How To Buy The Right Golf Clubs For You – Complete Buying Guide
Buying golf clubs is one of the most exciting things a golfer can do.
The shiny new models promise to fix whatever issue you have in your game and you start to believe that these could be the clubs that turn your game around. It is a whole new world of possibilities.
The thing is though, the golf club market has exploded in the last decade and there are so many options that it can be difficult to know where to start.
Don’t panic, we’re here to help you through this with this buying guide on how to get the right clubs.
Overview Of Buying Golf Clubs
When the time has come for some new hardware for the golf bag, your first step is to try and book a custom fitting.
The choice on the market is so vast that a fitting can help narrow your choices and make the decision process a little easier. Have a think about the kinds of clubs you like.
For me, I love Titleist clubs but when I went to get fitted for irons it was clear that there was a TaylorMade set that suited my swing better.
This made it easier for me to just buy them because no other clubs I tried worked as well for me.
There is plenty else that you should consider as well though.
Key Factors To Consider When Buying Clubs
There are a few things that you should be thinking about when you’re buy new clubs.
Firstly, why do you think you need a new club/new clubs? Would a lesson help you better?
You also want to consider your budget and if you want the newest model or if a used club would suit you fine.
Do you want to get a custom fitting? I can’t recommend this highly enough but some people find it uncomfortable.
Your skill level matters too, that changes what type of clubs you need and do you want a full set or will you buy each club and build the set?
So much to think about, Including:
1. Your Skill Level
Depending on where you are in your golfing journey you will need different clubs.
New golfers and high handicappers will want clubs that are made to maximize forgiveness whereas elite players want more control at the expense of forgiveness.
This is a point in the process where you have to be honest with yourself and consider what level you play at. I’ve seen a few players with bladed irons in my time that just weren’t skilled enough to get the benefit from them, they just made the game harder for themselves.
2. Full Set Vs Buying Separately
Many golfers love the convenience of buying a full set that contains everything, even a golf bag in many cases and you can buy with a single click on Amazon and have it on your doorstep the next day.
This way can also be great value, especially if you are new to the game but know you want golf to be your new sport.
Apart from the iron set, most golfers like to build up their sets individually. This way you can choose the best driver for you, the best three wood and so on to make up a unique bag that suits your game best.
This way may take longer but it does give you more freedom to choose.
3. Beginner Set Vs Intermediate Set
If you are brand new to the game then you will need certain features in your clubs that intermediate golfers won’t need.
If this is your first set and you know that you want to learn how to play properly then a beginner set can be exactly what you need to commit to golf.
For those who have been playing a little longer, usually about a year or more, you can get an intermediate set to drive your skills a little further.
Both set wills cost around the same so you don’t need to worry about that factor when making this particular decision.
What To Consider When Buying A Driver
There is one main choice to make with a driver, is distance or forgiveness most important to you?
Nowadays, drivers come in models with either of these two factors being the primary focus of the model. Only you can really know what your game needs most of.
As a general rule, twelve handicaps and below should focus less on forgiveness and more on distance and the opposite for those with a higher handicap.
You also want to consider loft, usually you can choose between 9 and 12 degrees, a custom fitting is best for deciding this.
What Are The Different Types Of Drivers
Let’s look at the Titleist driver line-up as an example, they have the TSi1, 2, 3 and 4 which is split between drivers for added forgiveness or reduced spin (distance).
TSi1 is extra-light and for maximum forgiveness, whereas the TSi2 is for extra forgiveness with added distance.
The TSi3 is for added distance with a little forgiveness and is the most used driver on the PGA Tour, whereas the TSi4 is a spin killer, goes miles but is for highly skilled players only, it is not very forgiving at all!
This is probably the most comprehensive line-up on the market right now, but there are plenty more from big hitters like Callaway with Epic Speed, Taylormade with the Sim 2 and Ping with the G425.
What To Consider When Buying Irons
Buying irons can be a complex process as there are so many options out there for you to choose between.
In a similar sense to what we discussed with the driver this is all about your skill. You can choose between game improvement irons all the way down to blades.
Here they are listed in terms of beginner friendliness.
Super Game Improvement Irons
Game Improvement Irons
Cavity Back Irons
Players Distance Irons
Just to make things more complicated, you can even get a mixed-set which would mean adding forgiveness on the long irons and control on the scoring irons.
You also need to consider what irons you want to carry and if you want to replace long irons with hybrids.
Game Improvement Irons
These irons have large cavity backs for maximum forgiveness.
They now often have inserts to maximise distance and forgiveness whilst also reducing weight. These clubs are for new golfers or those at the start of their journey.
These are the most common irons in golf and are designed to be both forgiving and provide distance but to also add control.
These are for proficient golfers and intermediates, even some tour pros are starting to play cavity-backs these days.
These are the hardest and least forgiving types of iron and they are designed to maximize spin control.
They provide elite golfers with exquisite control of trajectory and spin, something that other iron types just can’t match. This is something for very consistent ball strikers only.
What To Consider When Buying Fairway Woods
In many ways, buying a faraway wood is like buying a driver.
You have similar options of maximizing distance, reducing spin or maximizing forgiveness. There are far more options here though on lofts and how many woods you want to carry.
I highly suggest carrying a 3 wood as another option from the tee, then you need to consider if you want to carry a 5 wood or if you would prefer a hybrid, for example.
You need to consider the gap between your irons and woods and how you want to fill that to make your decision.
These are, apart from your driver, the longest clubs in the bag and are an option form the tee when you need more height or more control.
They are also great for long distance attacks to the green. They are usually 15 degrees but if you prefer them from the tee then you may go stronger.
Favoured by many tour golfers these days, like Justin Thomas, the 5 wood is a great wood for attacking greens.
They launch the ball high which allows them to stop quick. They are also great from the fairway or semi-rough to advance the ball a long way.
Before hybrids came along it wasn’t uncommon to see some players, especially seniors and ladies, carrying 7 and 11 woods.
This fashion seems to have gone nowadays but the options are there for those that want another wood with maximum loft.
What To Consider When Buying Hybrids
Hybrids are the most versatile club in the bag and have bridged the gap between long irons and woods.
The main things you need to consider are how many hybrids do you want to carry and what clubs would you like to replace with hybrids?
Many will replace their longest irons with hybrids and maybe even take away a 5 wood for a hybrid too. That then lets you figure out what lofts you need to best replace these clubs and cover yardages in your bag.
Hybrids come in many different lofts and can replace many clubs.
The only real difference here are lofts, as discussed. These clubs tend to fly higher than the equivalent loft in an iron and this is really important to keep in mind.
Hybrid clubs have a sharp leading eadge and they are also known as Rescue clubs because they are perfect for hitting long shots out of the rough.
Technically not hybrids, driving irons are a similar type of club but they are specialize for playing from the tee.
They make the ball fly lower and tend to hit it further but aren’t so good for hitting from the fairway or rough where hybrids lead the way.
What To Consider When Buying Wedges
Wedges, like irons, come in bladed and cavity back forms.
Blades give you added spin and control whereas cavity backs are more forgiving. The main thing you are considering here is what lofts do you need to cover your distances equally and efficiently.
Having a gapping session can be a great way to see where you wedges are weak in terms distance coverage and giving you clues as to what you need. This is something that many golfers overlook at their own loss.
What To Consider When Buying Putters
Putting is all about confidence, this cannot be underestimated. If a putter makes you feel good then you will tend to do better with it in your hands.
You need to consider what shape of head you want, whether you want a steel or graphite shaft and what type of grip you would like.
Many golfers these days are using specialist shafts and grips to get the most they can from the putter they use. Speak to your club pro about what would be best for your game, get a putting lesson and have them analyse your stroke.
Mallet putters are the most forgiving putter type and they are loved by many golfers.
These putters tend to be heavier, which many like, and are great for those who lack confidence on shorter putts.
The heel-toe putter was invented by Ping and they remain one of the most used putter types in the world.
These putters provide many of the benefits of a mallet but in a smaller head. They are more forgiving that bladed putters.
A more old-fashioned putter type, some still love this including Phil Mickelson.
These putters have the smallest head and require very consistent ball striking to get the most benefit from them.
What Is Shaft Flex And Why Is It Important?
Shaft flex is how much the shaft bends during the golf swing.
It is crucial because getting it wrong can make it really difficult to hit the ball well and straight, getting it right can give you effortless extra distance. Custom fitting is the best way to ensure you get this right.
Steel Shafts Vs Graphite Shafts
As a quick rule, steel shafts are heavier and are made to maximize feel, graphite shafts are lighter and made to maximize distance.
The most common set-up for golfers is steel-shafted irons and graphite-shafted woods/hybrids.
Some golfers, especially seniors and ladies, like to also have graphite shafts in their irons to help gain extra yardage through the whole bag.
This is a personal preference and, again, being correctly fitted for your clubs can help with this choice.
Our Favorite Golf Club Set – TaylorMade RBZ Speedlight
If you want everything in one package then the TaylorMade RBZ Speedlight set is hard to beat.
We’ve spoken about it before on this page and we love them. The 13-piece set has everything you could need and the quality fo the clubs is astoundingly good.
Overall Score: 96/100
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Our Favorite Driver – TaylorMade SIM Max
One of the most celebrated driver line-ups of the last couple of years has been the TaylorMade SIM range.
The SIM Max is packed with technology and you get all the benefit from that. This driver will give you huge amounts of distance, even on mishits!
Overall Score: 96/100
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Our Favorite Irons – Callaway Big Bertha B21
Designed using artificial intelligence, the Callaway Big Bertha B21 irons are incredibly impressive and incredibly forgiving.
They hit the ball high, far and straight and will give you a whole new confidence in your irons. They also look fantastic which is a big part of the battle. These are hard to beat.
Overall Score: 94/100
Check Out More Reviews Here:
As you can see, the choices out there for what clubs to buy are virtually endless. This article should give you a manual to help you on your search for new clubs.
Importantly, you should enjoy the search for new clubs, it’s great to get to try all these new toys then pick your favorite.
Also, consider getting a custom fitting session booked. Working with a fitting tech can help ensure you get the best clubs possible in your bag and you can leave confident that you’re ready to take your game to the next level. Happy shopping!