What golf clubs do I need as a beginner? The Best clubs for Beginners
So you’re trying to get your first set of golf clubs and it’s already feeling overwhelming by the sheer number of golf clubs available? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!
With so many different types of clubs and brands on the market, you might be wondering: what golf clubs do I need as a beginner?
Trying to decide what golf clubs are essential for your game can be an intimidating task, but with our easy guide to buying golf clubs as a beginner, you’ll get up-and-running on the links in no time. Who knows – becoming fully equipped with your perfect set might even make you love this sport – Even more!
Let’s start by looking at what you should expect to find in your golf bag and what the differences between each type of club are.
Do golf clubs really matter to beginners?
The short and clear answer is: It absolutely matters. Different clubs are specifically designed to do different things and adapt to specific situations throughout a round of golf.
In fact, I remember when I was getting my first set of clubs. I noticed an enormous difference between the clubs I rented at the local course, and the ones I bought (some of them second hand).
The truth is that beyond improved performance, having the right clubs will surely make you enjoy each round more and more, and that will boost your motivation to keep improving and practicing in the long run.
What should golfers consider when purchasing golf clubs?
Although there is a long list of factors to determine when getting your golf clubs, I will keep it simple and focus on what I believe are the most important criteria, especially for newer golfers.
When buying your golf clubs, there are three main key factors you should consider: Club forgiveness, weight and budget.
Club forgiveness is essentially the degree to which a golf club will help you counter your own mistakes. It does this in different ways. It can provide extra weight around the perimeter of the clubhead so you hit the ball in the sweet spot more often.
An aerodynamic design can increase clubhead speed and reduce slice or hook shots. Or moving the center of gravity (CG) around the clubhead can also help minimize mistakes.
Club forgiveness is about how much distance you can expect to lose (or what’s commonly known as ‘miss-hits’) when striking the ball off-center. The more forgiving a club is, the less distance you’ll lose for slight miss-hits and lesser accuracy.
We can’t forget weight, as it is a critical factor to consider. It affects the balance and feel of a golf club. Lighter clubs will allow you to swing faster than heavier clubs – hence, potentially reaching longer distances.
For example drivers or woods, in general, tend to be lighter, making them appropriate to swing at higher swing speeds and launch from the tee.
On the other hand, wedges and irons are heavier since they’re designed to be hit a specific distance from the pin. As a result, you’ll see wedges and irons with different names, sizes and weights.
Finally, budget is what will dictate what type of clubs you can get. It’s important to set a realistic budget and stick to it. When purchasing golf clubs in the beginning, you don’t have to break the bank in order to get the absolute best. You can get a great set of clubs, or second hand clubs without spending too much.
Used golf equipment has come a long way, and you can find outstanding quality used clubs in the market. The best advice I can give is to define what kind of golf clubs you need the most, read reviews and opinions, and get the ones that are within your budget.
Other ways to find good deals are reaching out to fellow golf buddies if you have, going to pawn shops or even golf shop when they run outlet sales. Make sure you ask questions and explain your type of golf game, your needs, and other useful information.
What golf clubs do I need as a beginner?
Many newer golfers are often surprised when they realize how many clubs they can bring out to the golf course! Golf pros will usually bring 14 clubs on tournaments, as that’s the maximum number allowed by the USGA (United States Golf Association). But you’re not a pro, at least yet.
In reality, what you need depends on your play. As a novice golfer, however, 10 to 14 clubs would be enough. Most of the times that will include one Driver, 2 Woods, 1 or 2 Hybrids, 4 to 8 Irons, 3 Wedges and a Putter.
You can follow this guideline:
– Driver (1 or 2)
– Fairway woods (3 and 5)
– Hybrids (3 or 4)
– Irons (4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
– Wedges (Pitching, Gap and Sand)
You might think that carrying 14 clubs is too much, but as a beginner, you need to create healthy habits. And using the right golf club for each situation will be extremely beneficial for your future play.
Again, what you need depends on your own play and how far you want to take your golf game.
If you prefer a more basic set, you can skip hybrids or bring a sand wedge only.. But you might miss great opportunities without these.
What are the differences between each type of club?
Now that we know how a basic set of golf clubs would look like, it’s time to see the specifics of each club and when to use them.
Driver & Woods
The driver is typically the lightest and largest golf club in your bag, and is what you’ll turn to when hitting from the tee box when you start a hole. With the driver, you’ll attempt to gain maximum distance from the tee to help you for the rest of that hole.
Woods are what you use when your ball is in the middle of the fairway, although you can also launch from the tee with woods and irons. Woods typically feature a larger clubhead and long shaft (compared to irons, for instance). That will usually help create more ball speed and therefore, distance for your shots. You’ll want to use woods when you’re playing golf on a pretty long hole. Let’s say you’re 280 yards from the pin, and you want to do the best approach shot.
Irons are have different effects on the ball, depending on what type you use. Generally speaking, they all have a flat face and are meant to be used in a variety of lies (ground or grass terrain).
The most common irons you’ll find in every golf set are numbered irons from 4 to 9. The higher the number, the shorter the distance you’ll get with your shot. Let’s see an example. A 4-iron will be more powerful and offer more distance than a 7-iron. Conversely, a 9-iron is what you’d use for short shots or finesse approaches closer to the pin.
I’d like to mention that 3-irons offer versatility in short yardage holes. As they can even replace drivers or woods from the tee. Again, this only works on short-yardage holes.
Irons should be used when you need to hit shots that are close to the green. For example, if your ball is in the fairway and you need to hit a shot that’s 150 yards away from the pin, then it would make sense to use an iron. A 6-iron in that case.
As a subset of the irons, wedges are the clubs that help you hit the ball short distances, especially around the green. They have a more angled face (what is called ‘loft’) compared to other clubs. The steep loft helps the ball to launch higher and spin more.
Wedges typically come in four types: Pitching, Gap, Sand and Lob. Each wedge offers something unique and that’s why you should consider what type of wedge suits your game best.
Pitching Wedge: The pitching wedge is the most versatile one and what you’ll use when hitting short shots around the green. They usually have the lowest loft – typically 45 to 48 degrees – It’s also what you’d use for a chip shot from the fairway, for example. This wedge offers a bit more distance and lower launch.
Gap Wedge: The gap wedge offers more loft (around 50-52°) and is what you’d use when you need to hit shots with a bit more height, like from the rough for instance. They’re a good choice within a range of 80 to 100 yards from the pin.
Sand Wedge: Sand wedges have what’s called a higher ‘bounce’, which helps the clubhead to glide through sand or thick grass. That is thanks to the wider sole that creates a low-pressure area which helps the clubhead slide instead of dig. The loft is usually between 54 and 58 degrees.
This is the club you’d use when you’re hitting from sand bunkers or thick rough.
Lob Wedge: Is what you’d use for high-lofted shots, and what golfers typically use around the green for short shots, or shots within 35 yards. It offers the highest loft (60 to 64°) compared to other wedges. As you can imagine, this helps get the ball very high while minimizing the roll in the green.
A putter is the golf club for the short game. Once you’re on the green and you need to nail the ball in the pin. Putters have a flat face to help you hit the ball with precision and rolling down the green, always in contact with the ground.
There are different types of putters available. Some have a more traditional style, like what we call “blade putters”. They have what’s called a “heel-toe” weighting which helps you to hit the ball centre of the face.
Then, there are what we call “mallet putters” which have a slightly more modern look. They offer what’s called perimeter weighting that aids in increased stability and promotes a straighter roll. These are the ones we’d recommend for beginner golfers.
How to take care of your full set of golf clubs
Now that we know what makes a complete set of golf clubs and when to use each club, it’s time to learn how to increase their life-span and prevents dents and scratches.
Golf clubs are a significant investment, and if you want to keep them in top shape for a long time, you’ll need to learn how to take proper care of them.
First, always remember to clean them after using them. Dirty clubs can prematurely degrade their life-span. This is especially true for Irons and Wedges as they’re generally the clubs that dig deeper on the turf and get dirty easily.
So make sure you take the time and use a damp cloth or a soft bristle brush to remove dirt and grass.
Second, store them in a dry place. A garage with high humidity is not a good option. Store them inside your house away from radiators or heaters that could reduce the life of your shafts or soften the grip.
Finally, only use a brush and a damp cloth for cleaning. Avoid using any chemical substances to clean them as it may damage them more than what you think. It’s fine though, to use golf-club-specific cleaning products as long as you do it occasionally.
In any case, we strongly recommend taking care of your clubs whether you plan to keep for the long run or sell them.
What is the easiest golf club to hit for beginners?
This is a tricky question. In my opinion, the easiest golf club to hit for beginners is the putter. The putter has a flat face that helps you hit the ball with precision and you don’t need massive body mechanics like you would hit woods or irons.
Hitting a putter is somewhat simpler in the mechanics. However, hitting the putter and playing on the green is probably the hardest part of golf because of the mental aspect of it.
You can go wrong in so many ways that playing close to the pin is psychologically the toughest part.
Should I buy new clubs as a beginner?
It depends on what your budget is. If you’re a beginner, a second-hand set of clubs will do just fine. You can find reliable second-hand clubs that have been well taken care of without breaking the bank.
It is especially in the beginning when you want to experiment with different weights, lofts, materials, etc. So spending more budget to find you don’t feel comfortable playing a brand new golf club isn’t ideal.
That being said, if you want to get a specific new club and you have the budget, go for it. Because of the higher investment, here I would advise to talk to an expert to make sure the club you’re getting is appropriate for your game.
Do I need all 14 clubs?
Like we said before, you don’t necessarily need all 14 clubs, but you should try to have at least 8-10 to get the good habit of adapting to each situation. Remember that each club is designed for specific situations .
If you want to maximize your game and get better faster, having more clubs will give you more possibilities to score and understand the game better.
How much should you invest in your golf equipment?
Again, it depends on what your budget is. Generally speaking, if you’re a beginner golfer, we’d recommend getting the most basic set of clubs and allocating the rest of the money to lessons with an instructor.
Golf is very technical, especially in the beginning, so having somebody by your side will make the learning process more enjoyable and effective. And you shouldn’t forget about the mental side of golf too. We all know too well that controlling your mind is controlling your score and handicap in golf!
Do you need more than one Wedge?
Ideally yes. Again, this is because each wedge is designed for specific situations. Having multiple wedges will allow you to hit the golf ball from different distances, angles, and lies.
If you want to make true progress in golf, you’ll want to understand when and how to use the different wedges during your rounds of golf.
We hope this guide helps you understand what golf clubs a beginner should get and how to take care of them. At minimum, you’ll want an 8-10 club set with at least one driver, one wood, six irons (3-9), three wedges and a putter. That will give you enough versatility to start learning golf from a multitude of situations.
All in all, what you need to succeed as a beginner golfer is: the equipment, the knowledge and the mental strength. With those three elements, your game will start to improve in no time!
Very happy golfing!