Golf Clubs for Beginners: What Do I Need in My Bag?

As a beginner golfer, you might be wondering how many golf clubs should be in your golf bag?

Looking at my golf beginnings I remember starting with a golf set that was given to me by my best friend. All I had to do was buy a golf bag and some golf balls to begin my quest. This was a great start to my golf journey as the level of my skills (and most new golfers) did not require the use of a full set of clubs.

While you might not need a full set of clubs yet, you do need to make sure they’re made for beginners. Because your equipment can make golf a lot easier… or, a lot harder if you’re playing the wrong heads and shafts.

You don’t necessarily need to carry the full set of clubs (yet) but you should be aware of available options and any potential upgrades you can make in order to improve your game.

So how many golf clubs does a beginner need?

According to USGA, you are allowed to carry a maximum of fourteen clubs in your golf bag. There are no minimum clubs needed but each player must have his own clubs.

Before you start packing clubs in your bag, let’s take a look at which clubs are the most essential for beginner golfers.

Editors Choice
Wilson Profile SGI Set
9.7
  • Excellent value
  • Comes with a bag + headcovers.
  • A perfect set to get started in golf
  • Forgiving irons perfect for beginner golfers
  • Custom fitting options available (regular, tall, senior, left or right-handed).
Budget Pick
Callaway Strata Full Set
9.5
  • 9-16 piece sets available.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Available in right or left-hand models.
  • Mallet putter is great for beginners who need more help with alignment.
  • Forgiving driver, 3-wood and 5-hybrid so you don’t need to try to hit long irons.
Top Pick
TaylorMade RBZ Speedlite Set
9.2
  • Premium beginner set.
  • Graphite or steel shaft options.
  • Golf clubs are made of high-quality materials and very easy to hit.
  • The set includes two rescue clubs, sand wedge, bag, and headcovers.

What Clubs are In a Golf Set?

PXG Golf Set

One of the biggest investment decisions you will have to make as a beginner golfer is a set of clubs.

Although you are allowed to carry 14 clubs, most of the beginner golf sets you will find on the market come with 8–12 clubs. They also tend to include headcovers, bags, and other accessories to get you started.

Most beginner golfers play golf with a club selection that consists of a driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and a putter.  

But it’s easy to get confused on which clubs you need as a beginner and which ones can wait until you’re more advanced.

So what golf clubs should a beginner start with?

Let’s talk about individual club selection below:

Driver

Cobra Ltdx Max

As a beginner, you will experience the most frustration with this club, but there is a reason for the saying “Drive for show, putt for dough.”

If you’re like most golfers you either love it or hate your driver. Beginner golfers tend to hate it while more advanced golfers can’t wait to use it on almost every tee shot.

Let’s face it, the driver is the club that can make or break your scorecard. It’s also the club that can give you the most distance if and when you hit it well. Not to mention it’s one of the most rewarding feelings in the game.

As a beginner, you want a lightweight, forgiving, and high loft driver to maximize distance. You also might want to consider an adjustable driver which allows you to change the loft and weight of the club. 

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Premium Driver
TaylorMade M4 2021 Driver

TaylorMade M4 2021 Driver

  • Pleasant sound and great performance
  • Excellent consistency
  • Lots of forgiveness
  • Cheaper than TaylorMade Stealth
Check Latest Price of M4 Driver
Our Choice
PXG 0211 Driver

PXG 0211 Driver

  • Excellent value for money
  • Precision weighting
  • Deep center of gravity
  • Adjustable hosel
Check Latest Price of 0211 Driver
Best Affordable Driver
TaylorMade RBZ Stage Driver

TaylorMade RBZ Stage Driver

  • The sound and feel are very solid
  • High launch and low spinning ball
  • Forgiveness and great performance
  • Enhanced aerodynamics
Check Latest Price of RBZ Driver
Most Forgiving
Callaway Epic Speed Driver

Callaway Epic Speed Driver

  • Very easy to hit and great carry distance
  • Excellent feel and sound
  • Super forgiving 
  • Great for mid-high handicappers
Check Latest Price of Epic Driver
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This adjustability can make a huge impact on your accuracy, total driving distance, and overall confidence on the tee. 

One of the best drivers for beginners is Taylormade SIM 2 MAX with increased stability and forgiveness giving you the confidence to step up to any tee shot!

Fairway Woods

Fairway woods are clubs designed for hitting the ball off the ground and off the tee. Beginner golfers tend to find they’re easier to hit than a driver and slice less. 

The interesting fact about woods is that nowadays they are made of metal instead of wood.

The clubhead is smaller than the driver’s clubhead and it has a shallow center of gravity which makes it easier to hit off the ground.

The clubhead is bigger than the driver’s clubhead and it has a shallow center of gravity which makes them easier to hit off the ground.

Fairway Woods

As a beginner, you should carry at least one club in this category, and depending on your level of play, you might want to carry more.

One of my favorite fairway woods is TaylorMade STEALTH 3 wood golf club which I currently carry in my bag and I love it!

As you’ll find, most beginner sets come with 3W or 5W.

Hybrids

Hybrids are clubs that have been designed to replace the long irons in your bag as they’re much easier to hit.

They’re a mix of a wood and iron (hence the term, hybrid) and much more forgiving. They’re also easier to launch higher and hit from the rough, even if you don’t have a fast swing.

Experienced golfers might find them difficult to use at first, but as a beginner, you will find that they are much easier to hit than irons.

Irons

PXG 0311 Iron

Irons are clubheads that have been designed with a rectangular shape.

They can be used for short or long shots and depending on your level of play, you should carry a minimum of four irons in your golf bag.

The popular iron sets amongst novice golfers in this category are:

As a beginner, you will most likely use the 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 irons. The clubhead is typically made from stainless steel, aluminum, or titanium and is designed to provide a large sweet spot.

This will help you make consistent contact with the ball and help to improve your ability to get the ball in the air.

The clubhead is also designed with a hollowed out, or recessed center. This makes the clubs much easier to hit and get the ball in the air to land softly on the green.

As you get more advanced you can use smaller irons (known as blades) and/or different shafts. 

Wedges

When you start playing golf part of your club selection will include your wedges. If you’re just starting out you need at least a pitching wedge (PW) and sand wedge (SW). 

For a while, I’ve only used my sand wedge for bunkers but nowadays, I find it really useful around the greens too. It is designed to help you get the ball up in the air quickly and easily, which is perfect for those short chip shots.

Golf Lesson

A pitching wedge is designed to help you get the ball up in the air quickly and easily, which is perfect for those short chip shots from around 100 yards out.

I previously used my 9 iron for shots around 100 yards out, but since my golf has improved and so have my yardages, I now use a pitching wedge instead.

Additionally, I also carry a 52° degree gap wedge (GW) and 60° degree lob wedge (LW) which are great wedges to carry in your bag. Most beginner sets don’t include a GW or LW and aren’t needed until you get more advanced in your golf journey.

Putter

MacTec Mallet Putter

The putter is a club you’ll use most often during a round of golf so it’s important to find one that feels comfortable in your hands. A club that’s too heavy will make it difficult to use, while a club that is too light won’t feel stable when you strike the ball.

There is no “one type of putter” as it’s about finding what works best for your game. Here are some of our favorite picks:

Feel free to experiment with a few different kinds of putters to find the one that works best for you. I would certainly recommend trying a few before you make your final decision or get fitted for one.

Do I Really Need a Full Set of Golf Clubs in My Bag?

Well as a beginner golfer you don’t necessarily need to carry a full club set. However, the more clubs you have in your bag, the more you are prepared to hit any type of shot. 

Beginners should carry a driver or 3-wood, hybrid, full set of irons (6-9) and a putter. This club selection is considered a standard full club set and it should see you through the majority of shots on any course, making sure you’re well-equipped for any situation.

You can also consider club upgrades as your game progresses and improves. For example, you might want to upgrade your putter or your irons as you get better at the game.

What Is the Most Important Club in a Golf Bag?

The most used club on the golf course without a doubt is the putter.

A beginner golfer who is trying to break 100 will most likely use the putter on around 40 shots (or more) per round. Whether you are a skilled golfer, beginner golfer, or golf-pro you will be using a putter on almost every hole.

The second most important club in your bag is most likely your driver. The driver will be used on most par-four holes and some par-five holes depending on your skill level. This means you will be hitting your driving around 12 – 14 times per round hoping to find the fairway.

Plus, studies have found that longer off the tee makes it easier to score lower (even if it means fewer fairways). Start mastering your driver and putter in practice to start shooting lower scores fast.

Golf Driver

Our Top 5 Starter Sets

Let’s get into the best golf clubs for beginners so you can start enjoying this great game sooner rather than later.

MacGregor DCT3000

If you’re new to golf, MacGregor has been around since 1829 and makes some great starter sets. Their DCT3000 starter set is one of their most popular products for beginner golfers.

MacGregor DCT3000

The set comes with a titanium head driver, stainless steel fairway wood, two hybrids, irons, and a mallet putter. The deluxe stand bag ensures that you have everything you need to start playing right away.

You also get four head covers to protect your clubs while you’re on the course. Plus, the set is available in both steel and graphite shafts, so you can choose the option that best suits your needs.

Beginners with slower swings will benefit from graphite shafts while faster swinging golfers will benefit more from steel shafts.

Callaway Strata

The Callaway Strata set is a great starter set for beginner golfers. It contains everything you need to start playing and has a great deluxe stand bag for easy transport.

callaway-strata-2019-12-piece-club-set

The set includes a driver, fairway wood, two hybrid, irons 6-9, and pitching wedge as well as a putter. The titanium driver is very forgiving as is the 3-wood, plus it includes two hybrids to replace hard to hit long irons.

The Callaway Strata Golf Club Set is a great option for beginners who want a quality set without breaking the bank.

For just under $400 you get a 12-piece set that will have you playing golf in no time.

Tour Edge Bazooka 370

Tour Edge is a company that is known for making high-quality products and the Bazooka 370 set is no different. This set offers a great selection of clubs for beginner golfers including a driver, 3 wood, hybrids, irons 5-9, and pitching wedge and sand wedge.

Tour Bazooka 370 Club Set

If you are looking for great, forgiving irons then the Bazooka 370 set is a great option for you. These irons have large oversized heads which makes them much more forgiving on mishits than traditional irons

The stand bag is also included with this set and is made of high-quality materials. It has a lot of compartments for holding all of your golf accessories as well.

Wilson Profile SGI

Wilson is a great brand for beginner golfers and the Profile SGI starter set is one of their most popular sets. What makes them different from most sets is they offer a regular, tall, or senior sizing option. Not to mention they’re available for right or left-handed golfers.

Profile SGI Complete Set

Each set offers a 10.5-degree driver, 5 wood, 5 hybrid, irons 6-9, pitching wedge, sand wedge, and putter. The stand bag is also included with the set as well as headcovers.

The irons were designed with forgiveness in mind and have a large sweet spot. The driver, 5 wood, and 5 hybrid have a graphite shaft which makes them lighter and easier to swing. The hybrid is a great option for people who find it difficult to hit long irons.

This set is an excellent choice for beginners or those who are just starting to get into the game. It is also a good option for people who want to upgrade from their current set.

The price is very reasonable and it comes with everything you need to get started.

TaylorMade Golf RBZ SpeedLite

One of my favorite sets for beginners is the TaylorMade SpeedLite set. You can also buy these in senior or regular flex with steel or graphite shafts.

This 13-piece set comes with a driver, 3 and 5 wood, 4 Rescue hybrid, 6–9 irons, pitching wedge, sand wedge and putter. One of the biggest perks is the driver which is very forgiving and easy to hit.

TaylorMade RBZ Complete Set

Here’s how TaylorMade described it:

“A lightweight 460cc titanium head features advanced aerodynamic shaping for faster swing speeds and is aided by an ultralight 50g RBZ shaft. Has a high MOI head design with Speed Pocket flexibility to deliver optimal launch and enhanced forgiveness.”

The fairway wood is also easy to hit and has tons of forgiveness, even if you hit it low on the face. The feel of the irons is also very good and they offer great forgiveness.

Plus, it comes with a mallet putter that is easy to line up and a great option for beginners who need extra forgiveness. 

The price for this set is slightly higher than most but it’s worth it for the quality of the clubs. Not to mention the bag has a 14-way top, 8-pockets, and looks great.

Conclusion

The club selection for a beginner golfer can vary depending on what you want to get out of golf. While you’re allowed to have 14 clubs in your bag, most beginners can get started with 8-12. 

But don’t just put any clubs in your bag as equipment can make the game a lot easier (or harder). Overall, club selection plays a crucial part in your golfing journey and it’s important to have the right clubs when starting out.

Experiment with club types, lofts, and shafts to see what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to ask a professional club fitter for help along the way. And most importantly, have fun in hopefully a very long golf career.

The Golf Bandit
The Golf Bandit

Hi, I'm Jan. I love golf and I have been playing for a while now. I really enjoy trying out new golf clubs and equipment, and like to review them on my blog. I consider myself lucky as I have access to the latest clubs and gadgets, so I can get a feel for how they perform on the golf course. I also like to share my tips and tricks on how to improve your game, so if you're looking for help with that then look no further! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find something useful here.

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