Best Golf Clubs For Beginners

best golf clubs for beginners

Written by Kirsty

After graduating from college, I turned professional and played on both the LPGA and Symetra Tours for three years. Since 2019, I now coach full time and write for a handful of online sites.

July 5, 2021

Today, we will look at the best golf clubs for beginners but focus more at full golf club sets. Golf club sets in this article range from $100 to $250, depending on what’s in the bag. They are a great way to get started, and they can last you through the years until you find your feet and consistency.

Golf can be a very intimidating sport for some; hitting that ball in a straight line isn’t as easy as it looks. But, when it comes to accuracy, there are golf clubs that can help in various ways.

Before we look at each set of golf clubs, we need to know what makes a set more suitable for beginners. The next section explains the key features you will need over the next year or two as your game develops. I’ll explain the meaning behind words like shaft flex, we’ll look at forgiveness and discuss price.

The second section will look at three golf club sets for men, three for women, and three for juniors. Then, at the end, I’ll answer a few common questions that beginners ask, so you have everything you need on this page.

Key Features & Criteria

How to Buy Golf Clubs for Beginners

Most beginner golfers won’t know what to look for when buying a set of golf clubs. In this section, I will take a closer look at five essential features to consider when purchasing your first set. These features include the number of clubs, shaft type, weight, and game improvement technology.

Understanding these features is a must for all golfers, not only beginners. Golf is a tough sport, but the right equipment can help you get better scores and make your journey a lot more enjoyable.

If you’re short on time and would rather look at the golf clubs, then click here to skip this section.

What’s in the Set

You will find that most beginners’ sets are categorized as complete. But, just because the description says “complete,” it doesn’t mean that it is.

Pay close attention to what’s in the bag. For instance, does it contain a driver, fairway wood/hybrid, irons, wedges, putter, and a bag? If the answer is yes, then it is a complete set. If the answer is no, you will need to buy extra clubs or a bag before making your way out onto the golf course.

Complete sets are often the most affordable way for beginners, but that doesn’t mean it is right for you. For instance, if a set doesn’t include a quality driver or putter, you will be better off buying those separately. Drivers and putters with game improvement tech can make a big difference to your game at first.

When it comes to drivers, forgiveness and distance are vital. If the technology in a driver focuses on those key game improvement areas, you’ll be in a good place. Furthermore, putting is equally as important. A putter with an easy-to-use alignment system is a big help as you aim to keep your game to an average of 2 putts per round

Shaft Type and Flex

Beginner sets typically come standard with steel shafts for their irons. But, your driver, woods, and hybrids should have graphite shafts to help with speed and control. On the other hand, Ladies and junior sets will often have graphite shafts throughout the bag.

Steel shafts are more affordable, so they feature in most of the best golf clubs for beginners. If your swing speed is average or above-average, then playing with steel shafts to start with isn’t the end of the world. However, for players with slower swing speeds, then steel shafts aren’t recommended. If possible, look for a set that has a mix of steel and graphite shafts. Graphite shafts in the driver and woods provide more forgiveness, which is a must for beginners if accuracy is an issue.

In addition to shaft type, shaft flex is also as important. For slow swinging players, a ladies, senior or regular flex shaft is best. If your swing speed is above average, then stiff shafts will be your best option. The wrong shaft makes it difficult to hit the golf ball with the most optimal force and accuracy.

Weight

Shaft type and flex are directly correlated. Steel shafts are heavier than graphite shafts, and stiffer shafts tend to be heavier than flexible ones. Top-of-the-range graphite shafts are available in lightweight and stiff options. But, these aren’t the type of shafts that you will find in beginner sets.

If a club is too light or too heavy, you will start to compensate for this in your swing. Changing your swing to match the equipment will lead to many issues, and that’s the last thing you want.

As a rule of thumb, beginners with slow swinging players will benefit most from playing with clubs on the lighter end. If you have a faster swing speed, you’ll suit slightly heavier clubs to help a controlled tempo.

Technology

The technological advancements featured in modern golf clubs continue to amaze me. But, the amount of technology used is less when designing beginner golf clubs – helping to keep the price down. Technology won’t turn you into a pro, but clubs that feature basic advances will make the game a lot easier.

Technology is crucial when it comes to putters and drivers in particular. The correct driver will help maximize your swing speed and provide forgiveness on off-center strikes. Furthermore, most drivers are adjustable, which helps match your swing as it evolves. This is great as it will ensure your money goes much further.

Putting is the area in golf that doesn’t need speed or strength, but good putting stats make big differences to your score. Beginners that see quicker changes to their handicap tend to be better putters rather than long hitters. A good putter will ensure a great feel through its motion, and it will also assist with alignment. Both of which are key to good performance on the greens.

Affordability

Last but not least, affordability is a must when buying your first set of golf clubs. Spending a fortune on golf clubs that will hardly get used is a waste of time. You also don’t want to buy a set of clubs that are wrong for your swing, as that will make the game harder than it should be.

Balance is key when it comes to buying golf clubs for beginners. The clubs need to be within your budget, but they also need to be a good option for the person who will use them. This is more important with juniors’ clubs; don’t buy bigger clubs just because you don’t want to buy another set later on. Doing this might deter them from wanting to play golf in the first place, particularly if they start to struggle and find it hard.

Saving money on irons is acceptable, but don’t try to save money when buying a putter and driver. Putters, in particular, can last for years, so they will be a good investment. Tiger Woods still uses the same putter he used in the early 2000s.

Product Reviews

The Best Golf Clubs for Beginners

The market is flooded with a wide variety of golf clubs that vary in technology and in price. For beginners, finding that perfect balance between functionality, tech, and affordability is essential.

We will look at what’s in the back from a functionality and technology standpoint. We will look at key features such as shaft type, shaft flex, and weight to determine the best fit for you and your success on the course.

GOLF CLUB SETS FOR MEN

Callaway Strata Men’s Golf Set

If you are in the market for a basic set, look no further than Callaway’s 12-piece Strata beginners set. The set includes a driver, fairway wood, hybrid, 6 iron – pitching wedge, putter, and a stand bag.

This is an affordable set and perfect for male golfers with an average swing speed that want to start golf.

The driver has a 460cc titanium head with a large sweet spot for more forgiveness on off-center strikes. The fairway wood and hybrid both feature oversized club heads, ideal for people who struggle with consistency. The driver, fairway wood, and hybrid come standard with regular flex graphite shafts.

Best golf clubs for beginners - Callaway Strata Men’s Golf Set

The stainless-steel irons and pitching wedge are also oversized, and game improvement irons. Beginners tend to struggle with consistency which is why a game improvement iron is a must. The irons and wedge in this set feature regular flex steel shafts.

The mallet putter featured in this set has a sleek design with an easy-to-use alignment system. This system helps with a person’s aim and keeps them focussed on a smooth and steady motion. Additionally, this set also includes a stand bag with comfortable straps for carrying. The bag also has ample storage space.

Keep in mind that even though this is a Callaway set, it won’t feature the technology found in their higher-end clubs. But, as a beginner, state-of-the-art technology at this stage of your game isn’t too important.

PROS

  • ✅   Set includes all the clubs needed by a beginner.
  • ✅   Oversized driver with a large sweet spot.
  • ✅   Graphite shafts in the driver, fairway wood and hybrid for maximum forgiveness.
  • ✅   Easy to align mallet putter.
  • ✅   Very affordable price tag for a complete beginners set.

 

CONS

  • X    The set features very basic technology, which is to be expected I suppose.

Callaway Strata Men’s Golf Set

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Callaway Edge 10-Piece Golf Set

The Callaway Edge is a 10-piece beginner’s set, offering the perfect balance between tech and functionality. The set includes a driver, 3 wood, hybrid, 6 – 9 irons, PW, SW, and a putter.

Unfortunately, this beginner’s set doesn’t include a bag, but the clubs’ quality makes up for this. The oversized titanium driver and the 3 wood and hybrid all have graphite shafts for maximum forgiveness and great feel. Additionally, the driver also features a low center of gravity, which delivers more distance and fast ball speeds.

The oversized game improvement irons and wedges featured in this set have regular flex steel shafts, ideal for male beginners with an average swing speed. The big sweet spots on these irons allow more forgiveness and control on those off-center strikes. 

Best golf clubs for beginners - Callaway Edge 10-Piece Golf Set

The putter in this set is the star of the show. The White Hot Pro blade putter by Odyssey is one of the most popular putters to hit the market over the last decade. This advanced putter offers an exceptional feel and a very easy-to-use alignment system.

This set is more expensive compared to the Strata Golf Set. Still, the technology in this set will last as you move from a beginner to a mid-handicapper.

PROS

  • ✅   Technologically advanced design.
  • ✅   Set includes two wedges for added short game options around the greens.
  • ✅   Putter included in this set is an industry leader.
  • ✅   Suitable for both beginners and mid handicappers.

CONS

  • X    This set doesn’t include a bag.

Callaway Edge 10-Piece Golf Set

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Cobra Men’s XL Speed Complete Set

The Cobra XL Speed is one of the best complete golf sets for male beginners available on the market. The set includes a driver, two fairway woods, two hybrids, 6 – 9 irons, PW, SW, putter, and a bag. It has everything you need, giving you maximum value for your money.

With its graphite shaft, the lightweight titanium driver offers exceptional forgiveness and max speed due to its aerodynamic design. The two fairway woods and two hybrids also feature lightweight graphite shafts.

The irons and wedges in the XL Speed set have lightweight regular flex graphite shafts. Still, they are also available in a regular flex steel option if you prefer. If you have a slower swing speed, then graphite shafts are for you. But, if your swing speed is above average, then go for the steel shafts. 

Best golf clubs for beginners - Cobra Men’s XL Speed Complete Set

The putter in this set features a blade shape with an easy-to-use alignment system.

The cart bag is also a bonus. This high-quality bag has ample storage with a lined valuables pocket and a 14-way club divider. It is easy to access all areas and allows you to be super organized during your round.

PROS

  • ✅     Exceptional value for money.
  • ✅     Titanium driver, fairway wood and hybrids for maximum forgiveness and distance.
  • ✅     High-quality functional bag.
  • ✅     Set includes 2 fairway woods and 2 hybrids.
  • ✅     Irons are available in either graphite or steel regular flex options.

CONS

  • X    Putter included in the set features a very basic design.

Cobra Men’s XL Speed Complete Set

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BEGINNER GOLF CLUB SETS FOR WOMEN

TaylorMade Kalea Complete Women’s Set

The Kaleo complete women’s set is the ultimate set of beginners clubs for female golfers. This high-quality women’s set includes a driver, 2 fairway woods, 2 hybrids, 6 – 9 irons, PW, putter and a cart bag.

The titanium driver, fairway woods and hybrids feature ultra-lightweight designs, which complement the lightweight ladies flex shafts. Additionally, the woods and irons feature TaylorMade’s signature speed pocket technology. This technology promotes added forgiveness and high launch angles, which is great for slow swing speeds.

The irons and PW of the Kalea set are oversized game improvement irons. They feature lightweight ladies flex graphite shafts, which compliments the aerodynamic design.

Best golf clubs for beginners - TaylorMade Kalea Complete Women’s Set

Female beginners tend to have below-average swing speeds, and slow swing speed makes it difficult to launch the ball up, resulting in less distance. The Kalea set combats this through technology, and TaylorMade hit the nail on the head.

The putter featured in this set is the signature TaylorMade Spider mallet putter. Last but not least, this set also includes a high-quality cart bag with ample storage space. This set does carry a hefty price tag, but it is worth the spend for golfers that are serious about playing often.

PROS

  • ✅     Technologically advanced design for long term use.
  • ✅     Lightweight club and shaft combo for maximum speed.
  • ✅     Top of the range putter with easy-to-use alignment system.
  • ✅     Available in 3 different color schemes.
  • ✅     Cart bag with ample storage and an advanced club organization system.

CONS

  • X    A little bit above average on the price compared to other sets.

TaylorMade Kalea Complete Women’s Set

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Wilson Profile Complete Women’s Set

When it comes to value for money clubs, Wilson is tough to beat. This is no different when we look at the best golf sets for female beginners. The Wilson Profile women’s set features a driver, fairway wood, hybrid 6 – 9 irons, PW, SW, putter and a bag. Except for the putter, the clubs in this set feature a lightweight graphite shaft and thin women’s size all-weather grips.

The driver is high lofted, ideal for female beginners who struggle to launch the ball due to slow swing speeds.

The stainless-steel irons in this set feature oversized game improvement iron profiles. The optimized perimeter weighting helps maximize distance and control. 

Best golf clubs for beginners - Wilson Profile Complete Women’s Set

What is unique about this set is the sand wedge. It has a traditional wedge shape to provide an exceptional feel and greenside control when chipping and bunker shots.

Players can choose between a carry or a stand bag when purchasing the Profile women’s set for beginners. It has everything any female beginner could ever need, coupled with a very affordable price tag. It is easy to see why this set is one of the best beginner sets for women currently available on the market.

PROS

  • ✅     Very affordable price tag for all beginners.
  • ✅     Lightweight design for maximum swing speed and added distance.
  • ✅     Wedge-shaped SW for exceptional greenside control.
  • ✅     Option between a stand or cart bag to match your preference.

CONS

  • X    Set includes only one fairway wood and hybrid option.

Wilson Profile Complete Women’s Set

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Callaway REVA Women’s Golf Set

Callaway’s REVA women’s golf set might not be a full set, but it has all the clubs that a female beginner will need to start. The set includes a driver, fairway wood, hybrid, 7 iron, 9 iron, SW, putter and a cart bag with ample storage.

The 13.5-degree driver benefits from Callaway technologies to maximize forgiveness and added distance off the tee. Furthermore, the lightweight fairway wood and hybrid with their ladies flex graphite shafts were designed with the slow swinging female golfer in mind.

The large, oversized irons and wedges in this set feature a cavity back shape for high launch and maximum forgiveness. The set only features two irons and one wedge, but this is more than enough for any beginner women’s golfer.

Best golf clubs for beginners - Callaway REVA Women’s Golf Set

The putter in this set is one of Odyssey’s signature Stroke Lab putters. This putter is one of the best putters ever made by Odyssey, and it is a great addition to this set. This putter is very easy to line up, and it offers an exceptional feel off the putter face.

PROS

  • ✅     Technologically advanced club designs.
  • ✅     Lightweight graphite shafts in woods and irons.
  • ✅     Easy to align putter with great feel.
  • ✅     Set includes a cart bag with ample storage.

CONS

  • X    Set doesn’t feature the same amount of clubs as most other beginners women’s sets.

Callaway REVA Women’s Golf Set

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Frequently Asked Questions

Golf can be very intimidating when you first start and given how technical the sport is, having questions as a beginner is entirely normal.

Here, I will answer some of the most common questions asked when people are starting out.

What Are the Basic Golf Clubs Needed for a Beginner?

Technically, you only need one club to start the game of golf because when you start you’ll be spending your time at the driving range to practice. The club I recommend when you start to practice is a 7 Iron, as it’s the club that’s in the middle of the set and perfect to find your swing with.

You will need a set of clubs when heading to the course, . 

When you are ready to head to the course, you’ll need to invest in a full set as you’ll need to hit different types of shots.  In the short term, stay away from the longer Irons and Fairway Woods, a 3 Iron, a 4 Iron and a 5 Iron as they are very difficult to hit.

When you do look into a full set, the basic golf clubs beginners need are a Driver, a Hybrid, a 9, 8, 7 and 6 Iron, a Pitching Wedge, a Sand Wedge and a Putter.

What Makes Golf Clubs Suitable for Beginners?

When looking at what makes golf clubs suitable for beginners, the main differences are the technology, size of clubface and shaft. Beginner clubs have  technology that focusses more on forgiveness than anything else, but they are also larger to help achieve the right contact.

The key things beginners need to consider when deciding whether beginners clubs are suitable for them are shaft type, flex and weight. Fast swinging male golfers can get away with stiff shafts on the heavier end of the spectrum. Slow swingers, and women in particular, will suit clubs with lightweight, flexible graphite shafts.

Do Beginner Golfers Need a Driver?

A driver is an important club in the bag when you play golf, but that doesn’t mean beginners need a driver when they first start out. But, when you come to use it, you also don’t need to use it on every hole. On average, you may only need your driver on 14-15 holes of the course given the par 3’s and shorter par 4’s.

The driver is a tough club to hit because it’s longer and generates much faster speed during the swing. The length and the speed make it harder to control compared to other clubs, such as a 3 hybrid. Practice with your driver on the range, but beginners should only take a Driver out when they are comfortable using it.

So, given that beginners don’t need to use a driver, an alternative option would be to use one of your hybrids for more consistency. Hybrids will give you enough distance off the tee and are much easier to hit than a driver.

Are Graphite Shafts Better for Beginners?

Yes, it is well known now that graphite shafts are  best for beginners. They are lighter than their steel counterparts, which makes it easier to achieve a consistent strike and get the ball up in the air.

Graphite shafts are now standard in all drivers, fairway woods, and most hybrids. But, they are now common in some game improvement irons due to the technological advancements over the years. If you struggle with swing speed or struggling to square the face on strike, then you may want to give graphite shafts a try.

You should consider going for a fitting session, even if you don’t buy anything at the end of it. An experienced fitter will determine what shaft will be right for you, no matter how you swing the club. Playing the suitable shafts will help you improve significantly.

How Much Should I Spend on Beginner Golf Clubs?

How much you spend will depend on a variety of different factors. Complete sets that include everything you could need as a beginner will often be cheaper than buying a set of irons, driver and putter separate.

Complete sets tend to feature very basic technology, so these sets are on the lower end of the price spectrum. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you are looking for a set that features either steel or graphite shafts in particular.

Striking a good balance between price and technology is the key. For instance, you don’t want to spend a lot of money on clubs that you will only use for a limited amount of time. However, you also don’t want to make life difficult by playing with affordable clubs but aren’t suitable for you.

How long should I expect beginner golf clubs to last?

How often you play and how fast your game develops will determine how long your first set of golf clubs will last. Some people play with the same set they started with for years, while others will change clubs within a year.

As your consistency and ball-striking improve, you will be better off with more advanced technology clubs. Furthermore, having adjustable clubs will allow you to avoid hitting a specific shape. Adjusting your clubs too early can be risky, but once you figure out whether you miss right or the left, the technology can be a game-changer.

What’s the best way to clean golf clubs?

Keeping your golf clubs clean from a durability perspective is a must. Golfers tend to be very lazy when it comes to cleaning their clubs out on course, and over time this leads to durability issues. In addition to durability issues, dirty clubs will also have an impact on performance. Dirty grooves will lead to a loss in spin, and if a piece of mud or dirt gets in the way at impact, accuracy can also be affected.

Wiping your clubs with a wet towel after every shot before putting the club back in your bag is the easiest way to keep your clubs clean. Additionally, make to clear dirt out of the grooves by using a small brush or the end of a tee.

As well as cleaning your clubheads, make sure to wash your grips regularly with hot water and soap. Then, dry your grips with a towel to ensure water doesn’t go into the shaft at the butt end of the grip. When cleaning your clubs, don’t submerge and leave your clubs to stand in a bucket of water. With adjustable clubs, in particular, water can enter the clubhead or shaft, which can cause rust.

How often do golf grips need replacing?

How often you play and take care of your grips will determine how often you need to replace them. For players that play weekly, replacing your grips once a year is recommended. If you clean your grips regularly, you will be able to increase the lifespan of your grips by at least 3 – 6 months.

Also, make sure you’re careful when inserting and removing your clubs into and out of your bag. If your club is stuck, it’s natural to want to pull with force, but this can cut and damage grips, so be careful instead.

Replacing grips can be expensive. If it is time for new grips, start by replacing the grips on your woods and hybrids, followed by your irons and wedges a couple of months later.

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