New Golfer – Equipment Advice Needed!
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Try some of the stuff before you buy it - especially the 3 wood and putter - I'd almost suggest going with a driver instead of a 3 wood - this isnt the old days where drivers were impossible to hit for newbies, those huge heads will give you a bit more confidence.
Hybrid - either a 3 or 4 will probably do. I used a 4 for years and just recently went to a 3 when I replaced my 4 with a 9 wood.
Also, I would recommend a Cleveland Niblick - a great club for hitting out of the rough (that you are going to find yourself in a lot) or for anything 100 yards and in.
Anything you buy, you are are probably going to want to change in a few months (we all go through it)
I was in a similar situation earlier this year, however I had a set of cheap clubs kicking about so went for a few lessons and got the bug. I spent a long time reading up on different sets, and narrowed it down to Taylormade RBZ's, Ping G25's and Mizuno JPX. Where I now live there is a very good Ping dealer with the nFlight set up, long story short I ended up with the Pings. I did the online fitting then took it into the shop and got to hit different coloured coded 7 irons with different shafts. To start with I only ordered 5 - SW in the irons, then 20 and 23 degree hybrid, then a driver and 3 wood. If Im honest the 20 degree and 3 wood I rarely use as I struggle with them, I should practice more with them, the driver and 23 degree get me up the par 4's and 5's. I am improving rapidly in the last 6 months but feel no need to swap those clubs for other ones.
I'd try and use as many different clubs you can then just go with what feels best and which you hit best. Some people will say spend the cash on lessons first then go get fitted for clubs after a few months. Another suggestion is get lessons and ask the pro what he thinks would suit you, but do not fall into the trap of buying from him something he recommends, I have been down that route with my wife and it ended up costing me the equivalent of several lessons with a better pro.
For a beginner, an iron set with 5-SW makes a good base. You want to get a basic static fitting: checks shaft length, lie angle, and grip thickness to make sure the clubs fit your stance.
For driver, get an idea of your swing speed, and use that for finding the right shaft type (flex, weight). As a beginner, you probably want a driver loft of 10.5* or higher. Here's where launch monitor data helps. Also, your driver swing speed is one indicator of what flex shaft you want in your other clubs.
If Im honest the 20 degree (hybrid H3) and 3 wood I rarely use as I struggle with them, I should practice more with them, the driver and 23 degree get me up the par 4's and 5's. I am improving rapidly in the last 6 months but feel no need to swap those clubs for other ones.
For fairway woods: try out the 4W. Several golf studies have found that the average golfer hits the 4W better than a 3W. A couple of extra degrees of loft make all the difference in the world in getting the ball up on launch.
For hybrids, try a 4H (often about 23*). It will get the ball out of the rough better than a 3H, and it also good for longer approaches and tee shots on short, narrow par 4s.
Finally, a putter. Try out different head designs (mallet head, blade, heel-toe bar) and see which type you like best. Then, focus on different models of that type and pick one. Putters can be pretty pricy... don't be afraid to buy a used one (in good condition). After you've been playing for a couple of months, and your stroke stabilizes, you should go for a putter fitting to get it tweaked to your swing.
NOTE: This is only 12 clubs, but don't worry about. That's plenty for a beginner to manage. You'll figure out the final two clubs for 14 limit over the next couple of seasons.
IMHO stick with 5 wood and a 4 hybrid then your 5 to PW. 3 hybrid, is generally a touch tougher to hit than a 5w, which seems to be a no brainer for most.
Putters for something decent at a fair cost go for Cleveland Classics, they have a range of shapes and styles, just find one that feels right after hitting a few balls
Extra wedges for bang for buck look at Adams Tom Watson 3 wedge set for $100 to complete the bag. Arguably the best bank for buck in golf, I have played as low as a 5 handicap with them and can never stump up the 300 notes for a real wedge!
Another option is look at some Adams/ Callaway/ Cobra iron sets that already have the hybrids 3 and 4 and 5-PW as irons, can also save big time compared to buying irons and hybrids separately