What Clubs Should the Average Golfer Carry?

Golf can be an intimidating sport for beginners. With 14 clubs allowed in your bag, it can be confusing trying to figure out which ones are essential for the average golfer. Selecting the right clubs to carry can make a huge difference in your game and enjoyment of golf. This article will examine the key factors to consider when choosing clubs as an average golfer, the optimal club set make-up, and provide recommendations on specific club types and brands to look for.

What is a Golf Club Set Make-Up?

A full golf club set is comprised of 14 clubs, with a maximum of 14 allowed in your bag during a round per USGA rules. The 14 clubs generally break down into the following categories:


Woods have large club heads made of metal or composite materials and are used for long distance shots from the tee or fairway. A driver and one or more fairway woods are common for most golfers.


Hybrids blend attributes of both woods and irons. The club head is similar to a wood but the shaft length is closer to an iron. Hybrids are easier to hit than long irons and popular replacements for the harder to hit 2, 3, 4 irons.


Irons have a metal club head and angled face that is used for a variety of shots from around the green and farther out. A set normally includes 5-9 irons plus a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge.


The putter is used on the green to roll the ball into the hole. There are many styles and shapes but most average golfers carry just one putter.

What Matters for Club Selection as an Average Golfer?

When selecting clubs as an average golfer, there are a few key factors to consider:

Skill Level

Your skill level will dictate what type of clubs are best suited for your abilities. As a beginner, you’ll want more forgiving, game improvement type clubs that help compensate for mis-hits and inaccuracies. Intermediate players gain benefit from playing more player-focused clubs as their ball striking improves.


Golf clubs can get very expensive, especially full fitted sets from the big brand names. As an average golfer, you don’t need the absolute top of the line clubs. There are very capable complete sets for under $500 that provide great value for the budget conscious.

Custom Fitting

Getting custom fit for clubs by a professional club fitter can optimize your set for your swing, physical build, and shot tendencies. However, it’s not essential for the average golfer just looking for reliable clubs that can elevate their game. Off the rack club sets will suffice for most.

Combination Sets

Combining clubs from different brands to optimize distances and gaps in your set is a smart play for the average golfer. Having hybrids to replace harder to hit long irons is recommended and mixing wedge brands can help dial in proper gapping.

Club Composition

Determining the right combo of woods, hybrids, irons and wedges in your 14 club set is key. Sets leaning more towards hybrids and higher lofted woods and irons may suit slower swing speed average golfers more.

Based on the above factors, the ideal club make-up for the average golfer includes:


  • Driver (9-11 degrees loft)
  • 3 wood (15-17 degrees)
  • Potentially a 5 wood (18-21 degrees) depending on skill level


  • 3 hybrid (19-22 degrees)
  • 4 hybrid (22-25 degrees)


  • 5 iron through pitching wedge (ideally cavity back game improvement style)
  • Gap wedge
  • Sand wedge
  • Lob wedge


  • Mallet or heel-toe weighted style putter to help stabilize stroke

This combination allows the average golfer to hit woods off the tee and fairways, hybrids for long shots into greens, mid and short irons for approach shots, and adequate wedge gapping for short game versatility around the greens. The putter style caters to most common stroke types.

For woods, the average golfer needs clubs that offer forgiveness and help get the ball up in the air. Models like:


  • Callaway Mavrik Max
  • TaylorMade SIM Max
  • Cobra F-Max

Fairway Woods:

  • Callaway Mavrik Max
  • Cobra F-Max
  • Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo

Are ideal for their lighter weight, offset designs, and use of game improvement technology like perimeter weighting and rearward tungsten weighting. Prices range from $249-$299 for drivers and around $199-$229 for fairway woods.

Today’s hybrids offer the distance and high launch average golfers need from their long clubs. Great options include:

  • Callaway Mavrik Hybrid
  • TaylorMade SIM Max Hybrid
  • Ping G410 Hybrid
  • Cobra T-Rail Hybrid

These all share forgiveness promoting designs like hollow body construction and tungsten weighting in the low rear portion of the club head. The Cobra T-rail includes rails on the sole to help improve turf interaction on shots. Prices range from $199-$249.

In irons, the average golfer needs maximum forgiveness and support on mis-hits. Great game improvement irons include:

  • Callaway Mavrik Max
  • TaylorMade SIM Max
  • Cobra King F-Max
  • Wilson Launch Pad Iron Set

Look for irons with offset, wide soles, perimeter weighting, and cavity back designs. Thick toplines inspire confidence while technologies like tungsten weighting boost launch and forgiveness. Sets tailored for seniors, women, and juniors are also ideal for average golfers needing extra support. Most full sets cost $499-$799.

Wedges are essential scoring clubs around the green for the average golfer. Look to brands like Cleveland, Vokey, and Mack Daddy to fill gaps with specialized bounce and loft options without breaking the bank. Models like:

  • Cleveland RTX ZipCore Gap Wedge
  • Callaway Mack Daddy CB Wedge
  • Titleist Vokey SM8 Jet Black Wedge

Make it easy to flight shots high or low as needed around greens. Many average golfer focused lines like the Cleveland Smart Sole line have extra wiggle room on shots and easy to hit designs. Most wedges run from $119-$159 each.

Putter Recommendations for the Average Golfer

In putters, easy to align designs provide a great benefit to the average golfer. Mallet style putters like:

  • Odyssey 2-Ball Putter
  • Cleveland Huntington Beach Soft Putter
  • TaylorMade Spider Putter

Feature alignment aids and heavier weighting towards the perimeter of the putter face to stabilize off center hits and make squaring the face easier. Models with counterbalancing also help average golfers control their stroke and tempo. High quality putters tailored for the average golfer start around $159-$199.

Tips for Creating Your Set Make-Up

When compiling your ideal set, consider these tips:

  • If you lack confidence with long irons, replace them with hybrids like many average golfers are doing
  • Mix and match brands and models to optimize distances between clubs
  • Add more wedges to fill your gapping needs around the green
  • Choose game improvement clubs that boost launch, forgiveness, and ease of use
  • Get properly fit for flex, length, lie angle, grip style and size
  • Consider combo sets mixing senior, women’s, junior clubs based on your needs
  • Test clubs at stores and ranges before buying if possible

The right clubs can make the game much more enjoyable and help you shoot lower scores. Focus on consistency, forgiveness, and confidence inspiring designs as an average golfer.


Selecting the ideal golf clubs to carry involves assessing your skill level, budget, needs and custom fitting options. For the average golfer, game improvement club designs provide the most help. Combining easier to hit woods, hybrids, irons, and wedges allows you to reach par 4s and 5s in regulation, hit greens from the fairway, and recover from trouble more easily. Precision weighted putters further enhance confidence on the greens. The right clubs go a long way towards maximizing enjoyment and ability to score for the average golfer. Work towards assembling an optimal set addressing your weak areas and needs to raise your golf game to the next level.

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