Make no mistake about it – golf as a pastime isn’t exactly on the up.
The general slowdown in the global economy, not to mention the increasingly fast-paced lives we all lead, means that the game itself is facing a serious battle in terms of stimulating growth, and making it accessible to the wider public. It’s not a case of being pessimistic. It is merely pointing out that we need to think outside the box to make sure we don’t lose entry-level players (ie: Sunday hackers and beginners) to other sports and hobbies.
Whether they like it or not, club manufacturers have a big role to play in this regard, as they are charged with ensuring beginners like you have the best possible weapons with which to learn our complex but wonderful game. That means delivering clubs which reward you when you get it right, forgive you when you don’t, and ultimately making the game more enjoyable to learn.
I know that the fun is in the taking part, but let’s face it. It’s a whole lot more fun when the ball pings off your club with that delightful sound, and you are able to make progress as soon as you enter the starting blocks. Most of that is down to you and your natural talent (which we don’t doubt you have in abundance!).
But it can’t hurt to have that extra helping hand from a set of beginners’ clubs to make the early stages of your golfing development that little bit sweeter.
So, we’ve mentally wound back the clock to when we first hacked at a golf ball, and put ourselves in your shoes so that we could put in some solid and accurate reviews on the best golf clubs for beginners in the business, thus helping you to make an informed decision as you embark upon your golfing journey.
Don’t have Time to Read On?
Our Editor’s Choice for the Best Golf Clubs for Beginners 2016 are the Wilson Profile XLS Men’s Golf Package Set. Everything about this set just screams quality, and the design is very sleek. What’s more is they probably still going to be relevant clubs for you even once you’ve improved – win win!
Best Golf Clubs for Beginners 2016
Use the quicklinks to navigate out Best Golf Clubs for Beginners 2016 Review.
- Key Considerations
- Brief Overview of Top 3 Golf Clubs for Beginners 2016
- Wilson Profile XLS Men’s Golf Package Set
- Callaway Strata Ultimate Complete Set
- Adams Speedline Plus Package Set
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.
All golf clubs for beginners were put to the test against our standard assessment model, where we looked at 3 key aspects: Design and Feel, Ease of Use and Value for Money. Individual scores of each of these aspects was then aggregated to give an overall assessment score, as follows:
Overall Mark Score Description Excellent A+ 9.6 – 10 Stop the clock and buy now. This piece of equipment will change your game. Excellent A 9.0 – 9.5 Superb piece of gear. Amazing quality, performance and value for money. Great B+ 8.6 – 8.9 Great offering. This piece of gear won’t let you down. Good B 8.0 – 8.5 Solid piece of gear with only minor issues to criticise. Average C+ 7.6 – 7.9 Adequate offering, but not the best value for money. Average C 7.0 – 7.5 Not the most exciting piece of gear, seek alternatives. Weak D+ 6.6 – 6.9 Leaves lots to be desired. You can do a lot better. Weak D 6.0 – 6.5 Steer well clear of this gear. Not worth the money!
Brief Overview of Top 3 Golf Clubs for Beginners 2016
Wilson Profile XLS Men’s Golf Package Set – See Special Offers from $224.00The Wilson Profile XLS Men’s Golf Package Set is our Editor’s Choice for Golf Clubs for Beginners 2016.
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.
Here is a summary of the pros and cons.
- 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
- Irons are a touch heavy to swing
Callaway Strata Ultimate Complete Set – See Deals Starting from $258.99I 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 clubs don’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 Ultimate Complete Set.
Here is a summary of the pros and cons.
- 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
- The putter is perhaps the weakest link – looks and feels a bit cheap
Adams Speedline Plus Package Set – See deals starting from $379.00 Here
Adams have dipped their toes in the beginners’ golf water with a few different sets like the Idea OS and the Idea A12 irons/hybrids.
But this is undoubtedly their best creation to date, and we think has raised the bar within this market. Honestly, this 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.
Here is a summary of the pros and cons.
- 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
- Slightly more costly than some of their competitors – even though they are superb