What Golf Clubs Do I Need As A Beginner?

If you’re new to golf, you might be wondering how many clubs you need to get started. The good news is that you don’t need an entire set of golf clubs to start playing. In this blog post, we’ll go over how many clubs a beginner golfer should have and the ones we recommend starting with.

How Many Clubs Should a Beginner Golfer Start With?

A beginner golfer should start with 11 golf clubs. You can technically golf with just a fairway wood, iron, and putter but you’re going to want to learn how to use more clubs if you want to be able to handle every situation. Eventually, you’ll want a full set of golf clubs but if you start with the essentials, you’ll have a solid foundation to work with.

What are the Essentials?

If I had to pick one club, my choice is a driver, 3 wood, and 5 wood. I’d pick the 3 wood because it’s the most versatile and can be used in a variety of situations. Other essential clubs for a beginner golfer include:

3 Fairway Wood

If I had to pick one club between a driver and 3 fairway wood (or 5), my choice would be the 3 fairway wood. While a driver will go the furthest, it is not very versatile making it difficult to use off the tee box. With a 3 fairway wood, you can hit from the tee box or even from tight fairway lies.

Even if you are a new golfer with no experience whatsoever – most people should be able to find more success using a fairway wood than they would using a driver due to its accuracy factor.

For example, many newcomers tend to either slice their drivers 2 courses over or shank them straight into someone else’s backyard- which isn’t much fun for anyone involved! Eventually, we’ll want a driver but we don’t really need one at first – because they’re so difficult to be consistent with!

4 & 5 Hybrid

Next, I want you to pick up 4 & 5 hybrid clubs from your local golf store. Hybrids are my favorite club to hit and they’re more forgiving than irons, giving you more distance and height. You can use them off the tee, on the fairway, and out of the rough.

A 4 hybrid is around 22 degrees and designed to replace a 4 iron, which most people find too difficult at the beginner level when trying to generate lift or carry. The 4 hybrid is also much more forgiving than the 4 iron.

Also, to replace your 5 iron, I recommend going with a 5 hybrid. Just like the 4 hybrids, the 5 hybrids are way more forgiving, offer more distance, and ability to get more height. The 5 hybrid gives golfers even greater control over trajectory – allowing them to generate even higher ball flights than they would achieve with a conventional iron at similar loft angles. 

6-9 Iron & Pitching Wedge

Next, you’ll want to buy an iron set that includes a 6, 7, 8, and 9 iron, along with a pitching wedge. They’re fairly standard for all levels of golfers and are extremely helpful for short shots.

A lot of iron sets come with 5 clubs, as well as 3, 4, and 5 irons. It’s fine to use them if you want, but I’d still recommend getting some hybrids.

Different irons are available on the market, and they are not all created equal. It’s the same with woods and hybrids, but picking the right irons is more important. With some, there is no forgiveness at all, so you will have a hard time handling them. But if they’re straight forgiveness, you can’t grow into them. It is important to find a middle ground.

56 Degree & Sand Wedge

A wedge is the next thing you should buy. Generally, these clubs are used for shots near greens, in sand, or when hitting a really high shot. There are a variety of lofts, but 52, 56, and 60 degrees are the most common.

The 56-degree wedge will give you the most bang for your buck since it’s in the middle. It’s OK to get a 52 and 60 degree later on since they’re not necessary when you’re just getting started.

In some situations, your irons and pitching wedge won’t have enough loft. When you’re on the green’s edge and you want your shot to go high and bounce a couple of times, you need to use a lofted wedge.

You will also need a sand wedge for when you find yourself stuck in the sand.


Finally, the club that is most important to your game – the putter. Without a putter, you will find it quite difficult to make accurate shots on the green.

Unless you’re a good putter, it will be impossible to get par, let alone birdie. Get a good putter and start practicing.

There are many different types of putters, but as a beginner, you do not need to spend a fortune. Find a putter that you feel comfortable holding.

Summarizing What Golf Clubs Are Needed For A Beginner

Starting out as a beginner golfer doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t need an entire set of golf clubs to get started. By starting with just 11 essential golf clubs, you’ll have everything you need to begin learning and playing golf. So go out there and hit those balls!

What Is The Ideal Club Set-Up For Beginners?

To recap it is recommended that beginners start with the following clubs:

  1. Putter
  2. Sand Wedge
  3. 56 Degree Wedge
  4. Pitching Wedge
  5. 6 Iron
  6. 7 Iron
  7. 8 Iron
  8. 9 Iron
  9. 4 Hybrid
  10. 5 Hybrid
  11. 3 Fairway Wood

By including each one of the above golf clubs, you will have something in your bag for each challenge.

Now . . . How To Decide What Clubs To Hit

Having the right clubs is the first challenge, but learning when to use each one is equally as important. Use the below summary as a guide while you’re on the course.

Long-range Shots: 200 Yards +

The further away you are, the harder it is to hit accurately. Which makes hybrids a great option for beginners since they are more forgiving, making this distance easier. Just do not forget to relax and swing smoothly. Your goal is not to hit the ball as hard as you can. Let your club do the heavy lifting.

Mid-range Shots: 150 Yards +

Mid-range distances are where golf gets exciting. Not too far where accuracy becomes too difficult but not too close giving you a chance to attack the course.

I suggest sticking with your 7 or 9 iron, depending on how far you hit the ball.

Short-range Shots: 100 Yards & In

This is where your 9 iron and sand wedges shine. The key to making it on the greenside is learning to control your power. Overshooting is a quick way to strokes to your score.

Greenside: Around The Green

The green is what the putter was made for. But just like on your short-range shots, controlling your distance is key.

Should You Buy A Set Or Individual Clubs?

It does not have to be expensive to get started with golf. Sure, you can drop 5k on a fitted top-tier bag but it is not necessary and highly discouraged. While you’re learning golf, you should be trying out different types of clubs and figuring out what works and feels right to you.

I recommend purchasing a starter set from a reputable golf company. I have compiled a list of my top recommendations below. Click here if you’re not sure what size golf club to choose based on your height.

Best Starter Golf Sets

The Callaway Strata 12-piece set

This is a paired-back set that contains everything you could ever need as a new golfer. In the Strata 12-piece set you get a driver, a fairway wood, a hybrid, irons from 6-9, a pitching wedge, a putter and a bag to keep it all in. This is great quality from a big brand in golf.

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Cobra XL set

Cobra have created an incredible starter set with this one. You get 12 clubs in this set, which is probably more than you need but you can take clubs out and add them in as you get better, this is a set that can grow with your game. Included you get a driver, a three- and five-wood, and four- and five-hybrid, 6-9 irons, a sand wedge, a putter and a bag.

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Wilson Profile SGI complete set

This set by Wilson is really unique on the market as it allows a level of custom fitting. We humans come in all different shapes and sizes and by allowing this customisation, it makes it easier for you to learn. This set comes with a driver, a fairway wood, a hybrid, 6-9 irons a sand wedge, a putter and a bag.

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MacGregor DCT3000 set

Whilst it may not have the catchiest brand name in history, the MacGregor DCT3000 set is a great option for new golfers. This set looks the part and comes from a brand that used to be one the best in the game. With this set you get a driver, a fairway wood, two hybrids, 5-9 irons, a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, a putter and a bag. This is the most comprehensive set and a strong contender on this list.

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Do you have any other questions about the golf clubs a beginner golfer should start with? Let us know in the comments below!