Let’s face it:
The Global Recession has had an impact on both golfers and the golf industry as a whole.
Although interest in the sport remains quite high, not all is well.
- Club sales are falling.
- Courses are steadily closing down all over the US.
But as they say, every cloud has its silver lining.
The “Game of Kings” has become somewhat more inclusive in recent years, thanks to a gradual decrease in course fees and club membership fees.
Don’t get me wrong, golf remains an expensive proposition compared to other sports. Brand new clubs from top manufacturers can set you back by thousands of dollars, especially if you buy into all the marketing hype and rush out to buy the latest and greatest clubs on the market.
But there’s no need to empty your wallet if you know where to look.
So rather than reviewing the latest technical wizardry conjured up by golf club manufacturers, let’s take a look at some of the “diamonds in the rough,” with our comparison of the best cheap golf clubs.
Our review includes:
The Best Cheap Golf Clubs are:
At a glance: Out top picks of best value golf clubs
- Our Top Pick: Callaway Strata Complete Set
- Cobra Men's Bio Cell Golf Driver
- Callaway XR Individual Irons
- Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge
- TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Rescue
Cheap Golf Clubs Buying Guide
When To Buy Cheap Golf Clubs
Golf club purchases can be a serious investment. Before we get into any debates about the wisdom of buying cheap clubs vs. the folly of buying overpriced new clubs, let’s settle the issue of need vs. want. Of course, if you are a beginner, this question is quite redundant.
You do need a set of clubs to learn the game, and best cheap golf clubs for beginners (or even used clubs) are the way to go. But if you already have a full set of clubs in your locker, it is always a sound plan to think twice before making any costly purchase decisions.
In several situations, an upgrade can be essential and unavoidable. If you have a broken driver or bent irons or something like that, you can always find some good buys among the best budget golf clubs online.
Also, if you are a not-so-beginner golfer who has outgrown your starter set, an online search into the good golf clubs for average player segment could give you several leads on what you seek.
Age is also another important factor that can prompt the need for a change of clubs. When you enter the senior category, you might find that those trusty irons that served you well all these years simply don’t work as well.
A cheap set of easily workable hybrids might be the best golf clubs for the money when you reach the “golden years.”
But if you are a mid-handicapper experiencing a massive improvement in your game, even the best affordable golf clubs may not cut the mustard for you.
If you manage to get a great deal on the best golf clubs for intermediate player, that is fine.
But otherwise, it might be a better idea to just and save up some extra cash for a competitive priced newer set with all the latest bells and whistles.
Used Clubs And The Risk Of Counterfeits
If we were asked to name just one thing the recession has changed in the golf clubs market, we would have to mention the used clubs market.
The passionate golfers never stopped playing their game, but a lot of the casual and recreational players did, and a booming used clubs market has risen in recent years.
Buying a used golf club is not as risky as buying a used car for obvious reasons. But even if the risk of ending up with a lemon on your hands is considerably low, you still have to be cautious.
There are a lot of sites online dealing with used clubs. While many of them are legit, the same cannot be said about many of the clubs being advertised as “used clubs.” There is a lucrative counterfeit market these days and there is a real risk of ending up with fake clubs when you shop online for used clubs.
Manufacturer sites are the safest source of used clubs these days. Since the seconds market became big business, brands like Callaway have launched their dedicated portals for certified pre-owned clubs. Even the PGA has a dedicated service that deals in used clubs, aimed at promoting golf among the public by offering cheap clubs.
If you are set on buying some used golf clubs, check out this YouTube video for some helpful tips:
Closeout Sales: A Much Better Option
Manufacturers like TaylorMade were struggling to sell off old merchandise due to low demand and over-saturation of the golf club market.
This a phenomenon that works in favor of golfers seeking the best golf clubs for the money spent. As newer equipment arrives on the market, unsold stock of older clubs get moved to the closeout section.
And TaylorMade are not alone in having a lot of unsold inventory these past few years. Almost all major manufacturers have their older models doing the rounds on discount and closeout sales.
If you want to buy the best golf club sets for the money, or even the best cheap golf club sets, check out the discount/closeout market before looking at used clubs.
You might easily find great deals on clubs in mint condition that were released a few years ago. Unless you are a competitive golfer, you don’t really need the performance bump offered by the latest golf clubs.
Most new golf clubs offer small incremental increases in performance over older clubs, nothing more. Beginners and mid handicappers can realistically expect a similar level of performance from a brand new club and its predecessor released in 2013 or 2015!
Is There A Time Of The Year For Good Deals?
Yes, because like any other organized manufacturing industry, golf clubs also have a regular release calendar that all brands stick to.
For instance, the newest clubs hits the market around the fall, or immediately into the new years. For example, you can expect to see the earliest 2017 editions of major clubs arriving from October 2016 onwards.
This is not the best period to buy a brand new club, though you might find great deals on its predecessors. Prices of clubs tend to fall as the release date of newer clubs draw nearer, usually a year after their initial release.
So you can expect the price listings for best cheap golf club sets to start appearing in the second half of every year.
Best Types Of Clubs To Buy On A Budget
Individual clubs like drivers and hybrids come to mind when looking at the kind of clubs that you might want to buy on a budget. Drivers tend to be the most expensive single clubs on sale, and you can often find great deals on older models.
Hybrids work great as replacements to any long irons or woods you already own, and you should really get one if you find a good deal online.
By the same logic, wedges are also good choices, especially since most iron sets do not include the higher lofted wedges. Individual irons are also nice buys if you have gaps in your set, but we.
Get the Most Bang For Your Buck
Like anything that’s technologically driven, a term that absolutely fits modern golf clubs, the newest, fanciest models are usually marvels of design and function, but rarely budget friendly.
Whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or titanium driver, you will always pay for that new technology. However, by being smart, choosy, doing some research and being faithful to that tight budget, your golf game doesn’t have to suffer just because of your cash constraints.
Although every major club manufacturer is releasing new, cutting-edge sets each year, that doesn’t negate the function, efficiency and form of their previous models.
Once again using smartphones as an analogy, the release of this year’s newest iPhone doesn’t make last year’s a technological disaster.
It simply means Apple has released something just a bit faster with a few additional bells and whistles while still making their older models, just now at a significant discounts.
Using this same thought process for your golf game can save heartache in your bank statements while still providing the benefits of new club technology.
A driver from a couple season’s ago is still going to have incredible distance, a variety of flex shafts to fit your swing and a head size that provides confidence and reliability at the tee. Similarly, yesterday’s irons will feature excellent centers of gravity, perimeter weighting for control and a forgiving face to help you when your ball striking is just a bit off.
However, by choosing that driver or iron set from a few years ago rather than the newest, shiniest models, you could be saving yourself up to 50% without sacrificing much in performance.
This video does an excellent job summarizing the benefits of choosing clubs that are a few years older but still of extremely high quality. In other words, the buying choices discussed will fit within your budget while allowing your game to evolve and improve.
A Baby Benz is still a Mercedes
While golf certainly has a fair amount of brand snobbery among the different club manufacturers, at least from the consuming public’s perspective, what matters most is to find clubs that suit you, your game, your goals and your budget.
Even the biggest names in the sport offer different models for those that are looking for performance from a leading designer and manufacturer but not necessarily at the cutting-edge price points.
While not every company might make beginner sets that include everything from the driver to the carrying strap on the bag, most offer woods, irons, hybrids and specialty clubs for every budget, just holding back a bit on the thrills, frills and Ironman-like technologies included within.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to stick with a club manufacturer that you trust, have had success with in the past and feel confident in the clubs they make.
However, if you’re working within a tight budget, check out all of the models that company has to offer. There’s a pretty good chance they’re going to make a line of clubs that might lack variable head weighting and adjustable loft control but still be technologically advanced in design, manufactured with cutting-edge materials and extremely comfortable in your stance.
Not All Used Car Lots are Created Equally
This next budget friendly technique needs to be handled with a bit of caution. The market for used golf clubs is absolutely massive.
After all, for those that want to upgrade to the newest models every year or two, they usually have no need to keep those older clubs and choose to sell them through some secondary market channel. Thus, there will always be untold numbers of used sets, ranging from gently used to mercilessly punished, available at great prices.
However, as tempting as those prices might be, please remember there’s basically no way of finding how much life those clubs have left in them until you’ve played with them a few times. Much like cars, golf clubs don’t have an infinite life span.
Grooves get worn, making feel and control nearly impossible, and drivers lose their distance, the materials just wearing out from too many trips to the range.
A Few Final Words of Caution
Finally, when looking to upgrade your clubs, be sure to buy from reputable companies with good track records and customer satisfaction. Once again harkening back to the smartphone analogy, industries with a constant influx of new technologies are also prone to counterfeit products.
To use a well-worn but still pertinent cliche, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Just like buying a new iPhone from a small, unknown and foreign vendor is rife with potential fraud, so is purchasing your new set of “brand name” woods or irons.
Unfortunately, the market is filled with clubs that look nearly identical to their namesake but lack the design, materials and quality of the original.
Be cautious and use common sense when researching your new clubs. Both your money and your game are worth the extra bit of research.
Our Top Picks for Best Cheap Golf Clubs in 2021
- Comes with all the essential clubs for a round of golf
- The clubs are high-quality and easy to use
- Features easy-to-hit irons
- Includes a lightweight and durable standbag
- Features MyFly adjustable loft settings for playability
- Comes with a SmartPad sole and E9 clubface that enhances forgiveness and accuracy
- Designed to offer high ball speed and increased distance
- Features meaty feedback on shots, with a crisp sound on impact
- Available in a variety of head colors
- Beautiful, eye-catching outlook
- Comes with a 360 degree cup face tech that guarantees distance on all shots
- Features Standing Wave technology with lowered CoG and MoI for higher forgiveness and accuracy
- Guarantees playability since they come as a set of 3-9 irons
- Easy to hit for high handicappers and golf beginners
- Extremely forgiving set
- Offers exceptional levels of performance and durability
- Ideal golf wedge for beginners and high handicappers
- Available in a variety of steel shafts and lofts
- Offers optimal distances compared to its counterparts
- Extremely easy to hit with for all types of golfers
- Features a speed slot that boosts ball speed and increases distance
- Offers good impact even on mishits
5 Best Cheap Golf Clubs in 2021
- All necessary clubs for a novice golfer are included
- High quality and well-made
- Woods have nice a nice feel with decent length
- Irons also have nice feel
- Very good price for what you get
- Potential bag wear and tear
- Lightweight can lead to breaks
If you’ve just started the game or are looking for your first “real” set of clubs, the Callaway Strata Complete Golf Club Set is a wonderful, well-rounded set of clubs that contains everything you need to dive into golf with both feet.
With a 460 cc forged titanium driver, 3 Wood, hybrid club, full set of irons to Pitching Wedge, putter and even a roomy but light and durable bag, Callaway gives the beginner literally everything they need to start the game in one box.
The driver feels powerful with a big enough face to afford some forgiveness from the tee while the irons are well-balanced and gapped nicely to give the player some options from the fairway.
The bag has ample storage for golf balls, tees, a rain jacket and even includes a cooler pouch for drinks. The backpack-style harness is also a nice addition for the player that prefers to walk the course.
All in all, for a beginning golfer that wants a simple, affordable but highly functional complete set to begin their golfer’s journey, the Callaway Strata is extremely tough to beat.
The Callaway Strata Complete Set is a high quality golf club set with an affordable price tag. It comes with all the essential clubs for a game of golf including a driver, irons, hybrid, wedges, fairway wood and putter. All the clubs are extremely forgiving and easy to use for most golfers. If you are looking for an affordable golf set with high-quality clubs, this is the ideal product.
- A really good looking driver, available in nearly a dozen different head colors.
- Class leading distance shots in the game improvement category.
- Settings be altered to suit different swing styles.
- Meaty feedback on shots, with a crisp sound on impact.
- Outstanding accuracy and forgiveness, the E9 face really shines here.
- Some golfer struggle to get the settings right.
- A few fail to get good height on shots.
The Bio Cell was one of the highest rated drivers released in 2014 by Cobra Golf.
Named after the honeycomb patterned Bio-Cell design inside the clubhead, this game improvement driver can be found at retailing at at fourth of its launch price or less. For a driver optimized for distance, that is a fantastic price.
And to make things sound even more crazy, this driver has the MyFly adjustable loft settings, SmartPad sole, and E9 clubface, features that are still found on the latest 2017 drivers from Cobra. If you are on the hunt for a driver in the best golf clubs for intermediate players list, look no further.
The Cobra Men’s Bio Cell Golf Driver is one of the best affordable drivers that comes with the features of a high-end driver. You get a driver with a large E9 face that enhances forgiveness and a variety of loft options for improved playability.
The club is beautifully designed with an array of available head color options. You get meaty feedback on your shots and a crisp sound on impact. If you are looking for an affordable driver with premium features, this is a driver you might want to consider.
- Simple “point and shoot” clubs, high and straight is what you get on the fairway.
- Available in both steel and graphite shafts, with multiple flex levels.
- Best in class forgiveness even on long irons, thanks to all that face technology.
- If you need distance from your iron shots, you cant do better than these XR irons.
- Classic looks with an understated style, looks great even with the oversize cavity back design.
- Feedback is not its strong point, though not surprising considering the forgiveness on offer.
- The large cavity back design is not very popular among many golfers.
If you want an upgrade to your old irons, these cavity back Callaway irons might be the best golf club sets for the money.
For a two year old release, they offer excellent distance performance, with technology borrowed from the highly regarded Callaway XR drivers and fairway woods.
You get the 360 degree cup face tech that guarantees distance on all shots, along with a lowered CoG and MoI thanks to the Standing Wave feature ensuring higher forgiveness and accuracy.
The irons are available from 3-9, as well as a PW, SW, AW and LW.
The Callaway XR Individual Irons are some of the best upgrade irons available on the market. You get a set of irons that are extremely easy to hit with and offers high levels of forgiveness and accuracy.
They are available in both steel and graphite shafts and a variety of flex levels. They feature large clubheads for enhanced forgiveness on different lies to guarantee you distance. If you are looking for a versatile set of irons that is affordable and easy to hit, this is it.
- Excellent balance between performance and price.
- Polished chrome finish with classic looking heads.
- Tour grinds make them versatile, with good performance on all kinds of lies.
- The performance is often better than other top brands that cost times as much.
- Some golfers find the clubs a little too heavy to suit them.
- The grips are smaller than average.
The Wilson brand is guaranteed to figure prominently in any list of the best budget golf clubs and the best cheap golf clubs.
We simply couldn’t have list without including at least one club from a brand that is a mainstay for beginner golfers everywhere.
While the prices are extremely low, you still get commendable durability and performance on almost all of their products.
The Harmonized series offers some of the best cheap golf clubs for beginners and are highly recommended if you want to add some specialized wedges to your starter iron set.
The wedges are available with steel shafts, in 50, 52, 56, 60 and 64 lofts, covering the usual GW, SW, AW and LW slots.
The Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge is one of the best affordable wedges on the market. It comes with features like tour grinds for enhanced versatility and exceptional performance on different lies.
You get a wedge that offers an excellent balance between performance and price. If you are looking for a golf wedge with the best features and an affordable price, this product is worth considering.
- Easy to swing from all lies, works really well in fairway bunkers.
- Decent forgiveness allows you to get good distance even on mishits.
- On good hits, the distances are comparable to some fairway woods.
- Good impact, the power behind shots is easily recognizable, even on mishits.
- Graphics on the crown offer excellent aid in shot alignment.
- Draw bias is somewhat on the higher side.
- Mishits get good distance at the cost of accuracy.
If there is one place where hybrids lag behind the longer fairway woods, it is in the distance game. TaylorMade launched these rescue clubs with a bunch of features that improved their long distance performance, making these one of the “hottest” hybrids in business.
If you want an easier to hit club to replace your aging woods, this could be considered a suitable choice. With a lower CoG and higher launch, this hybrid can get some serious launch height when you need it.
And with a speed slot, and a thin, fast flexing steel face, this club is from the category of good golf clubs for average player.
The TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 Rescue is one of the best affordable woods on the market right now. It comes a large clubhead with a speed slot for optimal levels of accuracy and ball speed. The hybrid offers you long distances on shots compared to its counterparts on the course.
It is also extremely easy to hit with and comfortable to swing for a variety of golfers. If you are looking for an affordable golf wood with some of the most impressive features, this is an option you might want to consider.
Conclusion and Editors Choice
With the current state of the economy being what it is, we feel that current trend of budget golf clubs is set to continue in the near future.
Club manufacturers are still trying to shift to a longer release cycle, and until that is fully adopted, you will still find last year’s top clubs selling for bargain prices come fall/end of the year.
In our shortlist of some of the lowest priced and highest performing top brand clubs, we simply couldn’t look past the Cobra Bio Cell driver for the top spot.
For the extremely low asking price you get one of the best golf clubs for intermediate players or mid handicappers out there.