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Whether you are new to golf or perhaps looking to get back into the game after some time away, the first step is always to find the right equipment. This in itself can be incredibly daunting because there are so many brands with essential golf equipment on offer.
This can be as mind-boggling as buying a new car.
As a result, it might leave you with several questions like “What are the ultimate golf must-haves?” or “Which equipment is right for you?”
So what do you need to buy to start golfing?
The best place to start is with the basics. So you’ll need a set of clubs, balls, a bag, and shoes. Keep in mind that you need several other accessories, whether you’re a new or seasoned player.
Most avid golfers can attest to just how expensive golf can be. In fact, the more you want to upgrade your skills, the more you’re likely to spend. But you don’t need to break the bank to get some excellent golfing equipment that would be more than adequate.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy top-of-the-line equipment, nor do you have to buy brand new stuff.
In fact, if you’re just starting out, I would advise that you buy second-hand golf equipment. They are more forgiving of mistakes, and you’ll feel a lot better if you break or damage something if you haven’t spent lots of money on a brand new set.
So, if you want to find out more about what you need before hitting the course, read on for our beginner’s guide to golf essentials.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but this is where new golfers should start. A complete set of new or used clubs should always include a driver, two or three woods, several irons, pitching, and/or sand wedge and putter.
Why should you purchase a complete set of clubs?
Well, because they match different situations. For example, you need a driver to tee off at the start, or if you’re trying to dig your ball out of the bunker, you need a sand wedge.
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to purchase individual clubs like specialty wedges or hybrid clubs once you’ve gotten better at the game.
There are several types of golf clubs that you should purchase, and I will discuss them in detail below.
To begin your journey as a golfer, try to avoid using traditional golf clubs or blades. They have a smaller surface area, making it challenging to find the point of contact or sweet spot.
Even if you are looking at second-hand clubs, ensure that they are the newer cavity-backed clubs. They are designed to be more forgiving.
The weight is distributed more evenly around the clubface because the sweet spot is bigger. This means as a beginner, even if you don’t quite hit the ball right, your shot won’t be too far off.
Types of golf clubs
● Putters: these come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are mainly used for the final strokes, which take place on the putting green.
● Driver: is used during the initial stroke off the tee. These clubs are usually made from durable materials like steel or other metals. They are meant to cover a lot of distance.
● Fairway Woods: are used from the tee or to hit the ball on the fairway. They are also used to cover a lot of distance.
● Hybrids: is a cross between an iron and a wood club. The clubhead is more prominent, making it super easy to hit the ball from out of bunkers.
● Irons: are numbered golf clubs with smaller clubheads and angled faces (also called “loft”). They are suitable for shots from the fairway or tee shots on shorter holes.
● Wedges: there are several types of wedge clubs, including; pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. They are usually used for shorter shots.
If you’re competing in a tournament, you’re only allowed a maximum of 14 clubs in your bag. Anything more, and you could incur a penalty.
So make sure you know which clubs you prefer to use in different situations before joining a tournament.
The next set of equipment you’ll need is, of course, the golf ball. For a beginner, purchasing a couple of boxes of golf balls to start is essential since it’s pretty likely that you’ll lose a few balls to hooks, slices, and water hazards.
There are so many types of balls on the market, including those designed to help driving distance and others designed to improve accuracy. Different types of golf balls are designed for all kinds of player abilities.
Beginners should always use a two-piece ball which is designed with a solid rubber center and surlyn cover. These balls are meant to cover the furthest distance, although they are harder to control.
On the plus side, they are much more durable than the three-piece balls used by professionals.
If you find yourself losing golf balls at an alarming rate, consider buying second-hand balls, which tend to be way cheaper than a new set. I also recommend having at least two dozen balls for the course.
Also, ensure that you mark the balls with a unique logo so you can identify them when playing with other people.
For slower swings (typical of beginners), it’s best to buy one or two-piece golf balls. Once your swing has hit the mid-range or fast zone, you can upgrade to three, four, or five-piece golf balls.
Ball markers are what you leave in place of your ball. This helps you know where to take your next shot from. The great news is that you can tailor-make them to suit your personality.
For example, you can have animals, poker chips, guitar picks, and so on.
Tees are an essential part of playing golf; that’s why you’ll find that every hole on a golf course features a tee box. Golf tees work by positioning the ball perfectly, giving you the best chance to make a great shot.
Tees come in several lengths and materials; however, the most common are plastic and wood. Remember to go for durability, so wood might not be such a good idea.
Additionally, some players have reported that wooden tees increase the frequency of out-of-bounds balls.
Once you have all your essential equipment, where do you keep it all? A golf bag is a much-needed important item that will store all of your needed items.
Fortunately, there are a wide variety of golf bags on the market, ranging from budget friendly with basic amenities to top of the line with intricate designs and plenty of pockets.
If you’re just starting out, try to buy a used set of clubs that comes with the bag. It should save you some much-needed money.
Believe it or not, the type of golf bag you buy will directly influence the quality of your playing. Imagine lugging around an uncomfortable or heavy golf bag for hours over several miles.
You’re bound to tire quickly, and this will impact the quality of your game.
So ensure that the golf bag you buy is comfortable with well-padded straps. You can take it a step further by getting a bag that is on wheels or a pull-able golf cart to wheel your clubs around.
However, some courses might not allow you to use your wheeled bag at all or on certain days, especially if there’s been heavy rainfall.
It is no secret that the golf terrain can be rough and uneven. When you spend most of your time on your feet in a game, the shoes you pick have a significant bearing on how much you will enjoy the game.
Golf shoes should be durable, waterproof, comfortable, and stylish. While not required on all golf courses, rubber-cleated golf shoes are perhaps the best for all golfers.
Thousands of golf specialty shops and pro shops sell all types of golf shoes.
Golf has very strict rules about the proper attire on the golf course. Players need to be well dressed and smart but bear in mind that dress codes do vary from one golf club to the next.
Keep in mind that while jeans and a t-shirt might be acceptable on the driving range, you won’t be allowed into some clubs with the same attire.
So you’ll need a collared shirt, a pair of slacks, a skirt or shorts with short white socks and of course your golf shoes. If you want to improve your grip, you can add a glove worn on your left hand if you’re right-handed.
The weather is unpredictable, and it can get hot despite your best effort to get cool. Golf towels are often overlooked when discussing golf equipment, but they are an essential part of the game.
You’ll need a towel to wipe away your sweat, clean your clubs or even dry your hands. So always having a minimum of two towels is essential.
A wet one for cleaning balls and a dry one for drying hands is the best way to keep your two towels.
I have tried to cover some of the basic equipment that you need to get started with golf. We also recommend having a few other handy extras in your golf bag, like a golf pencil for keeping score and an umbrella in case it starts raining.
The right equipment will give you the best golfing experience.