The game of golf is over 600 years old , and continues to be among the most popular sports in America.
A third of Americans hit the links every year, and of those over two million are beginners.
When you are just starting out, the first thing you’ll need is a set of clubs–so here are a few things to consider that will save some time and money.
1. What Length Do I Need?
Standard length clubs are fine for almost everybody (5’6″-5’ll” for men and 5’3″-5’7″ for women). Even if you don’t fall into that range, it’s not worth the expense of being fitted for custom length shafts until you have a few rounds under your belt and talked to the PGA professional at your course or local driving range.
2. What Shaft Weight and Flex is Best?
Optimal shaft flex and weight is generally determined by your swing speed. Lighter and more flexible shafts are better for Juniors and Seniors, while accomplished golfers will want stiffer shafts. The best bet when you are first starting out is to stick with “Regular” shafts for all of your clubs. As you get better and your swing speed increases, you may want to consider stiffer shafts, but that is another decision best made with some guidance from your local PGA professional.
3. Do I need to spend a lot of money?
Clubs can be expensive, and you do not need to spend a lot of money when you are just starting out. Irons, woods, wedges and putter are sold separately so pick up an inexpensive set of irons; 8 clubs, 3-iron through 9 nine iron and pitching wedge (regular shafts, standard head–not “blades”), a 3 wood (15 degrees of loft), a 4 hybrid (22 degrees of loft) a 60 degree wedge with medium “bounce” for the sand and a putter (standard length, medium weight). The Driver is the most important club in the bag, and also the hardest to hit, so it’s best to use your 3 wood until you have played for a while (and it will give you close to the same distance when you hit it well). Long irons are also difficult to master, so your hybrid will be the best bet for longer shots from the fairway. And there is no rule that says you have to carry the full complement of 14 clubs, so a 3 wood, hybrid, mid-iron (5 iron), short iron (8 iron), pitching wedge, 60 degree wedge and putter are all you really need to get the hang of the game and start having fun. As you get better and develop a feel for how far your clubs are going, you can add more clubs to build your arsenal.
4. What about Juniors?
It is not a good idea to give a youngster an old set of standard clubs when they are first starting out. Junior beginner sets with 4 or 5 clubs are pretty inexpensive, and they are shorter in length, much more flexible and a lot easier to hit. Most important is that the they build confidence and have fun. As they grow and get better at the game, more complete Junior golf sets are available that are tailored to each age group.
5. Do I Need Custom Clubs?
Club fitting can take your game to a new level, but first you need to develop a consistent swing. Far better to invest in lessons with a pro and time on the range before spending money on custom clubs. If you take first things first and build a fundamentally sound golf swing, your game will improve rapidly. A seasoned pro will know when it’s time for you to move on to better clubs, and can advise on club specifications that will maximize your performance. You will hear terms like “lie angle” and “kick point,” which are important, but remember that to get the most from your clubs, you need consistency. See your pro–you’ll be glad you did.
Beginner’s Guide to Choosing Golf Clubs
Choosing golf clubs doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive, or complicated. The fun part is working on your game and improving every day.
Remember that golf is a journey, so don’t get frustrated. Just play and have fun!
Ready to tee up? Find a golf course near you today!