How to Build the Perfect Beginner Club Set


The right set of clubs makes it easy to learn and enjoy the game right from the start

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For beginner golfers, having a good set of clubs right from the start is one of the easiest ways to quickly see improvement, but with so much to choose from on the market, it can be difficult to put together a set. Whether you’re new to golf, getting back into it, or looking to help someone else enjoy the game, consider this your quick-start guide to creating an affordable, easy-to-hit package.

If you want to make things really simple and extremely affordable, there are plenty of great sets on the market, but this guide is for those who buy piece by piece.

let’s start

(This is a simple baseline for beginner golfers, and individual needs for strength and swing speed vary widely)

One of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of putting together a set of clubs for beginners is making them easy to hit and inspiring confidence when using them. This means lighter shafts and more loft – there’s no faster way to hook a new golfer than watching them hit a solid shot that takes off from distance.

Helping a new golfer enjoy the game can be extremely rewarding

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Another element of instilling confidence is to eliminate the hardest-to-hit clubs from the start, including any fairway wood with less than 15° of loft and any corner greater than 56°. It is not necessary to start beginner golfers with more than 12 clubs.

What should be in the bag

Driver: Most people default to a fixed pipe driver for ease of use, but what’s better than having a mini club rig tool in your bag? I suggest starting with a driver that has between 10 and 12 degrees of loft and using the hosel to your advantage to make the driver as easy to hit as possible: The Ultimate Guide to Adjustable Drivers.

Adjustability allows any club to be quickly tuned to a player

Jonathan Wall

Longest fairway wood: Notice how I didn’t say 3 wood? Like the rider, I would suggest going with an adjustable hose design and starting with no less than 17°-18° of loft in the standard setting. Since most golfers use fairway wood extensively to drive the ball forward, the more loft the better when hitting shots from the fairway and rough. I also strongly suggest that most beginners don’t use a club longer than 42 inches in this part of the bag either.

7 woods offer plenty of versatility

Jonathan Wall

Next Fairway Wood / Hybrid: Look, long irons aren’t fun to hit, even for seasoned golfers, so having a secondary fairway wood or a hybrid will make the game that much more fun.

golf club and swinging man

I added a 7 wood to my bag – here’s why you should too


Zephyr Melton

For the average beginner, the likely winner for this part of the bag is either a 7 wood around 21 degrees or a hybrid around 22 degrees. I recommend the fairway wood as the default because the longer shaft helps generate more speed to get the ball airborne.

Iron : Go big or go home. When it comes to irons, you want the biggest and most forgiving set of cavity irons money can buy. Cavity back irons have a lower center of gravity to help get the ball airborne faster, especially on thin shots – a common failure for golfers trying to get the ball airborne.

The Ping G410s are a great example of a forgiving cavity back iron

Ping Golf

Corners: There are plenty of options when it comes to wedges and none of them are wrong, it’s just a matter of finding the one that helps the most around the green. I suggest a sand wedge with 54°-56° as a great starting point, and just like with irons, a back cavity design will help.

It’s also worth considering a chipper to help really simplify shots around the green. For all the diehards out there who say you should learn with “real clubs” – I say a chipper is a real club and most importantly can help people have more fun!

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Ping ChipR

Check out Fairway Jockey for ChipR from Ping.


Putter: You want to master the basics as quickly as possible, so try not to be too picky when it comes to a putter. If there’s one that suits you for some reason, go for it.

That being said, if you have free rein, I strongly suggest a 2-ball style putter for easy alignment. As these have been around for almost 20 years, you can find many previous models that offer exceptional value.

The Odyssey 2-Ball is a great putter for beginners

Jonathan Wall

Golf balls: Look, you’re going to lose golf balls, so it’s best to start with a cheap, low-compression two-piece ball. Also, whichever ball you use, stick with it – this will help create consistency and develop an understanding of feel which can be greatly altered by going back and forth between different balls.

Now get out there and play some golf!

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ryan barat Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and’s Gear Editor. He has extensive club fitting and construction experience with over 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Prior to joining the team, he was Senior Content Strategist for Tour Experience Golf in Toronto, Canada.