With so many golf clubs on the market, deciding which ones to start out with, as a beginner on your golfing journey, can seem a little overwhelming. And with clubs ranging from just tens of pounds all the way up to thousands, ensuring you get the best value for money, right from the get-go is essential.
In this, our complete guide to beginners golf clubs, we aim to give you all the information you’ll need to be able to make and be confident in your choice of starter set, whether as a package or selection of individual clubs.
In this guide, we will cover the fundamentals of what each type of golf club is used for and how to make the best choice as someone new to the game.
Let’s get straight into one of the most important clubs you will have in your bag, your driver.
Your driver will be the largest of all the clubs in your bag. It is essentially used to start your game off from the tee at each hole and get as far and straight down the fairway as possible.
There are a number of key factors that determine the driver you should choose as a golfing beginner and these include; shaft type and flex, head size, what it is made of and whether it is “offset”.
Most shafts for drivers i.e the long length from grip down to the clubhead are either made from graphite or more traditional steel. It is usually recommended that a beginner golfer opts for the lighter graphite style shaft, as with it being lighter it will enable you to swing faster and get a better distance for when you are first starting out and developing your golfing strength and technique.
In terms of Flex these range from Extra Stiff for quick swingers, through to Ladies & Senior that have the most flex. Depending on your age and strength, for most when first starting out a middle of the road Regular is usually the best option.
You should generally opt for the largest head allowable when first starting to play. This is known as the 460cc and will be more forgiving for the times when your aim is still being developed, enabling you to more-often make contact with the ball and send it on the intended trajectory.
Related to the size of the head is the material it is made from. There are two main types; steel and titanium. Steel tends to be cheaper, but heavier and thus smaller. Whilst titanium being a modern lightweight material allows club makers to make the larger heads that are most suited to learners.
Thus if your budget will allow we would recommend that in the beginning, titanium should be your material of choice for your driver head.
Whilst not so much for the beginner, there are a number of other factors that can affect your choice of driver as your game develops. These being the Loft, Head Shape, Moment Of Inertia (MOI) and whether your driver is weighted. If you would like to learn more about these simply head over to our Golf Drivers Guide for more details.
Once you are down on the fairway you will need to use a club not dissimilar to your driver, but one that is smaller in terms of head size and designed more for distance from the short grass, rather than the tee.
Woods, however, can also be used directly from the tee when your shot does not require the distance you would usually get from your driver. They also share similar options in terms of types of shaft and flex choice and what the heads are made from.
The key difference with fairway woods and especially in terms of when first learning the game is the choice of lofts and where you are playing your shot to on the fairway.
The loft is essentially how much your golf club face slants backward. The more it slants backward the more the ball will be lifted into the air. The lower the loft the longer and straighter your shot is likely to be.
Thus choose a 3 wood for a distance shot at about 15°, a 5 wood for a medium distance to the green which will have a loft of around 18° and then for a shorter lift up onto the green you would be looking at a 7 wood with a loft about 21°.
In essence, a Hybrid club is a blend of the characteristics and benefits of both a fairway wood and what is known as a driving iron.
Those hybrids that more resemble a fairway wood are also sometimes referred to as Rescue Woods after the first of such clubs that were launched by TaylorMade in the early 2000’s.
These clubs are designed to give you the distance of a wood together with the accuracy of an iron.
Hybrids are particularly useful when used out of the rough, having a longer, narrower head that does not drag so much in the longer grass.
The additional benefit of the hybrid, especially when taking approach shots to the green is the amount of spin that is available from them, meaning they can enable the ball to stop sooner than with a traditional iron.
Hybrids tend to have lofts starting from the higher range of a fairway wood i.e from about 18°, through to about 27°. Again with the lower number enabling more distance and the higher the number enabling more accuracy as to landing and stopping.
Similar to modern fairway woods hybrids/rescue’s tend to be fitted with the lighter graphite shafts to maximise the power transfer from swing through the head and to the ball.
Golf irons are perhaps the most trickiest to get you head around when first starting out in the game of golf. Akin to learning to drive and when to change gears, there are a similarly large number of irons to choose from at different ranges and conditions on the course.
There are two main types of irons available; the blade iron or the cavity back iron. For beginners, the cavity back style would usually be recommended. These are irons where the back has a “cut out”. This has the effect of distributing the more of the weight of the iron around the edges, which in turn provides a more rigid club head, which if contacting the ball off-centre will provide much more forgiveness in sending it in the direction your had intended.
Whereas with the blade-style club the weight is concentrated more evenly across the clubhead and thus the “sweetspot” to make contact with the ball is more concentrated to the centre. This is beneficial for the more experienced golfer who can maximise the delivery of power and trajectory but will need to ensure they hit the ball squarely and accurately shot after shot.