Deciding to go for your first set of golf clubs can be a crucial moment in determining how well you can play the game. There’s plenty of quality sets out there worthy of consideration to be among the best golf clubs for beginners that’ll suit every player.
Golf is a challenging game that’s made a lot easier by having the proper equipment that works best for you.
In this article, we will fill you in with the different characteristics and features of different types of golf clubs you need to know so that you’ll know what to look for, what to avoid, and what you need to fit your playing ability. After referring to the information here, you should feel more confident that you’ll make the right purchase decisions.
Let’s start with the essential club-fitting components of a golf club.
Golf Club Components
Before getting your first set of golf clubs, it’ll help if you familiarize yourself first with their components. Doing so will allow you to find the club that fits you perfectly, especially if you’re looking to spend a significant amount of time playing the sport in the long term.
The major components of a golf club are as follows:
- Club Head
An eight-inch rubber grip is glued onto the steel or graphite shaft of each golf club you have to help you hold onto them. This component gives your hands something to hold onto so the club doesn’t slide off your hands when swinging at 80-120 mph.
Grips are available in various sizes, namely: standard, midsize, and oversize. So, when should each be used?
A thicker grip can be more beneficial if you have bigger hands. Wider grips on putters, for example, are commonly used to help golfers keep their wrists and hands less active during the putting stroke.
Grips also come in various designs, colors, even textures. You may start with the regular grips that go with your golf club set. If you figure they’re uncomfortable, you can always replace them by purchasing custom grips.
The shaft is the cylindrical “pole” that attaches the clubhead to the club. Club shafts are typically made of stainless steel, graphite, or other metals, depending on the type of golf club. Most drivers, for example, have graphite shafts, which are lighter in weight to allow the club to be swung faster.
Shafts also come with another component called the flex. When a club is swung swiftly, the shaft flexes due to wind resistance. Once the golf club’s head meets the golf ball, the shaft flexes once again, producing a whipping effect to generate speed into the ball.
The degree of flex stiffness required is typically determined by your swing speed, which can range from “L” for ladies, “A” for amateur/senior, “R” for standard, “S” for stiff, and “X” for extra stiff.
Regular flex is the most well-known of the lot, but beginners, women, and senior golfers with slower swing speeds can gain more from “L” or “A” flex shafts. Professional players with high-speed swings typically find that a stiffer shaft works better for them.
Choosing the proper shaft flex that matches your golf swing helps you hit the ball further and with greater precision. To ensure that you pick the right one, you may ask a club-fitting professional for recommendations.
Another significant component of a golf club is the hosel. It is essential because it connects the clubhead and the shaft. It also defines the club’s lie angle, which is the angle between the club’s sole and its shaft.
Certain golf clubs, such as drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids, have adjustable hosels that allow you to modify the club’s loft settings. Irons, wedges, and putters usually don’t have adjustable hosels since they’re constructed with preset lie angles appropriate for that particular golf club.
Depending on your height and swing, you’ll be able to get your golf clubs calibrated to lie angles that suit you best. This practice is fairly popular among professional golfers, who distinguish their club settings from the standard ones that the average golfer would purchase at any shop.
Last but not least is the clubhead. When a clubhead makes contact with a golf ball, it launches the said ball into the air, while the loft is mainly responsible for the ball’s flight trajectory.
Overall, the clubhead is what sends the ball from the tee box to the green. Currently, manufacturers work hard to improve club head designs to help them strike the ball further and straighter.
What to Look for When Purchasing Golf Clubs for Beginners?
Before answering this query, let’s first determine the best golf club to use as a beginner.
Simply put, there’s no definite best club to use. You’ll get to know your favorite the more you play the game and get to know the clubs a bit better. However, when learning your swing and being consistent with it, the 7-iron is a must-have in your bag of clubs. It’s relatively easy to swing, allows for a decent distance, and forgiving as well. Don’t worry if you haven’t found the club that fits you yet. You’ll develop your preferences as you play more golf.
The following are the factors to look for and consider when getting your first set of golf clubs:
As a new player who wants to give golf a try, one of the first things you’d like to do is get a set that includes the most clubs within your price range. While most of these sets come with at least eight clubs, the number will vary greatly from set to set after a few standards.
You’ll want to make sure that you have a few specific clubs in your bag before you can start looking at the remaining clubs and decide whether you want them. At the onset, your bag should include a driver, irons from 6 to 9, a wedge, and a putter.
This composition of clubs is the ideal base you’d want to have to jumpstart your journey into the world of golf. If you’re looking for the next set of clubs to add, consider fairway woods and hybrids, although they’re not necessarily required for you to start learning and playing the game.
Everyone enjoys hitting the long ball, and the driver is the place to be for that.
You’ll notice that each driver has a different loft rating, and by understanding the differences, you’ll be able to select the best option for you. Getting the most out of the available options is critical since loft influences the ball flight, distance, and height of the shot.
Loft ratings usually range from 9-12 degrees, and the lower the degree number, the lower the ball flight, and the greater the distance you’ll cover. The best thing you can do is conduct a test run with these options to see which one you prefer. Many higher-end drivers will allow you to adjust the club’s loft, which comes in handy while you’re doing some testing.
Shaft Material & Flex
We mentioned previously how important the shaft of your golf club is and how they come in different materials and flex ratings. Here, we’re going to reiterate how crucial it is to get them right so that you can get the best out of your golf set.
The three most common materials used to make the shaft of a golf club are graphite, steel, and a combination of both. All three are useful for different situations, that’s why determining which is best may require you to conduct thorough testing, even trial and error.
Among the three, steel is the most common choice since it’s typically more durable and less expensive. Meanwhile, graphite may cost more, but it offers better flex options and distance assistance, making it ideal for new and younger golfers alike. Finally, some golf club sets come in both—hybrid shafts on the woods and driver and steel shafts on the iron and putter.
Although we recommend steel for its durability and relatively lower cost, it’s a great idea to test and experience all three materials, especially if you have the means.
Shaft flex can refer to the degree to which the shaft of golf clubs deflects or bends, their resistance to bending, or the guideline that fitters use to connect swing speed to a specific shaft. Finding the proper shaft flex for you is critical since it directly affects your shot’s accuracy, distance, and trajectory.
There are five ratings for shaft flex, namely:
- Extra Stiff (X)
- Stiff (S)
- Regular (R)
- Senior (A)
- Ladies (L)
Although that seems to be a lot of information, you don’t have to worry about most of them since most beginner’s clubs only provide a few of these options. (Nearly all sets offer R, except for ladies’ and juniors’ clubs.
The surefire way to grasp the concept of shaft flex is to understand how hard you swing clearly. Remember that you’d require a stiffer shaft the harder you swing.
Most clubs provide a chart indicating the best shaft flex rating for you. Although this is the case, nearly all the new players, except women and juniors, can get away with R. Meanwhile, ladies’ shafts are suitable for both women and young players since they have a lot of flex and allow you to get the best ball flight possible.
There’s an old saying that goes, “Drive for Show, Putt for Dough.” This remark perfectly captures the importance of putting. Experts tell that 40% of all the strokes you’ll have in a round are putts. Since this is the case, it’s critical to have the best quality putter while playing to boost your confidence.
When purchasing your first set of clubs, finding the best putter available is an excellent place to start. To ensure a smooth stroke throughout the putt, you’d want to find something that features alignment points, a low center of gravity, and weight in the bottom.
You also need to pay attention to the grip, which is an often-overlooked feature in putters. It’s an essential component of the club because having a comfortable and solid grip ensures that your hands remain steady throughout the putting process.
Professional golfers opt for an oversized grip, meaning it is far larger in diameter than the usual club grip. The increase in diameter keeps your hands straight, which means that if you can find a putter with an oversized grip, you’re pretty much set.
Ideally, every golfer should have their clubs custom-fitted to match their swing style and arm length perfectly. However, this scenario doesn’t always take place. That’s why you need to put in the effort to learn about the different clubs and their specific lengths. While most clubs have a standard size, many others offer additional length to the shafts.
Typically, you may purchase standard, stock-length clubs, except if you’re 6’1” or taller. If this is the case, you’d need to look into other lengthier options. You may check with manufacturers as they should have a guide to club length based on your height.
There are many different types of golf bags, and you can determine the best one for you by deciding what you’re looking to get out of it. One of the most common types that you may consider is the stand bag. It has retractable legs and backpack straps for easy transport. Stand bags are ideal if you’re the type of golfer who frequently walks the course.
Another option is the cart bag, which you can strap to a pushcart or a motor cart and allows easy access to your clubs. You may also use your stand bag the same way, although not as effective.
You must ensure that your golf bag has plenty of storage space for you to utilize. To be competitive in golf, you must at least bring several extra balls on the course, as well as a ton of additional equipment, like gloves, tees, rain gear, and even your favorite beverage.
Many bags have dedicated apparel pockets along with cooling insulated pockets to keep your drinks cold. You’d also want a putter to be well within your bag. Also, it should have a dedicated slip with padding that stays secure throughout the round.
Cart bags often provide more storage space, but they prove to be more challenging to transport and carry around.
Beginner’s Set of Golf Clubs
Spending a lot on a new golf club set when you’re just starting isn’t necessary. Later on, as you improve, you can upgrade to the latest clubs on the market, which come with a heftier price tag.
You can find brand-new beginner golf club sets ranging from $150 to $400, or you can sift through the used golf club market for even better deals.
Paying a few hundred dollars for an entire set of clubs is already a good deal, considering the driver alone can cost up to $550-$700 these days.
“Next-level” Golf Clubs
Newer golf club sets from top brands can range from $699 to $1,999.
Tour-level iron sets are often the most expensive, but they are also meant to outfit more advanced players in terms of skill for them to be a challenging adversary for beginners. This particular type of equipment falls under the $1,499 to $1,999 range on the price scale.
Picking the best golf clubs for beginners is both an exciting and intimidating experience. There are just so many specified and subtle traits to know about your options. Being diligent enough to do your homework is the surest way to find the best golf clubs for beginners.
As with other crafts and pursuits, you’ll find that by consistently practicing and gaining confidence in each club within your golf bag, your success in the game of golf will grow by leaps and bounds over time.
See related article: How to Choose the Best Golf Club for Seniors?