The game of golf is continuing to grow and the industry as a whole is booming. According to golf.com, 441 million rounds of golf were played in 2019. In 2020, golf has continued to grow despite the pandemic. Golf courses feature an outdoor, open area which allows for social distancing, making golf a safe activity. Golf proved to be a great way to safely get outside and enjoy some fresh air. In general, golf is also a fantastic source of exercise and has many health benefits. The last few weeks in our blogs, we talked about how golf is a great social activity enjoyed amongst friends and family. While many new players began playing in 2020, many others wanted to, but did not know where to start. It can be overwhelming getting into golf for those who have never played before, and it can be especially difficult knowing what clubs to purchase and what is all needed to play. In this blog, we will discuss golf club basics, and talk about what clubs you will need to get started. Hopefully, you will have a better understanding of golf clubs after reading this, and will be one step closer to getting out to the course!
Golf clubs include: woods/hybrids, irons/wedges and putters. While the rules of golf allow you to carry up to 14 clubs in your bag, you do not necessarily need to have that many clubs to start. I recommend getting a driver and some other woods, a few irons, and a putter when you are first starting out. The driver is considered a wood, and woods feature a large head and less loft. The less loft on a club, the further the ball will go, so woods are more effective on longer shots. Drivers feature the biggest head and the least amount of loft. They should only be used on your first shot of the hole with the ball on a tee. The other woods, including a 3-wood or a 5-wood, can be effectively used off the fairway when longer shots are needed to reach the green. The irons are numbered, and a good starting set of clubs can include a 6iron, 7iron, 8iron, and 9iron. In general, a 9iron features about 41 degrees of loft, while a 6iron features 30 degrees of loft. The less loft on a club will make the ball travel further, so hypothetically a 6iron will go further than a 9iron. In addition to that, it can be good to get an iron that has a “P” or an “S” on it instead of a number. These clubs are called wedges and feature even more loft than the other irons. The Pitching and Sand wedges can be effective for shorter and higher shots, and are very beneficial around the greens.
You certainly do not need to spend hundreds of dollars (or even thousands) to get started. Golf companies sell individual clubs, but many golf club makers also sell very affordable clubs in full sets. I recommend buying a new or used full set of golf clubs. There are many full starter sets available online that are affordable and perfect to start out with. Full sets will typically include a driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, 6-9irons, a pitching wedge, and a putter. This starter set only features 9 clubs, and since you can carry 14 clubs in your bag this can also give you the option to purchase additional wedges or hybrids if you are enjoying the game and want to expand your bag. These starter sets can cost anywhere from $75-$500, so this is an affordable and easy way to get started.
-Sam Cresta, Assistant Golf Professional at American Classic Golf Club