Which golf club set is best?
If you’re just starting to play golf, you’ll need to make sure you have all the right clubs. While you could easily go out and buy all of your golf clubs individually, this is often a poor choice. Not only is it more expensive than buying them as a set, but you could potentially run into a situation where the specific club you need isn’t available. In these cases, you are left with the choice of not having the right club or buying a nonmatching club that may play differently. Just as with the individual clubs, there are sets designed for every level of player and every budget.
Types of golf clubs
Of all the various types of golf clubs, woods have the largest heads and shallowest angles. They have a hollow construction, so they don’t become too heavy due to their large size. You can swing them very fast without requiring a lot of force. This design makes them best for hitting balls very far and with minimal loft. The woods category includes drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. Despite the name, woods are no longer made of wood. Rather, they are made of metals such as titanium and steel.
There are six clubs considered irons, and they are numbered 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The lower the number, the lower the loft and the farther the club is designed to hit the ball. That being said, they are all designed to hit balls less distance than any of the woods. This means that a 5 wood will hit a ball farther than a 3 iron.
Hybrid clubs are a combination of a fairway wood and an iron. It’s similar to a wood in appearance, but hits more like an iron. They’re also known as “rescue clubs,” since people often use them when their game is in trouble. Its head is more thick and wide than an iron club, which makes it easier to hit a ball. They also have a curved face that helps golfers correct a hit if they hit the ball a little bit off-center. They’re especially great for beginners and for getting a ball out of the rough.
Like woods and irons, wedges come in several types. These are the pitching wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge and gap wedge. Technically, these are also irons due to having a similar construction, but they have a much higher loft and are designed to hit balls high, but not very far.
Putters come in a variety of designs and are intended to be used once you get very near or on the green. They have short shafts, no loft and small heads.
What to know before you buy a set of golf clubs
Which clubs are included in the set?
Not all golf club sets include every club. For example, a small set may only include a driver, a fairway wood, three irons and a putter. Conversely, a large set will include all three woods, all six irons, a putter and sometimes several wedges. Before shopping for a set, consider which clubs you need at the very minimum to ensure you don’t accidentally buy one that doesn’t include a club you know you want.
Do you need a right- or left-handed golf club set?
Golf clubs are not ambidextrous. If you are left-handed, you will need to buy a left-handed golf club set. If you are right-handed, you’ll need a right-handed golf club set. If you’re ambidextrous, then pick whichever type of set feels the most comfortable for you.
Features to look for in a quality set of golf clubs
The majority of golf clubs are crafted from a blend of metals, including aluminum, zinc, graphite, steel and titanium. Aluminum and zinc are usually only used in the most budget-friendly, beginner clubs and most casual and serious players may want to avoid them.
Those looking for something affordable, but more durable and of better quality than aluminum or zinc, will want to consider stainless steel clubs. Just note that these tend to be heavy, which is OK for players with fast swings looking to maximize their power, but may feel unwieldy to others.
Graphite clubs can be pricey but are significantly lighter and more flexible than steel. This combination of properties makes them ideal for beginners and other players who don’t have a lot of power in their swings because it can help them increase their clubhead speed, which translates to more distance.
Tour professionals and serious players often opt for titanium clubs because they are more durable than graphite and lighter than stainless steel. This allows manufacturers to craft them with very large heads, which makes them forgiving of mishits but not very heavy.
When buying a set of clubs, they may not always be made from the same material. For example, you may find that the included irons are stainless steel, but the drivers are graphite or some other combination of different metals.
Not all clubs of the same type have the same loft, and the loft is key to how a club plays. You’ll experience a different ball trajectory when hitting with two woods or irons of different lofts, and the ball will travel a different distance. Some players prefer a higher loft, while others play better with a lower loft across the clubs in their set. If you tend to hit your balls with a flat trajectory, you will most likely be better served with clubs with a higher loft and vice versa for those who tend to pop their balls up too high.
Most golf club sets will come with a bag. Whether you generally walk the course or not, it is always a good idea to look for a bag that is easy to transport. It should be lightweight and have comfortable carrying straps. It should also have enough dividers to keep your clubs organized and several pockets for balls, tees and any other accessories you bring along when golfing. Ideally, it will also have enough room for you to add a couple of clubs as you expand your set.
It is important to keep your club heads protected when not in use. This is especially true for woods, which are more easily damaged. Some sets may include head protectors, while for others, you’ll have to purchase some separately.
How much you can expect to spend on a set of golf clubs
Budget-friendly golf club sets for beginners cost between $200-$500. For $500-$1,000, you can get a midlevel set that will satisfy casual players, and serious players looking for a very high-quality set should expect to spend between $1,000-$2,500.
Golf club set FAQ
What golf clubs should you have in a set?
A. While golf club sets come with different numbers of clubs, there are a few key clubs you’ll want in your arsenal. You can play a full round of golf with as few as seven clubs, which will include a driver, a fairway wood or hybrid, a few irons, a wedge and a putter. That being said, you may find that you often don’t have the exact right club needed for certain shots. Therefore, anyone serious about improving their game should look for a set with at least 10 clubs.
How long do golf clubs last?
A. As with anything, how long a club will last depends on how often you use it and how it is treated. Most clubs last between five and seven years, though if you play often, you may have to replace them in as little as three years. If you play only periodically, a good set may last as many as 10 years.
What brands of golf clubs are good?
A. Because golf has been around for such a long time, there are a few club brands that have become popular in the golf world. While there are several great club brands, many people like those made by TaylorMade, Callaway, Strata (made by Callaway) and Top-Flite.
Best golf club sets for men
Top golf club set for men
What you need to know: This premium men’s golf club set gives any dedicated golfer all the clubs they need.
What you’ll love: The set includes a powerful titanium driver, a lightweight fairway wood, a hybrid club with great control, irons, a wedge and a putter. You can store your clubs in the included lightweight cart bag, which features an insulated cooling pouch and a structured base.
What you should consider: Some buyers thought the putter was too heavy.
Top golf club set for men for the money
What you need to know: It’s a versatile set that’s great for both beginners and seasoned golfers.
What you’ll love: This set includes both a sand wedge and a pitching wedge. The titanium driver makes for a powerful swing. The clubs’ iron design also helps you to keep your swings under control. The set is available in both right- and left-handed varieties and can include either 12 or 16 clubs.
What you should consider: The bag doesn’t have the Callaway logo and some users thought the driver was a bit flimsy.
Best golf club sets for women
Top golf club set for women
What you need to know: With an ultralight construction and faces designed for high launches, these women’s golf clubs should help you improve your distance, even if you tend to have a slow swing speed.
What you’ll love: Both the irons and the woods have a speed pocket cavity in the head that helps you get some extra power behind the ball, and the included putter makes it easy to line up shots.
What you should consider: The drivers may not have enough flex for some.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top golf club set for women for the money
What you need to know: Reasonably priced with 11, 12, 14 or 16 pieces, this set is well-suited to a range of golfers.
What you’ll love: The drivers and irons have large sweet spots that make them forgiving of mishits. This set is also available in a men’s option.
What you should consider: The longevity of the woods is questionable.
Best golf club sets for beginners
Top golf club set for beginners
What you need to know: These Top Flite golf clubs were made with beginners in mind.
What you’ll love: With this set, you’ll have everything you need to start learning the game of golf. You’ll get two hybrids (4H and 5H), a forgiving driver with a large head, a low-profile fairway wood, five irons, a putter, driver and fairway covers anda stand bag. It’s available in both right- and left-handed golf club set options.
What you should consider: Some people had problems with the driver head breaking easily.
Where to buy: Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods
Top golf club set for beginners for the money
What you need to know: This high-quality set contains all the basic essentials you need to play a game of golf.
What you’ll love: It includes one of each of the most important types of clubs: an iron, a putter, a wedge and a wood. It also comes with a stand bag and one head cover. The clubs are super light and easy to use.
What you should consider: The smaller size of this set makes it the most ideal for kids and teens, not adults. It also only contains six clubs.
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.