Golf can be very intimidating and even overwhelming for beginners. Golf is easily the most complicated popular sport in existence, although the design of the game is deceptively simple. After all, how complicated could getting a small ball into a hole in the least amount of hits? Surprisingly, it can get extremely complicated, and without the right kind of preparations, people who are just starting out in golf can struggle, get frustrated, and give up before they start learning better techniques and having fun doing it. The right kind of equipment that performs well but is forgiving enough of bad shots can make starting out in golf much less frustrating.
Things to consider when looking for a beginner golf set
A beginner golf set does not necessarily have to sacrifice overall performance for forgiving performance. While beginning golfers should pursue equipment that is forgiving of bad shots, they should also look for equipment that does well on the course when those rare good shots are made. This will give a beginning golfer an incentive to keep improving. While there is nothing more frustrating in golf than making errant shot after errant shot, there is also nothing more satisfying in golf than landing a good shot and watching the ball fly further than you thought it would. The right golf set for a beginner will be just forgiving enough to not leave the golfer so frustrated after an errant shot, but strong enough to provide a generous amount of carry and distance for when those good shots are made. The following ten sets were chosen with this in mind.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Golf Clubs for Beginner
Here are 10 Golf Sets for Beginners- Reviews 2018
For adolescents who are just beginning their golf career, Wilson offers the Profile Set. The set includes nine pieces: two headcovers, a driver, a hybrid, a long iron, a short iron, a wedge, a putter, and the bag itself for all the equipment. The clubs are extremely forgiving and according to some players who have bought the Profile set for their children, they may be too forgiving. Some golfers report that the driver and the hybrid are not designed as good as they could be. Although they appear to have good loft values, they do not provide enough loft when they physically come in contact with the ball. Another complaint that people may have is that the irons are not as diverse as they could be.
The Profile set comes with a long iron and a short iron. The typical golf course calls for the golfer to select one iron among a diverse amount of irons in order to do well. The fact that the Profile set does only has two could prevent a problem, such as bad habits and confusion. Most beginners in golf, adolescents included, will eventually need to understand that there are many options when it comes to iron clubs. Choosing the most effective of those options is fundamental and beginners of any age should not be devoid of these options in a golf set. One thing that is nice about the Profile set is that it does come with a hybrid club. Like knowing which iron to use, knowing to use a hybrid club is also fundamental to being a good golfer, as long irons (which hybrids more or less replace) can be very frustrating for a beginning adolescent to master hitting with.
Women who are new to the sport of golf can get a lot of value from the Strata (w) set, from Callaway. The set contains eleven pieces: a bag, three covers, a driver, a 5 wood, a hybrid, a 7 iron, a 9 iron, a sand wedge, and a putter. In this set, the hybrid is designed to replace longer irons, which can be difficult for a beginner to hit with. It is surprising that the Strata (w) would contain a hybrid club, as the set is from 2015. One thing that is refreshing about the Strata (w) set is that the set itself looks like the men’s set. Most beginner golf sets for women tend to have design that contain stereotypical women’s colors like purple or pink.
The Strata (w) set does suffer from some holes in equipment. It only comes with a 7 and a 9 iron, which may be alright for a beginner who might not want to be interested in golfing competitively, but for any beginner who wants to improve in the long term and be competitive, this set does not provide enough equipment. It is lacking at least a 5 and 6 iron, both of which are necessary even for female golfers. The set also only contains a sand wedge, which can be a complicated club for beginners as it has much more loft than the standard pitching wedge. The Strata (w) set would be much improved if it had a pitching wedge as well as a sand wedge.
Very small children deserve a proper introduction to the sport of golf with the least amount of complication and overwhelm. The Confidence set is a golf set that is designed for kids who have not even hit a golf ball yet. Most beginner golf sets come with a fair amount of equipment, as most of these sets assume that the golfer has some kind of experience. This is not the case with the Confidence set. Four clubs are all that are provided in the Confidence set; A driver, an iron, a wedge, and a putter.
For any other beginner set, this would clearly not be enough clubs as most beginners in golf know about the importance of switching clubs for whatever situations they encounter. They know that there are drivers and irons that hit for certain distances. To a young child (the age range for the Confidence set is 4-8), this is not important at all. All a golfer that age should know is that there are are four types of clubs in golf. The bag that the set comes with, however, could confuse the age group who is meant to use it. The bag resembles any other golf bag, which has compartments for accessories as well as the clubs themselves. Because the small children who this set is designed for is likely golfing with their parents, it would not be necessary for the bag in the Confidence set. Still, that is a very negligible negative quality of the set, and for any child who is under 8 and wants to learn the bare basics of golf, the Confidence set is recommended.
There are two kinds of beginners in golf. The first kind are players who have absolutely zero experience and want equipment that is easy to use and forgives a lot. Then there are players who are still inexperienced but know enough about the game to hit the ball with a fair amount of competence. The Confidence Power set is for the first group. It comes with a driver, a hybrid, irons in the 6 to 9 range, a pitching wedge, and a putter. The shafts of all the clubs are made of steel, and that is what gives them their forgiving performance. Clubs that have a steel shaft are typically easier to control, but this comes at the expense of hitting power, distance, loft, and other performance factors.
The irons also have a bigger face. This is good news for pure beginners who haven’t yet learned the basics and fundamentals of a golf swing as it will forgive errant shots quite a bit. Also, different than most other beginner sets where there are only two or three irons in the entire set, the Confidence Power set comes with four irons, in the 6 to 9 range. This is good for a pure beginner as usually the beginner golfer has no idea how to use the longer irons which require a much more fundamentally sound and solid swing. It is also good because it also teaches the beginner who is using these clubs that there are indeed different irons to use for different circumstances.
Certain golf sets are designed for golfers who have a little more experience than a beginner. The Strata Plus set, from Callaway, is such a set. It comes with 11 clubs, four of which have covers on them, and the bag that holds them all. It comes with a driver, a 3 wood, two hybrid clubs, irons ranging from 6 to 9, a sand wedge, a pitching wedge, and a putter. The clubs themselves are exactly the same as the 12 piece Strata, meaning they provide good performance but can usually forgive errant shots more than most advanced equipment. One thing that needs to be mentioned about the Strata plus set is that the clubs are extremely heavy. They are that way to make sure that beginners can control their swing a bit better. Because of this, they are not designed for full time players who are interested in playing multiple 18 hole games per week.
A lot of players who have owned a Strata plus set have reported that in the middle of playing an 18 hole game, their arms would get tired from swinging such heavy clubs. For a beginning player, this is an almost necessary sacrifice, as they may not have enough club speed to hit the ball as far as they would like. This goes double for the irons in the set, which allow for a lot more distance because of how heavy they are. The amount of clubs in the Strata Plus set can confuse and overwhelm brand new players as well. Especially the fact that there are two hybrid clubs in the set. Most beginners would not be able to know what a hybrid club is used for in the first place. Although the Strata plus is designed for beginners, it would be much more useful for golfers who are indeed beginners, but have some experience and knowledge.
Beginning golfers are typically interested in one thing, and that is getting more distance out of their swing as well as their equipment. The Ultra set, by Wilson, contains equipment that focuses on generating more distance. The set includes a driver, a 3 wood that is used on the fairway, a hybrid, irons from 6 to 9, a pitching wedge, and a putter. It also comes with three head covers for the driver, wood, and the hybrid clubs. Additionally, the shafts on all the clubs in the Ultra set are made of steel.
Because it is difficult for beginning players to hit with lighter clubs, the heavier steel shafts will force players to swing slowly but also generate enough power without having to swing the club so hard. One noticeable thing about the irons in the Ultra set is that they have extended sweet spots that will forgive errant shots a little better than most other clubs, even clubs for beginners. However, this can take away from the total possible distance a golfer can get when using them. The Ultra set also does not contain long irons or a sand wedge. It is understood that these clubs are a bit difficult for a beginner to use, they are still effective and should be any beginner’s bag.
Hybrid clubs appear to be a specialty for WaZaki, who has released a set of golf clubs that are all designed as hybrids. The set contains hybrid clubs for irons 4 through 9, a pitching wedge, and a sand wedge. There is no wood, driver, or putter in this set. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that all of the clubs in the WaZaki set, even the wedges, have a hybrid club head design. This has the possibility of taking the complication out of producing a good shot with a normal designed iron or wedge. However, anyone who wishes to use the WaZaki set needs to be aware that they are all hybrid clubs and should practice with them (especially clubs that you would not use a hybrid club for) for a bit before heading onto an actual course with them. Additionally, it is not clear how the WaZaki set would be for beginners, as it is a set that specializes in hybrid irons, a form of club most beginners would not be too familiar with.
However, the fact that this set has nothing but hybrid irons could actually help a beginner, as hybrid clubs, especially the hybrid clubs in the WaZaki set, are much more forgiving than a long iron or even a 3 wood. It is also nice how WaZaki included a sand wedge with their set, as most beginner golf sets do not include a sand wedge. It is also refreshing that longer irons (in hybrid form, at least) are included in this set. Another thing that is not common to beginner golf sets is the fact that longer irons are not included in them. The WaZaki set is good for a beginner who has a little bit of experience and wants to see if he or she could benefit from having more hybrid clubs at their disposal.
Younger golfers who are looking for their very first set of golf clubs have an available solution in the Tour Edge Junior Set. It comes with the bare essentials of clubs: A driver (which contains a head cover), a hybrid club, an iron, a pitching wedge, and a putter. They also have different sizing depending on the age and height of the child who will be golfing with them. Although it is not meant to be and is designed for children who are absolute beginners, the Tour Edge lacks in having diverse equipment. If your child uses these clubs and gain a lot of experience, they will soon outgrow the equipment in the Tour Edge bag. After all, it does not come with a lot of clubs.
However, the Tour Edge set is valuable in that they have different sizes depending on the age and height of the child. This is very good because it means it is very accessible to children of all ages who want to begin their golfing career. One thing that is also appealing about the Tour Edge set is that the bag comes in either pink or red. This gives the child a choice on what color they want the bag to be instead of being forced to settle on just one.
Golfers who are interested in getting past the beginner phase and looking to upgrade their current club set, but still want a set that provides forgiveness for errant shots might be interested in the Aspire XD1 set. It comes with a driver, a 3 wood, a hybrid, irons ranging from 6 to 9, a pitching wedge, and a putter. The club head on the driver is made of titanium, but the ones on the other clubs are steel. Different than most beginner sets, the Aspire XD1 does not come with covers for the driver and the 3 wood, and different than most sets a player would likely upgrade to, the Aspire XD1 set does not come with a sand wedge or lower rated irons. That is what makes this set still for beginners, as most beginning golf players do not have enough skill to do well with the lower irons or the sand wedge. Still, the Aspire XD1 would benefit greatly from having a sand wedge, as most beginning players should be learning how to use them as playing from the bunker is something that most beginners need to learn early on.
One other thing that makes the Aspire XD1 for beginners is the shaft on the irons, which are made of steel. This makes the club heavier, which will forgive errant shots a bit more than irons with more flexible shafts. The thing that makes the Aspire XD1 set something that a beginner could upgrade is the shafts on the driver and the wood. Most beginner sets use the same flex on the driver and wood as they do on the irons: a stiff shaft that is more forgiving. The driving clubs in this set assume that the golfer at least knows how to properly produce good shots off a tee, so they made the shafts of the driver and wood from graphite. This sacrifices a little forgiveness, but is an upgrade in length. Any beginning golfer who is looking for more power in their driver and fairway wood but is still struggling with irons should be satisfied with the Aspire XD1.
Callaway has come up with a very solid set of clubs for beginners. Although it is missing a couple of pieces that might benefit a beginning golfer, it also contains equipment that contains the marriage of performance and forgiveness in golf equipment that many beginning golfers really need. It comes with nine clubs, two covers, and a bag that carries the clubs and other accessories that may be necessary. One very interesting thing about the Strata set is that it includes a hybrid club. Being a club type that typically replaces a long iron, the hybrid club often confuses newer players as they often confuse it for a driver or a wood.
The Strata set also contains a driver (also known as a 1 wood) and a 3 wood (or fairway wood) that is used for driving on the fairway on longer courses where a hybrid or a long iron would not provide enough forgiveness or distance. People who have transitioned from the beginner level to a level more advanced have said that the equipment in the Strata set performs every bit as well as the clubs that are for more advanced golfers. This proves that not only do they perform well, but they are also forgiving. One thing about the Strata set that should be added is a sand wedge. Designed with a higher loft (height at which a ball travels) which is useful for getting out of bunkers, it is surprising that the Strata set did not include one.
Know Your Clubs: Different Types of Golf Clubs and Their Uses
Before anyone begins their golf career, they should know what each club does. One of the reasons golf can be complicated for newer players is because they have no idea what clubs to use and at which times. This section will provide a short description of every type of club that a player should go to on the course. It will start with the clubs that hit for the longest distance, and then cover special types of clubs that have been the subject of recent developments.
Drivers (aka 1 woods) are used when there are more than 250 yards to the green. Typically, they are used exactly once, and that is on the first stroke of a hole that is above 250 yards. However, there are circumstances where a driver can be used more than once. If there are 500 or more yards to the green, sometimes the driver will be used on the second stroke as well. This is very rare, however, and there is usually a better club to go to in these situations. The longest golf club, it is common for beginners to make errant shots that get them in trouble early on with the driver. To address this, beginners should focus on hitting the ball with the driver square so that it has a better chance of going straight. A lot of power is sacrificed in doing this, but it is much better than getting in trouble early on.
When there are 200-250 yards left to the green, that is when the fairway wood (aka the 3 wood) is utilized. On very long 5 par holes, it is preferable to use the fairway wood on the second stroke if possible. This is because the fairway wood is a little more forgiving than the driver and hits for a little less distance. For example, if there are 220 yards to the green after a tee shot and you decide to use your driver a second time, you’ll run the risk of overshooting the green. With the fairway wood, you’ll have just enough distance to properly begin an approach to the green. Like drivers, fairway woods have a lot of margin for error. So it is best for beginning players to slow their swing down to make sure the ball goes as straight as possible.
This is where golf starts to get complicated. If there are 100-200 yards left to get to the green, golfers have lots of options, all of which are dependent on a lot of factors. Factors notwithstanding, these options will be explored. The iron is a club that, depending on its “rating,” can hit a ball as short as 100 yards or as long as 200. The higher the number of the iron, the shorter the distance it will hit for. They start at 5 (longest distance) and end at 9 (shortest distance). Like drivers and woods, irons are not forgiving and in roughly 90% of cases, a tee is not used for irons and they need to be hit directly off of the surface. If an errant shot is made, it usually results in a lack of distance more than anything else. Before selecting an iron to begin the next stroke, it is important to check the distance to the green. The most seasoned golfers understand this, and keep a full set of irons in their bag. Most beginners should have irons ranging from 4 to 9, but having irons from 6 to 9 is also acceptable.
When there are less than 100 yards to the green, another decision must be made. Most golfers in this circumstance will use a wedge to approach the green. Wedges are extremely forgiving, but hit for very short distances. They typically max out at 100 yards, and that is if the golfer has a lot of club speed. If there are 80 or more yards to the green, it is possible to use an 8 or a 9 iron instead of a wedge, but this runs the risk of overshooting the green. However, if a wedge is used, there is a risk of undershooting the green and giving up another stroke to approach the green. There are two types of wedges. The pitching wedge is what most players use to approach. If a player needs more loft because they are in a bunker or need to get more height for any other reason, they will go to a sand wedge.
Putters are used when the golfer has approached the green. There is no other purpose for this club at all. Some advanced golfers, when they come within a few feet of the green but still on the fairway, will actually use their putter as they do not want to risk overshooting the hole with their wedge. Many believe, and rightly so, that putting is the most difficult part of golf. It takes very good precision to know how hard to hit the ball, as well as reading the slopes of some greens. Like with all the other clubs, the solution for the beginning golfer is to take things slow and make sure that the ball goes straight.
Over the years there have been some recent developments in club technology. The following clubs were not popular at all 15 years ago, but over the last 15 years they have become quite common. The hybrid club is one of these developments. With a design that borrows from irons and woods, the hybrid club is similar to a fairway wood, and hits for a slightly less distance as a fairway wood. Marketed as a “rescue club” by the golf company TaylorMade, they are designed for when a golfer is not comfortable using a long (1-4) iron when in the rough areas of the golf course. However, they can also be used in place of a fairway wood as well, especially if a golfer has good club speed and can consistently hit a ball straight.
The least forgiving clubs in existence are driving irons and long irons, and over the last decade or so, have been replaced with hybrid clubs. In the previous section about irons, it was mentioned that they are ranked from 5-9 and are designed to cover roughly 100-200 yards. The 1 iron is known as the driving iron, and typically hits for the exact same distance as a fairway wood. Because it is much less forgiving than even a fairway wood, most golfers typically do not find the use for a driving iron. Long irons (2-4) are also unforgiving, and most players have replaced them with hybrid clubs. Long irons can hit a ball as long as 260 yards or as short as 180 yards. Because the developments of hybrid clubs and fairway woods have generally replaced driving irons and long irons, most players who use long irons and driving irons do so because of personal preference. Beginning players should resist the temptation to use 1-4 irons and instead use hybrid clubs and fairway woods if they have trouble getting a lot of distance after the first tee.
How Often Should you Upgrade Your Club set?
Club sets are not cheap. Most beginner club sets cost about $200 and the sets that most competitive golfers use cost anywhere from $500 to $1000. Upgrading is something that should be taken seriously. The first thing to consider before upgrading a club set is how much better are you getting with your swing fundamentals. Consider that even with a beginner club set, a competitive golfer could probably do quite well. If you are not fundamentally sound, you should refuse the temptation to upgrade. However, if you find that you are getting better, and performing at a level that shows consistent improvement, then you should consider upgrading.
For example, let’s say that with your current set, you have consistently beat your previous scores on the same course by 2-3 every time you play. You play at a more difficult course and the exact same thing happens. Then this trend stops and you wind up actually doing worse. When you begin to do worse, it might mean that the clubs in your set are not performing at the level you need them to perform at, denoting a time for an upgrade. Whenever you reach a plateau such as this is when you should upgrade your club set.
Beginning a golf career can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. When you go to a driving range and see golfers more experienced than you hitting balls over 300 yards, the best thing to think about is that one day, that will be you. Most competitive golfers actually wish that they were beginners again, because they know that beginners can improve very quickly. While a beginner has a lot of things to work on and get excited about even the most mundane results, competitive golfers usually work three times harder for a fraction of the results that most new golfers enjoy with just one small improvement. With the right mentality, equipment, the right lessons, and patience, the transition from beginning golfer to competitive golfer can be rather smooth.