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Golf Clubs for Beginners: A Guide

A set of golf clubs for beginners.

Buying your first set of golf clubs can be intimidating. There are so many different types of clubs and ways to buy them, it’s often overwhelming for beginner golfers. This usually leads them to buy the first full set they see. This isn’t always a bad choice, but golfers must know exactly what they are getting and how their purchase will impact the future of their journey on the course.

In this guide to buying golf clubs for beginners, we are going to cover:

  • What clubs you need
  • The different ways to purchase them
  • Where to go for help

Let’s dive into each and get a better idea of how to get started in golf.

The Clubs You Need

While there are 14 clubs in a full set of golf clubs, most beginners won’t (and shouldn’t) buy this many. All you need to get started is a decent set of irons, a wedge or two, a driver, and a putter. Over time, your set will fill out once you find the gaps in your set that your game will most benefit from filling, but to start, these clubs should suffice. 

Driver A driver is the longest club in your bag, and it is meant for tee shots on par 4’s and 5’s to get you as close to the green as possible. It’s best to find a driver with loft of 10.5 degrees or more.
Irons Usually purchased in a set, irons are the clubs you’ll use the most. They usually come in a set from 5 iron to a pitching wedge, which should not be your only wedge. These are used for mid-range shots and tee shots on par 3’s.
Wedge(s) Wedges are your close-range clubs, meant to get you on the green. They provide a lot of loft, so they are also used when you need to get out of course features like the rough and sand bunkers. You want at least one wedge between 54-60 degrees, as this will be a good all-rounder for all these situations.
Putter The putter is the club you’ll use on the green, and it’s meant to get the ball rolling across the green without getting it up into the air so you can sink it into the hole. Every golfer needs a putter.

Now, golfers who are only playing smaller courses may even get away with forgoing a driver at the beginning, but we don’t recommend this. Getting used to hitting a driver is a completely different learning process from hitting with your irons and wedges, and it is important to start learning as quickly as possible.

Fairway Woods and Hybrids

Some golfers may be confused about the above list because they’ve seen or heard of golfers playing with woods or hybrids. These clubs fill the gap between your longest iron and your driver, and they are extremely useful clubs. Beginner golfers, though, often forgo these clubs to reduce their initial investment in golf, as they aren’t as vital as the clubs we mention above.

That said, golfers looking to start with every possible tool may want to consider buying at least one. The easy way to decide which wood and/or hybrid to buy is to look at the loft of your driver (typically between 9-12 degrees) and your longest iron. If you only want one club to fill that gap, try to get a hybrid or fairway wood with a loft directly in the middle of your driver and your longest iron. If you want to get two or more, you can create even loft intervals between each club, leaning toward fairway woods for your lower lofted clubs and hybrids for the lofts closer to your irons. 

Golf club manufacturers bring new club offerings almost annually, and making blanket brand recommendations for beginners is impossible without considering the most recent offerings from each, the individual golfer’s budget, and many other factors. The best way to decide the exact brand and model to purchase is to go into a specialty golf shop and get professionally fitted (for free) after trying a few different clubs.

How to Buy Golf Clubs for Beginners

Once you’ve decided what clubs you want to buy, or at least an idea of what you’re looking for, there are two things to consider:

  1. If you’ll buy them individually or in a set
  2. How will you buy them

First, you need to decide what your goal is with your clubs. Are you looking for the cheapest entry point possible, and accepting that you’ll likely upgrade within a year or two? Or are you looking to slowly build out a set that you’ll keep for at least a few years as you improve at golf?

Buying Clubs Individually or In a Set

While many golfers buy a beginner set of golf clubs to get started, this isn’t the only way to jump into golf. You can also buy clubs individually to ensure you get exactly what you want from each club, possibly keeping them longer. It is important to note that irons are always bought in a set. If you buy clubs individually, you’ll buy all your other clubs as individual pieces and a set of irons to minimize variance between them.

The path you choose is mainly up to your priorities:

Full Set Simple and fast to purchaseEnsures you have everything you needUsually the cheapest way to goComes with a golf bag
Individual Clubs w/ Irons Set More custom-tailored to your preferencesCan choose clubs that will last longer in your bagTypically higher-quality clubsMore expensiveYou need to buy a bag

A full set of beginner clubs is perfect for those looking for the cheapest and easiest way to get started. For those who are a bit more future-focused and are willing to spend a bit more to get quality that will last them a while, buying clubs individually can be a great way to start building an excellent bag of golf clubs. Used clubs can be another option if you want something more current and don’t want to invest in a new set.

 How You Will Buy Your Clubs

There are many different places to buy golf clubs, but the most popular are the following:

  • Sporting goods stores
  • Specialty golf shops
  • Private sellers

We have created a table detailing exactly what each of these club sellers have to offer in terms of value, quality, and variety of golf clubs:

Channel Value Quality Variety Total Score
Specialty Golf Shops 8 10 10 9.3
Sporting Goods Stores 8 9 7 8.0
Online Private Marketplaces 9 7 6 7.3

Overall, specialty golf shops offer the best combination of all three, and they even offer the added benefit of well-trained golf shop staff that can give you higher-level guidance as a beginner than any other seller. Plus, the specialty golf shop will have a good selection of starter sets, used clubs and new current inline clubs for you to choose from.

That being said, those looking for the best possible deal on individual clubs may want to look at private sellers to get a good deal on secondhand gear. If you just want to get a club set and get on the course, you can find one at your local sporting goods store. Still, the best way to buy golf clubs is to get fitted for free at a specialty golf shop and pick from the best possible selection.

Get Help With Golf Clubs for Beginners at Worldwide Golf Shops

Worldwide Golf Shops provides next-level service to customers of all experience levels, with the best-trained staff in the industry. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide guidance to new golfers and to share pro tips with even our most experienced clientele, making us one of the best places to buy golf clubs for beginners.

Check out our online store to see our industry-standard variety of all of the following:

At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today!

Trevor Cigich

Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing |  Worldwide Golf Shops

I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.

For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to