This is how beginners can build an affordable ‘starter’ set of golf clubs

A starter set is important for every beginner golfer.

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Golf has welcomed thousands of new golfers into the ranks since the start of the pandemic, and those beginners are bringing with them many questions about getting started in the game. Chief among them: What’s the best way to build a starter set of golf clubs, without shelling out tons of money?

The subject is one close to our two equipment writers’ hearts. Jonathan Wall and Andrew Tursky’s discussed the topic on this week’s Fully Equipped Podcast. You can listen to the full episode below…

“I’m a huge fan of not buying 14 clubs if you’ve only been playing a short time” Tursky says. “I play with a lot of beginners and really, throughout the round, we’re looking for one club that’s reliable. A 7-iron or a 6-iron … something that’s reliable, that you like, that you can get airborne and can hit well, and you can fill out the set from there.”

While 14 clubs is the limit imposed by the governing bodies, there’s no minimum requirement for the number of clubs golfers need to carry. And while carrying 14 has its advantages for avid golfers, the priorities are different when you’re starting out. Your goal isn’t to hit exact yardages with each of your irons. It’s to make solid contact, to get the ball in the air, and above all else, to have fun.

“It’s most important getting that mid-iron. Something that you can go to the range and just hit that. You can practice your swing, practice contact, and once you get to the course you can have that comfort factor.”

Of course, while the goal isn’t to be overly precise when you’re starting out, you can’t navigate a course with just one club. So while your mid-iron is the club you’ll end up hitting most often, it’s surrounded by specialized clubs for various situations around the green or off the tee,

(Co-host Jonathan Wall recommended adding a hybrid or two into the mix, which I’ve included but listed as “optional”)

Basic Starter Set

Driver

Hybrid (optional)

Mid-iron (a 6 or 7-iron)

Low-lofted wedge (Pitching wedge)

High-lofted wedge (56 or 60 degree)

Putter

A set like that will give you all the tools you need without breaking the bank, and there’s no minimum club purchase so you could even go hit up our partner company True Spec and get them all fit exactly to your standards. As time goes on you can add to it, but a set like this will give you everything you need to get started.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Director of Game Improvement Content at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.