The 8 Best Golf Clubs for Beginners of 2023

Get started on the green with the Top Flite XL Set

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The 7 Best Golf Clubs for Beginners in 2022

TripSavvy / Chloe Jeong

So you've fallen in love with the game, and it's time to commit to your own set of golf clubs. Along with a proper set-up position, a quality set is fundamental to your performance on the course. Beginner sets are designed to feel light in the hands, flexible through the swing, and biased toward a relatively high flight. To find the right match for each golfer, we researched and reviewed available sets paying special attention to cost, set configuration, grips, and bag options.

Best Overall

Top Flite XL Complete Set

Top Flite 2022 XL 13-Piece Complete Set


What We Like
  • Game-improvement technology

  • Playability through the set

  • High-quality golf bag and accessories

What We Don't Like
  • No sand wedge

  • Right-hand only

The graphite-shafted driver in this outstanding set of beginner clubs sets the tone—at 460cc, it's as big as the rules allow, and the titanium composite it's made from takes a backseat to nothing in the pro shop. Golf is all about getting the ball airborne on a less-than-pure strike, which makes this set's hybrids' low-profile, perimeter-weighted design and fairway wood just what the swing doctor ordered. The putter's alignment markings will effectively guide a new golfer's aim on the greens. As for the golf bag that holds it all, this one is loaded with features and offers comfort and convenient organization.

Price at time of publication: $350

Set Makeup: Two woods, two hybrids, five irons, putter, bag, headcovers | Materials: Graphite, titanium composite, stainless steel

Best Budget

Ram Golf EZ3

Ram Golf EZ3


What We Like
  • Oversize iron heads

  • 460cc driver

  • Bag comes with rain hood

What We Don't Like
  • Just one hybrid

  • No headcovers

Getting from tee to green on a regulation course is downright doable for the budget-conscious golfer armed with these Ram Golf EZ3 woods, irons, and 21-degree hybrid. At 460cc’s head volume, the set’s stainless steel driver is hard to miss. The set’s 15-degree 3-wood provides a tee-shot alternative when conservative play is called for; otherwise, it’s well-suited to long fairway shots. Configuring the irons from 6 through Pitching Wedge makes plenty of sense, thanks to the in-between distance provided by the EZ3 hybrid. A slim-profile golf bag with pop-out legs will hold whatever you need and suit the walker and cart-riding golfer. All of this at an easy-entry price, and the set comes either right- or left-handed.

Price at time of publication: $250

Set Makeup: Two woods, one hybrid, five irons, putter, bag | Materials: Graphite, stainless steel

Best Splurge

Tour Edge Men’s Bazooka 370

Tour Edge Menes Bazooka 370

Golf Galaxy

What We Like
  • High-quality

  • Available in various club lengths

  • Easy to carry

  • Right- and left-handed options

What We Don't Like
  • Beyond many beginner budgets

  • No headcovers

The Tour Edge brand is synonymous with top-end materials and bold innovation—the company has never deliberately created an entry-level set. In this Men’s Bazooka 370 set, you see the standard Tour Edge push for superior performance at a point in time many product cycles ago. The company has made back all its costs on this once-premium product and can offer it at a reasonable price. In this set, you’ll find a titanium driver, select graphite shafts in the woods, wonderful head designs throughout, and a soup-to-nuts set makeup that includes a sand wedge, an offset pro-style skirted-blade putter, and a classy stand bag with five zippered pockets and dual straps for carrying comfort.

Price at time of publication: $600

Set Makeup: Three woods, one hybrid, seven irons, putter, bag | Materials: Graphite, stainless steel

Best for Seniors

Top Flite 2021 Gamer 16-Piece Complete Set

Top Flite 2021 Gamer 16-Piece Complete Set

Golf Galaxy

What We Like
  • 460cc titanium driver

  • 56-degree sand wedge

  • Low-profile fairways wood

What We Don't Like
  • Right-hand only

  • Slimmer-profile golf bag preferable to some

Everything about the Top Flite Gamer package is designed for the senior male golfer. From the materials to the set configuration to its bold blue colors, the Top Flite Gamer set in its leg-stand golf bag is built to assure a senior male beginner he’s got everything he needs to get out on the fairways.

There’s plenty of loft on the 10.5-degree driver, with its carbon composite head for solid-feeling impact. Three other distance-producing clubs—a 3-wood and two hybrids—are graphite-shafted to boost swing speed and transfer power. This set’s five perimeter-weighted irons feature a lightweight, easy-flex steel shaft that will tend to tighten dispersion. The sand wedge, with its thick, beveled sole, and the putter, with its confidence-building mallet shape, address the needs of the novice player shrewdly.

Price at time of publication: $450

Set Makeup: Two woods, one hybrid, six irons, putter, bag, headcovers | Materials: Titanium composite, graphite, stainless steel

Best for Women

Wilson Women’s Profile SGI Carry Complete Set

Wilson Women’s Profile SGI Carry Complete Set


What We Like
  • High-lofted driver with big sweet spot

  • Custom women’s grips

  • Easy-out sand wedge 

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat pricey

Even with irons made of soft-feeling 431 stainless steel and options such as lightweight graphite shafts in every club, the putter makes this a confidence-builder for a newer player. Silky-soft all-weather grips make each club a pleasure to play. And there's the pride of ownership in such extras as a fleece-lined valuables pocket in the bag and flannel-lined headcovers that slide quickly off and on. The head design, from the oversized driver to a bounce-sole sand wedge, is technically and cosmetically impressive. 

Price at time of publication: $430

Set Makeup: Two woods, one hybrid, six irons, putter, bag | Materials: Graphite, stainless steel

Best for Left-Handed Golfers

Strata Men's Complete Golf Club Set

Strata Men's Complete Golf Club Set


What We Like
  • Set includes sand wedge

  • Available in various colors

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Relatively high price

  • Bag could be bulky to carry

Callaway’s well-known Strata line isn’t sold in ritzy clubs, but these clubs are built with pride, and premium touches throughout, as this feature-packed starter set demonstrates.

Left-handed golfers may sometimes feel slighted by sporting goods manufacturers, but they’ll feel great about owning Strata Ultimate golf clubs. Off the tee, the set’s titanium-headed, graphite-shafted driver delivers distance and accuracy. There’s a 4-hybrid and a 5-hybrid to bridge the gap between the irons (6 through 9 plus PW and SW, all premium stainless steel) and the set’s graphite-shafted 3-wood. These hybrid clubs deliver confidence whether the ball is teed up or on a tight fairway lie. Another high-end feature is the milled face of the Strata putter in this set—proven superior to cast putter faces.

Price at time of publication: $500

Set Makeup: Two woods, one hybrid, six irons, putter, bag, headcovers | Materials: Graphite, stainless steel

Best Half Set

Decathlon Inesis 100 7-Club Set

Decathlon Inesis 100 7-Club Set


What We Like
  • Simple to get used to

  • Customized lengths

  • Very playable

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks that “regulation golf” look

  • No golf bag

The 7-Club Inesis 100 set from Decathlon covers all the yardages a golf course calls for—from the 220-yard drive to the 70-yard carry, you’ll get on a full-swing sand iron shoe from a fairway lie. Newer golfers traditionally struggle to “read” distances and select the right club from that big bag of sticks. Starting your career with this set means fitting yourself for proper length; measure wrist-to-ground and choose one of two sizes based on which side of 31 inches your measurement comes to. Playability features are stacked high in this easy-to-carry collection of clubs: We’re talking oversized club heads, lightweight graphite shafts, comfortable grips, and prominent sweet spots on the clubfaces. 

Price at time of publication: $249

Set Makeup: Driver, two hybrids, four irons, putter | Materials: Graphite, stainless steel

Best for Kids

Cleveland Golf 7-Piece Junior Set

Cleveland Golf 7-Piece Junior Set


What We Like
  • Designed and sized for youth players

  • Premium materials

  • Proven playability

What We Don't Like
  • Could be quickly outgrown

Known for innovation and craftsmanship throughout its club catalog, Cleveland Golf extends that reputation to this kid-pleasing junior starter set.

Actually shaped to—quite intelligently—blur the lines between a driver, a fairway wood, and a hybrid, this set’s three non-iron clubs have lofts of 18, 22, and 28 degrees, respectively. Those specifications are chosen based on extensive research into swing speeds generated by the preteen golfer. Once the 10- to 12-year-old golfer gets in range of the green, a 7-iron, 9-iron, and a 56-degree wedge come into play. Rounding out the package is a modified mallet putter, a stylish carry bag with popout legs, and backpack-style straps for easy toting.

Price at time of publication: $175

Set Makeup: Two woods, one hybrid, three irons, putter, bag | Materials: Graphite, stainless steel

What to Look for in Golf Clubs for Beginners


Premium, latest-technology golf clubs cost thousands of dollars, while nicely outfitted beginner sets cost hundreds. The more you know about golf gear, the easier it is to see great value in this recommended equipment. Golf companies spend exorbitantly on research and development and have done so for a generation—during which time clubs have dramatically risen in quality and playability. R&D from five or ten years ago can’t be marketed for top dollar today, but it has stood the test of time, and it’s what drives the very pleasing performance in today’s starter sets. When you shop the products shown here, your price decision ranges from the low $200s to about $600. Whichever end of that range fits your budget, you have an excellent chance of being satisfied with your purchase.

Set Configuration

One fairway wood in a set and two hybrid clubs may suit Beginner A, while Beginner B prefers one hybrid and two fairway woods. Is having a matched sand wedge vital to you? Some novice golfers consider proficiency from the sand the true mark of a ready-for-the-real-course golfer. And some of these packages contain headcovers, while others don’t. If you're wondering which golf clubs to carry, know that's largely personal. Figure out what your priorities are as you compare your many options. 

Grip Material and Size

This aspect of golf club buying stands out to Andy Hilts, a Denver-based golf instructor who has been ranked No. 3 on the Golf Digest list of Best Teachers in Colorado. "The grip is the only part of the golf club you physically come in contact with, and beginners will find lots of variety in both size and texture when they're shopping for clubs," Hilts says. "You'll know the diameter is correct if the tip of your ring finger on your left hand (for a righty golfer) lightly contacts the pad of your thumb as you hold the club." As for material, he points out that a soft, slightly tacky feel is preferable to many novices, though, with experience, golfers come to prefer a more rugged-feeling material.

Design of the Golf Bag

While clubs are what you hit the ball with, the golf bag with a starter set is significant for how long you could happily own it. Custom-fitting of woods, irons, hybrids, and wedges is ultra-common these days, and by year three or four of your young career, you could easily be ready for this next step—and eager for it. But the bag that comes with your starter set could remain with you for a decade or more. Eventually, you may see it as the best value in your starter package, so give that component a long look. Are you a walker who wants a slim-profile bag? A travel-heavy type who’ll fill every zippered pocket imaginable? Even color makes a difference in a subjective and visual activity like golf.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I know if the clubs will fit me?

    The way to guarantee an accurately fit set of clubs is to spend two hours with a trained custom club-fitter, allowing that professional to scientifically test and measure until a long sheet of detailed specifications is generated, one that will be used by an assembler to custom build a $1,500-plus complete set. 

    “No beginning golfer would take that step, nor should they, because they haven’t yet established swing motions and shot patterns,” says Cathy MacPherson, a Golf Channel Academy instructor ranked as a Best in Massachusetts Teacher by Golf Digest. In MacPherson’s view, modern beginner clubs leverage every possible “playability” feature the industry has developed. Once you’ve got your set and you’re using it, in her view, you should note the specs it represents, including loft angles, lie angles, club length, and shaft flex.

    “Try demo clubs at driving ranges for comparison,” MacPherson suggests. “Figure out which of your clubs you hit the best and which ones you struggle with. We can all fit ourselves in a very basic way, then when we feel ready, we can go experience a professional fitting.”

  • What clubs do I need as a beginner?

    A logical way to address this is through yardage. An adult male needs a 200-yard (or longer) club for tee shots, a 150-yard club for hitting to the green from far, a 120-yard, a high-lofted club for more precise approaches to the green, maybe a sand club, and a putter. “It’s all about yardages,” says Hilts, “and the better we get, the tighter we want our yardage gaps to be. But it’s actually a distraction for most raw beginners to have a 14-club set—they aren’t precise enough for quite a long time to be debating between 6-iron and 7-iron from a tilted lie at the 150-yard mark.”
    MacPherson agrees: “In the beginning, you’ll probably have a few clubs that all seem to go the same distance. You don’t have to take every club you own out to the range or to the golf course—in the very beginning, you probably shouldn’t.”

    Take a minute to refresh your knowledge of the different types of golf clubs.

  • Is it better to buy clubs in a set?

    For a significant number of reasons, the answer is yes. Clubs in a set are matched for several features and specifications. If certain of those features aren’t quite right for you, it will lead to a couple of minor adjustments, which isn’t a big deal. If your bag of clubs is gathered from all over the map, the adjustments and compensations will multiply.

  • How do I clean and care for my golf clubs?

    A little-discussed benefit of the modern golf club is its durability and capacity to withstand some harsh treatment. Hang a towel from your golf bag and keep part of it wet, then wipe the sole and face of every club that gets hit off the ground (rather than off a tee) after each shot. It’s an easy habit to develop, making your clubs look and perform better.
    Occasionally clean the grips with an old towel soaked in warm, soapy water. If they’re still slick-feeling even after cleaning, they’re due for replacement—but you can delay that a while by scraping them for 15 seconds with 120-grit sandpaper and then wiping them with a moist towel.

Why Trust TripSavvy

David Gould is a golf journalist with extensive experience covering professional tours and industry trends. He was the lead equipment writer for a Golf Digest publication widely read by golf professionals at top clubs and public courses throughout the U.S. Gould developed extensive expertise in golf club design and was one of the first to spotlight the importance of custom club fitting, launching and overseeing the industry’s original club fitting awards program. His knowledge of golf gear performance comes from onsite reporting at the production plants, testing grounds, and design centers at the world’s leading clubs, balls, shafts, and grips manufacturers. While researching golf clubs for beginners, we spoke with golf instructor Andy Hilts, and Golf Channel Academy instructor Cathy MacPherson.

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