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Pro Tip: How to Buy a Beginner Set of Golf Clubs

Updated: Apr 17, 2023
Pro Tip: How to Buy Golf Clubs for Beginners

GlobalGolf’s staff of PGA Professionals are happy to help all new golfers learn how to buy a beginner set of golf clubs. We love growing the game, so welcome!

For people just getting started in golf, buying your first set of golf clubs can be a daunting task. As you begin shopping for new or even preowned golf clubs, you’ll see that there are several types and models available.

If you’re purchasing clubs for the first time, the following guide will help you navigate the process. If you'd like to learn more of the golf lingo, visit our general golf club buying guide.


6 Questions to Ask When Buying Beginner Golf Clubs

1. Which Types of Golf Clubs Do I Need?

According to the United States Golf Association (USGA), the governing body of golf that writes all the rules, you’re allowed to carry up to 14 golf clubs in your bag. A typical 14-club set consists of the following:

Golf Drivers

Also known as a 1 wood, the driver goes the furthest distance and is used to tee off at the beginning of the hole. You only need one driver in your golf bag, and you can choose from a variety of driver lofts depending on your desired ball flight.


Fairway Woods

Fairway woods range from 3 woods to 9 woods and go slightly shorter than a driver. These golf clubs are typically used in the fairway like the name suggests, but they can also be used to tee off at the beginning of the hole. Most golf bags contain two fairway woods.


Golf Hybrids

Hybrids carry the loft of an iron with the distance of a fairway wood, hence the name. These golf clubs tend to be easier to hit than fairway woods, especially out of the rough, and can replace fairway wood options in your bag. Depending on your preference, you may only have one hybrid in your golf bag.


Golf Irons

Golf irons are used for just about any shot on the golf course. Each iron has a unique loft, which will determine the distance. Higher-lofted irons, like a 9- or 8-iron, go shorter distances while lower-lofted irons, like a 4- or 5-iron, go further.

Once you start getting to 4-irons, some golfers tend to use hybrids instead - it all depends on what fits your eye and feels easier to hit. Your options range from a 9-iron all the way down to a 1-iron, though only professional golfers tend to hit anything lower than a 4-iron.


Golf Wedges

Golf wedges are an extremely important part of the game. These are the golf clubs you use around the green and in the sand bunkers to get onto the green. You can hit a variety of shots with wedges, from bump-and-runs to chips to pitches to flop shots.

They come in different degree lofts, though the most popular are pitching wedges and sand wedges (also known as a 56-degree wedge). The wedges you’ll see most often range from 50 degrees to 64 degrees, though higher lofted wedges are possible.


Golf Putters

Putters may play the largest role in golf. You use putters after using all the golf clubs above to get the ball in the hole on the green. There are plenty of styles to choose from – blade putters, mallet putters, mid-mallet putters and more. Putting itself also has several different strokes and grips, so feel free to experiment before you find the setup and putter that works best for you.


Golf Club Sets

If you're new to the game, complete golf sets and build-your-own bags are good options because you don't necessarily need all 14 clubs. Beginner golfers tend to start with a driver, an iron set, a sand wedge and a putter. Add a golf stand bag, and you have enough to get started. If you want to browse other golf bag options, see which golf bag is right for you.

Here at GlobalGolf, we also offer complete club sets for a more affordable price. This is a great way to purchase your beginner golf club set because it comes with a golf bag, a driver, fairway wood(s), head covers, a set of irons and usually a putter.

Purchasing a complete set, whether it’s a new or used golf club set, is the fastest and most efficient (and usually the most affordable) way to ensure you have everything you need to hit the course; just don’t forget important accessories like golf gloves, golf balls and a towel.


2. Which Golf Shaft Should I Use?

The golf shaft is the long piece of metal between the grip and the clubhead. The shaft material (graphite or steel) and the shaft flex (amount of shaft bend during the swing) are the two most important factors in shaft selection. It’s always important to figure out which golf shaft is right for you because not doing so could negatively impact your distance.

When selecting driver or fairway wood shafts online or from a local golf shop, you’ll be looking only at graphite shafts. When selecting irons, you will often have a choice between steel and graphite. Let’s dive deeper into the two options.


Graphite Golf Shafts

Graphite shafts are lighter, which allows you to maximize your swing speed. Though they can be more expensive, graphite golf shafts are the most popular shaft type because the material is higher quality. Those with moderate to slow swing speeds play with graphite golf shafts; typically these shaft flexes are softer as well.


Steel Golf Shafts

Steel shafts are heavier than graphite, though they are less expensive and more durable. Those with faster swing speeds will have the power to move the heavier steel shaft easier than those with moderate swing speeds. If you’re a beginner with a lot of muscle and previous athletic ability, we recommend considering steel golf shafts, especially those with a regular or stiff shaft flex.


3. How Much Should I Spend on Golf Clubs?

Golf clubs are an investment, though how much you spend on new or used golf clubs depends on your intentions. If you’re experimenting with the game or plan on playing only occasionally (1-2 times a month), spend less on your initial purchase. Complete golf club sets are often the best way to go in this case, as it gets you everything you need at a very modest price point.

However, if you have a strong interest and plan on practicing and playing on a regular basis (2-3 times a week), a moderate investment will let you get the most value for your money. If you were to piece together a solid golf club set as outlined above, your golf clubs will last you a while as you learn more of the game.

When it comes to buying a reliable golf set for beginners, simple is best. However, as you improve your swing, you’ll find more benefits from the golf clubs with the latest technology.

4. Should I Buy New or Used Golf Clubs?

No matter your golf experience, buying used golf clubs and used golf club sets is the most affordable way to play golf. At GlobalGolf, we have a Certified Preowned process that thoroughly investigates the condition of each preowned club. You can learn more about buying used golf clubs in a variety of playable conditions in our Used Golf Club Buying Guide.

The biggest benefit of buying used golf clubs is the lower price; however, what many people don’t realize is that the used golf irons, for example, from the last year or two still have plenty of effective innovation in their golf club technology.

GlobalGolf recommends, as a beginner golfer, that you should look into used golf clubs for sale if you’re not interested in buying a preselected golf club set. Once you have a better pulse on the game, you can then trade in these golf clubs with UTrade-In® and earn credit towards your next purchase. Trading in your golf clubs for the best value at GlobalGolf is the easiest way to save money.

5. Where Will I Be Using These Golf Clubs?

It might seem like a silly question, but depending on where and when you plan on using your golf clubs can help you decide on the brand, style and budget to look for.

In fact, the type of golf courses you plan to play on – from shorter, easier courses, to longer challenging ones, driving ranges, indoor simulator setups and more – will affect the type of clubs you need. Each landscape has unique characteristics that require different shots and clubs.

Longer courses may require drivers with more loft and longer shafts and fairway woods, while shorter courses may require more mid-range irons and wedges.

Similarly, If you’re playing a challenging course with narrow fairways, hazards and lots of bunkers, you may need more specialized clubs such as an extra wedge to execute tricky shots around the green.

Knowing what conditions and terrain you’ll regularly be interacting with will make it even easier to narrow down your search to decide on the clubs or full golf set that can help you improve your game at your own pace.

6. How Do I Buy Golf Clubs with Confidence?

Whether you go the new or used golf club route, you can buy with confidence when your club has the 30-Day Playability Guarantee. After your purchase, you have 30 days to test out your new golf gear and can return it in the same condition, no questions asked. You can also try new golf clubs for 14 days at home before you buy with GlobalGolf’s UTry®.

Buying golf clubs for beginners is an exciting endeavor, and we at GlobalGolf are happy to help you navigate the waters. Don’t forget to explore GlobalGolf’s Pro Tips to find information on the latest golf club models, fun golf drills and more.


Take Your Game to the Next Level With GlobalGolf

If you’ve ever had the thought, “What golf clubs should I buy as a beginner?” then you’re not alone. From buying used clubs thanks to the convenience and lower price point to investing in newer golf clubs’ technology and taking your new hobby up a notch, it’s up to you how you want to start playing golf.

From Cobra to PING, TaylorMade, Callaway and beyond, GlobalGolf has new and used clubs that are right for you. Check out our golf club selector tool, USelect®, to find the right golf equipment based on your skill level. We also have the following golf club comparison handicap charts to set you off in the right direction:

Explore our vast selection of golf clubs today and kickstart your future in this great game.