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by ConsumerAffairs Research Team

To be a successful golfer, you need to have the right set of clubs. Use our guide to research the best golf club brands for you. Woods, irons, wedges and putters are crucial for putting together a set for yourself before you hit the links. We explain what to look for in grips and shaft material based on your height and experience level.

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What should you consider when buying golf clubs?


golf club price

Golf is not a cheap sport in general, and the amount you’re willing to spend on a set of clubs will likely be a factor for golfers at every level. The most expensive clubs aren’t necessarily the best ones, however there are definite disadvantages to buying clubs based solely on the lowest price. There are several factors that determine how much you should spend on a set of golf clubs.

  • Customization: If you need your clubs customized because of your height, grip preferences or because you are left handed, expect to pay more, even for a basic set of golf clubs.
  • Skill level: Beginners can get away with only buying a select few clubs or even buying a used set, while intermediate and advanced golfers will have specific expectations for their golf clubs.
  • Frequency of play: If you are only buying golf clubs to play at your company’s annual golf tournament, you won’t want to spend a lot of money on clubs. If, on the other hand, you plan on practicing and playing frequently, it might be worth the extra cost to buy more expensive clubs.

Experience level

How much experience you have, and how often you plan on using your golf clubs after you buy them, are important to consider when you’re shopping for new golf clubs.

  • Beginner: Beginner golfers shouldn’t go out and spend a fortune on golf clubs. When you’re new to the sport, you should take some time to figure out whether or not you like it and get some of the basics down before you invest hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars on a nice set of clubs. Beginners also don’t need as many golf clubs in their bag, so you can start by only buying the few that you really need to get started playing the game.
  • Intermediate: In general, you can call yourself an intermediate golfer if you carry a U.S. Golf Association handicap in the range of 10 to 20 percent and shoot on average from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. Golfers who are ready to move from beginner to intermediate status will want to add some extra golf clubs to their bag. This is also the time to graduate from those clubs you scored at a garage sale to a professionally fitted set.
  • Advanced: You might not be on the pro tour, but you’re good enough at golf to know everything about the sport and consistently average below 90. You might have even competed, or be getting ready to compete, in tournaments. If you’re at this level, you spend enough time on the course to make buying quality, custom-fitting golf clubs a priority.

Golf club length

golf club length

Buying the right sized golf clubs is important. Clubs that are too short can force a golfer to push the ball, while clubs that are too long can make a golfer sacrifice power in his swing. Standard golf clubs are sized for men who are five foot ten. If you are close to that height, you might be fine with standard size clubs. There are options, though, for people who don’t fit into standard size clubs.

  • Women: Women can buy specially made women’s clubs, which are shorter, more flexible and lighter than men’s clubs. These clubs assume that women are of a smaller stature than men, so women who are closer to five foot ten might be better off buying standard clubs that won’t be too short for them.
  • Tall people: Men and women who are significantly taller than five-foot ten will want to get professionally fitted for golf clubs. It’s possible, though a little extra expensive, to have your golf clubs extended through alteration. It’s worth the extra cost so you can enjoy your time golfing with properly fitting clubs. Even used clubs can be altered by many companies, so beginners can still get away with buying inexpensive clubs and have them custom fit.
  • Short people: People who are significantly shorter than five foot ten will also want to get professionally fitted for golf clubs. There isn’t a quick process to shorten golf clubs, like there is to lengthen them, but you can get customized golf clubs that will be an appropriate length for your height. Beginners can get away with only buying a few types of golf clubs to begin with to mitigate some of the added cost of customizing clubs.


The grips on your golf club are responsible for allowing you to maintain your control of the club, and they can make or break your game. The wrong grip can add three to four strokes on every hole. Even new golf clubs might need a different grip to help you do your best on every hole. If you aren’t sure what type of grip you need, seek out help from a professional golf fitter.

  • Size: There are four sizes for golf club grips: undersize, standard, midsize and oversize. If you still need customization from these four options, you can add additional tape during installation.
  • Texture: Golf grips come in a variety of textures, ranging from smooth to coarse and abrasive. Golfers will want to try out different textures and choose one that feels the most comfortable and secure. Whether or not a golfer wears gloves can factor into the type of grip they choose. Some players prefer a smooth grip without their glove, while others feel like a rougher texture gives them more hand traction.
  • Weather conditions: The type of weather you normally play golf in will play a role in the type of grip you’ll want. For instance, golfers who play in humid and wet conditions will want to consider cord grips to prevent the club from slipping out of their hands. On the other hand, golfers who primarily play in dry conditions will be fine if they prefer a plastic or other smooth material for their grip.

Shaft material

golf club shaft material

Golf club shafts make up the majority of the total weight of the club, and they can be made from either graphite or steel. Each material has advantages depending on the golfer, so it’s important to understand what they are so you can decide which material you need on your golf clubs.

  • Graphite: Graphite shafts cost more money, which might deter you if you’re new to the sport. However, graphite shafts are lighter than steel shafts, giving you more distance on every swing. The lightness also makes it easier to swing, which can make a significant difference for people who lack a lot of arm strength.
  • Steel: Steel is a heavier and less expensive option than graphite for golf club shafts. However, it is still a better option for many golfers, especially people who are physically strong and need the extra weight to give them more control over their swings.


You need more than just a set of clubs to have a good day on the golf course. Even beginners will need some accessories that allow them to carry their clubs and have everything they need on-hand for a great game.

  • Bags: Golf sets come with a bag, but if you are buying used clubs or are buying just a few clubs to begin with, you will need to get a bag separately. The pros tend to use heavy staff bags, while standing, cart and carry bags are more common among recreational golfers.
  • Gloves: Whether or not to use gloves is a personal preference. Many recreational golfers opt not to, but some people find it easier to get a good grip using a golf glove.
  • Golf shoes: Golf shoes are commonly misunderstood and underrated by recreational golfers. While they are not a requirement on many golf courses, golf shoes can help you get a better grip so you avoid slipping and sliding on the course. Spikeless golf shoes are an emerging trend that make it easy to go from the green to your regular life without skipping a beat or having to constantly replace your spikes.

What are different types of golf clubs?


Woods, so-called because they used to be made out of wood, are the golf clubs that propel the golf ball the farthest. They are now made out of metals like steel or titanium. You can tell a wood club by how it looks. The head is large and rounded, and the bottom is flat, which allows the club to smoothly glide over the ground while you’re shooting. Woods are numbered based on their loft, which is the angle of the club face. This angle controls the trajectory of the ball once it is hit and also affects how far the ball will go. Higher numbered woods have higher lofts. Higher numbered woods also have shorter shafts. Beginners will need a few woods in their bag. The one wood, also called a driver, is what you’ll use to tee off most holes. Other common woods to include in your bag are three and five woods, which are also called fairway woods since they are usually used on the second swing, when you should be on the fairway.  If you’re trying to limit the amount of clubs in your bag as a beginner, go with a one wood and a three wood. You can add more as you get used to the sport.


Iron clubs are used when you are closer to the green, generally when you are within 200 yards. You will use a higher iron the closer you are to the green. Iron sets include numbers three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and the pitching wedge. Lower numbered irons tend to be more difficult to hit than higher numbered irons, which is why many beginners choose to modify their set by replacing their three and four irons with seven and nine woods since the woods result in comparable distances but are easier to hit.


Wedges, including the pitching wedge, are a special kind of iron. While the pitching wedge will likely be included in your standard iron set, you will need to buy other wedges, such as the sand wedge, gap wedge and lob ledge, separately. Beginners don’t need to worry about these three additional wedges, but they do need a pitching wedge. All wedges have a short shaft and high loft, making them useful for getting out of sand traps or hitting over a tree.


All golfers need to have a putter in their bag. The putter serves one important purpose: getting the ball in the hole when you are on the green. Putter clubheads come in three styles: traditional blade, heel-toe or mallet. Beginners will want to opt for the more forgiving option, which is the mallet. Standard putters also vary in sizes ranging from 32 to 36 inches. Longer options are available if you find you aren’t able to improve using a standard putter.


Utility or hybrid golf clubs are a relatively recent development in both professional and recreational golf and are often referred to as the best of both worlds. Utility/hybrid clubs combine a fairway wood head design with an iron length shaft and are designed to replace the hardest to hit irons, including the 2-, 3-, 4- and even 5-iron. These clubs are designed to go the same distance as the irons but with more forgiveness, making them a good choice for beginners. Look for a set called “hybrid set” or “hybrid iron set.”

Who buys golf clubs?


People new to golf don’t necessarily need to buy a full set of golf clubs. They will want to buy only the clubs they absolutely need, and they will want the most forgiving options to make it easier for them to play. They can upgrade as they get used to the sport and figure out what customization they need from their clubs.


Junior players don’t need a full 14 club set. Instead, they should focus on using clubs that will move the ball to build confidence and improve their swing. Start with a driver, a hybrid, a 7-iron, a wedge and a putter. Add more clubs as your child advances, and always make sure the clubs your child is using are the correct height. Using clubs that are too long as a junior player will form bad habits and make it more difficult for your child to play correctly as he gets older.


Women’s clubs are designed to be shorter, lighter and more flexible than men’s clubs. Tall women, however, may find that a women’s club set is too short for them and may opt for a standard set instead.


Golfers who are transitioning from a beginner to an intermediate player will want to upgrade their golf clubs. This might include customizing their clubs, including customizing their grips, getting professionally fitted for clubs and adding more types of clubs to their set.


Advanced players are ready for tournament play and play frequently enough that they can justify spending a lot of money on customized golf clubs. These players will need a full set and will want them customized for their height and grip preference. They will want premium golf clubs that use the latest technology to optimize performance.

Golf club FAQ

How much does a good set of golf clubs cost?
The cost of golf clubs depends on the quality of the clubs. There are mainly three price points for clubs:
  • For the average player, a decent set of golf clubs cost between roughly $200 and $400.
  • For advanced players, a higher-end set may cost around $800.
  • For most professionals, a set of irons alone (a type of club that is one type of club among a full set) can start at $1,000.

Typically, it’s the type of metal used in the clubs and how many clubs you get in the set that dictate the overall cost. For instance, an inexpensive set is most likely made from graphite, while a professional uses titanium clubs.

What equipment is used in golf?
Here’s a breakdown of what most golfers carry with them on the course:
  • Golf clubs that include drivers, fairway woods, putters and irons.
  • Golf balls
  • Golf tees
  • Golf shoes
  • Golf gloves
  • Towel

Be aware that most courses have a dress code that usually includes a collared shirt and khaki pants or shorts.

Do golf clubs hold their value?
Like any sports equipment, it depends on the brand and the age. Unfortunately, if your set is a few years old, you may not get much of a return. However, if you have a set of irons made from titanium or vintage clubs, you may be able make back much of what you spent. Sets of irons hold their value longest, with drivers coming in at second.
How is a golf club made?
There are two ways companies make golf clubs: forging and casting. Most irons, wedges and putters are cast while drivers and more expensive irons are forged.
  • Casting: With casting, molten metal is poured into a ceramic shape to make the golf club. After it cools, craftsmen break the outside mold to reveal a metal club.
  • Forging: With forging, a giant piece of steel is heated and pressed into shape and then ground, buffed, and detailed into its final shape. Forging takes more work, so forged clubs are often more expensive.
How do you measure for golf clubs?
There are only a few steps needed to find your ideal club length:
  1. Measure your height.
  2. Measure wrist-to-floor length.
  3. Once you have these measurements, head to a golf store and give your measurements to a sales professional, who can help you find the right golf clubs.
How many golf clubs are in a full set?
Golfers can carry up to 14 clubs; however, those who aren’t professionals carry an average of 12 clubs in a golf bag.

The average golfer has:

  • Seven irons (including a pitching wedge)
  • One putter
  • One hybrid
  • Three woods

To get to 14 clubs, a golfer would add another hybrid and another wedge to their bag.

Not sure how to choose?

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    Golf club author reviews

    Warrior Custom Golf

    Based in Irvine, CA, Warrior Custom Golf, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets custom golf clubs for golfers around the world. All of their clubs are built on-site by golf club builders, including master golf club builders with 20 or more years of experience. Consumers can buy customized Warrior Custom Golf clubs online or over the phone.

    Read more about Warrior Custom Golf

    Founded in 1982, Callaway began as a boutique manufacturer of high-quality wedges and putters. It has evolved into the world’s largest maker of premium, performance golf products that are used by pros and amateurs alike. In addition to golf clubs and balls, Callaway sells golf apparel, footwear and other accessories around the world.

    Read more about Callaway
    TaylorMade Golf

    TaylorMade Golf was founded in 1979 selling a single, innovative product: a 12-degree driver that was cast entirely of stainless steel. Today, TaylorMade Golf has expanded to sell clubs of all kinds along with accessories. They partner with adidas Golf, Adams Golf and Ashworth Golf and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the adidas Group.

    Read more about TaylorMade Golf
    Mizuno Golf

    Mizuno Corpration was established in 1906 in Osaka, Japan. Today, Mizuno USA is headquartered in Norcross, GA and manufactures and distributes high quality gear and apparel for golf, baseball, running, track & field and volleyball. Shop online or at one of thousands of retailers nationwide.

    Read more about Mizuno Golf
    Cobra Golf

    Founded in 1973 by club designer and former Australian golf champion Thomas Crow, Cobra Golf is now an international company that sells golf clubs and equipment online and in store at over 7,800 locations worldwide.

    Read more about Cobra Golf
    Odyssey Golf Putters

    Odyssey is one of Callaway Golf Company’s brands. Odyssey specializes in Putters and offers consumers everything they need to find their perfect putter.

    • Speciality: By specializing only in putters, Odyssey continually advances their technology to improve performance. Their variety of putters offer something for every type of golfer.
    • Accessories: Along with putters, Odyssey sells accessories for your clubs, including grips, towels and headcovers. Some accessories are limited edition.
    • Free shipping: All Odyssey online orders are shipped for free, regardless of how many items are shipped. Expedited shipping is available at an added cost.
    • International: Odyssey operates in North America, Asia, Latin America and New Zealand. They do not offer international shipping, but they do have retailers around the world who sell Odyssey putters.
    • Detailed and customized shopping: Learn more about Odyssey’s putters online by reading their specifications and watching videos that showcase their features. Customize your putter based on the length you want along with whether you are right- or left-handed.

    PING was founded in 1959 in the garage of Karsten Solheim who decided to make his own putter after becoming frustrated with the putters on the market. Today, PING is an international company that has expanded its business to sell drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, crossovers, irons, wedges and, of course, putters for men, women and juniors.

    Read more about PING
    Cleveland Golf

    Originally called Cleveland Classics, Cleveland Golf started as a company with a focus on creating replicas of classic golf clubs in 1979. It was purchased in 1990 by ski equipment manufacturer Rossignol, who changed the name to Cleveland Golf. Today, the company sponsors world-class Tour players while also selling innovative equipment to golfers at every level.

    • Hole-in-one recognition: Cleveland Golf is happy to send a recognition certificate to customers who got a hole-in-one while using a Cleveland Golf club. Send relevant information to customer service.
    • My Custom Wedge: My Custom Wedge allows consumers to fully customize their wedge. Find your perfect fit, then customize the paint, logo and text for a wedge unlike any other.
    • Sponsor the Team: Cleveland Golf/Srixon passionately supports youth golf, which is why they created the fundraising platform of Sponsor the Team. It allows all athletics and activities programs at the high school level to raise money for their program by selling Cleveland Golf and Srixon Golf products to sponsors. In turn, the programs receive a significant portion of the sales back in the form of a rebate. Coaches can register for the program online.
    • Scoring Clinic: The Scoring Clinic is a place where golfers of all abilities and levels go to improve scores. The clinic combines wedge education with short-game instruction offered by a certified golf teaching professional. In addition, all registered attendees receive a 588 RTX 2.0 wedge. Look up upcoming events online.
    • Fitting: Consumers who live near Huntington Beach, CA, can take advantage of Cleveland Golf’s fitting studio, where they can find their perfect fit using the latest technology by trained fitting professionals. Individuals outside of this area can still get fitted through one of their local Cleveland Golf authorized retailers or at a Fitting Day event in their area.
    Nike Golf Clubs

    Founded in 1972 by athlete Phil Knight and track coach Bill Bowerman, Nike is an internationally recognized superpower in the world of athletic apparel and gear. Nike Golf was officially born in 1998. Today, Nike Golf sells golf clubs, clothing, shoes and gear for men, women and kids online and at retailers around the world.

    • Ball recommender: Many golfers focus on their club when they think about improving their game, but the ball is important too. Nike’s ball recommender helps consumers find the right ball for their game based on their goals.
    • Fitting: Get fitted by a professional at one of Nike’s several locations nationwide.
    • Customize or buy pre-built: Online customers can chat with a Custom Club Expert to order a custom built club. Customers who know exactly what they want and/or don’t need a customized club can simply order one of several pre-built clubs straight from Nike’s website.
    • Right- and left-handed kid clubs: Nike Golf sells clubs for kids who are both right- and left-handed, making it easy for kids everywhere to improve their stroke with clubs that are just the right size for them.
    • Nike+: Join Nike+ for free to enjoy perks, including free shipping on all online orders, expert guidance for athletes at every level, access to workouts and exclusive events and no-hassle returns.
    Bridgestone Golf Clubs

    Bridgestone was founded in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi as a producer of golf balls. The company began designing and producing golf clubs in 1972. Today, Bridgestone sells golf clubs, balls and accessories online and at authorized dealers worldwide.

    • Amatour: Amatour is the first set of golf balls specifically designed for amateurs. Designed for swings under 105 mph, Amatour balls has the highest friction coefficient rating possible.
    • Test drive: Bridgestone Golf’s Test Drive program allows consumers to get a demo set of Bridgestone’s J15 golf clubs delivered to their door for a free 21-day test drive. Return them if you don’t want to keep them with a convenient postage-paid container.
    • Connect with the tour: Learn about the players who are part of the Bridgestone Golf tour, and connect with them by writing messages through Fan Mail. You can also watch videos of their best performances.
    • Ball fitting: Get your ball fit just like the pros do with a professional live fitting, or get fit online via live chat.
    • Easy to find clubs for all levels: Bridgestone clearly labels who will benefit from each individual club on their website, from amateurs to professionals. This makes it easy to match a club to your skill level, and it also makes it easy to advance to the next level of playing.
    Wilson Golf Clubs

    Wilson has been a leader in the sporting goods industry for over a century. From golf bags to golf clubs, Wilson sells everything you need, whether you’re new to the sport or are ready to advance to the next level.

    • Gear up: Gear up is the place to get tips and drills from the pros, with videos designated for every skill type. You can also learn more about etiquette, products and how to improve your mental game.
    • Juniors: Wilson sells golf clubs for juniors based on their age, with sets designed for kids ages four to six, seven to 10 and 11 to 14. These sets keep skill level, age and height in mind to help kids get down the basics with clubs that are just right for them.
    • Non-customized clubs for left-handed players: Wilson sells sets for left-handed juniors, men and women, without the need for customization.
    • Free shipping: All orders $50 and higher enjoy free shipping. You can also shop at one of thousands of affiliated locations nationwide.
    • Travel gear: Along with golf clubs, Wilson sells travel gear specifically designed for the golfer on-the-go. Choose from options such as a travel cover, shoe bag and wheel bag that make it easy for you to take your golf game anywhere, anytime.
    Titleist Golf Clubs

    Titleist golf balls were introduced in 1935, after MIT graduates Phil Young and Fred Bommer x-rayed their golf ball and discovered it was off-center. Their invention led to the popular Titleist golf clubs, which have been played by the majority of professional players on the U.S. PGA Tour over the last three decades. Along with their signature golf ball, Titleist also produces golf clubs and gear for amateurs and professionals.

    • Titleist Thursdays: Golf stores and courses nationwide have Titleist product experts on-hand every Thursday to conduct complimentary club fittings while answering questions and offering product trials. Find a location near you with their online locator.
    • Titleist Performance Institute: Golfers who are looking to take their game to the next level will want to enroll in the Titleist Performance Institute, located in Oceanside, California. Golfers will be treated like professionals, with a range of options to choose from, including wedge fittings, driver and fairway fittings, hybrid and iron fittings and an overall golf fitness evaluation.
    • Titleist tour and Team Titleist: Learn about the players on the Titleist tour and find out what’s in their bag. You can register yourself for Team Titleist to keep friends and others up-to-date on your stats as a Titleist player. Participate in discussions and learn tips and tricks from players around the country.
    • Customize: Titleist has a wide range of options for players to customize their clubs based on specs, shafts, grips and personal customization. You can truly make your Titleist clubs one-of-a-kind.
    • Shaft performance guide: The shaft performance guide on Titleist’s website offers an in-depth look at shaft facts and figures. You can find your perfect match based on the weight and launch/spin of your desired shaft.

    Compare Reviews for Top Golf Club Brands

    by ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.