Golf Club Guide for Beginners – Everything Explained!

Beginners golf guise

The Best Golf Guide for beginners

 
So you’re interested in getting into Golf and buying your first set of clubs. make sure to read all of our golf club guide for beginners. However, before you purchase your first set of golf clubs there is a lot to consider so we will break it down for you, and explain what each club means, why you need it and everything you need to know about how to use it. This will be your definitive guide to golf clubs for the beginner golfer.

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How do you play golf for beginners?

There is a lot to consider when starting out as a beginner golfer, and it can be expensive. You should consider your budget and your level of dedication for the game before spending any money. When buying golf clubs for beginners, it is generally advisable to under-spend than overspend. After you master the game and improve, you can always upgrade your kit according to your requirements.

You’ll see from our golf club guide for beginners thatthere’s a lot to learn for the new golfer, we’ll break this down for you. You need to understand the different clubs you’ll need before learning what essential equipment you will need to assist your game.

Firstly, lets start with the key clubs that you’ll have in your bag, we will take you through each one and share our advice for which clubs will be the best for your game.

Beginners guide to golf. The best beginner golf irons
The best beginner golf irons can make a huge impact to your game.

What are different types of golf clubs?

Each club has its own characteristics and is used for different elements of play.
Our golf club guide for beginners will tell you more about the most common clubs you’ll find in a golf bag. They are the following:

  • Irons
  • Driver
  • Fairway Woods
  • Hybrid club
  • Wedges
  • Putter


What are the different parts of a golf iron?

Golf clubs can be broadly divided into three components. In our golf club guide we discuss the grip, the shaft, and the head. The grip is where you hold the club and the head is the part that is used to hit the ball. The shaft therefore connects the grip to the head. 

Do Golf Grips make a difference?

The golf grip has evolved a lot over the years, early adopters of golf would not have had a grip on the club. In our golf club guide we look at how early club shafts were made of wood and players would likely have worn gloves to provide some form of grip onto these wooden shafts.

As time progressed and players looked for more effective methods to improve their game primitive grips would have been used. Early grips were leather strips wrapped around the top of the shaft providing better contact for the golfer. In some instances, this remained in place for many years.

beginners guide to golf. Best Golf Grips
Golf Grips Can Transform Your Game

However, the modern grips are a single price of rubber/synthetic material which is secured over the top of the shaft using some form of glue or adhesive to hold it in place.

How often should I replace my golf grips?

If you’re playing 1-2 times a week your grips will probably last up to 12 months, this will take a reasonable amount of practice time into consideration. If you’re playing 3-4 times a week you might need to change your grips after around 6 months. There are so many different types of golf grip available nowadays that it is well worth investigating which type of grip would assist you best with your game.

The golf grip is continually evolving with modern golfers looking for ways to refine their game and look for marginal gains to improve. The 2020 US Open Champion Bryson De-Chambeau, who is regarded for his scientific approach to the game uses extremely thick grips, Jumbo Max Grips, the largest grips commercially available.

He has also made his irons all the same length 37.5” the length of a 6 iron, in an aim to take the margin of error from his game, but we won’t get into that just yet. If you are interested in finding out more once you’ve read our golf club guide for beginners, why not have a look at our top suggestions for the best grips available to transform your game.

What do the different irons do in Golf?

Iron clubs are the most important components of your club set in this beginner golf club guide. . Equipped with 3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 iron, not including wedges which are explained further below, they are used to cover medium distances between 215 and 130 yards. Modern golf sets however make use of Fairway woods and hybrid clubs, described below, in place of the lower numbered irons as these are generally more forgiving, versatile and easier to hit.

In the past golfers would have used irons numbered 1-3 for the longer approach shots onto the green as opposed to the fairway woods. These longer irons are notoriously difficult to hit with golfer Lee Trevino, when asked about the 1 iron, was famously quoted as saying:

“If your caught in a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1 iron. Even God can’t hit a 1 iron”

Lee Trevino
Choosing the right Irons can transform your game

With all joking aside, choosing the right club for your approach to the green or flag is especially important. As a beginner golfer you should take some time in practice, either on the course or at the driving range, to find out what distances you hit each club. Keep reading our golf club guide for beginners to find out more.

The last thing you want is to hit an amazing drive into the middle of the fairway only to seriously under or over hit your approach shot making a mess of your score! To assist you in choosing the right club this is why they are numbered.

What do the numbers mean on the bottom of a golf club?

The numbers on the bottom of clubs provide an easy way for golfers to identify which clubs they should select for their shot. They distinguish the degree of loft the clubs have.

beginners guide to golf. Beginner Golf 2 Iron
Long Irons are hard to hit for beginner golfers!

The higher numbers have a higher degree of loft and the lower numbers have a lower degree of loft and carry the ball longer distances. For example, the 5 iron which has a loft of 27 degrees will have an average yardage of 160 yards.

It is designed to hit the ball a longer distance and take the ball flight over a lower height trajectory. In contrast the 9 iron has a club loft of 42 degrees and will have an average yardage of 120 yards, but the ball will have a much higher flight path due to the amount of loft on the club face and it will take a shorter amount of distance for the ball to reach the maximum height trajectory.

In our beginner golf club guide this helps with choosing which is the perfect club for the next shot to approach the green or flag.

Beginner Golf club guide distance chart for beginners

As part of our golf club guide for beginners we’ve included a really helpful quick reference golf club distance chart. This will help guide you to the the differences between the loft and the distances of the clubs in your golf bag.

The guide to beginner golf distance chart
Golf Iron Distance Guide

Should I use one-length golf irons?

As mentioned earlier ‘one length’ irons are becoming immensely popular at the moment. This is in part due to Golfers such as De-Chambeau who have made all of their irons the same length as a 6 iron, 37.5”. He has seen lots of benefits from this winning PGA events and the US Open 2020. They can help you if you struggel to hit your longer irons as they are all the smae length. Remember however that he has been playing with these his whole career so it might take you some time to get used to them if you’ve not tried this type of club before. Our advice if you arer struggling with longer irons woul dbe to test out some hybrid clubs first of all as these are designed to help with this situation.

In our golf club guide for beginners we advise that you should probably take some time to hit a standard set of golf irons before making the decision to have a ‘one length’ set. This way you will be able to make a more informed decision. Many golf shops and outlet stores will offer a free custom fitting service for golfers looking to purchase a new set. Companies like American Golf do this extremely well and you are given a full run-down of what your specific requirements are.

beginners guide to golf. best custom fitted golf clubs
You can quickly and easily get fitted at American Golf

For a new golfer I would recommend this as a pre-requisite before making your first purchase. If you’d like to find out more about Custom Fitting why not read more in our article on this subject.


What do I need to know about the Golf Driver?

A driver is the longest club used by a golfer; nowadays it is also the most expensive club in the bag. The driver is used from the tee box, to hit the ball as far as you can as your first shot to make sure your second shot gives you a shorter distance to the green. You would use a tee peg to hit the ball from and in most cases the ball would be teed up quite high to allow you to get the ball airborne.

beginners guide to golf. Best Driver for Golfers
Drivers Can take Shots off Your Golf Game!

Why is a golf driver so hard to hit?

This club is one of the most difficult to hit, usually due to the length of the club and the distance you are standing away from the ball. Therefore we see that this alone can provide a larger margin for error with this club. Therefore, when choosing a driver to buy you need to make sure you’ve had the chance to practice with it first in the first place. Many golf shops and outlets will allow this either in the indoor swing analysis area or on the nearby driving range.

These golf clubs are very difficult to use for beginner. So, beginners face a tough challenge to choose the appropriate driver for their game. Several things must be considered when choosing your driver. Read more of our golf guide for beginners to find out about drivers.

Golfers love to hit long distances; the driver is the perfect club that delivers greater distances. With advances in technology, the golf drivers nowadays can hit incredibly long distances. The club heads are made from metal alloys or advanced materials replacing the wooden counterparts of earlier times. These clubs remain to be referred as ‘woods’ though, even though the material has evolved away from wooden material.

Beginners guide to golf driving
How long drives can transform your game

From the last few years, several manufacturers of golf equipment have adopted the technology of adjustable drivers that allow players to set up various attributes of the club to make it more customized. The adjustable drivers enable a golfer to vary the loft angles across wide ranges, adjust angle of the club face, lie angle, and the gravitational centre of your club head.

There are some important things for a beginner golfer to consider when choosing the best golf driver. I’ve listed below some of the key differences you can choose to have a more custom driver.

What size of driver Club head do I need?

If you have just begun to play golf beginners should use drivers having a large 460cc club head; these drivers have been around  for the past few years, and it is the maximum permissible size in the USGA rules of golf. Drivers having bigger club heads can help you improve your golf to a great extent due to the ‘sweet spot’ being larger and providing a better chance of the ball going in the right direction.

In this golf guide for beginners we can tell you that these golf clubs are capable of producing the best shots, even if you do not hit the ball perfectly modern technology can help you achieve exceptionally long drives. You should take some time to practice with drivers with a larger head as these can sometimes feel difficult to swing for some inexperienced beginners.

Beginners guide to golf.  drivers
How to choose a driver for a beginner golfer

What Flex Clubs do you need?

Other than choosing the perfect driver, you must pair the driver with clubs having a stiff or extra hard flex club shaft.

This relates to how flexible the shaft of the club will be when you complete the swing. If you have a slower swing speed. Maybe for beginners, juniors or women golfers, you might be better off with a regular flex club shaft. There is also the option of a stiff or extra stiff shaft flex which makes the shaft less flexible when being swung.

In this golf guide for beginners we want to explain that this is helpful for those who have a faster swing speed. It will ensure that the club head can connect correctly with the golf ball at the bottom of your swing and ensure you hit the ball the longest possible distance. Graphite club shafts are another option as an alternative to steel shafts.

Graphite provide more consistency to the golfer to hit the golf ball. Have a look at the below chart to provide some insight into how swing speed affects the type of club flex you’ll require.

What flex golf club do I need?

Follow this guide below to check if your club flex is right for your swing speed:

Shot DistanceClubhead SpeedShaft Flex
180 to 200 yards75 to 85 mphSenior
200 to 240 yards85 to 95 mphRegular
240 to 275 yards95 to 110 mphStiff/Firm
Understanding Club Flex Can Improve Your Game

In looking for a new club shaft for my driver I found this very useful post which is well worth a read on the different types of shafts available: https://www.golfinfluence.com/gear/accessories/best-golf-drivers-shaft/

What is the importance of Loft in drivers?

Beginners normally tend to forget about this aspect while purchasing a driver. In this beginners golf club guide we will find out that golfers must choose the driver having a high loft because the shot will be impacted by side spin if the ball is hit with a club having lower loft. The lower loft clubs are generally harder for new golfers to get airborne. If the ball flies higher and straighter from the tee your game will further improve. In this beginner golf club guide the average PGA touring professionals driver loft in 2020 averaged between 9.5 to 10.5 degrees.

beginners guide to golf. Best Driver for Golfers
The best beginner golfer driver

What size golf grip do I need?

As discussed earlier in this post a good grip helps a golfer to control their club properly when hitting the ball. The golfer’s hands work in tandem to develop suitable swing speed along with delivering club head at a squared angle on the ball, thereby making accurate shots. The better your grip of the club the better the results of your swing.

Why not have a read of our definitive guide to the best golf driver in this article and review our suggestions for how to dramatically improve your game with the perfect driver.

Should I buy a fairway wood or a hybrid?

These clubs have a head that is slightly smaller than the driver and have a higher degree of loft. They are designed for hitting the golf ball longer distances off the ground to cover distances of between 180 – 220 yards depending on the club type.

The aerodynamic shape and twist face technology make this great at correcting miss-hits. Fairway woods can have a big impact on your game by allowing you to easily hit the ball to the green or surrounding area from a longer distance. The design of these clubs mean that they are generally easier to hit than the longer irons, and for this reason have become a regular part of golfers bags.

Hybrids

Hybrids, not to be confused with fairway woods are also good beginners. With longer irons so hard to hit for beginner golfers hybrid golf clubs have become increasingly popular. The small club face and low club trajectory for these types of clubs are much easier to hit from both the fairway and and the rough. As these are generally easier to hit and more forgiving for the beginner golfer, some golf equipment companies have produced hybrid versions of their entire set from long irons all the way to the wedges.

Beginners guide to golf. Hybrids can improve a beginners game
Hybrids are a popular choice for modern golfers

Wedges 


Wedges are irons too, but golfers think of wedges as a subset of irons or as specialized irons. In other words, they are often considered as the most used category of golf clubs.

Having the wrong golf wedge can leave you struggling on the golf course and exposed, having the best golf wedge can save you a lot more that you think. In this beginner golf club guide we will find more about how to improve your game.

beginners guide to golf Happy Gilmore
The best wedges for beginner golfers

“You spend more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff!”

Shooter McGavin

The wedge is used around the green and for approach shots to the flag from usually from within 120 yards. Although the different types of wedges may look similar their features and uses are very different.

There are four main classes of wedge, and each has its own strengths and abilities. We’ve detailed below but firstly lets explain a little more about wedges.

Beginners guide to Golf how the wedge was designed
Sarazen was the inventor of the wedge

Gene Sarazen, an American professional golfer during the 1930’s and 40’s is widely credited with inventing the style for the modern wedge. In the past the irons used in the bunkers and around the green would have very little loft and be more of a blade style club. This made it difficult to get under the ball in the sand and allow the ball to sop ion the green without running. Sarazen developed his wedge using the equivalent of a 9 iron and giving it a higher degree of loft, he also built it up under the base of the club to allow a better swing through sand or grass. This club assisted Sarazen on his way to winning Major golf tournaments in Britain and America.

Also giving the player a chance to turn the ball over as soon as it falls. Although it is a special device, each wedge can change depending on the manufacturer of the club. The loft is the angular distance between the face of the wedge and an imaginary vertical line.

What are the different types of Wedges?

The different types of golf wedges that exist might look very similar in their features and technology but they are not. Understanding the different types and specifications of golf wedge is vital. That is for you to have the most out of your game.

  • Pitching Wedge
  • Sand Wedge
  • Gap Wedge
  • Lob Wedge

Golf wedges are divided into four main classes and each has its strengths and abilities.
The key to choosing the best golf wedge for beginners is to ensure that there is no large gap between the loft of each club.

beginners guide to golf wedges
The Best Beginner Guide to Wedges

Pitching Wedge

Abbreviated as PW, the modern pitching wedge hits the ball the farthest of the different types of wedge. The pitching wedge has a lower loft angle between 46 to 48 degrees. The low loft of the pitching wedge makes the ball fly a bit lower in the air and roll farther when it lands on the green. In other words, Golfers use this wedge to hit a long-distance shot. Pitching wedge is considered indispensable and it is meant to be carried around always. The Pitching wedge is generally used from the fairway or the rough to approach the green from distances of approximately 100-120 yards. As with other types of wedge club this can also be used effectively to chip up onto the green from shorter distances and allow the ball to roll after landing in a chip and run style shot.

Gap Wedge 

This is the best golf wedge to use when trying to bring your ball closer to the flag for high performance and reliability. In the beginner golf club guide this was created to bridge the loft gap between pitching wedge and sand wedge, which can have up to 10 degrees in difference. These gap wedge clubs are generally 50-52 degrees and allow skilled players to be able to effectively find the right club to get as close to the flag from between 100-80 yards. The popularity of this club is the way that it has bridged the gap between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. It has been designed to be able to be used in the sand but also being well designed enough to easily hit from the fairway.

Sand Wedge

The sand wedge, as the name might suggest, is designed to be used in sand bunkers. The sand wedge is used to easily exit sand bunkers. It is the widest of all the golf wedge. It offers the best club shape to allow head to pass through the sand smoothly and avoid digging. The sand wedge can also be especially useful in hard, moist, soft long grass, and is also used effectively on loose ground or wood chips. It has a higher club loft, averaging 56 degrees and has a high bounce angle meaning this is perfect for bunker shots, but not great from a flat bare lie.

Mickelson is the master of flop shots!

Lob Wedge

The lop wedge was Made famous by flop Master Phil Mickelson. The lob wedge lifts the ball with a loft of 60 degrees. These tactical shots are great when you must land the ball on an elevated green with risks on all sides and you just need to and it softly with little or no roll. This club is ideal in situations where you have a limited landing area. Check out this amazing trick shot below by the legend Lefty!

Phil Mickelson is renowned for his ability to perfect to flop shot

Made famous in the early 1980’s by Tom Kite it was in response to more difficult green designs which made landing the ball on the green more difficult. These clubs can also be hit from approximately 70-80 yards distance but are far more effective in and around the green.

There are clubs which have been produced which have even more loft than the lob wedge, some named the ultra lob wedge, or the flop wedge these ‘marketing stunts’ have loft in the region of 70 degrees. There seems to be little use for these when you can effectively open up the lob wedge if necessary and many have dismissed these are gimmicks.

We’ve summarised our best choices for wedges, so if you’re looking to make your game take off to the next level why not take some time to check out our reviews and suggestions.

What is a golf Putter?

Putters are not used for hitting the ball long distances, they are precision clubs that are used to putt the ball into the hole along the ground from the green or fringe areas of the green.

What are the different types of putter?

There are 3 different types of putter for you to choose from:

  • Mallet Putter
  • Cavity Backed Putter
  • Blade Putter

As part of this beginner golf club guide we find out that the putter is an under-rated club for many golfers in their bag. If you can’t putt the ball in the hole, you’ll never reduce your handicap or take some money from your playing partners.

Beginners guide to golf putters
Putters can transform your game

Why not check out our article on the Best 5 Putters to improve your game. If you are going to invest in your golf I would always recommend spending slightly more on your putter.

You drive for show, but putt for dough!

Bobby Locke

Conclusion

So you’ve now read in this golf guide for beginners and how the different types of golf clubs you might need in your bag will help your game. Now you need to decide which ones are the best ones for you.

Why not check out our guides on the best putters, wedges, irons and drivers to help you make the decision to see which clubs are going to transform you into the next Tiger Woods! You could also check out our guide on the best golf bags our guide to golf gloves and the top guide to golf accessories.

Have fun!

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