting option is to assemble your own set. 

I highly suggest second hand clubs if you choose this route.

You can find some great deals on 2nd hand equipment on the internet and your set could be made up for the optimal beginners set as follows:

Cavity back or hybrid iron set

Before we get into what a cavity back and hybrid irons are and why you must use them, you should know that you can play this game with only a set of irons and a putter for at least one year.

A set of CAVITY BACK irons or HYBRID IRONS is the best choice for you as a beginner. 

  1. Cavity back irons are the easiest to hit and we call them Game Improvement or Super Game Improvement irons. You can tell a cavity back iron by the 'cavity' or hole dug out of the back of the club.
  2. Hybrid irons are even easier to hit. They have an extra back part of the iron, making them hollow. 

They are the easiest to hit and will give you the best chance of enjoying and improving QUICKLY because they have been designed to help you get the ball into the air.

IMPORTANT: Avoid all golf clubs called 'blades', 'muscle backs' and 'players irons'. These are incredibly difficult to hit. There is no need to explain why. It's just the way it is.

But in order to identify the three types of club, please check the picture so you don't get confused when searching for irons.

three types of club for beginners to know

Cavity back are much easier to hit. Anything made in the last 5-6 years will be fine. Here are some suggestions for maximum fun.

  1. TaylorMade like the M series and SIM series are very forgiving and easy to hit.
  2. Any Ping Model starting with G4, so G420, G425 etc
  3. Cleveland HB Launcher or Halo XL - the easiest ever irons to hit. They are hybrid style clubs and so have a hollow back behind the club face for easy hitting. 

Some of the irons may seem expensive, but I can say with full conviction, invest in a very nice set of irons first.

If you're going to spend on something to start with, get a NICE set of modern irons for these reasons:

  1. It is NOT fun to play golf with old equipment that is difficult to hit. You will not enjoy the beginning and may even give up. The old equipment (15+ years and older) is much more difficult to hit. My sister Teaski HATED golf when she was young because she got hand-me-down clubs that were OLD and difficult to hit. As an adult, she bought herself a set of beginner Cobra irons and LOVES golf because they're designed to help her get the ball airborne easily and she hits them well!
  2.  You only need irons to start this game. Ignore everyone telling you that you need a lob wedge or a driver to truly have fun. Learn to hit the ball with your 7, 8, 9 irons and pitching wedge and you'll have a lot of fun forever. THE LOWER THE LOFT ON THE CLUB, THE HARDER IT IS TO HIT. The 7 iron down to pitching wedge are the highest lofted clubs and are easier to hit. 

Ignore anyone who tells you that you must play with blades or muscle backs to "learn to hit the ball properly" as a beginner and that the cavity back irons "cover up your mistakes".

These people are idiots and they have made no progress in their golf game or their life because their fragile egos are so tied to "looking like a pro" and not about what is best for their or anyone's game. 

I assure you, play the irons known as GAME IMPROVEMENT IRONS or SUPER/MAXIMUM GAME IMPROVEMENT IRONS. You will thank me one day.


essential putters

The putter is 2nd most important. You can get from tee to green with irons only.

But on the green, you need to putt along the ground.

This category is up to you really. It doesn't matter what you buy and you will surely replace it in the near future - we all eventually upgrade our putters. 

Whether you like the look of a mallet putter like the Odyssey or a normal putter, just get what looks nice to you - half the battle of a golf shot is legitimately just liking the look of the golf club behind the ball.

WARNING: For this club, it doesn't matter what you buy - old or new. But I would strongly ban you from buying a minigolf or crazy golf putter. It's not suited for any form of golf since 1970. Get something nice like an Odyssey or Taylormade.

Sand Wedge

Most modern iron sets do not come with a sand wedge and you'll need one to get out of sand and deep rough. 

Cleveland Smart Sole S Wedge

If you get a second hand set, you might have a sand wedge included in it. You can tell if it's a sand wedge by looking at the letters stamped on the bottom of the club.

It will say S, SW or 56° - that is your sand wedge. 

If you do not have a sand wedge, you can buy a separate one. I suggest the Cleveland Smart Sole 4.0 S wedge as the best option for you as a newbie. You will keep this club for a long time because it's high quality and is super easy to hit. 


Cleveland Launcher XL Lite

I know you. You're like me. You're drooling over getting a driver to pound it like the pros. 

You are welcome to get one.

I highly advise you do not in the beginning. But if you do, buy models made in the last 6 years, nothing older. The technology is not changing much so within the last 6 years, the used drivers will be perfect for you.

Look for models with words like "PLUS" or "MAX" or "OFFSET" in the name of the clubs.

These are usually the words they use for beginner or high handicap golfers. Plus is for plus more forgiveness. Max is for Maximum forgiveness. Offset is to stop the ball going very far to the right. 

Try get something with ahigh loft more toward 11, 12 or 13 degrees of loft. 

Remember, the lower the loft, the harder it is to hit straight. Drivers are no exception. You WILL NOT be able to hit a 8 degree or 9 degree driver to start. You want a driver of 12 degrees loft or more and a REGULAR graphite shaft.

Cleveland Launcher XL LITE is a super easy driver to game and they have a 12 degree option.

Fairway woods 

big bertha fairway wood

In fairway woods, we have 3, 5, 7 and 9 wood. The flattest or lowest loft is the 3 wood, and the loft increases as the number of the wood goes up.

Higher loft is always easier to hit than lower loft so 9 is easier to hit than 7, which is easier than a 5 wood. Fairway woods are easier to control than drivers for most beginners. 

My biggest take away for beginners though is to skip the 3 wood entirely. They are very difficult to hit into the air but a 5 wood or 7 wood is much easier for beginners. 

Start with a 7 wood. This is the most unspoken secret weapon of any golf bag. Every golfer in their first couple years of golf should have a fairway wood with a loft of more than 20 degrees!

Cleveland Launcher fairway woods come in every loft you can imagine from 20 degrees to 27 degrees. As a new player, I suggest you purchase a fairway wood with minimum 20 degrees of loft.

Golf Bag

sun mountain c130 cart golf bag black

The golf bag is important for storing the clubs and carrying them or pushing them in a cart on the course. 

We want a bag that will not disintegrate within a few rounds but we don't need to go crazy with a fancy bag. 

Decide if you want to carry your bag or use a push cart.

Push cart bags are different and are created for putting on a cart for easy access. Carry bags are designed to be worn on your back. 

The choice is yours here, but I recommend since you're not used to carrying 30 lbs on your back, get a push cart and a carry bag that you can use for both pushing and carrying!

Push Cart

clicgear 4.0 push cart

If you'd prefer to push a cart with a cart bag, then the best type of cart to buy is one with three wheels to make it pushable.

The Clicgear 4.0 is so superior, you'll never need to buy another one. 'Push' instead of 'pull' carts keep you feeling fresh for the whole round.

Pull carts tax your pulling shoulder and your lower back too much.

They may seem expensive so you should invest in a decent push cart if you are ready to commit to the game of golf.

Golf Balls

srixon soft feel

You need to buy and bring your own golf balls to the course.

While you can rent golf clubs and golf shoes at a lot of courses, golf balls need to be purchased yourself.

I suggest used golf balls of any variety as a beginner because you will lose a lot of them so get them as cheap as you can.

Just buy yourself a big old bag of used balls because you're going to lose A LOT! 

You can usually buy some used balls in the clubhouse or pro shop before your round otherwise you can find many on Amazon and Ebay.

Golf Clothes

Different courses will have different dress codes but one way to be sure that you will be allowed on the course is to wear a collared polo.

A pair of slacks or button up shorts will be fine, plus some short white socks and a pair of golf shoes.

Here are some example products you could wear:

- Waddaplaya golf polo

- Waddaplaya shorts or slacks

- Basic white socks

- Golf shoes

I go more in depth in my guide here on what to wear to the golf course for the first time.

Be sure to avoid t-shirts, track pants, jeans and sneakers. 

Golf Towels

Waddaplaya golf towel

Golf towels are those things you overlook when setting up your bag.

Then you get to the course and you need a towel to dry your hands, to clean your clubs, to wipe your sweat away.

You can find some great fun designs at Waddaplaya Golf.

A minimum of two towels is essential - one wet for cleaning balls and one dry for drying hands.

If you live in a hot humid place like Florida, you'll do best with three towels. One for the clubs, one for your sweat and one to put cold water on and hang on your neck. 

Golf Smalls

Golf bags need a few things in the pockets to look after the course & yourself and others that actually make the game possible.

Pencils: You need a pencil or pen to keep score on the scorecard. 

Sunscreen: Be sure to get some cream to protect your delicate ears, neck and arms. Avoid being nagged at home after you get a slight sunburn.

Pitch mark repairer: As a new golfer, eyes will be on you when you're on the green and you need to fix your pitch mark. 

This is the true test to see if you'll be welcomed into the brotherhood of golf. Ignore your pitch mark and risk becoming a golf pariah. If you cannot see YOUR pitch mark, repair two others to make an effort. Golfers will like you more - this is not a joke. 

Check out this amazing pitch mark repairer by Waddaplaya Golf. Easily the most fun and stylish one on the market. 

Looking after the greens and fairways of the course you play are your top duties as a golfer. Get one of these cheap little tools and use them whenever you make a dent on the greens and no one will ever hate you. Ever. 

Tees: Tees are either wood or plastic and are used to stick into the ground at the sharp end, with a cup on the top of the tee where you place your ball.

You'll need these on every tee to get the ball sitting perfectly ready for a great shot.

You'll be breaking a lot of these, so don't be shy in stocking up. Your playing partners will also love you if you have a few handy - because no one ever has tees! Make a new friend by giving a tee to a partner.

Ballmarkers: On the green, you need to move your ball out the way of other players. Usually we use a coin or something flat. There are cool ballmarkers online that you can purchase.

I suggest only using Waddaplaya golf ballmarkers as they are perfectly colored so you never lose them. Copper coins will go missing on the green because they look like blemishes on the green. Believe me, I spent a few minutes as a beginner looking for my coin when I used coppers!


In all seriousness, one of the pet peeves of golfers is a player who is not prepared.

Have tees, golf balls, ballmarkers, gloves and towels ready without needing to ask someone for something. 

You're ready to go on the course now, but check out some basic rules of golf so you know how to act as well. It's a new process in the beginning, but it will take you about 3 months to remember everything. Maybe check out the article I wrote on golf lingo too. 


Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Matt Greene

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