What To Know When Buying Your First Set of Golf Clubs

first set of golf clubs

So you’ve decided to take up golf and it’s time to buy some clubs. With so many options (and temptations) on the market, it’s easy to become overwhelmed in your search. I’ll fill you in on what you need to know as you look to buy your first set of golf clubs. I cover the different approaches and ups and downs to each of them.

Options For Your First Set of Golf Clubs

Box Set

callaway strata set

A box set is the easiest option for your first set of golf clubs. These complete packages come with everything you need, from driver to putter, and usually include a golf bag. These complete sets are often relatively inexpensive and the convenience of the one-stop shopping experience can be very enticing. There are a couple of things to keep in mind regarding these sets.

The biggest thing to remember is these sets are meant to be beginner sets. They do have some great technology and are solid in construction. However, players tend to outgrow them (either physically or skill-wise) in a year or two before needing to upgrade to something else. So, if your goal is to play occasionally for fun and you simply need the tools of the trade, a box set is right up your alley.

The other thing I want to mention is that as a beginner, there’s a good chance you’re going to unintentionally hit the ball on parts of the club that aren’t ideal (think crown of the driver).  Don’t worry. This happens to everyone starting out. The resulting mishits can leave some pretty ugly marks. Skying a ball with your brand new driver and leaving a large scuff mark on the crown is pretty frustrating. That brings us to our next option, a used set that is pieced together.

Used Clubs

used golf clubs

Used clubs are a great option for your first set of golf clubs. They offer better technology and durability while still saving you money. Choosing a model from the previous year or two will last you a few years and still be in reasonable shape. Since it’s already used, it takes the pressure off marks from mishits. Be aware that it takes a little more effort to piece together an entire set. Finding an iron set, hybrids and woods, a putter, and bag takes time.

On the flip side, you don’t have to invest in everything at once. As a true beginner, most players hit a lot of their clubs the same distance or may not be able to hit them at all. For example, the driver is the most difficult club to hit due to its length and low loft. Thus, most players spend the majority of those first sessions only hitting a higher lofted wood like a 3 wood. With that in mind, you’ll save money on a club you aren’t comfortable yet. Then, once you’re ready, you can upgrade to a driver.

Individual Clubs

individual irons

There’s an option for those of you that are simply trying out golf to see you like it or not. It involves purchasing individual clubs to use until you make the decision to dive in. The primary clubs beginners typically use are a putter, pitching wedge, 7 iron, and 5 wood.

If this is the route you choose, I suggest buying clubs a little older. You won’t want to spend too much money until you know this game is going to stick. If golf isn’t for you, you don’t have a ton of money tied up in it. Should golf tickle your fancy, having a handful of clubs makes it easier to complete your first set of golf clubs.

Side Note About Custom Fitting

The last thing I want to mention is in regards to club fitting. There’s no question that having clubs built to the right length and lie angle for you is extremely important to your success and enjoyment of the game. That being said, going out and getting custom fit for your first set of clubs is not highly recommended. Keep in mind that your swing is going to be very basic and a brand new for you. As you improve, your swing is going to change. Unless you’re extremely tall or short, a standard set of clubs will work just fine for starting out. The last thing you’d want is to spend the time and money on a full fitting only to have them not fit when your swing changes.

What To Remember For Your First Set Of Golf Clubs

You have 3 main options when getting your first set of golf clubs; getting a box set, piecing together a set of used irons, or just getting a couple individual irons. Choose the option that’s best for you and join us in our love for this great game.

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Rudi Fann

Rudi Fann has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2008. He began his career in 1998 as the Assistant Golf Professional at Wake Forest Golf Club in Wake Forest, NC. In 2002, Rudi accepted a similar position at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He spent a year there before moving to Nipomo, CA where he worked at Blacklake Golf Resort. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way from Assistant Golf Professional to Head Golf Professional and finally Director of Golf Operations. In his time at Blacklake, Rudi devoted much of his time to running tournaments and other activities in order to create a social atmosphere at the club. After Blacklake, Rudi spent one year as Head Golf Professional at Paso Robles Golf Club before deciding to return home to North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Rudi has worked with the First Tee of the Triangle helping to instill life skills and core values through the game of golf to local youth.