Essential Golf Clubs for Beginners

When you’re just starting out, you don’t necessarily need a full set of clubs. Golf champ Joey Sindelar recommends the essential clubs novice golfers should consider.

As a beginner, it may be intimidating to know where to start. Do you need a 9-iron? Do you need a 3-wood? What does each club do? What do you really need?

Let’s break this down a little more.

WOODS VS. IRONS

Both of these are a necessary part of any club set. They serve entirely different purposes. Irons are made of metal and are used within 200 yards of the green. Woods, contrary to common sense, are also made of iron (although, decades ago, they were made of wood) and are used outside of the 200-yard range.

Woods have a larger head, allowing you to “drive” the ball over longer distances. In fact, the 1-wood is so well known for this that it’s simply called a driver.

There is, also, a third option, called a hybrid. Hybrids have a thicker, wider head than an iron but are smaller than a wood, making them reasonably useful in the fairway and can be easier to strike the ball than a driver or 2-iron would.

A FULL CLUB SET

A full set will often come with a variation of this grouping of clubs:

  • Driver
  • 3 Wood
  • 3 Hybrid
  • 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 Irons
  • Pitching Wedge
  • Sand Wedge
  • Putter

This set of clubs would allow a golfer a wide range of options to meet a wide range of obstacles, but you’d have to rely on advanced skill to use each of them to full effect.

SETS FOR BEGINNERS

Beginners aren’t yet developed enough to take full advantage of a 12-club set. For instance, if you aren’t swinging fast enough yet, it’s unlikely that you’ll see any different results when using a 6-iron versus a 5-iron.

Joey Sindelar offers up his starting story:

“When I was young, I can remember that Dad insisted that ‘why are we carrying whole bag of clubs?’ If you’re not swinging hard enough you won’t even know the difference between a five, six, seven iron — there’s not enough of a gap there. So, I think we did odds. We did three, five, seven, nine.”

To this day Joey suggests starting out with a half set or a two-thirds set, starting with 3, 5, 7, and 9-irons and 3 and 5-wood clubs. Add in your putter and driver and you’re ready to hit the course.

You can find sets specifically labeled for beginners that offer 6-9 clubs, and these will likely be the best option for a developing player.