If you are new to golf, you might already be asking questions about which putters, hybrids, wedges and woods to use. Or, you may be asking what ARE putters, hybrids, wedges and woods? The last thing any golf lover would want is to overwhelm you. Let us straighten out the what, where, when and how of golf clubs for beginners.
Golf Clubs for Beginners: Putters
If you are not sure what a putter is used for, google map search “miniature golf course” before you go any further and familiarize yourself with that aspect of golf. Jokes aside, putting actually can be tricky, and a putt can make or break the other hits you might have had on a hole. The difference between par and well over par is often a proper putter stroke.
There are many kinds of putters- short and long, mallet or bent- the list goes on and on. Your beginner’s bag will have one or two variances included, usually the mallets. Whatever you end up getting, make sure you spend adequate time practicing on the range- or at a mini golf course near you- before you hit the links.
Golf Clubs for Beginners: Hybrids
These clubs have become increasingly more popular in the sport over the past decade and can be some of the best golf clubs for beginners. They have heads designed similarly to fairway wood clubs, but they come with shorter shafts, like irons have. The combination has created a club that replaces long irons (the 1 and 2 iron) and are much easier to hit the ball with while still giving needed height on your stroke.
The other reason why they are a nice replacement to irons is because the loft, or angle of the head, translates quite evenly. In need of squarely hitting the ball and sending it forward on the fairway? Not much experience in swinging a golf club? The hybrids are prepared to do this for you. In fact, it is not just irons that are being replaced. These hybrid clubs also make appearances in the place of woods on the fairways from time to time, just from their simple utility of getting the ball moving in the right direction.
They are not recommended for beginners who want to use irons properly; for that, you need to visit the driving range. However, we recommend them for beginners because they take much of the stress out of the game. Also, many starter club sets do not contain hybrids, as they are a more recent addition to the traditionally required clubs. Our post on great club sets for beginners include bags with hybrids, so they are making the rounds.
Golf Clubs for Beginners: Wedges
Wedges are clubs with an overdramatic loft used to send balls soaring with short distances in mind. The only wedge you need to be aware of as a beginner is the pitching wedge (labeled PW). This wedge has the most angled loft at 46 to 48 degrees. Your most likely use of this club is to get out of sand traps, up steep drop-offs, and, most importantly, onto the green. The distance that the pitching wedge can hit is about 100 yards and is not used for distance shots. All starter golf clubs should include a pitching wedge.
Golf Clubs for Beginners: Drivers and Woods
The 1 wood is also referred to as the driver and has the largest hollow head of all your clubs. The point of the driver is to hit the ball far. This is the most common club used to tee off on any long fairway or distance drive. Woods are hollow and much larger than the irons. They were once fabricated with wood, which is where they get their name. All of the best beginner golf clubs will come with a driver.
The 3 wood and 5 wood are commonly referred to as fairway wood clubs, since they are most commonly used after the golf ball has already been hit onto the fairway. They are hollow, as mentioned before, and slightly smaller than the 1 wood (your driver). They can be used to tee off on shorter holes and trickier fairways. This will ensure you can still get the height and distance you need to get close to the hole.
Knowing how to use your first set of golf clubs will take a beginner golfer further than just buying any club set from the shelf. With the prerequisite knowledge of what each club is for, you will shake off the title “novice” in no time. Enjoy your new sport; let me know when you are up for a round on the green!