How to build a beginner golf club set

Golf Equipment

Compiling a beginner golf club set doesn't need to break the bank. Equipment editor James Savage gives his top tips for buying your first set

One of the perceptions about golf is that it’s too expensive and daunting to put together a beginner golf club set.

But in our opinion, that is more of a perception rather than a reality.

Putting together a beginner golf club set is cheaper and easier than you might think.

It would always be our advice to go and see a PGA professional to get custom-fitted for a set of golf clubs but we need to wind things back a bit when looking at those getting into golf for the first time.

Here our our top tips for putting together a beginner golf club set.

1. Borrow clubs from friends or the driving range

Most driving ranges will have clubs you can borrow or hire.

If you’ve never been and hit balls, how can you know which golf clubs to buy?

The selection may not be great but see if you can get some clubs with regular flex shafts and stiff shafts.

beginner golf club set

Hit both and see which ones feel easiest to use and have the best results.

Alternatively ask any golfing friends if they have any clubs you can borrow to get a feel for which ones seem to be working well for you.

Shaft flex isn’t all about speed, it’s often about the speed of the transition from backswing to down swing.

However, if you are a fairly slow swinger, you should be able to square the face of the club more easily with a lighter regular flex shaft.

Beginner golf club set

Faster swingers tend to get more control with heavier, stiffer shafts.

2. Choose the make-up of your beginner golf club set

You’re allowed to use 14 clubs out on the golf course, but in our opinion this is far too many for someone starting out in the game.

Start with fewer and you can also add to your set as you get into it a bit more and start noticing any large distance gaps.

beginner golf club set

For a beginner golf club set I would recommend; driver, a lofted hybrid (around 22˚), 6-iron to pitching wedge, sand wedge and putter.

That’s nine clubs that should get you around the course effectively.

Hitting driver is the most fun and has the biggest head to allow a solid contact with the ball when pegged up on a tee.

A lofted hybrid is easier to hit than a long iron or fairway wood and is very versatile from different situations.

We’re recommending starting at 6-iron as that’s often the longest iron that beginner players can hit relatively consistently. If you have success with the 6-iron then think about adding a 5-iron.

Beginner golf club set

The pitching wedge will get plenty of use from 100 yards and in which is where the majority of shots will be played from.

Try and just use the sand wedge from the sand and the putter for, err, putting?

3. Which make and models should you buy?

This is where you need to be careful. Most brands such as Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Cobra, Mizuno, Wilson, Lynx and Benross will have clubs that are specifically designed for higher handicap players.

They will also have clubs which are designed for ‘better players’ which will be less forgiving on off centre hits, will spin less and will have smaller heads.

There will also be lots of adjustability drivers which are for fine-tuning ball flight and spin.

Beginner golf club set

But if we are buying clubs online or ‘off the shelf’ without a proper custom-fitting, we need to keep things simple.

So I would recommend a non-adjustable driver that is simple and easy to use.

Go for something that will inspire confidence over the ball and will offer assistance to help you get it up in the air easily.

Beginner golf club set

With irons go for larger cavity-back models. These are designed to let the face flex a bit more to give more ball speed and distance.

They are also designed with low centre of gravity, or low CG – which basically means more of the weight and mass is at the bottom of the club – and this helps get the ball in the air.

Beginner golf club set

Again, cavity back wedges or wedges which are part of an iron set will be more suited for the beginner golfer as opposed to ‘blades’.

4. Shop around for second hand deals for a beginner golf club set

The first port of call will often be the internet but have a look or do a ring round of the local pro shops.

Beginner golf club set

Many of them will have old stock they are looking shift or have clubs that golfers have traded in for new ones.

One of the obvious websites to look at is eBay but be careful to check the rating of the seller and see if they have reviews of their service.

Be careful to check the full descriptions of clubs for lengths, shafts, condition of the club etc… Make sure there are plenty of pictures.

5. Still confused? We’ve done some of the work for you…

Another good place to buy second hand clubs is Golfbidder – these are often where unsold clubs from pro shops end up.

We’ve picked out a great beginner golf set from Golfbidder which won’t break the bank and should be easy and fun to play with.

Driver: Callaway X Hot – £63

Beginner golf club set

Hybrid: Adams Blue 22˚ – £54

Beginner golf club set

Irons: Ping G15 5-SW – £180

Beginner golf club set

Putter: Odyssey 2-Ball putter: £54

Beginner golf club set

Total cost: £350

Golfbidder sell premium, used golf equipment from all the major brands but still offer a one-month warranty and seven-day no-quibble trial on all used golf clubs.

For more information visit the Golfbidder website.

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