Guide: Best Golf Clubs for Beginners (and Intermediate Players)

Year round professional golfer hop from one weekend tournament to another playing for cups and trophies, and the real prize, cash bonuses. And a good set of clubs is an essential part of their gear.

#1 Top Golf Club Set for Beginners – See Our Pick on Amazon

An experienced golfer knows his craft and the tools needed to put forth the best products. But what about a first time golfer or one looking to transition from a recreational hobby to a more competitive environment?

How does that golfer know which clubs to buy? We’ll try to help you out with that with our recommendations below on the best golf clubs for the money, as well as out mini golf club set buying guide.

Top 10 Best Golf Club Sets for Men & Women 2016 - 2017

COMPLETE SETSOUR RATING
Pinemeadow Pre 16-Piece Complete Golf Set
Pinemeadow Pre 16-Piece Complete Golf Set
4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Wilson Women's Ultra Complete Package Golf Set
Wilson Women's Ultra Complete Package Golf Set
4.9 Stars (4.9 / 5)
Adams Golf Speedline Steel Uniflex Set
Adams Golf Speedline Steel Uniflex Set
4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)
Callaway Women's Strata Plus Complete Golf Club Set with Bag
Callaway Women's Strata Plus Complete Golf Club Set with Bag
4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)
Wilson Men's 2015 Profile XLS Complete Package Golf Set
Wilson Men's 2015 Profile XLS Complete Package Golf Set
4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)
Callaway Men's Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set, 18-Piece
Callaway Men's Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set, 18-Piece
4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Winfield VERTEX Men's Golf Package Set
Winfield VERTEX Men's Golf Package Set
4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)
Callaway Women's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with Bag (11-Piece)
Callaway Women's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with Bag (11-Piece)
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)
Wilson Women's Hope Complete Golf Package Set
Wilson Women's Hope Complete Golf Package Set
4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)
Callaway Men's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with Bag
Callaway Men's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with Bag
4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)
ratings based on value and performance

Top Golf Club Set Reviews

To help you make a decision on the best set of clubs for your golfing needs, our editors have selected the models listed up above as the top golf club sets on the market for beginners. If you’d like to learn a bit more about each set, then keep reading for our editor reviews on them.

Pinemeadow Pre 16-Piece Complete Golf Set Review

Pinemeadow PRE Men's 16-Piece Complete Golf SetOverall editor rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Best features:

  • 16-piece complete golf set with clubs and stand bag
  • Good value for the money

Where to buy: Amazon

This is the perfect starter set of golf clubs for someone that wants to play.  The Pinemeadow Pre 16-piece comes with a 10.5-degree driver, a 15 degree 3 wood, a 21 degree 3 hybrid, 6 – 4-PW irons, and a Pre Putter.  It also includes headcovers for the driver, wood, and hybrid, a dozen golf balls, and a lightweight carry bag with an integrated kickstand and hood for rain.

The 10.5-degree driver is titanium enhanced and engineered for maximum power and distance.  The Pre Mallet putter allows for proper ball alignment each time with the single center line and perfectly weighted.  The 15-degree wood is designed with a graphite shaft and low profile head for better shots.  The 21-degree hybrid has a premium steel shaft for versatility from any type of lie.  The premium stainless steel irons were designed with perimeter weighted heads with tour style grips.  All the clubs have a nice finish for durability.

Pros:  For the cost, it’s a great value and a perfect complete set for beginners or a mid-handicapper to improve play.

Cons: Does not include a sand wedge and the carry bag buckles are plastic that can break.

Wilson Women’s Ultra Complete Golf Set Review

Wilson Women's Ultra Complete Package Golf SetOverall editor rating: 4.9 Stars (4.9 / 5)

Best features:

  • High quality construction
  • Good distance-yielding package set

Where to buy: Amazon

Ready to hit the links in style? This complete set of right-handed golf clubs will give you or your favorite lady a leg up on the competition. The set features a driver, a 3 fairway wood, a 4 hybrid and irons from 5 to the putting wedge, along with a putter.

The clubs are designed to be easy to use for beginning golfers but the quality construction will serve you well on the golf course for many years to come. Recommended for women from 5’3″ to 5’9″.

Pros: Complete set, quality steel construction, powerful and accurate.

Cons: Bag has no legs for a kickstand.

Adams Golf Speedline Steel Uniflex Set Review

Adams Golf Speedline Steel Uniflex SetOverall editor rating: 4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)

Best features:

  • Aerodynamic-Shaped Driver
  • Includes golf bag

Where to buy: Amazon

For use for the novice to the pro golfer, this ladies set of golf clubs is modern, stylish, and innovative.  The clubs’ aerodynamic shape means your ball will fly faster and further.

These are the clubs for the golfer who is ready to take her game to the next level by gaining more and more distance.  Included in the golf set are golf clubs, head covers and a golf bag.

Pros: easy to hit, bag is light and easy to carry.

Cons: bag has metal stand which makes it difficult to pull on cart.

Callaway Women’s Strata Plus Complete Golf Club Set Review

Callaway Women's Strata Plus Complete Golf Club Set with BagOverall editor rating: 4.8 Stars (4.8 / 5)

Best features:

  • Comes with stand bag
  • Made by one of the top golf club set brands in the industry

Where to buy: Amazon

Invest in golf clubs that will get you through every game with full confidence. This 14-piece set comes with a stylish bag that encourages you to release the ambition within.

The Driver 5W has a sweet spot that provides a cushion for those unexpected stances that lead to mistakes in putting. The Hybrid (5H) is also pretty forgiving as difficult shots are made simpler with the golf stick’s design. Few sports equipment manufacturers are unable to find a fine balance between what is fashionable and what gets the job done.

Women are typically required to choose between stylish equipment and forgo the upper hand over their opponent, or pick the many supplies with full knowledge that such products do serve as identity markers. This golf course set for women is the perfect balance between what is desirable and what is needed in the game.

Pros: Good for beginners; there are only 10 golf sticks even though advertisements tout of fourteen pieces

Cons: Driver is not more impressive than some of the competition; expert golf players may find the clubs unhelpful during practices and tournaments.

Wilson Men’s Profile XLS Complete Golf Set Review (best golf clubs for seniors!)

Wilson Men's 2015 Profile XLS Complete Package Golf SetOverall editor rating: 4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)

Best features:

  • Lightweight and idea for older golfers
  • Comes with a stand bag
  • Engineered for faster swing speeds

Where to buy: Amazon

Wilson Men’s  Profile XLS Complete Package Golf Set is designed with the needs of both beginners and senior golfers in mind. Using soft grips and flex graphite shafts, this is an affordable complete package set that caters to individual needs with higher lofted distance gapping and lightweight construction.

Set includes driver, fairway wood, a hybrid, 5-SW, and a putter. Only the putter does not come with a graphite shaft for ease of use. The standard men’s length 5′ 5″ to 6′ 1″ is available but the Wilson Golf Set also comes in the taller length of 6′ 1″ to 6′ 5″. Both the bag and set are designed for lightweight carry and use for hours of enjoyment outdoors or even just putting inside. With the higher lofted distance gapping and the larger grips golfers can be sure they swing their best.

Pros: Affordable, good beginner set or for those returning to the game.

Cons: The bag has pockets that don’t separate clubs well, making them hard to pull out for use. Heads have been known to snap off.

Callaway Men’s Strata Ultimate Complete Golf Set Review

Callaway Men's Strata Ultimate Complete Golf SetOverall editor rating: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Best features:

  • Comes with a stand bag
  • Clubs designed for precision and confidence out on the course

Where to buy: Amazon

The Callaway Strata Ultimate is a complete 18-piece golf set perfect for the beginner, intermediate, or casual golfer. The set is made with modernized golf technology designed for the most distance and performance out of each club.  You can expect more control, longer shots, and more confidence from your game with these clubs.

The full set includes a full titanium driver with a large sweet spot and enough forgiveness for a killer shot off the tee.  A 3 and 5 wood designed for high-flying long shots with an aerodynamic head shape.  2-hybrids for variety and alternatives to long irons. 4- stainless steel irons with high flight technology, 2- stainless steel wedges, and a precise face milling designed putter for accuracy and distance.  It includes 5- headcovers and a lightweight, durable stand bag with convenient pockets and carry strap.  Other sets are available with 16- or 12-pieces.

Pros: For the money, Callaway offers one of the most complete and liked golf sets on the market.  They are designed with the modernized golf technology, forgiving, and great distance.

Cons: Some reports of clubs breaking, but they are swiftly replaced, even if it is the entire set.

Callaway Women’s Strata Complete Golf Club Set Review

Callaway Women's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with BagOverall editor rating: 4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)

Best features:

  • Comes with stand bag
  • 11-piece set of high quality clubs

Where to buy: Amazon

The perfect starter golf club set for the lady on the run.  Choose between left or right-handed clubs.  Set includes stand bag, three headcovers, and seven clubs including a 7, 9 and SW iron/wedge, 5W driver, 5H hybrid, and putter.

The driver features a graphite shaft. The irons have perimeter weighting for for improved control of swing and contact. The bag features backpack strap system, a rain hood, cooler pocket and four more pouches for balls and accessories. Made of lightweight materials, is is easily handled while walking the front nine. Attractive black bag with blue accents works well with your wardrobe while meeting all your golfing needs.

Pros: Good starter set for beginners, reasonably priced, attractive design

Cons: Not for women over 5′ 8″ tall, woods will dent with use

Winfield VERTEX Men’s Golf Set Review

Winfield VERTEX Men's Golf Package SetOverall editor rating: 4.7 Stars (4.7 / 5)

Best features:

  • Comes with stand bag
  • Quality components that deliver good performance on the course
  • Low price makes this the best cheap golf clubs set for the money

Where to buy: Amazon

Starting out in golf can be difficult, due to expensive golf clubs. Avoid that problem with this excellent set. It is a relatively-inexpensive set that still provides high-quality clubs. For example, its 460cc alloy matrix driver has a graphite shaft that provides it with stability and drive. The five, six, seven, eight, and nine irons are over-sized for excellent control. Each set also comes with a lightweight stand bag with a dual-strap handle system that makes it easy to haul where you want to go.

Other benefits of this set include a blade-style putter with an alignment aid that makes putting easier, as well as deep sole mid-top line irons that are more forgiving for beginners who are still trying to master their shot. As a result, this makes this set perfect for anyone who is struggling to pay for a good set of golf clubs or can’t handle the precision necessary with other sets of clubs.

Pros: Nice inexpensive starter golf club set, comfortable and lightweight bag, strong graphite shafts, easy-control irons for more precise shooting angles

Cons: Club heads may get scuffed over time, requiring regular cleaning and buffing

Wilson Women’s Hope Complete Golf Set Review

Wilson Women's Hope Right Hand Complete Golf SetOverall editor rating: 4.6 Stars (4.6 / 5)

Best features:

  • Lightweight and easy to play
  • Stylish design
  • Comes with high quality cart bag

Where to buy: Amazon

Are you looking for a set of golf clubs that you can trust? Then try out Wilson’s “Women’s Hope” right hand golf club set. It comes with multiple drivers, several irons for short and medium-distance play, a putter, a comfortable bag, and more. Each club is carefully calibrated and constructed to be perfect for women players, adapting to their unique golfing needs.

Beyond these advantages are the construction of each club. All are built out of high-quality graphite and steel that makes them sturdy and reliable. Precision, as well as drive strength, are supported by each club. As a result, it is easy for women golfers to adapt their game to these handy golf clubs.

Even better, each purchase of this complete golf set will enable Wilson to make a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Buying this set not only helps support and improve your golf game, but provides extra funding for important breast cancer research. This makes this set a hard one for just about any woman to turn down.

Pros: built just for women, high-quality construction material, purchase results in a donation to breast cancer research

Cons: Lightweight material may be too light for more serious women golfers

Callaway Men’s Strata Complete Golf Club Set Review

Callaway Men's Strata Complete Golf Club Set with BagOverall editor rating: 4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)

Best features:

  • 12-piece set of high quality clubs
  • Comes with a quality lightweight stand bag

Where to buy: Amazon

Starter golf clubs are a great way to break into this fun and engaging sport. This inexpensive Callaway set is great for men who are interested in golf, but who aren’t quite ready to invest in an expensive set. It is a 12-piece set, meaning it comes with nine clubs, two head covers, and one bag. Head covers are a great way of protecting your clubs from getting damaged by the weather. They are particularly useful when actually out on the course and experiencing some golfing fun.

Clubs included in the set are a driver, a three wood, a hybrid club, five irons and wedges, and a putter. The included bag will stand easily on just about any course and makes it easy to grab the club you need. Five pockets help you store tees, balls, and other important golfing items (such as a tip for the cart driver). A cooler pocket keeps your drinks nice and chilly while a rain stand protects your clubs from rain.

Pros: adaptable bag with five pockets, multiple clubs for any golfing situation, T-style putter with aim assistance

Cons: malfunctions on the driver head have been reported by some customers

What To Consider When Buying Golf Clubs

The first and most important thing to consider is your playing ability. Where do you succeed the most? Is it in the drive or putting? Do you have a knack for getting out of tough spots like deep roughs and sand traps, or do you have a knack for getting into them and would rather avoid the whole mess altogether? Knowing how you play and where your strengths lie goes a long way in buying clubs.

Remember that golf rules stipulate that a golfer can have no more than 14 clubs in their bags. Do you really need all 14 clubs? Probably not. Maybe you have a great drive and get the ball down course that very rarely do you need a wedge to get you out of difficult situations. In this case focus more on drivers and woods in your bag, along with putters. If the opposite is true and you find yourself digging out of bunkers more often than you’d like, invest in wedges and a little less on drivers.

Here is a quick breakdown of club types to help in your decision-making process:

DRIVERS: As already mentioned, drivers provide long-range shots. Drivers are sometimes called woods because they were traditional made from wood. Most golfers start each hole with a “1 Wood” when teeing off as the club head offers a greater surface area for better contact with the ball. The height and distance a ball goes is called loft, and the number on the club increase the higher the loft.

Driver faces are measured in cubic centimeters with the largest face clocking in at 460cc. Smaller faces, like 440cc, are for players that are advanced. Something to keep in mind is that the larger the number the less skill required.

FAIRWAY WOODS: Like drivers, fairway woods are meant for a par-4 or par-5 hole. They are meant to help you get the ball the rest of the way down course and onto the green. And, as is the case with drivers, they come in different sizes. One will usually find fairway woods in 3-, 5-or -7. Once again the larger the number the larger the club’s face.

As a side note, while drivers and fairways are called woods, they are usually made out of graphite so as to not be too heavy for the golfer’s swing.

IRONS: A golfer’s bag would not be complete without irons. You will use them on just about every hole as the provide both short and mid-range shots. Irons come in a myriad of types. They include: 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 9- irons, as well as a pitching wedge which is sometimes called a gap wedge or approach wedge.

Irons have groves running across the face. These grooves create spin on the ball and as with other clubs the higher the number the higher the loft.

Most irons come in sets. These sets are usually labeled to tell you what is included in them. For example if a set is labeled a 5-PW it includes all the irons from 5- through 9- as well as a pitching wedge.

There are other types of irons. Max Game Improvement and Game Improvement irons are best for beginning and learning golfers. They provide a gap in the back of the clubhead with the sole and toplines larger, making for a easier shot.

HYBRIDS: These clubs are a combination of driver/woods and irons. They have the look of a wood but with a drive/loft of an iron. They have become increasingly popular and most golfers have started to replace their longer irons (3- and 4-irons) with hybrids.

WEDGES: Wedges can be lifesavers for the golfer that often finds himself stuck in a tough spot. Very similarly designed to that of irons, wedges generate higher lofts to literally lift the ball out of bunkers or over hazards on the course.

Wedges come in three types: Gap wedges, sand wedges and lob wedges. Gap wedges are meant for, well, getting over something. Let’s say you used a 3-iron or a hybrid on the fairway and have just landed far enough away from a bunker but you need to get over it to get to the green. You’re afraid to hitting the ball too hard with say maybe a fairway wood and will miss the green. You would need to then use a gap wedge to get over the bunker as it allows for a greater distance then a sand wedge or iron, but doesn’t take away accuracy.

Sand wedges are designed to get out of bunkers. They provide plenty of loft and spin for when your ball hits the green.

Lob wedges have the greatest height. They are usually meant for a short-range shot onto the green and they provide plenty of spin for the ball to come back toward the hole. Most golfers will use this club on their approach from the fairway to the green because of how the ball typical stops or spins back to the hole depending on what the golfer is trying to accomplish.

PUTTER: A golf bag would be incomplete without putters. While a big portion of the game is to get the ball to the hole in as few strokes as possible, the other half is getting the ball into the hole.

Putters come in two types: blade and mallet. You will see most golfers, especially professionals, use the blade style putters. More the traditional style of putter, they feature a smaller head and require a fair amount of skill to use.

While blade putters are more commonly seen, mallet putters are on the rise. They feature a larger head and allow for greater control over a putt. Plus they are more forgiving on a poor hit.

Knowing your skill level and knowing what type of clubs to buy are far and wide the most important things to consider when purchasing your first set of clubs. But also consider what makes up a golf club.

GRIPS: This is the rubber portion at the top of the club. It’s meant for the golfer to be able to grip the club and not lose it. Grips come in a standard 8-inch length, although they can vary depending on the size of the golfer’s hands. Other sizes include midsize and oversize grips.

SHAFT: The long thin rod of a club is called the shaft. This is the most important piece of the club other than the head as the shaft determines a golfer’s swing. Most shafts are either metal or graphite and the shaft’s size depends on the type of club.

Flex is a term you will hear when it comes to shafts. Flex is the flexibility, whether it be stiff or loose. Determine what type of flex works best for you will determine your swing. Clubs are usually labeled with their flex. “L” is for laddies, “A” or “M” is for amateurs and seniors, “R” is for regular while “S” and “X” stand for stiff and extra stiff respectively.

HOSEL: The piece that connects the shaft to the clubhead is the hosel. Hosels help to determine the angle of a club and will sometimes need to be adjust depending on the golfers height and arm length. You can also find adjustable hosels so you don’t have to swap them out.

CLUBHEAD: This determines the type of club, whether it be a wood, a fairway wood, an iron or wedge, or a putter.

Golf is an amazing game. It requires skill and accuracy. It also requires problem solving and thinking through situations. Having the right equipment will go a long way into improving one’s game and one’s enjoyment for the sport.

Adam Jenkins
 

I’m certainly no expert on the game of golf, but I am someone who knows what it’s like to start out completely overwhelmed. From one beginner to the next, here's to a better golf game!

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