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Best Golf Clubs For Beginners 

So you are just starting out in golf, that’s awesome! It’s an amazing game that we promise will give you years of enjoyment and fun!

To help you get started we have put together our review of the best golf clubs for beginners. After you have read this article you should be able to make an informed decision as you embark upon your golfing journey.

Our review covers the best beginner golf sets for men. Here are our picks for Ladies, Seniors and of course, Juniors.

Best Golf Clubs For Beginners

Below are our top picks for best golf clubs for beginners.

Also check out our buyers guide for beginner golf clubs.

Best Beginner Golf Clubs

1. Callaway Strata Ultimate Complete Set

Callaway Golf Men's Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set (16-Piece, Right Hand, Steel)

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I know it’s not going to help take shots off your score, but the first thing that catches your attention about a bag of golf clubs is, well, the bag.

And this one really sets the tone for the package as a whole. It’s made of quality materials, so from the start you feel as though you’re onto something good.

The Callaway Strata Ultimate Complete Set won’t let the team down either. We think you’ll make firm friends with the 5 hybrid very quickly, while the driver will make you feel like a golfing Deity – it’s that forgiving. We were marginally less keen on the irons, which, with steel shafts, may be a bit heavy for some newbies. But that’s us with our heavily critical hat on to be honest, so we’re talking fine margins.

It would be remiss of us not to note that some people have complained about clubheads flying off, shafts fraying, and general durability issues – so there is that to consider. Only time can tell with such things.

But, in our (hopefully!) seasoned opinion, there was none of that in the bucket of balls that we hit, and on the contrary, we actually think this set of clubs oozes quality, offers a solid design across the board, and does all of this for a competitive price. Especially if you’re starting out, this has a lot to give; and all you have to give in return is $399.

Rated as our ‘Best Seller’ due to it’s incredible popularity with young and old players, the best and the rest, you simply can’t go wrong with the Callaway Strata Complete Set.

Pros

  • The driver, 3-wood and hybrid will make you feel on top of the world when you hit them
  • Excellent balance and feel from driver down to pitching wedge
  • The bag is sturdy, light and will last you a long time

Cons

  • The putter is perhaps the weakest link – looks and feels a bit cheap

2. Wilson Profile Golf Set

Wilson Men's Profile XD Golf Complete Set Men's Right Hand

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The Wilson Profile Golf Package Set is our Editor’s Choice for Golf Clubs for Beginners.

A set of these bad boys has steel shafts for the irons, and graphite for the woods and hybrid. The titanium 460cc driver is a hefty beast in terms of clubhead, but I mean that as nothing but a compliment. I felt that there were an extra 5 or 10 yards with this one compared to others, which is always a boost for the ego. No questioning its forgiveness either.

The fairway wood was okay, although I found it to be a bit whippy. I was far more enamoured by the hybrid, which is just beautiful to look at, and even more sexy to hit. It’s hard to imagine a lie in the world that this club couldn’t ease the ball out of, and that really will fill you with confidence.

As for the irons, I was largely impressed. The shafts are perhaps a little bit heavy, but when you gaze at them they really do scream quality. A few people have mentioned to us that they tended to wear and tear quite quickly, so keep that in mind. But we saw nothing untoward from our side, and we must add that the flow weighting is great for launch and forgiveness.

To top it off, it has a sand wedge, which isn’t always a given! The bag is absolutely fine too, so, to sum up, as long as you’re partial to vibrant colours, I think there’s a really good chance you’ll be enchanted with this set.

Pros

  • Driver offers power and forgiveness
  • The hybrid is a brilliant little club
  • Everything about this set just screams quality, and the design is very sleek

Cons

  • Irons are a touch heavy to swing

3. Callaway Men’s Strata 12-Piece set

Callaway Men's Strata Complete Golf Set (12 Piece)

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The Callaway Men’s Strata 12-Piece Golf Set is the smaller variation of the 18-piece set featured above. Like its big brother, the 12-piece set has all the clubs one needs to start playing golf with, but is slightly cut down in terms of optionality.

It doesn't come with a 5W Fairway Wood and only has one hybrid. To be honest this didn't put me off this set at all as the 18-piece option could be considered a little over-kill in terms of woods and hybrids. However, for me the main shortfall of the 12-piece set is that the irons don't come with a sand wedge (i.e. they run from 6-PW).

I think this is a significant downside to the set and the reason why I would recommend going with the 18-piece. Then again, you can always buy a sand wedge separately.

4. Wilson Ultra Complete Package Golf Set

Wilson Golf Ultra Plus Package Set, Men's Right Handed, Regular Carry

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If you are looking for the best value beginner golf clubs that can help you improve your golf experience, then the The Wilson Ultra Complete Package Golf Set is your best option. When the original Ultra 2015 series came out I was really impressed, so I was very keen to see what Wilson would come up with for the 2017 version.

Now that I have tested them I can confirm that they don't disappoint. Like the 2015 version, the 2017 upgrade includes all the same clubs (i.e. driver, #3 fairway wood, a hybrid, irons from 5-PW and a putter), but the design and technology of the clubs has been improved. They now have larger sweet spots to their predecessor and the irons have a wider sole.

I found them really easy to hit! The best part is they are very affordable, knocking around $100 off the Wilson ProStaff / Profile HDX set.

See our detailed Wilson Ultra review.

5. Precise Complete Golf Clubs

Precise M5 Men's Complete Golf Clubs Package Set Includes Titanium Driver, S.S. Fairway, S.S....

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Honestly, the Precise golf set has it all, and you’ll be hugely impressed with the quality and excellence with each club you draw from the bag.

The driver is billed as being ‘aerodynamic’ in its design, although we didn’t notice anything too remarkable. What was remarkable was the sound it makes when you hit it – wow.

Got some ear muffs? Perhaps stand a few bays away from anyone else at the range, because it is loud. But it’s glorious too, and you really feel like you’re smashing the cover off the ball when it pings off the clubface like that.

The irons have a slightly unusual shape in fairness, but the only thing unusual about their performance was that my shots kept going straight and true! Irons are a bug bear for so many beginners, but if you want to progress, you need to master them, and these will set up a great platform for you to do that.

Pros

  • Awesome quality all round – this really is a proper set
  • Regular or stiff flex. Right or left-hand. Men or ladies. This has every preference and disposition covered!
  • Although all the clubs are great, the irons and sand wedge really do stand out
  • They’ll last you a long time, and won’t become obsolete in a hurry

Cons

  • Slightly more costly than some of their competitors – even though they are superb

Beginner Golf Sets Buying Guide

Design and Feel

Clearly, when you buy your first set of golf clubs, you want them to feel like a perfect fit from the moment you first clutch the grips in your palms. A feature of beginners’ sets, and more specifically the clubheads within them, is that they are generally associated with words such as ‘oversize’ or ‘cavity back’, and for good reason too.

After all, when it comes to the battle of golfer versus golf ball, you’ll want to feel like you have as much behind you as possible. Yet there is a fine line between being ample and being cumbersome, and that’s where design plays a key role.

Furthermore different types of club have very different properties and requirements, so a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to design will always get short thrift from us. Because while you want your irons to have a lot of clout behind them, you’ll want something more nifty for hybrids and wedges. And as for woods and putters, well, often design and feel can be subject to personal preference.

The important takeaway for you is that the set in its entirety must offer something that combines sleekness, simplicity, efficiency and sufficiency, so that each time you whip a different club out the bag, you’re filled with confidence – not doubt.

Ease of Use

I’m going to get the bad news out the way early… The pros make the game look so easy. Unfortunately, it isn’t. Prepare for an agonizing journey where you’ll probably fall short of your expectations just as often as you conquer them.

The good news is that with the right clubs in hand, the balance can be recalibrated so that the good days outnumber the bad. Probably the single most important factor in finding beginners’ clubs which work for you is that they are forgiving. After all, you’ve just started the game right? If you’re middling the bulk of your shots, well, congrats… you’re a natural!

But for the rest of us mere mortals, when we start the game every bucket of balls or round of golf will inevitably be dominated by shots which are mishit, mistimed and duffed. What’s absolutely crucial is that you’ve got a set of sticks which are user friendly in every department, and which ensure that each time you get it wrong, the result is still flattering, and the damage contained.

Oh, and also that when you get it absolutely spot on, you get maximum reward for your prowess!

Value for Money

Too many times we’ve seen sales staff, who have targets to hit and bonuses to score, getting beginners to pay over the odds for a set of clubs which ultimately don’t even suit them – at least in the early stages of their golfing development anyway.

The pros may be the ones who provide the most inspiration for people considering taking up the gentlemen’s game, but when they check the price tags of the clubs Rory, Bubba, Spieth and Co are using they become disillusioned. Please don’t! Few sports have equipment so specialised for newbies as golf does, and the good news is that beginners’ sets are actually pretty inexpensive.

In line with our mantra here at Golf Assessor, the one caveat we will put forward is that cheap does not necessarily equate to good value for money. The market for golf clubs is surprisingly nuanced, given that a quality product for a beginner is vastly different for that of a more advanced player.

But even within this newbie niche lie plenty of good deals and bad deals too, so we’re here to ensure that you walk away with the former, rather than the latter.

How to Choose a Beginner Golf Club Set

What actually makes choosing a set of golf clubs hard is the fact that there are just so many types and designs of golf clubs and all have different features which you have to consider before making that final decision. I hope the information and recommendations above have helped you make an informed decision.

Below I have set out a few more considerations to take into account when choosing your beginner or intermediate level golf clubs.

Golf Club Head Size

The head size of your golf clubs is important, particularly when choosing woods. Generally the larger the head size the larger the sweet spot. Therefore clubs which are oversized are generally very good for beginners as they are much more forgiving than small or mid head sized clubs. That being said, you don't want the head size of our clubs to be too big, as this can make it difficult to control the ball.

For example, senior golfers who generally don't generate a lot of club head speed would benefit from oversized heads, whereas a beginner who still have many years under his belt would want to go for a mid to large head size. In practical terms we recommend drivers with a head sized of 450 to 460 cc.

Irons should have a larger face and a deeper cavity at the back of the club. If you look at the head of irons used by top players you will notice four things:

  1. The sole of the club is relatively narrow, as a beginner you want a wider sole. 
  2. The face of the club is relatively small with a tight sweet spot, as a starter golfer you want a larger face with a wider sweet spot to cater for mishits. 
  3. The cavity at the back of the club is usually very shallow, with some irons being total blades (see cast vs forged irons below), as a beginner you want a deeper cavity to disperse the weight to the perimeter of the club.
  4. Better players use irons with very little offset of the club head from the shaft, as a intermediate or beginner you want a good amount of offset to make it easier to launch the ball off the ground.

Cast Iron vs. Forged Iron Golf Clubs

It is worth considering the main differences between irons. You will find that a cast iron golf clubs are unsurprisingly made from cast iron with most of the weight in the golf club distributed around the perimeter. This gives these clubs a larger sweet spot making them easier to use and they make for a really great starter golf club for the beginner or in fact any golfer who might have any sort of problem with making full contact.

A forged iron golf club on the other hand is more often the type of golf club used by better golfers and professionals because of its design and the additional functionality it provides. The center of gravity from a forged golf iron is at the front of the club. This makes it a little heavier with a tighter sweet spot.

Forged irons are incredibly rewarding for pure hitters of a golf ball, but are very unforgiving of mishits. This makes them a poor choice for beginners.

Graphite vs. Steel Shafts

In terms of golf shafts there are three main considerations: length, flex and material (i.e. graphite vs. steel). In terms of length, standard men's clubs are generally suitable for males with a height between 5-foot-8-inches and 6-foot-2-inches.

If you fall into this range then standard shaft lengths will be just fine. If you are slightly shorter or taller you can probably also get away with standard length clubs, but if you are significantly shorter or taller then you may want to consider custom fitting. 

Of course, as a beginner you can probably start with standard fitting clubs and then get custom fitted as you get better. The second consideration is staff flex. Flex can range from very "flexy" to stiff. Most clubs are fitted with standard or regular flex shafts, but if you have a very fast swing then you will want to opt for stiff flex. On the other hand if your swing speed is slow then a flexy shaft is better.

In general seniors and ladies who can't generate a fast swing speed should opt for a flexy shit, otherwise I recommend you go with a regular flex to start out.

Finally, shafts come in two main material - stainless steel and graphite. Graphite shafts are lighter, which means one can generate more club head speed. Ideally you should go for woods with graphite shafts as with these clubs you are mainly interested in getting as much distance as possible. In terms of irons it is best to stick with steel shafts, although graphite shafts as a beginner isn't a bad move. 

About the author 

Paul Bradshaw

Paul hit his first golf shot at the age of 5, and from that point on was immediately hooked. He went on to become one of the leading amateurs in South Africa, securing a full golf scholarship with the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Turning professional in 2004, Paul played extensively on the Sunshine Tour and co-sanctioned European Tour events. Paul is our lead editor at Golf Assessor.

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