10 Best Golf Clubs for a Beginner/Intermediate [2022 Guide]

Identifying the best golf clubs for your game is a daunting task. Amateur golfers often lack the knowledge to make informed equipment decisions. That’s why I’ve taken the time to compile a list of the 10 best golf clubs for beginner to intermediate golfers.

The clubs in this guide are listed according to the setup of beginner to intermediate golfers’ bags. From the best sets of clubs, drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids to irons, wedges, and putters, you will find everything you need in this post.

In addition, I’ve thrown in a buying guide to teach you how to make better-informed decisions on your next purchase. When you have identified the best clubs for your golf bags, learn about which ball you should play. Everything you need to know in our post on the best golf balls for beginners.

 

What to Look For in a Good Club Set When You’re a Beginner to Intermediate Player

Budget

Golf clubs range in price, and if you do not have a budget, you can dive down a rabbit hole, looking at options you have no intention of acquiring. A complete entry-level set of golf clubs can set you back under $400. These options rise to over $1000 for setups with a robust offering.

The entry-level options typically offer 9 or 10 clubs and can leave you with gapping issues. A premium golf club set provides a well-balanced offering of long, mid and short game clubs.

The positive of both options is that it includes a bag. Usually, it is a standard carry bag. However, it still saves you from spending over $100 to purchase one separately.

Balanced Set Composition

Set composition takes much thought and planning. You can only house 14-clubs in your golf bag, which means you need to be strategic. If you pick too many long clubs, it leaves you with little room for wedges.

My suggestion is to set up your set to carry the maximum amount of wedges. This will improve your short game record, which is where it counts.

Here is an ideal setup for the average golfer:

Club Loft (Degrees)
Driver 10.5 +
3-wood 16
5-wood 19
4-hybrid 21
5-hybrid or 5-iron 24
6-iron 26.5
7-iron 30
8-iron 34.5
9-iron 39.5
PW 44.5
AW 50
SW 54
LW 58
Putter

 

Gapping Distance

Besides distributing your set between long, mid, and short clubs, you need to think about gapping. As the name suggests, it focuses on distance gaps in your bag, which are most prevalent among your fairway woods, hybrids, long irons, and wedges.

For example, my biggest challenge as an intermediate player was with my wedges. I carried a pitching, sand, and lob wedge.

However, I was so focused on boosting my long game that I neglected my short game. My home course had several short par 4’s, and I often found myself about 80-yards out on these holes.

That required me to hit a half pitching wedge (PW) or force a sand wedge (SW). The result was erratic distance control and several wasted strokes.

Another area of concern is the transition between your fairway woods and hybrids or irons. If you carry a 5-wood and your next longest club is a 5-iron, you may have distance gaps.

For instance, you hit a 5-wood 175-yards and a 5-iron 150-yards. That means that any shot from 160-yards requires an easy 5-wood or a forced 5-iron. This results in inaccurate distance control and increases the risk of catching your ball fat or thin.

Loft

I already touched on the impact of loft on your gapping. However, the loft also impacts your launch and carry distance. That rings particularly true in your long game.

Slow swinging intermediates and beginner golfers struggle to consistently launch stronger lofted clubs. The reduced loft delivers less spin, which is necessary to get your ball in the air. Slower swingers struggle to generate this spin and produce low flying shots and a loss of distance.

Beginners and intermediates should stick to weaker lofted drivers, fairway woods, and long irons. For example, a 10.5-degree driver is the strongest that you should consider. If it is still challenging to launch, opt for a 12-degree.

I do not recommend that casual golfers play with any 3-wood stronger than 15-degrees, while an 18 or 19-degree 5-wood will do the trick. While I prefer long irons, I suggest that casual golfers swap them out for the easier launching hybrids.

Shaft

Like loft, your preferred shaft is dictated by your swing speed. Players that produce less velocity require a lighter, more flexible shaft. Conversely, faster swingers need less flex and a heavier setup.

True Spec Golf and Golf Magazine compiled a table of what shafts suit which player. Their research indicates that golfers who swing a driver between 84 and 96 mph should use a regular flex shaft. That is where moderate swing speeds fit in.

Next, if your swing clocks between 72 and 83 mph, True Spec Golf suggests you try a senior flex shaft. Average swings below 72 mph are made for a ladies’ flex shaft.

When your shaft is too stiff for your swing, you struggle to optimize ball speed and spin, leading to a low launch. A stiff shaft can also cause you to leave the face open at contact and slice your shots.

On the other hand, a shaft with excess flex causes you to generate uncontrollable spin, leading to a ballooned shot.

If you are satisfied with your current golf clubs but could use new shafts, learn about the cost to reshaft your irons.

Forgiveness

As beginners and intermediate golfers, you need all the forgiveness you can get. When looking at drivers and fairway woods, opt for the product that contains a large sweet spot and delivers a high moment of inertia (MOI). MOI helps you maintain ball speed across the face and prompt straight shots.

Your irons should contain perimeter weighting. This stabilizes the clubhead through impact to maintain ball speed and resist twisting. Therefore, you enjoy straight, long shots.

Another element of forgiveness stems from a low center of gravity (CG). This helps you consistently get your ball in the air with longer clubs. Low CG is particularly prevalent in drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, and long irons.

Without forgiving clubs, your mishits would be catastrophic. As anyone who has played with blade irons will tell you.

Aside from lenient long clubs, you also need forgiveness from your putter. Think about designs that resist movement during your stroke. These putters prompt a square face through impact to keep your ball on line.

If you open or close your face at contact, it will send your ball along the unintended path, reducing your accuracy.

Distance

Distance applies to your driver, fairway wood, hybrid, long and mid-irons. To maximize distance, you need to generate accelerated ball speed at impact. When you strike the ball low off the face out of the heel or toe, it reduces your speed. That costs your precious yards.

Forgiving clubs work to boost your ball speed across the face for consistent distance. You still enjoy ample yardage and accuracy, even on mishits. These are the clubs that the average golfer needs because consistency is the only way to lower your handicap.

 

10 Best Clubs for Beginner to Intermediate Golfers

1. Callaway Strata – Best Complete Golf Club Set

Strata Men's Complete Golf Club Set

Designed for ultimate distance and performance. This set includes: Driver, 3 wood, 4 & 5 Hybrid, 6 to 9 Iron, PW & SW, Putter, Stand Bag, 4 Head covers.

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Pros

  • Robust set
  • The long clubs prompt consistent distance
  • Forgiving
  • The set includes a sand wedge, unlike competitor products.
  • Moderately affordable
  • Comfortable carry bag

Cons

  • There is a distance gap between the 3-wood and 4-hybrid

The Callaway Strata 16-piece set offers beginners and intermediates most of the clubs needed to navigate a golf course. This affordable set includes 11 golf clubs, 4-head covers, and a lightweight stand bag.

A titanium driver steps up to help the average golfer increase distance off the tee box and is followed by an aerodynamic 3-wood. There are slight gaps between the 3-wood and 4-hybrid,  the next longest club. However, for the set’s price, you should still have the budget for a 5-wood or 3-hybrid.

Furthermore, the irons and wedges are fitted with high flight technology crafted to boost your carry distance. A 6 is the strongest lofted iron in the set. It also includes a PW and SW.

A face-milled putter enhances your feel and generates immediate forward roll for optimal distance control on the green. Lastly, the set is housed in a lightweight stand bag that is comfortable to carry and contains sufficient pockets for storage.

 

2. Callaway Mavrik Max – Best Driver

Callaway Golf Mavrik Driver

New face architecture is lighter than traditional titanium to promote optimal speed, forgiveness, and spin robustness. Two internal Jailbreak bars connect the sole and crown to promote fast ball speed, and the significantly lighter carbon crown allows us to redistribute weight for higher MOI. New Cyclone Aero shape dramatically decreases drag for increased clubhead speed.

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Pros

  • Prompts maximum ball speed
  • Increased MOI
  • Optimal clubhead speed
  • Consistent distance
  • Adjustable hosel

Cons

  • It does not include an adjustable weight to alter the CG position

The Callaway Mavrik Max is the top driver on the list of best golf clubs for beginners and intermediates. It generates explosive ball speed and forgiveness. Plus, it possesses superior aerodynamics and high MOI and delivers long and accurate results.

Aside from its performance qualities, the Callaway Mavrik Max contains an adjustable hosel. This enables you to set up for your preferred launch by altering the degree of loft.

The Flash Face SS20 expands the area that prompts increased velocity across a wider area. Therefore, it delivers added consistency on all strikes.

Furthermore, the Mavrik Max produces a mid-level launch suitable for the average golfer. However, if you desire a higher flight, the Mavrik Max is probably more to your liking.

Callaway engineers shaped the head using their cyclone aero technology which restricts drag and ramps up clubhead speed.

Overall, you enjoy optimal clubhead and ball speed, amplified spin, and consistent results. It is precisely what the doctor ordered for the average golfer.

 

3. Cobra Golf Speedzone – Best 3-Wood

Cobra Golf Men's Speedzone

Flex Zone-Hollow rails flex more than solid rails, creating a 70% larger hot spot area from heel to toe that promotes higher launch and more ball speed with the aid of a speed channel. Light Zone-Carbon fiber creates discretionary weight to move the center of gravity lower and deeper.

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Pros

  • Rapid ball speed
  • Maximum distance
  • Exceptional turf interaction
  • Adjustable hosel
  • Expanded sweet spot

Cons

  • Strengthened standard loft
  • Reduced workability

The Cobra Speedzone produces the turf interaction, high launch, and ball speed that the average golfer needs from a fairway wood. A CNC Milled face pushes the legal limit of ball speed to deliver additional yards off the tee and the deck.

Hollow rails amplify the flexibility of the face, which expands the sweet spot by 70%. That helps you maintain ball speed and restrict side spin on mishits. In addition, low and back CG encourages a high launch for added carry yards.

Furthermore, the 3-wood is fitted with dual Baffler rails to improve your turf interaction. Therefore, the club’s sole glides over fairways and rough to deliver clean contact for optimal carry distance.

Cobra’s engineers fitted the Speedzone with a My Fly 8 hosel that enables you to alter the club’s loft to your preference. The 14.5-degree standard loft may prove insufficient for casual golfers. However, you can weaken it by 1.5-degrees to set it to 16-degrees. That should suit most amateurs.

 

4. TaylorMade SIM Max – Best 5-Wood

TaylorMade SiM 2 Max

Larger 190cc head design features precision weighting and strategic CG placement for explosive distance, enhanced forgiveness and high launch. Thru-Slot Speed Pocket provides increased face flexibility, preservation of ball speed and distance, especially on low face strikes.

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Pros

  • Prompts explosive ball speed
  • The low CG encourages a high launch
  • Increase clubface flex
  • Encourages straight flight
  • Delivers consistent distance

Cons

  • The high launching nature can cause faster swingers to balloon their strikes
  • Large head profile

The ultra-low CG in the TaylorMade SIM Max presents a high launching, low spinning 5-wood for impressive carry distance. In addition, its V-steel sole design delivers excellent turf interaction to ensure a clean strike from any lie on the golf course.

Engineers at TaylorMade employed C300 steel and Twist Face technology to construct the clubface. The C300 steel encourages accelerated ball speed, while the Twist Face combats off-center strikes. That reduces side spin that causes your ball to slice or hook, prompting a straight flight.

Moreover, a Thru-Slot Speed Pocket is inserted to escalate clubface flexibility. The added flex helps you maintain ball speed on strikes that are low off the face. As a result, you enjoy consistent ball speed and distance on all strikes.

 

5. Cobra Speedzone Hybrid – Best Hybrids

Cobra Golf 2020 Men's Speedzone Hybrid

The Flex Zone-Hollow rails create a 70% larger hot spot area from heel to toe that promotes higher launch and more ball speed with the aid of a speed channel. Weight concentrated low and back creates the most efficient transfer of energy to the ball for high trajectories that land softly into greens. Slightly larger than a traditional hybrid, the shape features a high MOI and square leading edge for longer and straighter ball flights.

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Pros

  • Excellent turf interaction
  • Enhanced MOI
  • Expanded sweet spot
  • Produces straight shots
  • Optimal forgiveness

Cons

  • The high launch nature may cause faster swingers to balloon their shots.
  • The acoustics are slightly rough

The Cobra Speedzone glides through all turf conditions to deliver a clean strike and high launch. Dual-Baffler Rails bolster stability and improve turf interaction. They combine with Hollow Split Rails to expand the sweet spot by 70% for maximum forgiveness.

Low and back CG combine with the Rail system to produce a consistently high shot that lands softly. This helps you hold narrow greens for improved results on approach.

Furthermore, the engineers refined the profile of the head for exceptional aerodynamics and MOI. As a result, the club promotes straight shots for superior accuracy.

The Cobra Speezone hybrid is available in 19, 21, and 24-degree lofts. Plus, it is fitted with a graphite shaft. Lastly, the Cobra Connect Smart grip is the stock offering. It allows you to track your performance on the Arccos app.

 

6. TaylorMade SIM Max – Best Irons

TaylorMade SIM MAX Irons

Revolutionary Speed Bridge technology strategically supports the topline of the iron to unlock explosive distance and forgiveness with improved sound and feel. Designed with energy channeling geometry to quickly eliminate harsh vibrations at impact delivering better feel without sacrificing face flexibility.

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Pros

  • Promotes straight ball flight
  • Highly forgiving
  • Eradicates vibrations on off-center hits
  • Flexible face
  • Reduces side spin on heel and toe mishits

Cons

  • Restricted workability

The TaylorMade SIM Max irons encourage direct flight, optimal distance, and forgiveness to improve your mid to short game. The set consists of a 5 through 9-iron and includes a pitching and gap wedge.

Speed Bridge Technology reinforces the top line of each iron for increased stability through impact. That helps the clubface maintain ball speed and a square face at contact. Therefore, it produces additional yards and accuracy.

Furthermore, an Echo Damping System absorbs vibrations from off-center strikes, providing a soft feel and pleasant audio.

TaylorMade inserted their signature Speed Pocket to amplify the flexibility of the clubface. This feature accelerates ball speed on strikes low off the clubface. As a result, you enjoy consistent distance.

Finally, the SIM Max irons feature a dilated sweet spot that restricts side spin on mishits for straighter flight.

 

7. Wilson Harmonized – Best Gap Wedge

WILSON Harmonized Golf Wedges

Classic, high polish finish and classic blade shape. Sole grind allows players to open the club face further to hit higher shots with more accuracy, therefore improving performance.

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Pros

  • Affordable
  • 2 loft options
  • Enables you to further open the clubface
  • Delivers a high, controlled shot

Cons

  • The larger head profile may not appeal to all golfers.

Wilson golf products are often overlooked because of their affordable prices. However, their products offer excellent value for money, and they produce some of the best beginner golf clubs. The Harmonized wedge is a testament to that.

This affordable golf club possesses a classic blade shape with a slightly oversized profile. It serves to produce added forgiveness for the average golfer. Plus, a high polish finish gives the Harmonized gap wedge a classy appearance.

Wilson crafted the Harmonized wedge with a unique sole design that allows golfers to increase the open-angle of the clubface. The wedge induces a high-flying, rapid spinning shot with increased control around the green.

In addition, the stainless steel irons shaft provides a traditional feel, and it is set up to promote consistency with the club. The Harmonized gap wedge is available in two loft options, 50 or 52-degrees.

 

8. Callaway Mack Daddy CB – Best Sand Wedge

Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge

More Spin from Groove-In-Groove Technology. Four Sole Grinds to Suit a Variety of Playing Styles, Attack Angles and Course Conditions.

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Pros

  • Improved turf interaction
  • Pleasant feel
  • Performs exceptionally from the sand and thick rough
  • Forgiving
  • Produces aggressive spin

Cons

  • Oversized profile
  • Cavity back

The Callaway Mack Daddy CB is the epitome of a game improvement sand wedge. It is built to deliver forgiveness to mid and high handicappers.

The wedge is equipped with full-face grooves which impart aggressive spin on the golf ball. This delivers exceptional control for chip and bunker shots.

A W-grind is applied to the sand wedge to encourage a high shot and maximum forgiveness from the sand and thick rough.

In addition, soft carbon steel produces enabled the engineers to precisely precision CG for a desirable launch and exceptional turf interaction. Plus, this wedge ensures a subdued and pleasant feel to enhance your short game experience.

There are 2 Mack Daddy CB sand wedge shaft and loft options. The shaft is available in alloy steel and graphite, while you have the choice of a 54 or 56-degree sand wedge.

 

9. Cleveland CBX 2 – Best Lob Wedge

Cleveland Golf CBX2 Wedge

Additional weight distributed to the perimeter offers more forgiveness at impact. Three different sole grinds deliver more versatility to execute any shot on the course. Enhanced Feel Balancing Technology along with a GelbackTPU Insert reduces vibration for a pure feel at impact.

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Pros

  • Forgiving
  • Produces aggressive spin
  • Optimal turf interaction
  • Increased MOI
  • Soft feel

Cons

  • The chunky profile may not appeal to some mid-handicappers

The Cleveland CBX 2 is a forgiving lob-wedge built for consistency for chip and flop shots. A hollow chamber sits towards the heel while additional mass is implanted in the toe. This combination raises the MOI of the wedge to deliver exceptional forgiveness on off-center strikes.

Furthermore, a dynamic sole boosts your performance from thick rough, sand, and tight lies. The optimal turf interaction causes your clubhead to glide through the turf and sand for clean contact.

In addition, a 4th generation Rotex face produces Cleveland’s sharpest Tour grooves, imparting aggressive spin on the ball. Therefore, you can get the ball spinning rapidly and stop it dead for improved short game accuracy.

The engineers at Cleveland also inserted a Gelback TPU, which restrains vibrations on mishits, for a soft feel. Finally, the CBX 2 is offered with a steel shaft and gives you the choice of a 58 or 60-degree lob wedge.

 

10. Odyssey White Hot OG 2 Ball – Best Putter

Odyssey White Hot OG 2 Ball

Odyssey engineers have combined a rich silver PVD finish with fine milling on the surfaces. Available in a premium stepless steel shaft or our Tour proven, multi-material Stroke Lab shaft in a new candy apple red.

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Pros

  • Pleasant feel
  • 2 ball alignment aid
  • Prompts immediate forward roll
  • Increased MOI
  • Works to ensure improved accuracy

Cons

  • Moderately expensive

Your putter is arguably the most important golf club in your bag. When it fires, your scorecard looks healthy. The Odyssey White Hot 2 Ball putter helps beginners and intermediate golfers obtain a superior putting record.

The 2-part White Hot insert produces a pleasant feel and maximum forward roll at impact for added distance control. Plus, the mallet putter contains 2 balls which bolsters your alignment. Take advantage of the 2 Ball aid to ensure that your putter face points along your intended line.

In addition, Odyssey crafted the White Hot 2 Ball to deliver maximum MOI during your stroke. This means your putter resists twisting to remain square through impact. As a result, you are more likely to start your golf ball on the intended line.

 

Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens started playing golf at the age of 4 when Rory Sabattini's father put a 7-iron and putter in his hand. He has experienced all the highs and lows the game can throw at you and has now settled down as a professional golf writer. He holds a Postgraduate in Sports Marketing and has played golf for 28 years.