Golfing is one of the most popular hobby sports in the country. It’s a great way to stay in shape and build a network at the same time. However, it’s not an easy sport, and having the right club for your experience level can make or break you.
The best iron for new golfers is the Cleveland Launcher XL, the best driver is the TaylorMade Stealth Driver, and the best putter is the Odyssey White Hot OG Putter. These clubs are the most common and high-rated in their respective categories.
In this article, I’ll explain what you should consider when choosing each type of club as a new golfer and provide some other options based on price and performance for each category. Having the right clubs can make all the difference in your golf game so continue reading to find some options for new golfers.
Things To Consider When Buying Clubs as a Beginner
Golfers are allowed to carry up to 14 clubs on the course while playing. However, you probably won’t need all 14 right off the bat. In order to decide what you need and what you don’t, there are a few things you’d consider.
Decide What Clubs You Actually Need
One of the easiest ways to figure out which of the fourteen clubs you will use is to borrow them. You can rent clubs from most pro shops or borrow some from a friend who has a similar build to you.
The clubs you’ll need are a driver, a wood, four different irons (a 6,7,8, and 9), a pitching wedge, a sand wedge, and a putter. As you advance and improve your skills, you can add different variations of these types of clubs to your set.
When renting or borrowing, it’s a good idea to try clubs with shafts made from different materials. The two main types of shafts are made of graphite and steel. Graphite shafts are lightweight and allow those with slower swing speeds to get more acceleration. These clubs are more expensive than steel ones but are considered to be made with higher quality material.
On the other hand, Steel clubs are heavier but are also more durable than graphite ones. These clubs are suitable for people with athletic experience, even from other sports or those with higher muscle mass. Steel clubs with regular or stiff shaft flex are an excellent option for new golfers.
Find Your Iron
After you’ve figured out which of the 14 clubs you actually need, it’s best to choose the best iron for your set. The most important thing to consider when buying an iron is how forgiving the club is. The term ‘forgiving’ refers to how well the club reduces the effect of a bad swing and lousy contact with the ball.
The best irons for beginners are typically lightweight, so they’re easy to swing. Having a wide sole also helps because it’s forgiving on turf and other surfaces.
Decide Your Budget
The most cost-effective way to buy golf clubs, especially if you’re planning to make it an occasional hobby, is by purchasing a beginner’s set. Sets will provide you with all the clubs you need for a reasonable price.
If you plan to make golf a regular form of exercise, it’s best to consider spending more on your clubs so they’ll last. In this case, it’s better to buy each club separately and create your own set of clubs. That way, you can buy the highest quality brand and type of club and allow your set to last longer.
However you decide to move forward, your budget will likely dictate which clubs are best for you, so keep this in mind when shopping for clubs or sets.
Beginner sets are another option for those looking to pick up golf. The most significant benefit of purchasing a beginner set is that it will most likely cost less than buying each piece separately. Most beginner sets come with all of the clubs and a bag.
The best beginner’s golf set is the Callaway Golf Strata Set (available on Amazon.com). This 12 piece set provides a driver, a three wood, a five hybrid, 6-9 iron, a putter, a stand bag, and two head covers. Of course, buying this as a box set will allow your money to go the furthest.
When buying a box set, one thing to be conscious of is that you’ll get what you pay for. These clubs aren’t intended to be the highest performing ones on the market. With that said, they’re a great place to start. As you improve your skills, you can replace the clubs one at a time or as needed.
Details Aren’t Necessary at First
The nitty-gritty details of golf clubs are essential to consider as your skill level develops. However, it’s best not to get lost in them at first. Instead, focus on your skills and technique instead of the driver shaft length, iron shot trajectories, or any of the other club design details.
These details will become important as your game improves, but it’s best to focus on developing your swing when you’re starting out. Be sure to also pay attention to how you manage a course and how you practice. In time, the details of the clubs will become more of a priority.
The Right Golf Balls
It might sound silly to think about, but the golf balls you buy can make a difference. There’s no need to purchase premium, high priced golf balls as a beginner. Instead, focus on the more affordable balls.
The truth is, as a new golfer, you’re going to lose a lot of golf balls. Instead of wasting money on tour-level balls, consider buying a bunch of cheap ones that won’t hurt your pockets if they get lost forever.
The Best Iron For Beginners: Cleveland Launcher XL
Though all clubs are essential in their own way, having good irons can be a lifesaver for new golfers. Be sure to stay away from any clubs that are meant for more advanced players. Starting with clubs designed for higher-performing golfers can mess with your performance and cause you to get frustrated with the game.
Hybrids are usually a great place to start because they are easier to maneuver than the longer irons. However, it’s recommended that you learn to use the longer ones. Going back to the beginner sets, some may offer both hybrids and long irons within the set. This would be a great idea since it will give you options as you progress.
The most important feature of an iron is the forgiveness of the club. The more forgiving the club is, the better for beginners. This will help when a swing is off, or contact with the ball isn’t ideal.
As mentioned before, the Cleveland Launcher XL is the best iron for beginners for a few reasons:
- It provides a good amount of forgiveness for new golfers. It also has a larger head which makes the ball easier to hit.
- The Cleveland club is also an excellent value for the price you pay. It’s not as expensive as a high performance club but provides everything a beginner needs in an iron. They also offer two different shaft options, which can be helpful.
- You can make them 1 inch shorter for more control by accuracy build. These clubs are also lightweight and easy to swing, which makes them perfect for those learning how to swing for the first time.
The only real disadvantages of these clubs are that they don’t have any combination or hybrid sets, and they’re not the most visually appealing. However, these are minor issues and don’t take away from the overall benefit of the club.
The Best Driver For Beginners: TaylorMade Stealth Driver
Drivers are the longest club you’ll have in your bag. Most golfers find using their driver to be the most fun part of a round of golf. However, they can also be frustrating to use if they don’t provide the player with enough forgiveness.
One thing to look out for on drivers is an adjustable hosel, the part of the club that attaches the head to the shaft of the club. Having an adjustable hosel allows you to raise and lower your loft, which will enable you to find the setting that works best for you. This feature also lets you use the driver for longer because you can adjust it as your skills improve.
For several reasons, the TaylorMade Stealth Driver is the best overall for new golfers:
- It’s lightweight and easy to swing, an essential feature for beginners.
- The club’s overall performance is strong and provides a consistent ball flight.
- It has an adjustable hosel.
This is a driver that a new golfer can use throughout the entirety of their early career. You can continue to adjust the hosel as you improve and will be able to use this driver for years to come.
The Best Putter for Beginners: Odyssey White Hot OG
A putter is a good place to splurge a little on. Having a good putter and being a good putter will help you keep up with veteran golfers a little easier. You’ll use your putter more than any other club in your bag, and a put can make or break a round.
Some of the most important things to consider when searching for a putter are the feel of the club, the roll quality, the look of the club, and the forgiveness it provides. All of these factors are what make good putters so good.
The first consideration for a putter is the feel of the club. This can be difficult to figure out because it might differ from person to person. The feeling of a club can be changed based on the inserts and the metal the manufacturers have put into the club. However, having a putter that feels good can make a huge difference.
The look of the putter matters even if you don’t care much about your appearance as a golfer. The most important part of the club’s look is centered around how it looks when it’s behind the ball. New golfers usually need more assistance with lining the putter, ball, and hole up. Most putters provide different visual aids to help the player do this efficiently.
One of the most important aspects of a putter is how quickly it gets the ball rolling, a.k.a. the roll quality. The best way to test a putter for good roll quality is to observe how the ball comes off the head of the club. If there are any skips or hops before the ball begins to roll correctly, this is a bad sign. You want a putter that gets the ball rolling right away to avoid any mishaps in the speed or accuracy of the putt.
Finally, the forgiveness provided by a putter is crucial. Of course, hitting the sweet spot of the face will result in a solid putt that goes straight into the hole. Unfortunately, nobody will ever be able to hit the sweet spot every single time. That’s where forgiveness comes in. A putter should provide a good roll even if the putt itself is a little off from the sweet spot, which means more accuracy when putting.
The Odyssey White Hot OG Putter is an excellent choice for new golfers for a few reasons. First, it has a classic and sleek design. It gives it a great sound when it makes contact with the ball. This putter helps the golfer get the ball to move quickly but still provides them with control of the ball’s direction.
This club is available in two different shaft options, a traditional one, and a Stroke Lab shaft. It’s also easy to line the clubhead up with the ball and will help new golfers with their distance control. This putter is the top choice for new golfers because of the club’s advanced alignment and visualization technology.
Other Equipment to Consider
Along with your golf clubs, you should also consider a few other items, such as a golfing bag, balls, and appropriate clothing. Having these will only help you while developing your golfing skills.
Your Golf Bag
No, your golf bag will not necessarily make or break your game. However, it can add to your overall experience. Try to find a bag with a comfortable, padded strap that will make carrying the bag for 18 holes a little easier and less tiring.
You can also consider getting a trolley to roll your bag around on, as long as the weather permits. Having a quality bag will keep your clubs safe and will make your experience more enjoyable.
There are four main types of golf bags on the market:
- Tour bags
- Stand bags
- Cart bags
- Pencil bags.
Golfers in different stages of their skills will need different bags.
Stand bags are on the lighter side and have two legs that flip out from the side of the bag so that they can stand on their own. Pencil bags are similar in size to stand bags but are slimmer and lighter. They typically have zippered pouches to keep the clubs secure and have pockets on the outside for personal items.
Cart bags are heavier and are designed to be used as a golf trolley as well. They’re designed to slide along the grass so that they can be pulled or pushed by a golfer walking the course. Tour bags, like cart bags, are bigger and heavier than stand and pencil bags. These bags are used mainly by pro golfers who spend most of their time on a course touring and will need extra storage (they also pay a caddy to lug the bag around for them).
For beginners, it’s best to stick to the pencil and stand bags because they’re lightweight. As a beginner, lugging a heavy golf bag around may deter you from the game. The best stand/pencil bag for beginners is the Titleist Premium Carry Bag (available on Amazon.com).
This bag is fitted with four pockets, two stand legs, and a full-length apparel pocket. It’s lightweight and has a separate pocket for a water bottle to ensure your clubs and clothes stay dry.
As mentioned earlier, the golf balls you use aren’t the most essential part of your equipment collection. However, spending a ton of money on high end golf balls will only leave you feeling frustrated if you (like most new golfers do) lose a good number of them on the course.
Golf balls are made differently based on the type of player and their experience level. New golfers should use two-piece balls because they’ll drive the furthest and are more durable than three-piece balls. Though controllability may be lost, they’re great for new golfers who want to practice but don’t want to go through buckets and buckets of balls in a round.
If you aren’t sure how serious you are about golfing or want to practice as much as possible without risking losing any good quality balls, you can buy used golf balls. Typically, these are fished out of ponds or found in the weeds of golf courses, cleaned, and resold by course owners and/or kids.
If you’re looking to buy your golf balls new, some of the best for beginners are the Callaway ERC Soft Triple Track (available on Amazon.com) balls. The hybrid-made cover of these balls allows for a soft feel and higher spin. The technology allows for super high speeds and long distances, perfect for any beginner looking to perfect their swing.
Clothing For the Course
An important thing to keep in mind is that some golf courses require players to be in a specific dress code. Typically, a collared shirt, slacks, or docker shorts, and close-toed golf shoes. Women also have the option to wear golf skirts or skorts as well.
Another optional clothing article, but used by many golfers, is a glove. This glove is worn on your left hand if you’re right handed and your right hand if you’re left handed. The purpose of the glove is to give you a better grip on your club. It’s not 100% necessary, but it can definitely help if you’re starting out.
An excellent glove for beginners is the FootJoy WeatherSof Cadet Glove (available on Amazon.com). With exceptional durability and breathable fabric, you’ll definitely be comfortable in this affordable glove.
Waterproof shoes with spikes are a great thing to have in your golf wardrobe. They’ll help you with stability as you pivot during your stroke. A great way to find the right shoe for you is to focus on comfort and functionality. Golf shoes should fit snug to your foot but shouldn’t squeeze them.
Some of the best golf shoes for beginners are the Puma Ignite Pwradapt (available on Amazon.com) shoes. These are great because they look crisp and provide a lot of comfort. They also won’t break the bank, which is a huge plus when you’re buying a lot of gear at once.
Some smaller accessories to consider are a towel to wipe down your hands and your clubs if you tend to sweat or if the weather is rainy. If you live in a colder climate or an area susceptible to rain, it’s a good idea to have a jacket or raincoat handy as well.
All in all, golf is a fun way to get some good exercise while also spending time with friends. As a new golfer, it can be intimidating to search for all the necessary pieces of equipment. The most important things that you need are the clubs.
Starter sets are always a cost-effective option, but if you are set on building your own, then you need a good iron, driver, and putter to be at the top of your game. Once you’ve improved your skills and have become more advanced, you can move on to higher-end clubs and the small details.