A basic set of golf clubs is all any golfer needs to start playing the game. A set of three woods, a collection of 3-9-irons, pitching wedge, sand wedge and a putter, are all that is required.
As your game develops and you improve, more specific clubs can be added to suit your abilities. To start there is only one rule to remember: You can’t carry more than 14 clubs in your bag at any one time.
Before buying a set of clubs, first determine your ability level. A low-handicap player has a single-digit handicap, meaning he or she generally scores less than 10 strokes over par, or an 82 or less on a par-72 course.
The low-handicap golfer
The low-handicap player should carry a driver and at least 1 fairway wood, most likely the 3-wood. The low-handicap player will benefit from lower irons in his bag, because the three or four-iron is a difficult club to hit but can be very useful if it can be controlled.
A minimum of 3 wedges which includes a sand wedge, pitching wedge and either a lob wedge or approach wedge in their bags, with a maximum 4-degree difference between each one.
The mid-handicap golfer
The mid-handicap golfer plays “bogey golf,” meaning his or her score averages out to 1 over par on each hole, or somewhere in the 11-20 handicap range.
In addition to the driver and a 3-wood and a 5-wood, consider adding a 7-wood or even a 9-wood. These fairway woods give much better control and consistency than the harder to hit long irons.
Usually only a 3 through 9 are recommended, since the 2-iron is very difficult to hit consistently. Three different wedges are recommended- pitching wedge, sand-wedge, and either a lob wedge or approach wedge
The high-handicap golfer
The high-handicap golfer is either a beginner or has not had the time to develop his or her game to reach the mid-handicap level. The high-handicapper usually shoots close to or over 100.
For starters, you may not even want to have a driver in your bag. Instead, try going with the 3-wood as your off-the-tee wood and add the easier-to-hit 7- and 9-wood. The wedge you should carry can be either a pitching wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge and or approach wedge.
As for wedges go with a sand wedge (55-57 degree loft) or choose between a lob wedge (60-64 degree loft) or a gap wedge (50-53 degree loft). Putters are usually sold separately from full sets to allow the golfer to choose his or her own style.