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Best Men's Golf Club Sets

Updated September 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 26 Models Considered
  • 9 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 161 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best men’s golf club sets

    Last Updated September 2018

    One of the best things about the game of golf is that you can play it at almost any age. It’s also a sport that you can pick up at any time in your life and potentially have success. But if you’ve considered learning to play, you might have changed your mind when you saw the price of the equipment. Golf clubs can be really expensive, but you don’t need to spend a lot on clubs when you’re just starting out. An entry-level men’s golf club set could suit you perfectly.

    A golf club set will have all the equipment you need to start playing immediately for a reasonable price. If you enjoy golf, you can then upgrade your equipment later as you become more experienced and serious about the game. But there are many golf club sets available, so how do you choose?

    We at BestReviews can help. We do the research so you don’t have to. Our shopping guide explains what to look for to find the right men’s golf club set for your needs.

    An advantage of purchasing an entry-level golf set is that you can begin playing immediately because it has all the clubs you need, plus a golf bag.

    Types of golf clubs

    Before purchasing a men’s golf club set, it’s worth knowing what will be included. Understand that when a manufacturer says a set has a certain number of pieces, that number includes every item in the set, including the bag or headcovers.

    Woods

    Woods are golf clubs designed to hit the ball long distances. The club face on a wood has the shallowest angle of any golf club type other than the putter, allowing for less loft and more distance. Woods include drivers, fairway woods, and hybrid woods.

    • Driver: A driver is made for use off the tee and delivers the most distance. It can be tougher to control than other woods.

    • Fairway wood: You can use a fairway wood off the ground or off the tee. It doesn’t deliver the distance of a driver, but it’s a little easier to control.

    • Hybrid: A hybrid wood gives you the benefits of a wood and an iron, making it the easiest type of wood to control. A hybrid doesn’t offer the distance of other woods.
       

    Irons

    An iron has an angled face that enables you to make more precise shots than woods. You use an iron off the ground most of the time, but you also can use it off the tee on shorter holes. The face of the iron is grooved to put backspin on the golf ball to ensure it stops quickly after it hits the ground.

    The number on the iron indicates the angle of the club face to the ground. An iron with a low number has less of an angle, while irons with higher numbers have sharper angles. Irons in a set typically run consecutively from a 3-iron to a 9-iron. You might be able to find a 1-iron (extremely rare) or 2-iron (less rare, but far from common) for sale, but few golfers carry them today.

    An iron with a low number, such as a 3-iron, has a shallow angle and is designed for more distance and a lower trajectory of the ball. An iron with a high number, such as a 9-iron, has a sharp angle that delivers a high trajectory, yielding a higher level of accuracy over a shorter distance.

    Wedge

    Wedges, such as pitching wedges or sand wedges, are also irons but unnumbered. Wedges have a sharper angle and higher trajectory than 9-irons.

    Putter

    Putters are flat-bladed golf club used specifically around and on the green, not off the tee or on the fairway. These are specialty clubs that come in a great variety of sizes and shapes. Not all men’s golf club sets contain putters, so you might have to purchase this club separately.

    Gear

    If a men’s golf club set has 14, 16, or 18 pieces, that number probably includes other gear besides the clubs.

    • Golf bag: You’ll want a bag to carry your clubs, regardless of whether you’re carrying it or using a cart. The bag has a strap so you can carry it over your shoulder. Nearly all entry-level golf club sets include a bag.

    • Headcovers: A headcover is a sleeve that fits over the head on woods. You can find them in almost limitless styles, designs, and colors. The headcover protects the club head from scratches and collisions with other clubs while also providing a bit of personal style.
    EXPERT TIP

    Don’t expect clubs of the highest quality in a golf club set. These sets are typically aimed at beginners.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Men’s golf club set components

    Not every men’s golf club set will contain all of the items listed above.

    Small: A small golf club set containing up to 10 pieces may only have a few irons, such as the odd-numbered irons. Small starter sets usually contain one or two woods. Small sets probably won’t include headcovers.

    Medium: These men’s golf club sets include 11 to 14 pieces, often including irons from the 4-iron to a pitching wedge. You also can expect it to include a couple of woods. While a midsize  set always includes a bag, it may not have headcovers for the woods.

    Large: A large golf club set contains 15 or more pieces, including a full set of irons, a couple of wedges, and multiple woods. Many times, the difference between a medium set with 12 pieces and a large set with 16 pieces is the inclusion of headcovers for the woods. If this is the case, the price of the two sets should be similar because headcovers only cost a few dollars apiece.

    Having matching golf clubs in a set gives you the same club head design from club to club, making it easier to repeat your swing and become more consistent over time.

    Men’s golf club set prices

    You can expect to pay between $200 and $1,500 or more for a men’s golf club set, depending on the number of pieces included and the quality. As a general rule, entry-level men’s golf club sets with more clubs cost more than sets with fewer clubs. Also, woods tend to cost more than irons in these sets, so if a set has three woods instead of two, it probably costs more. Also, not all men’s golf club sets include a putter. Adding this club can cost another $25 to $300, depending whether you want an entry-level or advanced putter.

    Average: A complete set of entry-level men’s golf clubs for an average player can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000.

    Advanced: Advanced players usually buy the irons and woods separately, and it can cost $1,500 or more to put together a full set.

    Other costs: Even if you have all the clubs you need to play, there are other costs involved with golf. Golf balls cost between $20 and $60 per dozen. Tees cost a few dollars for a bag of 50 or 100. And you’ll have to pay to play at a course or practice at a driving range. A round of golf can cost anywhere from $20 to $300, depending on the course. You can hit a few dozen practice balls at a driving range for about $5 to $15.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some golf club sets do not include a putter because most golfers want to personalize this very important club.

    Tips

    • When comparing the prices of sets with various numbers of pieces, look at what’s included. You want to know whether you’re paying for extra clubs or for inexpensive headcovers.

    • As a beginning player who’s less accurate and consistent with irons, having a set that doesn’t include the even-numbered irons shouldn’t hamper your game much.

    • For most players just starting out, a large set is probably bigger than they need. However, if you’ve played several rounds of golf and want to advance from a small set, a large entry-level set might fit your needs well.

    • Expensive golf clubs often have features that only experienced players can use successfully. An entry-level golf club set will suit most beginning players just fine.

    • Players new to the game should avoid blade-style irons and opt for clubs with cavity backs. They allow you to get the ball in the air more easily and are better suited for beginners.

    Although the USGA rules state a golfer can carry up to 14 clubs during a round of golf, recreational players can carry more or fewer when playing for fun.

    FAQ

    Q. How many golf clubs do I actually need in order to start playing?

    A. Beginner men’s golf club sets can vary from just a few to 14 clubs. Carrying more clubs gives you the ability to make more precise shots. But a set with more clubs will be heavier to carry and cost more. You could probably carry five to seven clubs as a beginner and be relatively successful. Players with more experience likely will carry 14 clubs, the maximum allowed by the rules of golf.

    Q. Why do some golf club sets cost so little compared to some individual clubs?

    A. Often, the golf clubs sold as a set are aimed at beginners, so they don’t have the advanced engineering or high-end materials of expensive clubs. More advanced players who play more frequently will benefit from the quality of higher-priced clubs, which will enable them to more precisely control the ball. Beginners can still enjoy learning the game with an inexpensive set of golf clubs.

    Q. What are some other options if I don’t want to buy an entire golf club set?

    A. Some golfers pick favorite brands and models of clubs to put together their own set. Perhaps you have a favorite driver that you want to pair with irons from another manufacturer. Or maybe you want a certain type of golf bag that simply isn’t available in a set. There’s no rule that says you have to use all of the same brand and model of club from woods to irons to putter.

    Q. How do I know which clubs to use when?

    A. The best way to figure out how far you can hit each club is to go to a driving range and practice. An average golfer can hit an 8-iron about 125 to 140 yards, for example. But an inexperienced player probably won’t be able to match that distance at first. On the golf course, determine how far you are from the pin, either using a GPS system or markers on the course, then decide which club to use based on your practice sessions.

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