Today's blog post is going to explore the best starter set of golf clubs on the market today including our top pick, 5-beginner golf club sets comparison table, detailed reviews, and FAQs. Thanks for reading!
When deciding upon the best beginner golf clubs, what should you consider?
Fortunately for you, this Golf Club Buyer’s Guide is here to help you.
If you’re rushing for time, here is our pick for the best beginner golf clubs:
Our Best Beginner Golf Club Pick: Callaway Strata 12-Piece Set
The Callaway Strata 12-piece set ticks all the boxes listed in our "Factors to Consider" cheat sheet and is very reasonably priced. It is produced by a reknown golf brand and comes in premium quality. Ideal for beginners.
Golf Club Buyer's Guide
According to USGA Rules, you are allowed to carry up to a maximum of 14 clubs.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have 14 clubs; it can be confusing to have so many different clubs, especially for a beginner.
There is an infinite amount of possibilities when selecting a club set, but a typical 14-club set consists of:
- 1 Driver
- 2 Fairway Woods
- 1 Hybrid
- 7 Irons
- 2 Wedges
- 1 Putter
Before we go into each club category, we have to understand what makes up a golf club.
Golf Club Components
The grip is the soft cover at the end of a shaft, which allows you to hold (grip) onto the club.
More importantly, it lets you feel how the clubhead impacts the ball.
Grips are usually made of rubber composite or leather and come in Standard, Midsize and Oversize/Jumbo grips.
They come in different designs, textures and colors and are easily replaceable when worn out.
The shaft is the long cylindrical component of the club, usually made of steel or graphite.
Shafts come in different flexes which determines their stiffness or flexibility.
A steel shaft is strong and scratch-resistant, doesn’t break easily and offers good swing control.
A graphite shaft has more flex, allowing the club to “whip through”, transferring more power to the ball and adding distance. A more flexible shaft means less control.
The stiffness levels are each labeled by a different letter:
- "L" stands for Ladies
- "A" or "M" stands for Amateur or Senior
- "R" stands for Regular
- "S" stands for Stiff
- “X" stands for Extra Stiff
Your selected flex is usually determined by your clubhead speed.
The hosel connects the shaft and the clubhead and controls the lie angle of the club.
The lie angle is the angle between the sole of the clubhead and the shaft and needs to be adjusted depending on the height, arm length or the swing style of the golfer.
The clubhead is the part of the club that hits the ball and is usually the first component a golfer will decide upon before buying a club.
It controls the height and distance that the ball will travel.
The clubhead comes with a loft number; the lower the loft number (2 woods vs 6 woods), the lower the loft angle and hence a longer shot. However, it also means less control over the flightpath and where the ball lands.
In tournament golf, the clubhead must not exceed 460cc (cubic centimeters).
Golf Club Categories
The driver, also known as “1 wood”, is used for the first few strokes, particularly to launch the ball from the tee down the fairway.
The driver is almost always the longest club in the bag and has the largest clubhead and hitting area as well.
The larger a clubhead, the more forgiving it can be on off-center shots, ideal for beginners.
Advanced players usually go for smaller clubheads due to the added workability and shot-making ability.
Stainless steel drivers are typically smaller but heavier than graphite drivers. They provide more control during the swing and are more effective for advanced players.
Beginner golfers should go for graphite drivers which have bigger clubheads and sweet spots, and are easier to swing and generate distance. Click here for the best drivers for beginners.
In the same “woods” category as drivers, fairway woods are mainly used for long fairway shots, short Par 4 tee shots and long Par 3 tee shots.
Fairway woods include (but are not limited to) 3-, 5-, and 7-wood clubs.
The higher the number, the greater the clubhead loft and hence a higher but shorter flightpath.
Therefore, fairway woods, which have higher loft numbers than drivers, are used for mid-range shots that get the ball closer to the green.
Fairway woods usually come with graphite shafts. Here are the best fairway woods for high handicappers.
After teeing off and getting the ball onto the fairway, golf irons are the clubs that get the ball onto the green.
In other words, golf irons are used for mid- and short-range shots.
A typical iron set consists of 3- through 9-irons and a pitching wedge.
Again, the bigger the number, the higher the loft angle: increasing height and decreasing distance of the ball flightpath.
This allows the golfer to have more control over the ball landing point and the rolling that comes after.
Irons are also referred to as long, mid-range and short irons.
- Long Irons: 2 through 4
- Mid-Range Irons: 5 through 7
- Short Irons: 8 and 9
For most players, shorter irons are easier to use than the long ones. Longer shafts have less loft and make the club more difficult to control during the swing.
Clubheads on irons are thinner in depth as compared to drivers and woods.
This gives you an improvement in accuracy which is what you want as you get closer to the hole.
Irons are listed in their set make-up i.e. “4-PW” or “5-PW, AW” etc.
The number indicates all the included clubs through 9-irons and the letter indicates the wedges that comes with it.
For example, 4-PW means 4- through 9-irons are included, as well as a Pitching Wedge.
5-PW, AW includes 5- through 9-irons, a Pitching Wedge and an Approach Wedge.
A hybrid club is a cross between a wood and an iron.
It has a shape similar to the wood and hence, the advantage of being easier to hit; and comes with the loft and length of an iron, resulting in more control over distance.
Many players replace their long irons with hybrids for better playability and forgiveness on off-center hits.
Wedges are physically similar to irons but have a much higher degree of loft for very high accuracy and more spin.
Wedges also have “bounce” which allows the club to bounce off the ground rather than digging into it, which is good for chip shots.
Wedges are used for specific tasks:
- The Pitching Wedge is used for shots from the fairway to the green (around 90-120 yards), but normally categorized as an iron because they are sold together.
- The Sand Wedge is used for sand bunker shots; designed to strike the sand to push the ball out. It can also be used to chip from the short rough to the green.
- The Gap Wedge (also known as the Approach Wedge) is used to bridge the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge, normally a distance of 60-90 yards. The gap wedge gives more distance than other wedges.
- The Lob Wedge is used for shorter distance shots (under 60 yards) around the green that travel high and spin a lot.
A putter is used to roll the ball into the hole when on the green and is arguably the most important club in the bag.
Putters come in two different styles:
- Blade Putter: The most common and traditional head style, blade putters are used by players who are fairly accurate in their putting distance and direction. They have a smaller head style.
- Mallet Putter: Mallet Putters have a larger head style which creates forgiveness on mis-hits and the heavier weight stabilizes the putter head at impact, giving a straighter putt. Mallet putters are more ideal for beginners.
Buying Factors for Golf Clubs
Type of Shaft
Most beginner sets have a graphite shaft for the woods and steel shafts for the hybrids, irons and putters. Graphite is generally lighter and this allows you to swing the club faster and hence, hit the ball farther, a factor most beginners require help in.
As mentioned above, steel shaft gives you more control which is particularly useful for the shots nearer to the hole.
Another factor to consider is the shaft flex - stiff, regular of women's.
Most beginner golf club set for men are regular, and is appropriate. Women will naturally use women's flex as they are designed differently.
Right-Handed or Left-Handed
You'd probably know by now if you are right-handed or left-handed. Generally a right-handed golfer works well with a right-handed golf club.
What you can do is to recall swinging a baseball bat or hockey stick and imagine if it is awkward swinging a golf club the same way or another. Try using a prop like an umbrella or broom to simulate swinging a club and see which feels more natural.
Are you looking to play golf for fun/recreationally?
Or are you looking to progress from a beginner to advanced golfer quickly?
As an occasional golfer, picking a basic set with fewer clubs would be ideal, whereas for a more serious golfer, you want to pick a set that you can grow with for the next few years.
As always, it is important to keep within your budget.
A weekend golfer shouldn't be spending too much on a new set of clubs. A more serious golfer can and should spend more for a quality set of clubs.
Even though technology is advancing so rapidly, the cost of new equipment has come down in recent years. And rest assured, our recommendations provide excellent value for money.
Factors to Consider for a Beginner
Now that you know the different types of clubs and components, what are the factors when it comes to choosing golf clubs for a beginner?
Simply put, go for clubs that offer maximum forgiveness, while providing distance and consistency.
Forgiveness refers to the way a club is constructed to lessen the effects of bad swings and poor contact with the ball, both of which are common for beginners.
For consistency, oversized-clubs with large sweet spots are your best bet. The larger the clubface, the lower the chance of mis-hits.
Another factor to consider is an offset clubhead; it induces your hands to move slightly forward in the grip, and this helps you to avoid hitting the ground before hitting the ball.
Factors Cheat Sheet
Driver: Should have a large head size, which increases the hitting area; and have additional loft (12-15 degree) to increase height of the ball trajectory, promotes backspin and counter side and top spins which leads to straighter shots.
- Large Head Size
- Additional Loft
Fairway wood: Should have a high loft and low center of gravity, which makes it easier to get the ball high in the air and produces more distance at the same time; also gives more backspin for a straighter shot.
- High Loft
- Low Center of Gravity
Irons: Go for Super Game Improvement Irons (SGI’s) for maximum perimeter weighting, a larger offset, wider sole, and a lower center of gravity, all of which leads to better consistency; also replace longer irons with hybrids for higher lofts.
- Super Game Improvement Irons
- Consider Hybrids as an alternative
Putter: Go for a mallet putter with offset for more stability and a straighter putt; has lines to aid in lining up putts; and offset shaft to get eyes over the ball for easier lining up of shots.
- Mallet Putter
- With Alignment Lines
Putting all the factors together, we’ve selected the best beginner golf clubs set for you!
Editor's Choice for Best Beginner Golf Clubs
Callaway Strata 12 Piece Set
This 12-piece set of men’s golf clubs from Callaway provides golfers with the whole shebang needed to play the course effectively.
It ticks all the boxes for factors to consider when choosing golf clubs for a beginner.
It is also reasonably priced.
12 Pieces: 9 Clubs, 2 Headcovers, 1 Bag
- The 460cc titanium composite forged driver with a large sweet spot for more forgiveness and a graphite shaft for added distance.
- A 3-wood with aerodynamic head shape for long, high flying shots and forgiveness.
- A 5-hybrid to replace the difficult long irons, and designed for versatility and forgiveness, giving you that extra boost in confidence on a variety of shots.
- A pitching wedge and 4 perimeter-weighted, stainless steel irons with progressive sole width technology for improved control and feel.
- A mallet putter equipped with T-style alignment lines for increased accuracy.
- Comes with a lightweight, durable stand bag with cooler pockets, backpack strap system, rain hood and clubhead covers.
Alternative Best Golf Clubs for Beginners
Wilson Ultra Complete Package Golf Set
The Wilson Ultra Complete Package Golf Set is considered by many instructors to be one of the better beginner golf club set right now.
It consists of a driver, 3-fairway wood, irons 5-PW, 4-hybrid and a putter, all with iron shafts and standard grips.
These clubs are very durable and do not break easily, which is always good because they can stand a great deal of abuse, something that happens very naturally for beginners.
This set by Wilson feels very well-balanced and that is very important for beginners who are just getting their foundations right. The clubs are designed for raw power and are compatible for all swing speeds. The graphite driver and fairway wood are made with high launch and maximum accuracy in mind. All clubs are responsive, forgiving, and have low center of gravity making them a great starter golf set.
To sweeten the deal, you are getting extremely high quality and easy to use golf clubs packed in an attractive golf bag at a relatively low price. Overall, for a beginner who is just “testing the waters”, this starter golf set makes a great choice.
Wilson Profile XLS Complete Package Golf Set
But what is awesome about this set is that you can custom-fit your own set of equipment with options in lengths, lofts, flexes, grip size and even the bag that comes with it to suit your physical characteristics – a factor that beginners need time getting used to.
It is safe to say that this is a golf starter set that is suitable for beginners as the clubs are not only well-balanced, but also offer tremendous forgiveness. These clubs are designed to deliver maximum distance and control and engineered for faster swing speeds.
This can be seen with the hybrid club – it provides great distance but no accuracy loss, comparable to irons. Not to mention, the fairway wood is strongly lofted. Oh, and the irons are deep cavity-backed which means they have improved accuracy.
Lastly, the free carry bag is not only attractive and durable, but features a seven way padded top to organize and protect the clubs.
Pinemeadow PRE Men’s 16-Piece Complete Golf Set
The Pinemeadow PRE Golf Set consists of a driver, 3-fairway wood, 3-hybrid, irons 4-PW and a mallet putter.
The Titanium enhanced driver is not only manufactured for maximum power and distance, but also comes with a controlled-launch graphite shaft, helping you make short work of par 4s and 5s.
The fairway wood – with its low profile head design – and the versatile hybrid takes care of the middle distances from fairway to the rough, on any type of lie.
The irons are built with perimeter weighted heads, wide cavity back design and an oversized sweet spot giving you more forgiveness and consistency in your shots.
The PRE mallet putter is weighted for better feel and response, allowing you to align the ball accurately every time you have to make a putt.
Although the Pinemeadow PRE Golf Set is not cheap, these clubs are extremely forgiving and made of great quality and is a great choice for a good beginner golf club set.
Confidence Golf Power V3 Golf Clubs Set & Stand Bag
This set by Confidence Golf benefits anyone who wants more distance, ball speed and easy to hit playability, kind of what beginners require.
It consists of a driver, a hybrid rescue wood, an iron set consisting of 6, 7, 8, 9, & PW irons, and an alignment-aid putter and a very useful sunday golf bag.
The driver is shaped in a way to reduce drag for more clubhead speed, which translates to more distance. Not only that, it delivers more stability at impact for straighter drives. No more curved shots!
The hybrid rescue wood features a lower center of gravity for a higher and easier launch and its perimeter weighting also maximizes forgiveness.
The irons also give a very good feel and exceptional forgiveness and also get the ball airborne quickly with its low center of gravity.
The wedges and putters are designed for better feel, versatility and stability, giving you confidence for each stroke you make.
All in all, this set by Confidence Golf is not only a great starter golf set but good for intermediate players who needs more distance and ball speed.
To take good care of your golf clubs, you may want to consider golf club groove sharpeners. These little tools help to remove dirt and sharpen the grooves of your golf clubs, in turn giving you better ball control and backspin, somewhat like an instant improvement in your golf game!