The golf clubs an adult beginner absolutely must carry in their bag

Golf bag

Golf doesn’t stipulate a minimum number of clubs you must carry, but it does set the maximum at 14. But what is the ideal number for a beginner?

Perhaps there is no such number, but as a beginner you certainly don’t need to use the full 14 clubs available to you.

But, equally, here are the clubs that any beginner absolutely must include in their bag.

A Putter

The question of whether a mallet or a blade is the best putter is one that might never be answered. Whatever your choice, you need to have a putter in your bag even if it feels like you’re never going to actually reach the green.

Most worthwhile beginner-level sets will have a decent putter in the bag, likely with a few alignment aids and decent forgiveness.

A fitting is a good option with every club but especially with the putter where feel is so essential.

A 56-degree sand wedge

You can simplify your wedge lineup to start with and zero in on mastering the 56-degree sand wedge around the green.

You get all-track versatility with this club, and simplifying your wedge lineup enables you to cut out unnecessary faffing and fumbling around the green.

A 56-degree sand wedge is not part of a usual beginner set lineup and you might have to invest considerably to get paired with your ideal wedge.

The Cleveland CBX wedges review as the best for an average golfer.

An iron set 6-PW

A 6-PW set of irons will serve the beginner well and you will soon get the hang of which clubs will best suit you in different short game scenarios.

A five-club set can be a little bewildering to get the hang of, but beginners shouldn’t be afraid to get their irons out at the driving range.

The utility of a five-club set will make itself apparent early in your practice and training, if not on the course.

There is no reason that beginners cannot use 3, 4 or 5 irons but they are not essential for the greenest golfer.

Hybrids 4/5

Hybrids split opinion but their utility for beginners is undeniable.

The best rescue option for the beginner golfer that frequently gets themself into trouble off the tee, having a couple of hybrids in your bag can be game-changing for beginners.

If you’re asking what the best hybrids for beginners and high-handicappers, reviewers favour the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus.

Cobra’s Aerojet range reviews well as a budget option.


The 5-wood completes the lineup of clubs that a beginner must have.

We stop short of recommending you play with a driver from the start.

Many coaches recommend starting out with the 5-wood and building consistency off the tee with the easier-to-hit fairway wood which can also often be used for your second shot on longer holes.

Your first 5-wood is another case of a fitting being your best option.

The first 5-wood is a club that you need to be able to hit pretty well from the start to really get yourself going in the game so it makes sense to find the one that you strike the best.