Deciding on the best set of clubs for seniors can be a rather “subjective” matter. To start with we need to establish your skill level, handicap, and length of time playing the game.
In this article I will break it down into categories, that should simplify the process of choice.
- A – Beginner or high handicap.
- B – Experienced and mid-handicap.
- C – The good golfer in his youth, but now needs some help from technology.
I will also break the set down from Driver to Putter and list the ideal characteristics of each club.
In the final summary of the article, I will explain how to go about selecting what is right for you.
Most importantly we need to understand that the swing speed, strength, and flexibility of the individual golfer, is key to buying the correct equipment.
This may sound like an old “cliche”, but it is pointless buying the latest driver on the market, with the shaft, weight, and loft not suited to the golfer’s swing.
- Recommended Drivers
- 1. Cobra King F9 Speedback
- 2. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
- Most important specifications:
- 3. Ping G400 Max
- Fairway Models:
- Recommended Choices:
- Mid Irons:
- Short Irons:
- Recommended sets:
- 4. TaylorMade SIM Max OS Combo Set
- 5. Callaway Maverik Irons
- 6. Titleist T400
- Pitching Wedge:
- Gap Wedge:
- Sand Wedge:
- Lob Wedges:
- A list of the most popular wedges on the market:
- A Putting Tip:
- Recommended Choices
- Lightweight shaft to increase clubhead speed.
- Regular or Senior flex.
- Graphite shaft.
- Modern big head with a minimum loft of 10 degrees and upwards.
- Grip size
I have selected 3 x drivers that will satisfy most senior golfers looking for added distance, control, and high launch angle.
This does not mean that the other multitude of options from the likes of Titleist, Callaway, Mizuna, TaylorMade, and Srixon should not be considered before you buy.
These are in random order:
1. Cobra King F9 Speedback
- Looks great at address.
- 3 loft options available: 9,10,5 and 12 degrees.
- Adjustable lofts.
- Adjustable CG weight system.
- Long, straight, and high launch.
- Good price
- Not sure the average golfer will use all the adjustments available but included in the price.
- Colors not for everyone.
Speedback technology is a revolutionary advancement in engineering.
The successful combination of aerodynamic club shape, low CG, and a precision CNC milled face, is unique in driver technology.
MyFly loft technology offers 8 adjustable lofts and the front to back adjustable CG system allows for every golfer to find the perfect launch angle and spin rate.
This improves clubhead speed, ball speed, and distance without sacrificing forgiveness.
Other technology improvements include E9, rounded leading edges, speed tuned performance, and carbon wrapped crown that deliver a larger sweet spot on the face.
Golf Digest gold award in 2020.
Most Important specifications:
- 460cc head with a swing weight of D3.
- Lightweight graphite shaft. 59 or 49 gms with a low kick-point.
- High launch angle.
2. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo
- 4-options of loft available: 9,10,5,10,5
- Draw and 12 degrees.
- Easy to launch with increased carry and distance.
- Good for all classes of golfers.
- Accurate and straight.
- Great shaft.
- Well priced.
- Not one of the Big names in drivers, but this club does not receive the recognition it deserves.
- No adjustable hosel, but this can be a positive.
This driver collected a Gold Award from the Golf Digest hot list for 2020.
The turbocharged cup face, ultralight hosel, and re-designed hi-bore crown are a few of the technological advancements on this driver.
A Counterbalanced shaft and deep weighting sole pad improve the launch angle.
All these deliver added speed, higher and longer carry, and the straightness that golfers seek.
Most important specifications:
- 460cc head with a swing weight of D3.
- Lightweight graphite Miyazaki C.
- KUA 50 shaft.High launch.
3. Ping G400 Max
- High, easy launch.
- Fantastic lightweight shaft for maximum swing speed.
- Good on the eye at address.
- Sounds good at impact.
- Adjustable hosel for fine-tuning the loft.
- Priced in the upper market sector.
- Price could be out of the budget.
- Depending on the loft setting the open face at address will not suit everyone.
Ping claims to have the highest MOI of 9900 on any driver in the industry.
The many technologies added in this model make it as competitive as any other on the market.
Stability with high launch and forgiveness will appeal to most and the forged face increases ball speed across the entire face.
Bolder tabulators on the head plus VorTec technology reduce drag by 15% for more speed and distance.
DragonFly technology allows for a thinner crown and the 16gm tungsten weight creates a low, deep CG, increasing forgiveness.
Ping offers the Alta C B shaft with more weight in the butt area and produces a slightly heavier head feel without changing the swing weight.
Most Important specifications:
- 460cc head and a swing weight of D3.
- 9 and 10,5 lofts available.
- Alta C B lightweight graphite shafts.
- High launch.
- Lightweight graphite shaft.
- Regular or Senior Flex.
- Compact head.
- The minimum loft of 14 to 15 degrees.
- Use more loft if you struggle to get the ball airborne.
- Lightweight graphite shaft.
- Minimum of 18 degrees loft.
- Small compact head.
- Excellent all round club and can replace long irons.
- Great club out of semi-rough and tight lies.
- Brilliant utility-club to use from tight fairway lies or tough lies in the rough.
- Graphite shaft for clubhead speed.
- Small head and plenty of loft. Range from 20 to 24 degrees.
Titleist, Callaway, Ping, and TaylorMade are among the premium-priced manufacturers which offer a great range and variety of fairway metals to the golfer, irrespective of the skill levels.
If you are brand conscious and have the budget, my advice is to test them all.
Concerning the driver models, I have detailed earlier in the article, the fairways of these manufacturers are also top-class and should be taken into consideration.
Most of the fairway metals feature the same latest technology adopted in the drivers by the various manufacturers.
The looks, lie-angle and the size of the head is a personal choice. Some of the shallow-faced clubs do not appeal to all golfers.
The shaft length decreases as you move from the 3-metal to the 7 or 9-metal, and this allows the golfer to stand a little closer to the ball at address.
Be sure to check the lie-angle on these clubs as it will allow you to swing through the turf with consistency.
1,2,3 and 4-iron
- The most difficult clubs in your bag to control and master.
- The wide sole models make these easier to hit.
- The Center of Gravity (CG) set low in the wide sole for ease of getting the ball airborne.
- Replace with Hybrids if not proficient and consistent.
- The clubs that do the most damage to your score.
These clubs have been around for a few years and are probably one of the best innovations within the golf industry.
- Excellent from the rough and tight lies.
- Light graphite shaft.
- Gets the ball airborne easily and high flying.
- Increased distance.
- Lofts from 16 to 60 degrees. Range from a 1-iron to a Sand Wedge.
- Lightweight graphite shaft.
- Wide sole preferably which assists control.
- Regular or Senior flex.
- Commonly referred to as the scoring irons.
- Lightweight graphite shaft.
- Wide sole for control through the impact area.
- Regular or senior flex.
- Included in your scoring irons and sometimes used for the “chip and run” shot.
The multiple choices on offer could be the subject of an entire book. The manufacturers continue to innovate and one has to sift through the technical info and decide what looks to be their requirement.
4. TaylorMade SIM Max OS Combo Set
- Ideal set for the golfer who struggles to get the ball in the air, especially long irons.
- Super game-improvement iron.
- Softish feel.
- Produces increased ball speed and spin.
- The top-line is not too thick or chunky.
- Well priced for this game-improving iron.
- Sole not too wide for experienced golfers.
- It is not easy to move the ball in the air to shape shots.
- Top-line thickness may be off-putting for some.
- Clicky sound.
This set of clubs should meet all the requirements, the beginner and mid-handicap are looking to improve their game.
A Golf Digest gold award winner for super game improvement in 2020.
The oversized head and off-set hosel provide high trajectory, increased distance, and an easy to hit club.
Extreme forgiveness on mis-hit or off-center shots makes this a game-changer.
The wider new angled sole provides more forgiving turf interaction for stability and control.
A lightweight fluted hosel,ultra-thin face, and weight moved further down in the head, lowers the CG, and promotes a more penetrating ball flight.
ECHO Damping technology allows the feel off the club to be soft, but not quite like the forged iron.
Stronger lofts through the clubs make this the longest iron in TaylorMades line-up.
5. Callaway Maverik Irons
- Looks like a traditional forged club at address.
- Limited offset.
- Stronger lofts.
- Classic look and good sound.
- Mid to high launch.
- Price in the serious golfer range.
- The top line may still look a bit thick to the better player.
- Price could influence the purchase.
Callaway is the first manufacturer to introduce Artificial Intelligence in the design process of their maverik range.
There are 3 x models available and suited to all categories of golfer.
- Maverik Pro–for the good single figure handicap.
- Maverik Std–for the mid to high handicap.
- Maverik Max–Super game improvement iron.
We will focus on the Maverik Pro.
Artificial Intelligence via their computer programs allowed Callaway to introduce a new 360 cup face architecture that is unique to every loft.
The addition of urethane microspheres in the metal face optimizes the consistency and constant weight throughout the set.
With a tungsten infused energy core it provides optimal launch.
The face flexes and then releases at impact creating increased ball speed and spin.
Stronger lofts, good shape, classic looks, slight offset, and good sound off the club will satisfy the serious low handicap golfer.
True temper elevate 105 steel shafts( regular, stiff, and X-stiff) and KBS TGI 90 graphite shafts in stiff and regular, are available.
6. Titleist T400
- The name Titleist ensures a top-class product.
- Innovations to assist the moderate swing speed golfer.
- Looks big and powerful.
- A limited number of irons in the set allows golfers to add their hybrids and fairways.
- Price acceptable.
- The price will not fit everyone’s budget.
- The chunky look may be off-putting to the golfer moving away from standard irons.
Titliest has always been one of the top premium bench-mark club manufacturers, with the perception that they cater to the low single figure handicap player.
Well, their marketing guys intend to change this thought and now have a T400 model that can find its niche in the senior or game improvement sector.
Ideal for moderate swing speeds and for the senior golfer who is still reluctant to purchase the senior-specific clubs.
The range could also possibly be their strongest club ever manufactured.
The loft has been strengthened considerably with the 7 iron at 26 degrees and the iron set starts at 5 iron through to wedges.
100gms of tungsten have been added to the toe and heel of the 5,6 and 7 iron to lower the CG, delivering a long and high launch.
Reduced vibration through a split sole, is another innovation for this set of irons.
It preserves the performance of the wide-body design while gliding through the turf like a player’s iron.
The scoring irons when your mid irons are not working on the day.
Some manufactures concentrate on the continued development of these clubs, more so than the rest of their clubs in their total range. (Cleveland)
Most importantly one should look at the loft and bounce on the wedge.
For the uninformed or new players to the game, these are usually stamped on the hosel of the club or the back of the face.
The type of turf on the fairways and hardness of the ground play very important roles in the decision on wedges.
Are the fairways and green-side fringes cut very short?
What type of sand is in the bunkers?
Soft and fluffy or hard-pan?
Shaft options include a 95gm regular True Temper lightweight steel AMT red, which produces high launch and carry.
Mitsubishi Fubuki MV 50/45 graphite, available in ladies, senior, and regular flex, produces long and easy launch.
The tendency these days is to strengthen the loft on these clubs, which equates to hitting them further.
Having said this, these clubs are not built for distance, but accuracy.
Lofts can vary from 43 to 49 degrees.
The term Gap is used to cover the distance the ball is hit between your pitching wedge and your sand wedge. ie PW 100: SW 80: GW 90.
Lofts from 50 to 52 Degrees.
Make sure your wedge distances are evenly spread over the yardages.
This club was developed in 1932 by Gene Sarazen and used specifically to play from the sand.
Lofts from 54 to 56 degrees.
The bounce on the club should be matched to the type of sand conditions on your course.
The bounce is the trailing edge on the sole of the club and the first part of the sole to make contact with the sand.
It allows the golfer to hit the sand behind the ball, without making contact with the ball, and the pocket of sand throws the ball into the air and out of the bunker.
Sand wedges are also great clubs for hitting short lofted shots over bunkers and water, with sufficient spin on the ball to stop it from rolling out on the green.
Lofts from 58 to 60 degrees.
These clubs require absolute precision and many hours of practice to execute like Phil Mickelson.
The ball must be sitting on top of the turf to slide the club sole under the ball.
This club is for the golfer who plays regularly and on soft fairways. It sometimes is used from the sand and replaces the sand wedge.
Wedges are the scoring and shot-saving “weapons” to keep your score going.
Accuracy and control are the keys.
A list of the most popular wedges on the market:
Wedges are a process of continuous development and the models generally change every 18 months or so.
The focus is on ball control and finesses with the short shot approaching the green and the delicate chip shots around the green.
Bounce, sole grinds, and of course the grooves on the wedge all play their part.
Earlier I mentioned that the type of turf and bunker sand at your home-course should be your focal point, before buying.
Cleveland has built its name on the RTX wedges it manufactures.
Titliest has the Vokey range of wedges that deliver outstanding performance.
Callaway has the MacDaddy which has become very popular.
Ping, Mizuna, TaylorMade, Cobra, and a host of other manufactures compete for market share and have great products.
Prices vary greatly, so check your budget.
Arguably the most important club in your bag and probably the least practiced by most amateurs.
If you don’t believe this statement, just watch who wins the most tournaments on the professional circuit.
When a Pros putter is hot, he can practically hit his other shots weakly, but still, score and win.
Remember the saying” drive for show and putt for dough”.
Putters are very personalized items and come in so many varieties and make.
Does a blade or mallet putter head suit you?
Without delving too deep at this point, the weight of the putter head, the type of stroke you make at the ball, slow or fast greens should all be taken into account before buying a putter.
It must be the most comfortable club in your bag.
A Putting Tip:
Get your eye over the ball at address. An easy method of checking is to take your stance, hold a ball over your one eye, and then drop it.
It should strike the ball on the ground.
Ping: This company produced an ïcon” many years ago with the Anser range. Today they have upgraded the shape, color, and lie angle in the Heppler putter.
TaylorMade: The spider models have been a winner with all levels of golfers and this mallet design should be high on your checklist.
Callaway: The odyssey range has been very successful on the tour and in the amateur ranks.
Acushnet/Titleist: Another great product is the Scotty Cameron putter that is a firm favorite with golfers in the advanced category.
Moving down to the budget level putters available, the choice is also vast.
Cleveland Elevado and Wilson Staff 8802 are just two of the great putters for the beginner and intermediate golfer.
My advice is to test all the options on the market, but understand that the top range can cost you the same as your driver!
Putters are all about looks, feel, length of the shaft, lie angle, and most importantly, what appeals to your eye, which in turn creates confidence.
Traditional putters have standard lengths of 32 to 36 inches.
At the beginning of my article, I broke down categories of golfers into A, B, and C. I also mentioned that the player’s capabilities should also be taken into account, before spending your well-earned money.
In my opinion, the following could apply:
- Drivers, Fairways and Hybrids –– A B C. Remember the loft is your friend.
- Irons — TaylorMade SIM Max OS Combo — A B.
- Callaway Maverik — A model for each category. A B C.
- Titleist T400 — B C.
- Wedges — A B C. Multiple choices but ensure the bounce suits your home course.
- Putters — A B C. A very personal choice that fits your eye and stroke.
Now having considered these, your budget will decide on your choice.
Read the specifications for the individual clubs from driver through to putter and select your preference and style that you believe mirror your ideal set.
Now that you have an informed idea, check the examples that appear in this article.
The choices in the market should be explored and I have selected a few models that I believe will assist you to play good and enjoyable golf.
As a senior golfer, you know and understand that all the hype about hitting the ball 350 yards or more, is not everything if you wish to improve your game and win the bets.
It goes without saying that if you cannot get the ball off the tee box consistently and in play, the most expensive wedge or putter will not help your score.
Conversely, you can “bomb” it off the tee, but if you are not comfortable with your wedges or putter, the same result applies.
Test the set of choice on a flight-scope and the range and have the correct fitment with regards lie angle, length of the shaft, and grip size.
Try the putter out on the green and ensure it is right for your stroke.
This will give you peace of mind and the confidence to play your best golf.
And you thought this game was simple!
Enjoy every moment on the course with your mates.