Have you ever wondered if a set of golf clubs is really a great deal? We see golf club prices all over the map, from cheaper beginner sets to more premium players’ clubs. What justifies this cost difference?
Here we cover what you can spend and what you should spend, depending on your experience, budget and golfing needs.
How Much Are Golf Clubs?
Before you can decide how much YOU should spend on a set of golf clubs, you must first know what golf clubs cost. Although there will be some variation based on manufacturer and skill level, this is the pricing of new golf clubs as of 2023.
- Driver: the cost ranges from around $300 for last year’s model to more than $500 for something new (yep pricey). Good budget beginner drivers can be found from $199 upwards.
- Fairway Woods and Hybrids: look for pricing between $150 and $300 for newer releases from the major manufacturers. There is less appeal for older fairway woods, but they are well worth picking up if you want to save some cash.
- Iron Set: A set of irons runs anywhere from $600 to $1500 or more; the pricing of golf irons depends on the make, shafts (graphite are more expensive than steel) and the number of golf clubs you have in the set (check how many clubs you get in a set when looking at price differences).
- Wedges: The wedge pricing ranges from around $100 to $200 for each wedge in the bag. Wedges wear out after a few year, meaning there is a limited secondhand market.
- Putters: Pricing for putters has changed the most in the last few years; expect to see great putters in the $150-$500 range. You can grab some good budget putters under $150, but you have to know what to look for.
- Complete Beginner Package Set: complete sets for golfers can be designed as a value based option like the Wilson SGI or more premium like the TaylorMade RBZ; expect the pricing to range from $300 to $2000. Our key advice here is to avoid sets under this price point and grab sets that offer fewer clubs of a higher quality.
What Causes The Wide Range In Golf Club Pricing?
Taking a look at the average prices for golf clubs, you may wonder why there is such a large variation in the numbers. There are a few reasons behind this, and understanding them can help you choose a set of golf clubs that is better for your game.
Here are the major reasons why we see a large range in the pricing of golf clubs:
Research & Design
Just the labs required to research and design golf clubs cost millions, then add on the wages of talented engineers and consumables and you can see the investment that goes into creating one new driver over a 2-3 year period.
The golf club manufacturing process can greatly impact the cost of golf equipment. For instance, if a golf club goes through a forging process (to improve precision and feel), it will cost more than a cast golf club.
When looking at the manufacturing process, the material and the time it takes to put the club together will raise or lower golf club costs.
A Wilson beginner golf set is made with average materials and created with cast injection molding for speed and cost. Whereas a hand-forged set of Miura golf irons can take weeks, if not months, to create, and therefore the cost of golf clubs goes up considerably.
When you see commercials or advertisements for new golf drivers, they are intended to make you want to purchase one for yourself. Golf companies spend an obscene amount of money on advertising and getting golf clubs in front of you.
Companies and brands like TaylorMade, Callaway, and Titleist have done a great job with their branding, but it is something that we will all pay for.
Golf clubs designed for professional golfers and low handicappers cost a lot of money, because small differences in design can have more of a performance benefit. The individual clubs in the set are created with a lot of precision and premium materials. Professional clubs need to be more responsive, and companies know that these golfers are willing to pay for it.
Beginner golfers can often find some good deals on golf club sets that are priced lower. These sets come with the golf bag and all the clubs needed to enjoy a round. Even though beginner golf clubs may be lower in cost, they are still quality clubs designed for ease of use.
What are the key things I need to know as a beginner?
Now that you have a general understanding of what to expect on pricing for a golf club set and some of the individual clubs, let’s look at the key things a beginner needs to know before making a purchase.
Complete Golf Club Sets Are Your Best Value
The complete set is the way to go if you want to spend a little less money but still get quality. With these sets, you usually get a driver, fairway wood, hybrid golf club, set of irons, wedges, and a putter. In addition, most include a golf bag.
Golf club sets like the Callaway Edge Golf Set, Cobra Fly XL, and TaylorMade RBZ have enough quality and longevity to easily justify the cost. You can use them on the golf course for several years before needing an upgrade.
Think About Used Golf Clubs
Used golf clubs can be a perfect golf club selection for a beginner player. Sometimes purchasing a $500 driver for a beginner is like buying a brand-new car for a 16-year-old. It’s just not necessary, and it certainly isn’t the best financial decision.
Used golf clubs may only be two or three years old, and they can still have plenty of life left in them. Always ensure the grips are in good condition and that you are still looking for forgiving game improvement clubs.
Avoid Cheap Beginner Golfer Sets
We know there are some options out there that look appealing because of their low price. However, these golf clubs should be avoided. You are better off purchasing used clubs from a trusted manufacturer than getting a complete set of cheap clubs.
Number of Clubs
Beginner golfers don’t always need 14 golf clubs in the bag. Depending on how many golf clubs you purchase, you can save quite a bit of money. Think about having about 10 clubs in the bag, and as your game improves, you can invest a bit more and make it to 14.
How much is a decent set of golf clubs?
A complete set of golf clubs (not a packaged set) will cost more than $1500. Intermediate golfers looking for a full replacement of their clubs will spend between $1500 and $2500, but there are some great complete sets now available for intermediate golfers. Lower handicap players are looking for something that matches their golf game and will pay between $2500 and $4000.
Many golfers will consider used clubs when new clubs’ pricing is too high. Players can expect to costs down closer to $1000-$1700 for a set of used golf clubs, depending on the individual club’s purchase.
Complete package sets from brands like Callaway, TaylorMade, and Cobra range from around $500 to $1500. This is where you will see the best pricing across the market, but the equipment is geared towards the beginning golfers, higher handicappers, and some average golfers.
Do golf clubs make a difference?
New golf clubs make a big difference in your ability to hit accurate shots, create more distance and work the ball around the greens. However, new golf clubs are not miracle workers. Unfortunately, to play the best golf of your life, the process is more involved than simply spending money.
The average golfer may notice that more of their drives end up in the fairway when purchasing a new driver. However, in order for this to lead to strokes gained, you will have to work on your technique and mechanics.
A brand-new driver is a great tool, but the golfer who uses the tool is the larger factor in going low.
How much should I spend on the first set of golf clubs?
A quality first set of golf clubs will cost between $700 and $1000. Many guides will tell you that you can get quality golf clubs in the $200 to $400 range.
Although there are solutions at this price point, the clubs you purchase may only last you a year or two before you need an upgrade. If you are going to spend money on a set of beginner golf clubs, get something that will last.
Many of the cheaper sets have golf wedges that don’t spin well or drivers that have much lower total distance capability. In addition, feel, and consistency becomes a problem for most golfers on these cheaper sets.
Should I buy expensive golf clubs as a beginner?
As a beginning golfer, there is no reason to break the bank on new golf clubs. A $350 pitching wedge is probably not going to help much more than a $125 pitching wedge. Beginner golfers should buy average price golf clubs with plenty of forgiveness. The package set is the perfect middle of the road option that is cheaper than purchasing individual clubs but still offers great performance.
Should I buy new or second hand clubs?
In the past second-hand golf clubs always seemed like a great choice. If you didn’t have enough money or felt it wasn’t worth spending much on equipment, the pre-owned clubs made a lot of sense. However, with the release of the Cobra Fly XL or TaylorMade RBZ sets, it’s a little harder to say that used clubs are the best deal.
By the time you purchase used clubs (especially with graphite shafts), have them regripped, and purchase a golf bag, chances are you will be over the price of a new package set.
Not all package sets are the same, and some cheap ones are not worth the price. For lower handicap players looking for specific performance, consider used clubs to help keep the pricing down.
What time of year are golf clubs cheapest?
If you purchase golf clubs during the early months of the year (Jan-Mar), you have a chance to find some great deals on the leftover product from last year. When one brand releases a new driver, so will another, and the clubs from previous years need to be sold through.
Some of these clubs will no longer have the option to be customized directly from the manufacturer.
In the fall, at the end of the golf season, you will also see the pricing drop a bit. This is when companies will evaluate their stock and consider whether or not they should be dropping the prices. You may see a titanium driver released at $499 in the winter drop down to $449.
What is considered a full set of golf clubs?
A full set of golf clubs for most players is between 11 and 12 golf clubs. The clubs included are typical:
- Fairway Wood
- 5 Irons
- 2-3 Wedges
The rules of golf say that you can carry 14 clubs in your bag. However, most golfers find that long irons are not necessary, and they end up with 12 or 13 clubs, and it is all that they need.
How many clubs should a beginner buy?
Beginner golfers should have at least 10 clubs in their golf bags. As time goes on and the distance that the player can hit each of these clubs starts to vary, then it makes sense to add in additional gear.
A great beginner golf club set makeup can include the following:
- 5 Wood
- 4 Hybrid
It’s very important for a beginner to have a mix of golf hybrids, fairway woods, irons, and wedges so that they can learn the different shots required to become a great player.
How Much Should I Spend On Golf Clubs (Based On Handicap)?
One way golfers like to determine the appropriate amount to spend on golf clubs is to look at a player’s handicap. It’s often been stated that beginners can get cheap clubs, and the premium clubs are for low handicappers. There is some truth to this, but personal finances and your goals on the golf course also come into play.
The low handicap golfers looking for the best clubs money can buy simply because their golf game warrants the extra cost. When you can control the ball and place it within feet of a target, you need equipment that supports you.
A set of low handicapper forged irons is usually in the $1200-$2000 range. On top of that, the drivers will be $499 or more. Expect that an entire set could be close to $3500, if not more. When you look at premium shafts, the pricing increases significantly from standard clubs.
Mid handicappers tend to be the golfers that are looking for great deals and struggle to find them. With this skill level, I love the option of purchasing equipment later in the year or even the following year if there is leftover stock.
If you don’t need to be the first one in your foursome with the new release, you can save hundreds of dollars. Where a brand new set in January may run $2500-$3000. If you can wait until the pricing drops, you could move closer to the $2000 range.
High handicappers often look for the most forgiving technology in the game. In the past, forgiving technology didn’t always correspond to higher pricing. However, that is starting to change. Some of the materials (like tungsten, titanium, and carbon) used in these premium clubs for high handicappers are expensive to obtain and therefore cost a golfer considerably more.
High handicappers should consider the package set or complete set options as they have forgiving technology and a fair overall price.
How often should I change my golf clubs?
New golf equipment comes out every year, but most players find that changing equipment every 5 to 7 years is a good goal. When you compare a golf club that was just released to something that came out five years ago, the differences in performance are quite impressive.
Hopefully, this information helped you clear up some confusion on how much you should spend on golf clubs. Even though the clubs are a big decision, they are not the only expense you will have.
Golf is an expensive sport, and if you have the choice between a $2500 set and no room in the budget to play or an $800 package set, the package set makes a lot of sense so you can go enjoy playing the game with friends.
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