Choosing the right clubs is very crucial to the game of golf. You would not want to run a marathon in shoes that don’t fit. The same applies when choosing the right clubs for beginner golfers. Each golfer has a unique body type and swing. Some golfers have longer arms while others may be a bit stronger. If you keep playing with clubs that don’t fit right, don’t expect to see amazing shots. That makes club fitting is very important, especially for beginner golfers. When a golfer plays with non fitted clubs, they create a bad swing habits. Creating bad habits is the worst thing a golfer can do because fixing habits is a lot harder than creating good habits. Getting a club fitting at your local store is the best way to find out what works for you.
If you don’t want to do a club fitting, I HIGHLY recommend you try any sort of club before purchasing. If you are going into a store to purchase clubs, speak with a store representative. They are very knowledgeable in golf clubs and will help you find a good fit for your body type, swing, and level of play. This guide will give you a basic understanding on what to look for when choosing your first set of clubs. Here are 6 tips to help you find your first set of clubs.
Standard Set of Clubs
A PGA rule in golf is that no golfer is allowed to carry more than 14 clubs. This does not mean you need to have 14, it just means 14 clubs is the maximum. You can have any combination of clubs as long as it is not passed the limit. A standard set of clubs will include:
- Driver (9.5 – 13 Degrees)
- Hybrids (19 – 21 Degrees)
- Fairway Woods (15 -17 Degrees)
- Set of Irons (Usually 4-PW, AW, or SW)
- Wedges (SW and/or LW)
- Putter (33″-35″ in Length depending on preference)
5 Tips On What To Look Out For
1) Level of Play: Know your level of play before looking for clubs. The reason this is important is because you should buying clubs to suit your level of play. An average golfer won’t have any fun if they can’t control the ball with their clubs. If your new to the sport, stick with game improvement or super game improvement irons. These clubs will be much more forgiving compared to Player irons. Leave the Player Irons for the pros for now.
2) Shafts: There are two types of shafts in golf, steel and graphite. Graphite shafts are lighter and more forgiving. Even though graphite shafts are forgiving, more and more pros are using these shafts due to the higher swing speeds with a lighter club. The only downfall is that these the accuracy on graphite shafts. Steel shafts are heavier and have a better feel but they cannot be swung as fast as graphite.
The second thing to look for is the shaft flex located on the golf shaft. Every club shaft has a flex and they are separated in five categories. These categories are Ladies , Senior, Regular, Stiff, and Extra Stiff. Do not buy a stiffer shaft than what you can handle! Some people generally think they will get better and stronger as they play to handle the stiffer clubs. This is a bad way to think because if you can’t flex the shaft, how are you going to learn the basics?
3) Length: The last thing to look for is the shaft length. Shafts come in different lengths I recommend trying out numerous clubs to see what fits your swing and body type the best.
4) Club Head: Always take a look at the club head when choosing a set of clubs. The head of the club comes in different shapes and sizes. Find a shape you will enjoy looking at and feels good when you swing it. Now take a look at the face of club and make sure that all the grooves are nice and smooth. When looking at woods and drivers, see if they are any dents on the face if your looking at second hand clubs. Dented faces on any club will decrease your performance.
5) Club Lie: The lie of a club is the angle that is formed by the shaft and the sole of the club. The lie angle of the club is a major factor when it comes to the accuracy of golf shots. A perfect lie when the club head is sitting parallel to the ground. You can tell if the club has incorrect lie if the toe or the heel is sticking up and not parallel to the ground. The lie of the club must fit your swing style and body type. A lie not suited for your swing or body type will cost you more strokes and bad habits in the long run.
6) Weight of Club: The weight of a club is more about preference than performance. A lighter club will help you increase your swing speed leading to more yardage but it sacrifices accuracy. A heavier club will help give you more accuracy but you sacrifice swing speed. Do a few practice swings with numerous clubs and experiment to see which club fits you.
Hand Me Down Clubs
The easiest way to get into golf is to get hand me down clubs from another golfer. There are a few pros and cons to this hand me downs. The first benefit is that you can start playing right away. You don’t need many golf clubs to start playing. Take a good look at the clubs. You want to check if the head of the clubs have any dents, blemishes, or if the head is loose. Next check the grooves on the face of the club to see if there is any damage. Avoid any clubs that contain rust anywhere. Worn out grips can always be changed at your local golf store for a fee. One con on receiving hand me down clubs is the fit. Like I pointed out in the introduction, club fitting is very important for beginner golfers.