Gear Basics: How to Choose the Right Golf Club

how to choose the best golf clubs

You’re looking for a set of new golf clubs because you’ve caught the golf bug! You head to your nearest sporting goods store and find HUNDREDS of sets to choose from.

You ask yourself… “How do I choose the right golf clubs?”

Whether your love for the game is just a passing fancy or the real thing, here are a few tips and steps to consider in choosing the perfect golf clubs.

A Complete Step-by-Step Procedure

Step 1: Try It Out First

The way to choose the right golf club is to try them out first at large sporting goods stores. They have indoor driving ranges for trying out the right clubs.

It’s best to hit a few tee shots on the driving range to get a feel of what fits you.

If you’ve visited a driving range a couple of times with friends, ask them for advice.

Step 2: How’s Your Grip?

Golf clubs with GRIPS enhance your game. If you have BIG hands, go for the thicker grips. If your hands perspire a lot, go for grips that repel water.

See what kind of grip is COMFORTABLE for you.

There are leather and synthetic grips. Some materials are rubber and fabric interwoven grips.

Should you choose to get a USED set of clubs, make sure the grips are in good condition. This is your only contact with the shaft and head, so it’s essential.

Step 3: Choose Your Club Head

If you’re choosing club heads as a beginner, the boxed set usually comes with four or five irons. Not bad for a beginner set.

In the past, the ONLY choices you had were between irons and fairway woods. But now hybrid clubs have become very popular. Whatever head you use is a matter of your own personal choice.

Pick out the type of head that’s right for you:

Fairway Woods

Fairway woods are big-headed titanium clubs coated with paint. They used wood material before, and the name stuck.

They hit farther, but they’re harder to control than irons.


Irons are club heads that are smaller and thinner made from steel. Forged irons serve as the foundation you build your whole 14-club set upon.

It’s a softer metal than cast irons and aimed at low handicappers. Most come with a pitching wedge and a handful of numeric clubs.


A hybrid club has features of BOTH wood and iron. It’s easier to hit because of the expanded “sweet spot” (hitting area on the club).

It’s slowly replacing traditional long irons.

These are great if you tend to have a deeper swing. It has SMOOTH edges that don’t drag through the grass.

You should also consider offsetting heads and cavity back irons. These are helpful to the high handicap golfer.

Step 4: Get Graphite Shafts

The shaft is the long metal that provides you with a way to get the ball airborne. Shaft choices are either steel or graphite.

Steel shafts are somewhat less expensive but a bit heavy for beginners.

Graphite shafts are lighter than steel shafts. It’s suitable for most golfers with slow swing speeds.

In choosing shafts, you have to consider the shaft flex and its suitability to your swing. Selecting a shaft too stiff results in lower ball flight and a loss of distance.

If you’re just starting out, you will do well with GRAPHITE shafts for these reasons:

  • They are LIGHTER, so it’s easier to swing.
  • They twist in your hands LESS so you have accurate shots.

Step 5: Half Sets Are the Way To Go! At First.

A half set (beginner set or box set) is a GREAT INVESTMENT! It comes with EVERYTHING YOU NEED to get started playing golf.

When choosing golf sets, you can decide if you’re getting men’s or women’s sets. Do you need right-handed or left-handed clubs?

Slowly begin to build your set through the years. Then you can tailor-fit your half set to your specifications as a serious golfer.

Tailoring the club head lie angle, club shaft length, loft and flex is a WORTHWHILE investment.

Half sets consist of the following (including a GOLF BAG!):

A Driver

This is the longest golf club with the largest head in your bag. It’s your MAIN equipment to use on your tee shot at the beginning of each hole. A new driver helps drive your shot far.

A Fairway Wood

You’ll use this when playing on the fairway as the second shot of a par-5 or a long par-4 hole. It will help you loft the ball out of the turf onto the fairway.

It has decent accuracy and gets a good distance.

Odd-Numbered Irons

Use your irons in various situations to help you get your shot onto the green. For your first set, it’s best to go for the four odd-numbered irons those numbered 3, 5, 7, and 9.

These are easier for beginners to use. The higher the number, the easier it is to loft the ball up into the air.

A Pitching Wedge

Use a pitching wedge for an approach shot close to the green. Use this to get under the ball and loft it high.

It helps the ball stop quicker on the green and (fingers crossed!) stay close to the hole.

A Sand Wedge

This is your LIFESAVER when you need to escape from a sand bunker! Yikes!

It’s designed to help you swing through the top layer of sand.

It has a curved section between the ground and the leading edge of the wedge. It will not dig into it or get stuck in the sand.


Ah, the putter! This is the most used golf club in your golf gear.

You use this while on the green and trying to get the darn ball in the hole! The flat face on the putter makes it easy to hit in a straight line.

The Right Golf Club Matters

It’s important to use the right equipment when learning to play golf. Through practice, with less powerful golf clubs, you’ll start developing your own technique.

Golf clubs that are easier to use will get you more balls onto the green. And eventually, put more balls in the hole.

As you do this, your confidence level grows, and you’ll ENJOY playing golf more.

The MORE you play golf, the FASTER you improve your game and move on to a more advanced set of clubs.

You can even get custom fitting. Custom fitting ensures the equipment you buy works well for you. It should fit your height, swing speed, and technique.

Now that you have your set of clubs, you can start practicing and level up your skills.

Replacing your bag one club at a time is fine. In fact, it’s the wisest thing to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do I Need Golf Clubs Specifically for Beginners if I’m a Beginner?

Golf clubs designed for beginners have more “forgiveness.” Forgiveness is the construction and design element in clubs. It LESSENS the effect of bad swings and poor contact with the ball.

Using the same golf clubs as a tour player will NOT give you the best chance of success on the golf course.

Only the BEST and most experienced players use engineered tour-level clubs.

If you use this as a beginner, chances are you won’t get the ball airborne. It will only set you up for DISAPPOINTMENT.

Beginner clubs or “game improvement clubs” give you decent shots from mediocre swings. It helps boost the confidence of new players.

The more times you get balls airborne with good swings, the more you want to play. The more you play and practice, the more you improve.

If I Play Regularly, How Long Should I Expect to Keep My Clubs?

As a general rule, you can keep your clubs for at least three years.

Newer technology makes them obsolete. If you’re a frequent player, your golf clubs may become worn down and start to degrade.

If you keep improving within those years, you might need to upgrade earlier.

Should I Buy New or Used Clubs?

It’s better if you buy NEW CLUBS and make the most of the latest forgiveness designs.

Beginner’s clubs get obsolete FAST. This is because of the rapid progress in design and technology every year.

It’s hard to find used clubs in good condition due to wear and tear.

If you find one in good condition and from a recent product line, that’s great! Used clubs are a good option to save a few bucks.

What Characteristics Should I Look For When Buying Golf Clubs?

Take note of these three important characteristics:


Find clubs with “Forgiveness” to hit the ball in the center. It has larger sweet spots in the middle of the clubface. Improved shots encourage you to play more.

Club’s Weight

Clubs that are LIGHTER in weight increase swing speed. Remember that it is important for the club to move fast through the golf ball.

You need to get the distance necessary to see an improvement in scoring. Longer drives mean shorter second shots.

It also provides a higher percentage of birdie chances.

Shaft Flex

Last but not least, find the correct FLEX for the shafts in your clubs. The flex rating reflects the beginner’s current swing speed.

Too little or too much flex causes problems with getting the clubface back to square at impact.

What Should Be My Budget for Good Beginner Golf Clubs?

You have to choose between buying used or new clubs before you set your budget. Are you getting a full set or a half set?

The budget also depends on how big you would like the set to be as a beginner. A handful of brand new irons, a sand wedge, a lob wedge, and a driver would be around $300 to $500.

REMEMBER: Golf gear doesn’t come cheap, so you want to make sure to buy the right set.


As you continue to play golf, your skills will improve and keep improving. Your first set of golf clubs won’t be your clubs for life, and you’ll keep upgrading.

If this happens to you, then your first golf set is a WORTHWHILE investment.

But if you play for a short time and lose interest, you haven’t wasted much money.

Golf isn’t the most inexpensive sport, so you don’t have to splurge right away. The important thing in choosing the right one is to keep it very basic.


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