You have been to the driving range with your buddies and have decided you enjoy smashing a 1.68-inch ball around. Now, you are on the lookout for some golf clubs. But how do you go about it?
Purchasing your first set of clubs is an exciting experience. But it can be overwhelming with the number of options at your disposal. That is why we decided to make your life easier by compiling a list of the best beginners golf club sets.
Not only will we address the features and benefits of each option. But we will also provide first-time buyers with a guide to help you make the right decision.
Golf Club Parts
Before you start testing a set, there is the matter of the four golf club parts. These are worth having a basic understanding of to help you make a better-informed decision.
Golf clubs consist of four components; a grip, shaft, hosel, and clubhead.
These golf club parts promote varying launch and shot shapes to help you maximize your distance and enhance your shot accuracy. Your swing speed, grip setup, and swing shape dictate which options are suited to you.
In this context, grips refer to the synthetic or rubber material at the top of your club. Fitting your clubs with the correct grip is essential for maximum control.
Golf Digest’s Hank Haney explains that using a weak grip can lead to you opening your clubface at impact, prompting a slice. Conversely, he says that a strong grip setup is a common cause of a hook.
The team at TGW documents that grips for golf clubs are available in four designs, velvet, corded, multi-compound construction, and wraps. The material of your grip depends on your preference and the most comfortable feel.
After identifying your favorite material, the next step is to look at grip size, where there are also four options. Undersize grips are the thinnest option and are usually found on junior golf clubs.
A standard size grip and midsize grips allow for more wrist action, which some golfers prefer, as it helps them generate optimal clubhead speed.
However, other golfers turn to oversize grips, which are ideal for limiting wrist movement. It also suits players with larger hands who struggle to achieve a firm grasp with a thinner grip.
The type of shaft that you should be playing with is determined by your clubhead speed and the ability to transfer that energy to the ball. Flex is the main factor to consider when identifying the best shaft for your game. There are traditionally five options; extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior, and ladies.
In this article, Zephyr Melton from Golf.com provides a guideline for the level of flex you should consider based on your swing speed. If you have no idea, you can visit your local pro or club fitter for a session. Or, you could invest in a launch monitor.
If your driver swing speed exceeds 105mph, an extra-stiff shaft may suit you, while a stiff flex works best for swing speeds between 97mph and 104mph. Those of you swinging from 84 mph to 96mph generally fit a regular flex shaft.
Anyone with a driver swing speed below 72mph should think about a senior flex shaft. But, if that is still too stiff for your game, your best option is a ladies flex.
The hosel may look like an insignificant golf club part. But it is pertinent to determining the lie angle of the face. It also helps manufacturers to manipulate the offset of a clubface to deliver a draw or neutral bias.
The final part of a golf club is the clubhead. It is the part of the club that makes contact with the ball. The loft of your clubhead will promote varying levels of ball flight.
For example, a 9.5-degree driver will send your ball on a lower trajectory, while a 60-degree lob wedge sends the ball high.
You generally have three club head sizes at your disposal, ranging from slim to mid and oversized. As a beginner, I suggest sticking with oversized clubheads, as they possess optimal MOI to deliver maximum forgiveness.
Categories Of Golf Clubs
A driver is the longest club in your bag, and it goes the furthest. Novice golfers may find it challenging to consistently launch the ball and maintain accuracy, given the strengthened loft of the club.
The majority of standard drivers contain loft ranging from 9.5 degrees to 12 degrees. However, there are stronger and weaker lofted options exist for fast and slower swingers, respectively.
Golfweek’s Jackson Lewis mentions that if your swing speed is between 95mph and 104mph, you should test a ten or 11-degree driver. He also states that those of you with speeds over 105mph may extract more value from 7 to 9-degree drivers.
I don’t suggest dabbling with these drivers as a beginner. The reason is that you probably won’t be able to generate sufficient ball speed to achieve your desired launch on every shot.
Lewis further suggests that if your driver swing speed is below 85mph, you should consider 14-degrees of loft. The higher the loft, the easier it is to launch a ball high to achieve consistent carry and distance.
Besides the loft of a driver, you need to find the head size that works best for your game. As I mentioned before, an enhanced clubhead provides increased forgiveness. USGA rules dictate that a driver club head may not exceed 460cc in volume.
Smaller driver heads measuring 420cc and 440cc are available and preferred to larger heads by some lower handicappers. The petite construction gives players more freedom to generate the side spin required to work their shots off the tee.
Fairway woods offer the most distance after your driver. The most common fairway woods at your disposal are a 3, 5, and 7-wood. However, you can find woods with weaker loft, but they are not as readily available.
Elliot Heath of Golf Monthly writes that a 3-wood ranges from 13 degrees on the strong side. Up to 16.5 degrees on the weaker end. The standard loft of a 5-wood is between 17 to 19 degrees, while a 7-wood is positioned at 21-degrees.
Many golfers have found that they strike hybrids better than long irons, and as a result, they do not carry a four or 5-iron. Hybrids provide exceptional turf interaction prompting a clean strike from any lie. These clubs are easy to launch and give you a high ball flight and a soft landing.
Three categories of irons exist, long, mid, and short. Long irons consist of a 3, 4, and 5-iron. However, it is uncommon to find a 3-iron in a set for beginners or mid-handicappers.
These irons have a smaller face and offer less forgiveness. This is why it is difficult for inconsistent ball strikers to launch these clubs consistently. That is why we now see hybrids used in place of long irons.
Your mid-irons comprise of your six and 7-iron. According to Heath, the standard loft of a 6-iron is 31-degrees, while a 7-iron is 35 degrees. These are the irons you will use on approach to the green on shorter par 4’s and off the tee on par 3’s.
Finally, the eight and 9-iron are the short irons in the set. The standard loft of these irons fluctuates from 37 to 43-degrees. These are irons that longer hitters will use on approach on par 4’s.
Wedges are the clubs that the average player uses for shots under 100 yards from the green. The strongest lofted wedge is a pitching wedge which features an average loft of between 45 to 47 degrees.
The second strongest lofted club in this category is a gap wedge with an average loft of 52 degrees. It is followed by a sand wedge that averages 56 degrees. The most lofted club on the market is a lob wedge which starts at 60-degrees and rises to 64-degrees.
While a gap wedge is excellent for pitch shots from 50 yards and less, a sand wedge and lob wedge offer the most value on chip and bunker shots.
The final and most important club in your bag is a putter. Before assessing the various options at your disposal, you need to know what type of putting stroke you have.
Players with a straight stroke are best suited to center-shafted putters, while those with an arc stroke tend to find heel-shafted putters better.
Once you know what shaft-style suits your game, the next step is to decide if you want a blade, mallet, or half-mallet putter.
The blade putter is a classic design, appreciated by traditionalists. And a half-mallet or mallet overs exceptional forgiveness across the face.
The final decision to make regarding a putter is whether to get a standard length putter, a broomstick, or belly length. The longer the putter, the more it restricts wrist movement to promote a pendulum stroke.
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for 3 Best Beginners Golf Club Sets
|Top Flite XL 13-Piece Set||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Callaway Strata Complete Set||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Wilson Profile Platinum Complete Golf Set||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
The Top Three Best Beginners Golf Club Sets
1. Top Flite XL 13-Piece Set
- The driver in the set offers increased forgiveness
- The driver promotes maximum distance off the tee
- Perimeter weighting for maximum forgiveness in the irons
- The set comes with a stand bag
- The putter contains an easy alignment system for more accurate reads
- The set lacks a club for chip shots
- The bag is not the best quality
- The clubs are best suited to players under 6 foot 1 inch
Overall Score: 91/100
The Top Flite XL golf set features 10-clubs and a bag to help kickstart your golf career. While ten clubs are four short of the permitted fourteen, it has more clubs than most beginner sets offer.
The set consists of a driver, a 3-wood, two hybrids, a 6,7,8 and 9-iron, plus a pitching wedge and putter. The set focuses on the long game because it lacks a sand wedge for chip shots around the green.
The clubheads in the set are oversized to deliver optimal forgiveness and a straighter ball flight for beginners. Besides the performance of the clubs, this affordable set includes headcovers and a stand bag.
Overall, the Top Flite XL is affordable and features an ideal selection of clubs to help you get around the course. That is why our team feels this is the second-best beginner’s golf club set.
2. Callaway Strata Complete Set
- The clubs cover all areas of your long, mid and short game
- Large driver head provides increased forgiveness
- The irons are forgiving and promote a straighter ball flight
- The mallet putter includes alignment assistance to improve your putting accuracy
- The set comes with a stand bag
- Marginally more expensive than competitor products
- The set does not include longer irons for players who may appreciate a lower ball flight.
Overall Score: 92/100
The Callaway Strata set includes eleven clubs, which is more than the majority of beginner sets. The longest clubs in the set are a 12-degree driver and a 15.5 degree 3-wood that should suit most average golfers.
Sticking with the tradition of beginners golf club sets, Callaway exchanged the four and 5-iron for a 4 and 5 hybrid. This setup helps you achieve a consistently high launch on longer strikes. A 6,7, 8, and 9-iron account for the mid and short irons.
Most beginner sets only include a pitching wedge, which makes chipping a challenge. Fortunately, Callaway realized this and added a sand wedge. Capping off the set is a putter and a standard lightweight stand bag.
The Callaway Strata set is slightly higher in price than its competitors. But it offers a well-rounded selection of clubs to help you hone your skills on the course.
Out of all the beginner’s golf club sets that we looked at, our team firmly agreed that this one is the best on the market.
3. Wilson Profile Platinum Complete Golf Set
- The set covers all aspects of your game, from tee to green
- Hybrids replace long irons for distance and accuracy on approach
- The set includes a sand wedge
- Promotes a high, powerful launch
- The quality of the bag is good
- The omission of a 3-wood could create a gapping problem for some players
Overall Score: 90/100
Our third favorite beginner’s golf club set is the Wilson Profile Platinum. The ten club set offers an excellent balance between your long, mid and short game. The set is captained by a 10.5-degree driver, followed by a 5-wood and a 5-hybrid.
As is customary with beginners sets, there are no long irons. A 5-hybrid substitutes a 5-iron, followed by a 6, 7, 8, and 9-iron.
Unlike numerous beginners golf club sets, the Profile Platinum’s include a pitching and sand wedge to cover your short game. Rounding off the package is a putter and a premium lightweight stand bag.
Wilson coated the clubs in this set with anti-glare PVD for more comfort at address. Furthermore, each club is fitted with Profile Platinium technology, which positions the weight in the clubhead, low and back for a high, powerful launch.
As you can see, you have a lot to consider before purchasing your first set of clubs. But if you follow the guide above, you will have no problem quickly identifying the right set for you.
Remember, your shaft, grip, club head, and hosel impact the overall result of your shot, and if you are playing with the wrong setup, you will not have much fun on the course.
Based on the details we covered in our review on the best beginners golf club sets, we determined that Callaway’s Strata Complete set is the way to go. The clubs are affordable, forgiving, and feature everything you need to get you from the tee box to the hole.
If you are a beginner looking for your first set of clubs, you can take a closer look at the Callaway Strata set here.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.