Your first golf clubs are a crucial investment and you want to make sure they’re the right beginner golf clubs for your needs. Buying quality beginner equipment will not only let you enjoy playing, but also help avoid starting down an expensive path of upgrading equipment later on in life.
In this review, I’ll tell you about some great starter sets that will give you the right golf clubs no matter what your budget is.
We’ll also cover any questions you may have when buying beginner golf clubs in our extended FAQ section. Just leave a comment at the end and I will get back to you if your question isn’t covered.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best golf clubs for beginners in 2021
- 2 TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite
- 3 Cobra F-Max Complete Golf Set
- 4 Callaway Strata Complete Golf Set
- 5 Cobra XL Speed Complete golf set
- 6 Wilson Profile SGI Complete Golf club Set
- 7 Tour Edge Bazooka 360 Complete Golf Set
- 8 Wilson Men’s Profile XD Complete Golf Set
- 9 Precise Golf 18 Piece Complete set
- 10 Aspire XD1 men’s complete golf set
- 11 Nitro Golf-Blaster 15 Piece Complete Set
- 12 Best value starter golf club set
- 13 FAQ when buying beginner golf clubs
- 14 Should I buy left or right-handed clubs?
- 15 Why do I need all of these different golf clubs?
- 16 What do the different clubs do for a beginner?
- 17 What are the best wedges for beginners?
- 18 When should I use a Putter?
- 19 What is the difference between men’s, women’s and senior golf clubs?
- 20 Custom fit clubs
- 21 Why do I need clubs specifically aimed at beginners?
- 22 How will my golfing goals affect my buying choices?
- 23 What is the right golf club head size for beginners?
- 24 What are oversized clubs?
- 25 How can I find out my swing speed as a beginner?
- 26 What is a normal budget to buy a beginner golf club set?
- 27 What are the best golf club brands for beginners?
- 28 How many clubs are in a complete golf set?
- 29 Do all of my clubs need to match?
- 30 Should I buy a complete golf set or individual clubs?
- 31 Where can I buy Callaway men’s strata complete golf club set?
- 32 What are some alternatives for men’s strata complete sets?
- 33 Are there any clubs I should avoid as a beginner?
- 34 Shaft options for beginner golf clubs
- 35 Should I buy cavity back or blade irons?
- 36 Should I buy a new or used club set?
- 37 If I play regularly, how long should I expect to keep these clubs?
- 38 Are head covers necessary?
- 39 What are the best putters for beginners?
- 40 How do I clean my golf clubs?
- 41 How do I clean my golf club grips?
- 42 Will I need to replace my golf grips?
- 43 Best golf clubs for beginners – Summary
Best golf clubs for beginners in 2021
- TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite
- Cobra F-Max Complete Golf Set
- Callaway Strata Complete Golf Set
- Cobra XL Speed Complete Set
- Wilson Profile SGI Complete Set
- Tour Edge Golf – Bazooka 360 Complete Set
- Wilson Men’s Profile XD Complete Golf Set
- Precise Golf 18 Piece Complete Set
- Aspire XD1 men’s complete Golf Set
- Nitro Golf-Blaster 15 Piece Complete Set
We independently select the products reviewed on Golf Insider UK and never receive payment from manufactures to influence our choices. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links, which helps support this site.
The TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite complete set see TaylorMade, one of golf’s leading brands, go head to head with Callaway in producing a complete set made for beginner golfers. A TaylorMade full set would normally set you back ~$2,000 so let’s see how these stack up for the price.
The 460cc titanium-head driver features advanced aerodynamic shaping for faster swing speeds. The Fairway Wood brings easy launch, low CG and SpeedPocket face technology that provides enhanced performance.
The size and shape of these woods make them highly forgiving, however, the head design and shafts used in the TaylorMade RBZ woods are not quite up with TaylorMade’s latest SIM 2 range. Meaning the RBZ lose around 5% of performance during testing with a professional.
Does this matter for a beginner golfer? It is up to you, but I’d consider them excellent for the price.
Irons & hybrids
The irons feature a large cavity back design and perimeter weighting. This design prevents the club from twisting on off-centre strikes, making the irons highly forgiving.
The TaylorMade RBZ set comes with 4 and 5 hybrids, rather than long irons. Hybrids are more forgiving and are a great choice for a beginner golfer.
The rest of the set
The set is finished off with a classical pitching wedge and sand wedge. Along with a mallet putter and cart bag.
The 13-Piece set includes a Driver, 3 FW, 5 FW, 4 Rescue Hybrid, 5 Rescue Hybrid, 6-9 Irons, PW, SW, Putter and Bag. All golfers will be able to find what they are looking for in this kit! These are at the top end of beginner sets, but if you have the budget they are a superb set to get you into the game.
For the past five years, Callaway has led the way for beginner golf sets, however, Cobra has now introduced two seriously good options for beginners. The F-Max set is Cobra’s lightest, most forgiving set of clubs and comes with everything you will need for getting into golf.
The offset 460cc driver comes in a 10.5º loft making it highly forgiving and perfect for golfers who suffer from a slice. This driver is accompanied by a 3-wood and 5-wood which offer great alternatives when teeing off and forgiving clubs to hit off the ground.
All three woods feature lightweight graphite shafts which means you’ll be able to generate more club speed and distance.
Irons & hybrids
The F-Max complete golf set comes with a 4 & 5 hybrid, which replace the traditional long irons and are far easier to hit. The set then moves onto traditional-looking irons from 6-iron up to sand wedge. Giving you all the options you’ll ever need to hit into greens and when chipping around the greens.
The rest of the set
The F-Max golf set is finished off with a classical bladed putter and comes in a very smart cart bag. The golf bag itself has pockets galore and two rubber grips at the top making it easy to move your golf clubs about before and after your round.
The Cobra F-Max clubs offer the latest, top of the range clubs for beginners. If you want the best and money isn’t an issue these are certainly worth it. You can check out the current prices below at your preferred retailer.
For many years Callaway has built top-end clubs and the Strata range features their beginner starter set options. Meaning you get high-quality equipment and design with everything you’ll need as a beginner.
The Strata complete club set comes with a 460cc titanium driver which has a large sweet spot and lightweight shaft. Accompanying the driver are overs-sized 3 and 5 wood which also provides a large sweet spot and great forgiveness.
Irons & hybrids
The Callaway Men’s Strata sets feature a 5-hybrid, which is easier to hit than traditional long irons and will help you hit high launching shots off the fairway. The club set then progresses from 6-iron all the way through to Pitching Wedge.
All of the irons have a cavity back design which maximises their forgiveness and helps get your iron shots up into the air. The setup of irons and hybrid is ideal for a beginner golfer and will give you all the tools you need hitting into the green and to master your short game skills.
Check out this article for a our full Callaway Strata review
The rest of the club set
The Strata package comes complete with a bladed putter and a carry bag. The bag comes complete with a stand, a comfy double strap system for carrying and four pockets.
This set of beginner golf clubs will take you from 1st 18 holes all the way through to being a solid club player. The only golf club you may wish to add at some point is a sand wedge (56-degrees). These tend to be sold separately as there’s a good deal of personal preference.
The Strata club sets are a great option for a beginner golfer wanting all the gear at a more affordable price than the Cobra F-Max complete set. The Strata beginner golf clubs are also available in left-handed, and women’s length and flex.
The Strata sets come in 12, 14 & 16 piece options. The ‘pieces’ count the stand bag and headcovers too. So think of the 16-piece as the full set option and the 14 and 12 as losing a wood and headcover each. Both are still great options and can save you some additional money when buying the smaller sets.
You will also see ‘Callaway Strata’ and ‘Callaway Strata Ultimate’ sets advertised. The ‘ultimate’ sets have graphite shafts in the driver and wood, whereas the standard sets have a graphite shafted driver and lightweight steel shafts in the woods.
Both are great options, but if you have a slower swing speed opt for the Strata Ultimate complete golf set. Expect to pay around $100 more for the ultimate options.
Check out the latest prices and availability below.
The XL Speed complete set is Cobra’s previous offering before the F-Max set was released. Don’t worry despite being a couple of years previous they still offer brilliant performance and come in at a lower price.
The 460cc driver has a large sweet spot and offers great forgiveness. The driver is accompanied by a 3-wood and 5-wood which will provide you with alternative choices off the tee and easy to hit clubs from the fairway.
Irons & hybrids
The XL Speed set comes with a 4 and 5 hybrid club, which you will find are far more forgiving than traditional long irons. From here the set progresses into a 6-iron and runs through to a Sand Wedge.
All the irons feature a large cavity back design which gives you maximum forgiveness – just in case you miss-hit the odd shot. The setup also gives you a great set of options when chipping and pitching around the green.
The rest of the set
The Cobra XL Speed set has been completed with a traditional, bladed putter and a cart/trolley bag. The bag has a detachable strap and plenty of pockets to store waterproof or a large volume of golf balls (if needed).
This is a great option if you are looking for a high-quality full set at a great price. They are a worthy addition to this ‘best golf clubs for beginners’ review.
Wilson features a few times in this review, due to their focus on creating great beginner golf gear. The Wilson Profile SGI is their latest complete club set for beginners. The Profile SGI club set come with a 10.5º driver, 5-wood, 5 hybrid, 6 – 9 irons, pitching wedge, sand wedge, putter and golf bag. This all comes in at a great price.
The 10.5º driver is the maximum size allowed (460cc) offering great forgiveness for golfers who struggle to find the middle of the clubface. The Driver, 5-wood and 5-hybrid also come with graphite shafts – which make the clubs lighter and allow you to generate more clubhead speed. Whereas the irons and wedges come with steel shafts, which offer more control as you move closer to the green.
The irons also feature a large cavity back design which provides great forgiveness and helps send your iron shots up into the air. The irons and wedges in this set are excellent – they will provide a beginner with a great set of clubs for many years. As you move towards a mid-20 handicap you want to look at upgrading the putter and driver to better suit your game, but the Wilson Profile SGI set is an ideal start point for any beginner golfer.
Check out our full Wilson Profile SGI review
These clubs are available in a standard size and tall sets – offering beginners some much-needed customisation and solidifying their choice in this review. If you are 5’5″ – 6’1″ the standard will suit you perfectly, 6’1″ – 6’5″ opt for the long/tall version.
Currently, these clubs are in and out of stock on Amazon in the US and UK, but you can also find standard and long sets at Global Golf (who deliver globally).
Tour Edge golf clubs never get the recognition they deserve. Tour Edge refuses to shell out millions on sponsoring players (hence why they are less well known). This allows them to produce high-quality, affordable set of clubs. Even better – their clubs come with a lifetime warranty!
This complete club set comes with a driver, 3-wood, hybrid, seven irons and a putter, all wrapped up in a stand bag. The driver has a large sweet spot and has the centre of gravity pushed low down and away from the face, making it very forgiving for off-centre hits.
The irons have a large cavity back design, and a wide sole. Both of these features increase the sweet spot and minimise the chance of the irons digging into the ground if you can’t the turf before the ball.
The putter has a steel shaft, a nice alignment line at the back of the club and a soft putter insert. Giving your putts a soft feel and a great roll on the greens.
If you’re generating a lot of clubhead speed, you may want to add in a different driver at some point (the Tour Edge 360 driver has a uni-flex shaft, which has a little more whip than usual). However, the irons are top-notch, I’d rate them very highly against any other iron in this review.
The Tour Edge Golf – Bazooka 360 set is ideal for someone who wants a great beginner golf club set but is on a budget.
Next, we have Wilson’s Profile XD complete set. They’re a good set for a beginner at a seriously low price (check the latest price from Amazon here). The complete set gives you a driver, 3-wood, hybrid, four irons, two wedges and a putter – all you need to start playing golf.
This club set gives you the option of a stand bag or cart bag and comes in left and right-handed options. The irons are really well designed and are very forgiving. The wedges provide excellent control for chipping and putting around the greens.
Why are they cheaper than the Tour Edge and Callaway sets of clubs? Well, they don’t quite match up when it comes to driver build quality. Don’t worry though, the driver won’t fall apart in your hands, but you may lose a little zip and distance when you hit your drives off-centre.
If you don’t mind this, or you want to buy a separate driver, these clubs are still a great choice.
Next, we have Precision golf’s 18-piece complete beginner golf set. This set comes with a titanium driver, 3-wood and 5-wood. It also features a hybrid, 7 golf irons and a putter. This entire club set comes in a snazzy stand bag. That is a lot of golf gear for your money. Are they worth it?
Like other sets in this review, it is tricky to buy a great value set of beginner clubs that have a high performing driver. Great titanium drivers cost a lot of money to make and the Precision 18 piece set falls within this bracket.
If you check the reviews you will see the odd complaint. The driver is good, but it will be the first club you look to upgrade if you begin to improve as a golfer. That being said, the rest of the clubs represent a great purchase. The 3-wood, 5-wood and hybrid will give you some great options for hitting long shots off the fairway.
The irons have a large cavity back design which make them forgiving and will help get your shots up in the air. The pitching wedge and sand wedge offer you some nice options when chipping and pitching around the green and the putter will provide you with a nice club to learn to putt with.
The stand bag is smart and should give you a hundred or so round before it starts to show any wear and tear.
Precision golf even offers these clubs in a standard length and longer length (for golfers over 6’1″). In summary, this is a great golf club set for a beginner but be prepared to replace the driver at some point in your golfing journey.
Next, we have the Aspire XD1 completes set in our round-up of the best starter golf clubs. This set includes a titanium driver for hitting shots off the tee. A fairway wood and hybrid for hitting long shots off the ground, 5 irons a putter and a stand bag.
The irons run from a 6-iron to a pitching wedge. This may sound like too few, but don’t worry this is ideal for beginners. All the irons have a large cavity back design which will help you get the ball up in the air and keep those miss-hit shots as straight as possible.
The putter features and large head and line to help when aiming your putts. As with the Precision set covered above, this is a lot of gear for your money. Are they worth it?
Well similar to previous sections, the irons, putter and bag will be ideal for a beginner getting into the game. The driver, fairway wood and hybrid are good, but you’ll find that these are the first ones you wish to replace as you improve as a player. This set doesn’t include a sand wedge which is an additional club you may wish to buy along with this set.
Overall, the Aspire XD1 completes set is not a bad option for beginners shopping on a budget, but they do lack some quality compared to the Callaway Strata set and the Wilson Profile SGI sets at the top of this review.
The Nitro Golf-Blaster are new up in our review of starter golf club sets. This set offers you a driver, fairway wood, hybrid, six irons and a putter. This comes complete with a cart bag and a carry strap.
The Driver, fairway wood and hybrid all have graphite shafts which make the club lighter and allow you to hit longer shots. Whereas the irons feature steel shafts which are best for accuracy.
Similar to the Aspire XD1 starter set the irons run-up to a pitching wedge, but do not include a sand wedge. However, you can easily add on a sand wedge at any times, as it does not need to match the rest of your set.
Why seventh in this review? Well, they are a good price, but with that comes lesser quality. You may find the graphite shafts in the driver and fairway wood are not too robust when you hit shots off centre.
This being said, if you are looking for good value beginner golf clubs and don’t mind potentially replacing a wood then you’ll still find the rest of the set will serve you well.
Best value starter golf club set
If you are shopping on a budget check out the options listed below. They are our top picks that blend great gear with a great price. We also cover what to avoid when buying lower-priced complete golf club sets.
If you’ve read this entire article you’ll know my love for Tour Edge clubs. They placed highly in the overall round-up and secured first place in the best value club set for beginners.
As a golf pro, you get to test and sell many sets of clubs. For the price, these really do provide the best value for beginners. I would be very happy for anyone I was coaching to turn up to a golf lesson with these clubs.
Below is my blurb from above if you’d like the details…
This set comes with a driver, 3-wood, hybrid, seven irons and a putter, all wrapped up in a stand bag. If you’re generating a lot of clubhead speed you might find that you need to replace the driver at some point (it has a uni-flex shaft which has a little more whip than usual). However, the irons are top-notch, I’d rate them above any other iron in this review.
The Tour Edge Golf- Bazooka 360 are ideal for someone who wants a great set of clubs but is on a budget.
In second place we have the Wilson Men’s Profile XD golf club set. They’re a good club set at a seriously low price (check the latest price from Amazon here). The driver, 3-wood, hybrid, four irons, two wedges and a putter gives you all you need to start playing golf.
They give you the option of a stand bag or cart bag and the set comes in left and right-handed options. The irons are really well designed and forgiving, and the wedges are excellent.
Why are they cheaper than the Tour Edge and Callaway set of clubs? Well, they don’t quite match up when it comes to driver build quality. Don’t worry though, the Driver won’t fall apart in your hands, but you may lose a little zip and distance when you hit your drives off-centre.
If you don’t mind this, or you want to buy a separate driver, this set of clubs are still a great choice.
Most other beginner golf sets online
I’ve spent many, many hours sifting through options for buying club sets for beginners online and there is a common trend – under a certain price threshold you are left with clubs that lack quality.
Top-flight, Ultra, Persimmon all offer beginner club options along with many more manufactures on Amazon and other online retailers. These clubs didn’t make the shortlist of the best beginner golf club sets because I can’t happily say they will serve you well as a golfer.
Low-quality beginner golf sets often save money on the materials used and the build quality of the clubs. Lower quality materials can lead to the woods denting or cracking. A particular issue to watch out for is golf sets where the top of the driver (crown) becomes split/cracked.
Another common issue is caused by lower quality graphite shafts being used by producers in the driver, fairway woods and hybrids. The result can be a shaft that snaps just above the club head when the ball is struck off-centre.
I can’t promise all the options in this review a free from fault, but after many years working with these manufactures I can report that problems are highly infrequent and when there are problems Cobra, Callaway, Wilson & Tour Edge are very good at responding and replacing the faulty gear.
Further issues with low quality clubs
The poor build quality will make little difference when you strike the clubs in the sweet spot, but you will find a considerable distance in the performance of your golf shots when you miss the sweet spot.
Build quality relates to the engineering and design of the clubs and the assembly process. Cheaper beginner golf clubs often copy design ideas, rather than test and develop their own. The result is beginner golf clubs that don’t feel pure when you strike golf shots and wedges and putters that feel ‘clunky’ when you hit shots, rather than soft.
For this reason, this review cut off any beginner complete golf sets that didn’t meet a minimum requirement for build quality.
FAQ when buying beginner golf clubs
Beginners tend to have many questions when buying clubs. In this section, I have put together some answers to some common questions. Feel free to leave a comment with any additional questions that are not answered below.
Should I buy left or right-handed clubs?
Let’s start simple – if you’re right-handed, best to buy right-handed irons. Left-handed irons are best for those who are left-handed, but this isn’t always the case. There are a few great players who have a dominant left hand but play right-handed. If you’re not sure, stick to the hand you use to play other sports – throwing, tennis, baseball.
Why do I need all of these different golf clubs?
A complete golf set generally comes with 14 clubs. Each club is a different length and has a different shaped head and loft. The idea in golf is to make the same golf swing each time and let the club alter the height and distance of your golf shots.
A complete golf set comes with large-headed woods which are used for your longer shots. Fairway woods and hybrids, irons and wedges and putters. Below is a quick summary of each club and its role when playing golf.
What do the different clubs do for a beginner?
Your driver is a big, low-lofted club that you hit off longer holes. Unless you are Tiger Woods, it’s probably best to only hit a driver off a tee. Having the ball teed up off the ground allows you to make an upward swing sending the ball high into the air and hopefully a long way down the fairway.
Drivers tend to hit the ball a long way and are forgiving if you miss-hit them due to their big clubhead size and sweet spot.
Men’s drivers tend to range from 9º – 13º of loft. I would recommend most beginners buy a driver with 10.5º – 12º of loft. A driver with a loft below 10.5º is slighter harder to hit and can lead to shots that hook and slice more than higher lofted drivers.
What is the best driver for beginners?
If you want to learn more about the best driver for beginners check out this article.
Fairway woods & hybrids
These clubs are really useful for beginners. They are used to hit the ball a long way off the ground (generally for the 2nd or 3rd shots on par 4’s and par 5’s). They can also be used off the tee as an alternative to hitting driver.
As you improve as a golfer you’ll find fairway woods and hybrids are a more accurate choice off the tee. Fairway woods and hybrids tend to crossover in loft and how far they hit the golf ball. Some complete golf sets favour more fairway woods, others will give you more hybrids.
What is the difference between fairway woods and hybrids?
Fairway woods are a little longer than hybrids and have slightly bigger club heads, but essentially they both do a very similar job.
The key detail to look for is the loft on each club. Most beginners will only need one or two fairway woods or hybrids. I would recommend one club around 15-16 degrees and another between 19 – 24 degrees for an ideal beginner set.
What are the best fairway woods and hybrids for beginners?
Many of the beginner golf clubs in our review come with fairway woods and/or hybrids included. However, you can also add fairway woods and hybrids later on.
Some of the better value golf club sets for beginners have fewer clubs – hence the lower cost. You can purchase a hybrid or fairway wood later to fill in a distance gap you might have in your set. A new fairway wood or hybrid doesn’t have to match the make and model of the rest of your golf clubs.
Irons & wedges
Your irons are used to hit shots off the ground towards the green. They don’t go as far as your driver but have more control. They are numbered 3-iron up to a 9-iron, then the wedges run from a pitching wedge, sand wedge and sometimes an additional lob wedge.
The number of the iron tells you the loft on the golf club – the higher the number, the more loft a golf club has.
- 3-iron (21-degrees loft) goes low and will travel a long way.
- 7-iron (34-degrees loft) goes mid-height, doesn’t roll as much on landing.
- Sand wedge (56-degrees loft) goes high, not very far, stops quickly.
The idea is to make roughly the same golf swing with each golf club and the ball will automatically go varying trajectories and distances.
Do I need to buy a 3 or 4-iron?
No, that is the short answer. Most golfers find these clubs tough to use, and actually, only require them one or two times a round. These days you’ll find 5-woods, 7-woods and hybrids are better replacements, as they are easier to hit.
Your woods and hybrids don’t have to match your irons or other woods, so feel free to mix and match these when adding to your golf club set at a later date.
What is a gap wedge / approach wedge?
Modern golf club sets have stronger lofts compared to historical sets (from the 1970s and 1980s). This issue is that golfers still need higher lofts on their wedges. The result is an 8-10º gap between manufacturers 9-iron and pitching wedge.
Most manufactures solution was to create a new club to sell – called a gap wedge or approach wedge. Click here to read more about wedge lofts.
What is a sand wedge?
A sand wedge is the most lofted club (54 – 58º) you will carry as a beginner, you may buy a lob wedge at a later date (~60º). You can use a sand wedge out of bunkers, but you can actually use it from anywhere on the golf course. It is a useful club for hitting high-lofted chip and pitch shots.
What are the best wedges for beginners?
Most full-set and iron sets come with a pitching wedge, and some come with a sand wedge. This is plenty for when you begin the game. As you progress you may want to look at adding an approach (gap) wedge, but this is not a necessity.
Just like the best clubs in our review, there is no one best wedge for beginners. Find a sand wedge and pitching wedge that are good quality and you enjoy chipping and pitching with.
When should I use a Putter?
A putter is a flat-faced club that is used for rolling the ball into the hole once you are near or on the golf green.
Many golfers think putters have no loft, but they actually have 2 – 6º of loft to help get the ball up above the grass and begin rolling. Cheaper beginner sets often save money by including a putter that has little engineering or design. The result is a putter that has a limited feel and ability to roll the golf ball on the greens.
If you are buying a lower-cost set of clubs you may wish to buy a new putter as you advance as a player. A $60 – $100 putter could be the only one you ever need, whereas a putter below $50 is more likely to need replacing at some point.
What types of beginner putters are there?
Beginner putters tend to come in a classical blade design or a mallet design. Both are ideal for golfers who are new to the game. Bladed putters have more weight in the toe and help the clubface open and close throughout your putting stroke.
Mallet putters are also called face-balanced putters. These putters are suited to a straight back and through putting style. Both bladed and mallet designs are highly forgiving.
As you progress you may want to switch your putter to suit your preferred putting style. You may also find a style of putter easier to aim.
What is the difference between men’s, women’s and senior golf clubs?
Women’s clubs are a 1/2 inch shorter and have slightly lighter shafts. They suit most women but are also a great option for juniors in their teens and seniors.
Check out our article on the best women’s golf clubs for beginners
Senior clubs are the same length as men’s but have a lighter shaft, similar to women’s clubs. These are also a great option for taller juniors who are not strong enough for men’s clubs. They are also a great option for taller women (see next section).
Custom fit clubs
I’m tall/short, do I need custom clubs?
When you’re buying a beginner set of golf clubs, more often than not standard length clubs will be fine.
The key measure is not height, but rather wrist distance to the ground. If you are tall (6’2″+), but have long arms you may be best with standard or even shorter clubs.
Why do I need clubs specifically aimed at beginners?
The short answer is you don’t, you could pick up any set of clubs. However, there are two advantages of buying a complete beginner golf club set.
Firstly, golf club sets contain all the clubs you need to begin and often come with a golf bag. Buying the golf bag, irons, woods, driver and putter separately can get expensive.
Secondly, if you buy a set aimed at a beginner you know the clubs will be made with forgiveness in mind. There are many other forgiving drivers and forgiving irons, but there are also clubs that are harder to hit.
Sticking to beginner sets should ensure you’ve got the right gear, making the game as fun as possible. The complete sets at the top of this review offer you exceptional equipment that will likely serve you well for many years as you progress as a golfer.
Check out this article for more info on golf basics and how to play golf.
How will my golfing goals affect my buying choices?
There is always a tricky balance between buying a golf club set that is best for you now and one that will carry you as far as possible as a player. The Cobra F-Max, Cobra XL and Callaway Strata sets are all options that give you a great set of clubs now and will suit you and you progress well into a teen handicap golfers.
The perimeter weight in the irons gives golf clubs a big sweet spot. However, when clubs become too chunky the short irons, pitching wedge and sand wedge can lose the feel needed for pitching and chipping.
The top three picks in this review of beginner golf clubs provide a great balance between your needs now as a beginner (forgiveness) and your needs as you progress as a golfer (control and feel).
If you are stuck or not sure which is the best option feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article and I will get back to you with my thoughts. Or find a local golf pro to help you decide.
What is the right golf club head size for beginners?
Golf club size can vary considerably between different sets. Beginner golf irons and game improvement irons have a larger clubhead, with a large cavity (hollowed out area) in the back of the clubhead.
This design results in a larger sweet spot and greater forgiveness for off-centre strikes. All the golf club sets and irons sets in this review have a cavity back design and will offer your great forgiveness.
Bladed irons, also known as players irons, tend to have smaller club heads. These irons have less forgiveness but can offer a lower ball flight and increased ability to shape shots.
Don’t worry many elite players still play with cavity back clubs. So you don’t have to trade in beginner irons anytime soon.
What are oversized clubs?
Around 30 years ago irons and drivers had small heads. As technology improve manufacturers were able to increase the head size without increasing the weight of the clubhead. These clubs became known as oversized irons and woods.
These days all beginner sets and game improvement irons feature ‘oversized’ head as they have become the norm.
You may also hear the term oversized woods and driver used when looking at sets. fairways woods can vary considerably in size and shape. Generally speaking, larger club heads will make woods more forgiving.
All modern drivers will have a 460cc clubhead size. This is the maximum size allowed by the rules of golf and creates the largest sweet spot.
In summary near all modern clubs would be classed as ‘over sized’. Larger club heads lead to bigger sweet spots.
How can I find out my swing speed as a beginner?
Knowing your swing speed can help decide if you need regular or stiff shafted clubs. Or if you may benefit from graphite shafted irons, which are lighter than steel shafted equivalents.
You can measure your swing speed by using a launch monitor or swing radar. These are available when you have coaching and at some golf ranges. You can also gauge your swing speed by knowing how far you hit a 7-iron.
Hit you hit a 7-iron around 120 yards your swing speed will be roughly 65mph. 140 yards equates to 75mph and 165 yards will likely mean you have a swing speed of 85mph.
What is a normal budget to buy a beginner golf club set?
A great set of golf clubs will set you back between $300 – $1,100 (£250 – £1,000). You can buy a beginner club set for more and that is not a problem, they will likely be of great quality.
If you buy a golf club set below this price they will work, you sure will have fun, but be aware that the build quality may be a little low. This can lead to clubs not performing as well and possibly breaking.
What are the best golf club brands for beginners?
There isn’t one perfect brand for beginners. Below a certain price threshold, you get poor quality equipment. Specifically, cheap metal alloys used to cast heads and low-quality graphite shafts. Both of these lead to a golf club that just doesn’t feel great when you hit golf balls. It will also lead to slightly more inaccurate shots.
Wilson and Tour Edge are two brands mentioned in this review that spend far less than the main brands on advertising – this means they can offer a high-quality product at a lower price.
Check out the full Cobra F-Max complete set review
I’ve only included clubs in this review that I would be happy selling to a beginner who I was personally coaching. If you want to learn more about the best irons check out our full review of the best irons for high handicap and beginner golfers.
How many clubs are in a complete golf set?
The maximum number of golf clubs are player can carry in a bag is 14. Some golf club sets come with 14 clubs, however other sets may only come with 11 or 12.
You won’t need a full set of golf clubs to begin with. 11 or 12 will suit most beginners well. However, if you are keen to buy a full set straight away this will not be a disadvantage, it will just cost a little extra.
Do all of my clubs need to match?
No, you do not need to have a matching driver, fairway woods, irons, wedges and putter. Many golfers find their favourite brands for each. For example, I have a Titleist driver, Tour Edge fairway wood, Mizuno hybrid, Mizuno irons, Mizuno wedges and a Rife Putter.
However, do try to keep all of your irons from the same set. Irons from different sets have different lofts, lie angles and can hit shots different distances. Yes, not all 7-irons are made the same.
For this reason try to keep a matching iron set to ensure you have equal gapping between your irons.
Should I buy a complete golf set or individual clubs?
Following on from the question above, you can buy a full golf set or individually, but a full golf set should save you money. If you find some beginner clubs that you really like, but they don’t have a particular club you are looking for you can just buy this additional club separately.
For example, a few of the golf club sets in this review are ideal but do not include a sand wedge or lob wedge. These are not needed for a beginner, but if you want either you could add one to complete your set.
Where can I buy Callaway men’s strata complete golf club set?
The Strata complete golf set has proved seriously popular with beginners over the past few years. With recent events, golf has taken off and beginner golf sets are in short supply. The Callaway Strata sets can still be found on Amazon and RockBottom Golf, but they do tend to come in and out of stock.
What are some alternatives for men’s strata complete sets?
The Cobra F-max complete set is a seriously great alternative to Callaway’s Strata golf clubs. If you are looking for a slightly lower cost alternative you should also check out the Cobra XL golf set featured in this review.
Both of these are placed highly in our best beginner golf club review. As both offer great quality drivers, woods, irons and wedges. Both sets also come with high-quality golf bags which will serve you well as you begin your journey as a golfer.
Are there any clubs I should avoid as a beginner?
There is a cut-off point in terms of price, where you will go from good value to poor quality. The Tour Edge complete set and Wilson Staff Irons featured in this beginner golf club review are the best value clubs on the market. Below this price-point, we see clubs with poor build quality. I would rather not single out one brand, but the following link is an example set to avoid.
Unfortunately, the only way certain sets can be made for the price you see is to use low-quality alloys. If you really are on a budget you can buy a cheaper set. However, I would recommend spending a bit extra for this full-set or settle for this set of irons.
Shaft options for beginner golf clubs
Beginners tend to worry too much about different shaft options. All good quality drivers and woods will come with graphite shafts. Good beginner golf sets will give you the option of graphite or steel shafts for irons.
All golfers will benefit from having graphite shafts in woods. These make the club lighter and allow you to generate more clubhead speed with the same amount of force. You’ll find that a cheaper golf set will have steel shafts rather than graphite in their driver and fairway woods.
If you’re strong and swing the club fast, opt for steel shafts in your irons. If your swing is a little slower, you’ll find a few extra yards with graphite shafts and they will be lighter to swing. The downside is that graphite shafts do increase the cost of full sets by around $150-200.
Should I buy cavity back or blade irons?
CAVITY BACKS! I’ve coached far too many amateurs who buy blades because they look cool. Cavity backs are far easier to hit. I’ve been a pro for 13 years and I play with cavity backs. A slight miss-hit with a bladed iron loses you around 6-10 yards (compared to 2-6 yards with a cavity back). Amateurs miss-hit around 70% of their iron shots.
Should I buy a new or used club set?
A used golf club set will save you money and clubs don’t wear out (though wedges need replacing every few years).
However, please don’t save yourself $100-200 if the clubs aren’t suited for beginner players. All of the clubs in this review are ideal for beginners. If you can find a second-hand set with the ideal set up then go for it!
Some great options for second-hand clubs are Global Golf, who offer a great selection of used and new complete sets. Callaway also runs a pre-owned service which again has some great beginner sets from time to time.
If I play regularly, how long should I expect to keep these clubs?
One factor that separates a good club set from a poor club set is quality. The top 5 picks in our review are a little more expensive, but the trade-off is better build quality.
If you buy a good quality club set they should last you 5 to 10 years of play, possibly longer. However, if you start playing more frequently you may wish to invest in specific clubs that really suit your game.
Buying a driver optimised for your swing could increase your drives by 10 – 20 yards. Buying new wedges may give you more control when chipping around the green. Beginner clubs won’t hinder your progress, but over time you may wish to tweak or add to your club set.
If you buy lower quality clubs they should still offer 3-5 years of play. Nonetheless, you will see from some Amazon reviews that a miss-hit shot with a driver or fairway wood can lead to the shaft breaking in cheaper sets.
If this happens there is no cheap fix so you will probably end up buying a new set of clubs.
Are head covers necessary?
Headcovers are generally provided with titanium drivers, steel woods and sometimes with your putter. These clubs are made from softer and/or thinner materials which makes them more prone to scratching or denting.
Headcovers are not necessary but may save your titanium driver from a nasty dent. All the golf sets in this review come complete with headcovers.
What are the best putters for beginners?
Beginner golfers often don’t like to spend too much money when buying a putter. However, a great putter will last you a long time – as the technology won’t go out of date. More expensive putters are normally made out of one, single piece of soft metal allow, or have a soft insert. Cheaper putters are made out of cheaper metals or have a poorly made insert.
I’ll write a full article soon on the best putters for beginners, but for now, try to spend $50 or over to guarantee a well-made putter.
How do I clean my golf clubs?
Hot soapy water a brush and a rag/sponge will do great.
To clean your irons scrub the grooves and clubface with a brush and wipe off any extra dirt with a sponge. The same process can be used for the rest of your golf club set where there is a metal surface.
Where your golf clubs have a painted surface – like the top of your driver and fairway woods take more care and avoid using a brush. Instead, use a soft sponge or rag to clean these areas.
How do I clean my golf club grips?
Your golf grips will become less tacky with time. This occurs as dirt builds up on the surface and over a few years a breakdown in the rubber material. To clean your grips use hot soapy water and a brush.
If you scrub the grips hard with a brush you should remove most of the dirt from your golf grips. Then wipe down with a dry cloth and leave to dry.
This is a great way to make the grip feel like new again. Aim to clean your clubs and golf grips every 12 weeks, or more often if you get obsessed with the game.
Will I need to replace my golf grips?
Yes, all golf club sets will need new golf grips after a few years of use. How long grips will last depends on how often you play and how you store your set.
Try to store your clubs in a cool, dry space out of direct sunlight.
When the time does come to replace your golf grips you can change them yourself or take them to your local golf pro. Expect to pay $6-10 / club for a re-gripping. That price should include the golf grip and the service of removing the old grips and fitting the new golf grips.
Best golf clubs for beginners – Summary
In summary, there are many great options when buying beginner sets. I would wholeheartedly recommend any of the golf clubs and sets covered in the top five of this list.
I would base your choice on cost and adaptability. If you want a full set and no further worries, grab the Tour Edge or Strata full sets. If you want to grab some irons and consider what woods and hybrids you want as you progress, then begin with one of the iron sets featured.
I hope you’ve found this article on the best beginner golf clubs of use. If you’re looking for more golf gear, check out our review on the best golf shoes, or click on the golf equipment tab below. If you would like a free weekly golf article sent to your inbox, come join the golf insiders.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider
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