What are the Best Golf Sets for Beginners in 2018?
Depending on your interest in the game, a set of golf clubs can be anything from a minor expense to a significant investment crossing thousands of dollars. If you are a recreational golfer, someone who plays a round or two every once in a while, you can get away with buying just a core set of clubs.
If you plan to spend hours and hours on your local course every week, you should consider investing some cash on a set of high-quality clubs. But regardless of your commitment and passion for the game, as a beginner, you are better off spending conservatively on a set of clubs.
We will explore the reasons for that in our buying guide in the next section. Meanwhile, our shortlist of the best golf sets for beginners in 2017 includes the following sets:
Golf Set Buying Guide
According to the laws that govern the sport, every golfer is allowed to carry a maximum of 14 golf clubs for a round of golf. A standard club set will have some or all of the following clubs:
- Driver: a long club used to strike the ball across hundreds of yards from the tee.
- Fairway woods: Long clubs used either from the tee or for the second shot from the fairways on longer holes (par 4 and above).
- Irons: a set of seven or more clubs or varying lengths, used everywhere on the freeway, and to get the ball onto the green. A standard iron set includes long irons, mid irons, short irons, and wedges.
- Putter: used to stroke the ball into the hole on the green. It is often the most used club in a round of golf.
- Hybrids: newly designed clubs that mix the best abilities of long irons and fairway woods. Hybrids are used instead of long irons because they are easier to strike the ball with.
As a beginner, you have the choice of either buying all these clubs separately or together as part of a complete set.
Why Buy A Complete Set As A Beginner?
Modern golf clubs are available in different configurations, made from various materials and according to different specifications. You have the best golf clubs for beginners men, women, seniors, and mid-handicappers, just to name a few. You will find iron sets with steel or graphite shafts, woods and drivers with graphite shafts, all with their unique shaft flex levels.
A club with Regular shaft will behave quite differently when compared to one fitted with an Extra Stiff shaft. And golf clubs also have their unique loft angles, which have to be maintained in an optimal spread when you assemble a golf club set on your own.
When you buy a complete set, you don’t have to worry about any of these things. You get drivers and complementary woods, some hybrids, matching irons, wedges and a putter, all in the correct order and more or less matching designs.
If you start your game learning phase with a patchwork of mismatched clubs, it will adversely affect your early learning phase.
A complete set made by a single manufacturer will have all the clubs sporting a similar look and feel, making it easier for you to familiarize yourself with the different types of golf clubs. You also get a very useful golf bag along with the package.
Buying Cheaper Club Sets: Why Less Might Be More
The budget for your first set of golf clubs is entirely up to you. If you have the means and inclination to buy an expensive set from a top manufacturer like Callaway, TaylorMade, or Cleveland, by all means, go ahead.
These brands are renowned the world over for making some of the best golf clubs for beginners as well as the best golf clubs for intermediate and expert players. Even if you outgrow them or leave the sport altogether, you can always get a fair deal by selling them off.
Expensive clubs are also recommended if you plan to golf a lot. Cheaper sets may not be rugged or durable enough to stand sustained use.
But if you only plan to try your hand at the sport sporadically, or are unsure whether you will continue with the game, buying an expensive set is probably not a great idea.
For just a few hundred dollars, you can get your hands on an extremely competent set of clubs from reputed manufacturers like Wilson. Just make sure that you are buying a set that suits your physical requirements and you should be okay.
Ideal Club Categories For Beginners
It takes training and practice to learn a good golf swing. No club, no matter how expensive, can replace a proper stance and swing. But for beginner golfers, the choice of clubs can make a difference on the golf course.
Game improvement and super game improvement are categories most associated with beginners. These clubs have specially designed and oversized clubheads that make it easier for you to hit the ball accurately on a consistent basis.
The best golf clubs for beginners are usually found in these categories. A lot depends on how you plant to take up the sport. If you want a relaxed and casual experience, go for maximum game improvement clubs. They will make life all the easier on the golf course.
Starter club sets usually have game improvement clubs with increased forgiveness.
Shaft And Flex Guide
Woods and drivers benefit from having graphite shafts. Unless you are a lady or senior golfer, you shouldn’t need graphite shafts on the shorter irons. These clubs will perform better with steel shafts, which provide them with more control and improved feedback on shots.
Hybrids are usually kitted out with graphite shafts since they are longer and benefit from the improved swing speed and distance that these shafts bring to the table.
Golf clubs come with different shaft flexes that are suitable for players of a different caliber. The best golf clubs for intermediate and expert players will have stiffer shafts for better control and accuracy.
Beginner golfers should try their hands at regular flex on their first set. If you struggle with slower than average swings speeds and distance on your shots, you could try more flexible options like Senior or Ladies flex.
Here is a very informative YouTube video about golf clubs and their shaft flex for beginners:
A Sample Beginner Set
As a beginner, you don’t need the full complement of 14 clubs to play golf. It can turn out to be counterproductive since there is a higher chance of you getting overwhelmed. Clubs like drivers are harder for beginners to wield effectively.
All you need is a half set, something that includes a couple of fairway woods, the mid and short irons, a couple of wedges, and a putter. These days, manufacturers even throw in a couple to easy to hit hybrids into the mix for added versatility.
The Strata set from Callaway comes in three variants. The primary option is a nine club set with a driver, a 3-wood, a 5-hybrid, set of four irons with a pitching wedge, and a putter. If you want a bigger package, you have an 11 club setup with another hybrid and a sand wedge.
The maximum 12 club set has another 5-wood thrown into the mix for added long game variety. All three variants come with a stand bag and varying numbers of club head covers.
What we like
- Truly complete set with several variants that can suit any budget.
- The addition of hybrids instead of long irons is beneficial for beginners.
- Driver and woods have large, forgiving sweet spots.
- The irons are also perimeter weighted.
- The stand bag is very convenient and comes with five additional pockets.
What we dislike
- Some beginners might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of clubs.
- Metal shafted irons may not suit everyone.
- Some golfers faced durability issues with these clubs.
If you want to learn the finer aspects of golf without spending a ton of money, then Wilson always has a competent set of clubs around to help you out. And this Ultra Complete Package sure doesn’t disappoint.
The set includes a driver, a 3-wood, 4-hybrid, irons 5-PW, and a putter, bringing the total club count to ten. While the price is just unbeatable, there is a slight downside in the lack of variants with additional clubs.
What we like
- Extremely affordable set of clubs that are suitable for most beginners.
- The addition of a hybrid is helpful.
- The driver has a very forgiving clubhead.
- The woods and hybrids have exceptionally forgiving heads.
- The stand bag is quite useful.
What we dislike
- Has durability issues with the irons.
- No option for additional clubs.
- Not suitable for very short golfers.
This is another brand that is well known for their affordable set of beginner friendly clubs. The Pre Men’s set contains a total of 11 clubs, starting with a driver, a 3-wood, 3-hybrid, six irons (4-9) with a pitching wedge, and a pre-mallet putter.
The carry bag has a stand as well as dual straps, while the driver, wood, and hybrid come with head covers.
What we like
- The titanium driver and 3-wood with graphite shafts are optimized for distance and power.
- The 3-hybrid comes with a steel shaft and offers versatility and accuracy from a variety of lies.
- Steel shafted, perimeter weighted irons are forgiving and offer a lot of control and feedback.
- The carry bag with stand can be used as a backpack and contains a lot of useful pockets and accessories.
- Excellent value for money option for beginners with best in class forgiveness across the range of clubs.
What we dislike
- The bag has some durability issues.
- The driver also has some durability issues, especially with regular use.
- Not suitable for shorter golfers.
The V2 is the second iteration of the very popular X9 series of starter golf club sets from the Prosimmon brand.
The company is one of the smaller manufacturers that cater more to the beginner and amateur golfers. As such, the clubs they build are thoughtfully designed, keeping in mind the unique requirements of beginner golfers.
The club set includes a driver, 3-wood, 3 and 4-hybrid, 5-9 irons with a pitching wedge, and a putter bringing the total number of clubs to 11. The driver, wood, and hybrids come with head covers, while the deluxe stand bag is vast and roomy.
What we like
- The 460cc driver is large and very forgiving, with a graphite shaft ideal for beginners.
- Both the wood and hybrids get graphite shafts as well, improving the long distance game.
- The irons come with cavity back heads and steel shafts, making them great beginner options.
- Good value for money at a very low price point.
- The clubs are great even for taller players over 6’2”.
What we dislike
- Not suitable for players below 5’10”.
- In contrast to the other clubs in the set, the irons are not suitable for taller players.
- The driver seems to have some reliability issues.
This is a smaller English company that focuses on providing quality clubs to beginners and amateurs. The Confidence Power Hybrid is one of the cheapest sets a beginner could hope for and has everything you need if you are setting foot onto a golf course for the first time in your life.
At near $100 price point, what you get is a primary steel shafted driver, a 3-wood, a 4-hybrid, 6-9 irons and pitching wedge, along with a putter in an 11 club set. Expect nothing but the most basic functionality, and you will not be disappointed with this club set.
What we like
- The rock bottom price is its main plus point, making it an ideal set for complete beginners on a tight budget.
- Getting a stand bag at that price point makes it a good deal.
- Irons have large faces and are beginner friendly.
- The hybrid 4-wood is excellent.
What we dislike
- Build quality is pretty poor.
- Not suitable if you plan to play golf regularly.
- No graphite shafts on the driver or wood.
Most of the club sets that we encountered during our quest for the best golf set for beginners seems to share a common blueprint.
They all tend to have a graphite shafted driver, a fairway wood, a token hybrid, and mid to short irons with steel shafts, a pitching wedge, and a putter.
So we had to choose the top pick based on overall quality, durability, and additional features. Based on this criteria, we firmly believe that the Callaway Strata series has the best golf clubs for beginners men, mainly because of the three different configuration choices, exceptional forgiveness, and better build quality, all at a not too high price.
The Wilson and Pinemeadow sets come in close second and third respectively.