As a golf novice, finding the perfect golf clubs can seem one of the most intimidating barriers to overcome before you can play. You may feel as if picking the right clubs is a lottery, and you’ll need to win a mega lotto jackpot to pay for them. Starting out as a beginner is already hard enough without having to worry about which clubs are going to suit you best.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Finding the right clubs for you isn’t as difficult as you’d expect. With the right advice and a willingness to take the time and effort, there’s no reason why you can’t walk away with a set of clubs that will serve you well, and for the right price.
Golf? Are You Sure?
Golf can be an expensive sport. Equipment aside, green fees and club membership can be substantial costs that might not be palatable for everyone. Before you commit to buying a set of clubs, it makes sense to be sure that golf is a sport you want to pursue. The best way to do this is to play a few rounds with borrowed or hired clubs first. You’ll know what you’re in for then and can make a properly informed decision about whether to continue, or not. There are also plenty of social clubs for golf beginners. Many find the social aspect of the game just as appealing as the game itself, and you should factor this into your decision.
Your New Set
It might be tempting to opt for a full set of custom-fitted clubs from the get-go. We don’t recommend this for beginners, as it can mean a significant investment which may not pay off should you decide not to continue playing long-term. A custom fit may suit better once your game has improved and you need to upgrade your equipment.
Before going all-in on your new hobby and buying a full set of clubs, it’s probably a good idea to start with a half set.
A half set of golf clubs will typically have a driver, a fairway wood, a few irons, a putter and possibly a hybrid.
Length and Lie
The length and lie of a club refers to the length of the shaft (length) and the angle of the shaft in relation to the ground, when the head is resting flat on the ground (lie). Picking clubs with the right length is very important; too short and you’ll struggle to get under the ball; too long and you’ll likely hit the ground before the ball. The correct lie is also crucial; you might find yourself hooking (club head toe-up at impact) or slicing (when the head is toe-down at impact) shots if the lie isn’t right.
It’s best to try and visit a pro shop or retailer here, as it can be difficult for a beginner to confidently know how to measure themselves up for a set of clubs. Seasoned pros can help you narrow down which clubs will (and won’t) be suitable for you.
Golf club loft is the angle of the club face in relation to the ground. Each club in your set will have a different loft. Generally speaking, the higher the loft, the higher the ball will travel when you hit it, at the expense of distance. Conversely, the lower the loft, the further the ball will travel, at the expense of height.
Clubs with a higher loft are good for beginners, as they often struggle to get the ball in the air. A higher loft can help overcome this hurdle, and can also help reduce sidespin. For those of us who lack the natural talent of a John Daly, this can be a godsend. As your game improves, you can graduate to clubs with lower lofts, which should help you increase the distance that you can hit the ball.
Try Before You Buy
Given you could be about to make a moderately significant investment, you’d be mad not to thoroughly try all of your new clubs out. Most pro shops and retailers should have a facility for you to test clubs on. Take your time here, there’s no need to rush. Don’t feel obligated to buy anything if you feel it’s not right for you. Compare different models (within the confines of those recommended for you by the staff) and make sure you’re comfortable with your choices before you commit to buying anything.
Starting out as a beginner in golf can be overwhelming. It would be easy to give the game away even before your first tee shot. For all its difficulties, the substantial time, effort and money investment needed to get started in golf do pay off in the end. If you can persevere through the frustrations of buying your clubs you’ll also learn a fundamentally important golf lesson; persistence is key and there are no shortcuts. Happy swinging!