Golf has this weird way of exciting and frustrating players at the same time. A round of golf is like an emotional rollercoaster: You’ll have a fair amount of repulsive shots that make you want to chuck your driver into the woods and leave you questioning your very existence, a large number of average shots that are never quite good enough but allow you to maintain some sanity, and just enough brag-worthy shots that make you want to pop your collar, save your scorecard, and come back next week for another ride (or round).
Even if you can’t break 100 on 18 holes, playing a round with your buddies and a couple of frosty beverages is a foolproof recipe for enjoyment. To really get the most out of your time on the course, you’ll need your own set of golf clubs, with a range of irons, wedges, and woods to match your level of experience and style of play.
The Best Golf Club Sets
- Best-Selling Club Set: Strata 16-Club Men's Complete Golf Club Set
- Best Budget Set for Men: Wilson Golf Profile Platinum Complete Package Set
- Best Budget Set for Women: Aspire XD1 Women's Golf Clubs Complete Set
- Best Game-Improving Irons: Callaway Big Bertha Iron Set, 5-PW
- The Modern Man's Clubs: Stix Golf V2 Iron Set, 5-PW
- Best Distance Iron Set Under $900: TaylorMade SIM2 Max Iron Set, 4-PW
- Best Forged Irons: Callaway Apex 21 Irons, 4-PW
- Best Classic Irons: Mizuno Pro 225 Irons, 4-PW
- Best Graphite Budget Set for Women: Wilson Women's Profile SGI Complete Golf Club Set
- Best Player's Irons: Titleist 2021 T300 Irons, 5-AW
What to Consider
When searching for the right set of clubs, we recommend you consider the amount and type of clubs, the skill level that the clubs are geared toward, and whether a bag is included.
➥Complete Sets Versus Irons-Only Sets
A complete set has everything you need — driver, woods, irons (and sometimes hybrids), wedges, and a putter. These are a great option for anyone who wants to unbox their clubs and hit the course, but top-of-the-line clubs usually are not sold as a complete set. If you want to build a custom set that better fits your skill level, you’ll likely want to start with a set of irons, then add whatever clubs speak to you most individually.
Golf clubs are made with a specific type of player in mind, relating most to skill level. A low-scoring golfer will want to swing “player’s irons,” which have better feel, control, and pinpoint accuracy, but only if you swing them just right. The margin for error is small with a player’s iron. On the other side of the spectrum, “game-improving” irons have a weight, shape, and size that improves distance with a larger sweet spot, which is ideal for less-skilled players.
Bags are typically only included with a complete set. If you’re starting with irons and building your own club set, you’ll need to buy a bag separately. Golf bags come in two main styles: cart bags and stand bags. A cart bag is exactly what it sounds like: It’s made for riding in the golf cart, and you wouldn't want to carry it for long (unless you're a caddy). A stand bag has two legs that extend when you set it down, so it stays upright on its own. Stand bags are the most common and convenient option because you can use them when walking the course, but they can also be strapped into the cart when you want to ride 18 holes.
We've compiled a guide to this year's best golf clubs to help you get course-ready. We touched on a few complete sets that are ready to play right out of the box with woods, irons, wedges, a putter, and a bag. We're also recommending some iron-only club sets for the golfer who's looking to mix and match for a custom-filled set. As the weather warms up, check out these top-rated golf clubs from some of the game’s most trusted brands.
Strata's line offers this 16-club set as the perfect entry-level golf club set for someone needing all the essentials in an affordable, ready-to-swing package from a respected brand.
Complete with a lightweight stand bag, this set includes a driver, a 3-wood, a 5-hybrid, six irons, a pitching wedge, and a putter. The driver has an oversized head and sweet spot, comparable to higher-priced clubs that the pros use, while the 5-hybrid provides a great alternative to those pesky long irons.
- Complete and affordable
- Entry-level set that’s easy to outgrow
Value shoppers and weekend warriors will be pleasantly surprised with this 10-club complete golf club set from Wilson.
Woods include an oversized driver for big distance even on off-center tee shots, a fairway wood, and a forgiving 5-hybrid. The midsize irons have a stainless steel shaft and club face, with weight distributed to the heel and toe for a faster downswing. And the putter has an alignment aid that gives you confidence when lining up your put.
All this comes in a lightweight, price-conscious package that's packed with more performance features than Wilson's standard Profile series set.
- Price is hard to beat
- Smaller club selection than other complete sets
If your game is getting better, you’re tired of renting or borrowing clubs, and you’re on a fixed income, this golf club set will do the trick. It has everything you need for a successful round, including a full titanium driver with a huge sweet spot, a fairway wood, a hybrid, 6 to 9 irons, a pitching wedge, and a putter (nine clubs total).
Protect your clubs with the three included headcovers, carry it all in the included dual-strap bag with a kickstand, and you're well on your way to fun in the sun.
- A full set that's ready to swing
- Bag isn't very stout
Big Bertha is quite possibly the most well-known name in golf clubs, dating back to their original driver in 1991. Callaway's flagship lineup has evolved over the years and continues to lead the league.
These irons are labeled “super-game improving” by Golf Digest, meaning they are designed for higher-handicap golfers who need all the help they can get.
Apart from being some of the sexiest iron sets on the course, this 5-PW (six clubs) iron set is performance-packed. The oversized clubhead has one of the biggest sweet spots around, which makes it that much easier to miss-hit if your swing is inconsistent.
They are weighted with a lower center of gravity, which helps you replace line drives with lofty shots. And they have the thinnest face in Big Bertha's history, which improves ball speeds and maximizes distance.
Golf is all about having fun (or, at least, attempting to), so why not invest in a set of irons that gives you the best shot at enjoying yourself?
- Massive sweet spot is hard to miss
- Not the best pinpoint accuracy
Stix is a newer golf brand with a very simple mission: to make high-quality clubs with current technology, sleek styling, and a minimalist design, and price them reasonably for the modern amateur golfer. Their woods, irons, and wedges will shave strokes off nearly anyone's score — me included.
Every Stix iron and wedge is cavity-backed and oversized. They feature a sleek, sexy, black-on-black finish with a premium diamond-like coating (DLC), which is the highest-quality synthetic diamond coating available for black clubs.
The six-club set of Stix irons has large club faces that provide more surface area for ball contact, with sweet spots that are nearly impossible to miss. These irons helped me — a below-average player — land the ball on the green from up to 175 yards out (rather than missing left or right), prevent from sinking my ball in the drink on mishits with my 5-iron, and straight-up have a better time.
- Incredible quality at a price that undercuts the competition
- Newer company without a longstanding reputation
TaylorMade is the go-to club brand of 2019's Masters Winner Tiger Woods. While Tiger plays the more advanced P7TW irons, these SIM Max Irons were made to make the average amateur player feel like the G.O.A.T. himself. That's why they have consistently made Golf Digest's Gold Hot List for game-improving irons.
The SIM Max irons (seven clubs) are said to be TaylorMade's longest, highest, and straightest-hitting iron, thanks to Speed Bridge technology that localizes face flexibility and delivers more energy from the clubhead to the ball with every swing. The ECHO damping system minimizes vibrations on less-than-perfect shots, too.
For mid- and high-handicappers who want maximum forgiveness and distance (i.e., those with “developing” skills), the SIM2 MAX irons are the best bang for your buck. These irons make TaylorMade’s highly respected brand and quality somewhat reachable for golfers of all abilities.
- More forgiveness for less consistent swings
- Seven clubs is one more than most iron sets
- Difficult to spin
Our favorite forged irons are Callaway’s Apex 21 — an iron set that consistently ranks at the top of the Golf Digest Gold Hot List. They are categorized as “player’s distance irons,” which means they are made for frequent golfers with average handicaps who could use a few extra yards from their clubs. Because honestly, who doesn’t want the ball to travel further?
The body of this club is made from mild carbon steel wrapped in a carbon outer layer, which provides an incredibly soft feeling. An added dampening technology minimizes vibrations on the occasional mishit. And Callaway's Face Cup technology delivers optimum ball launch and distance without sacrificing control.
Straight out of the box, these seven irons (4-PW) are a game changer, with their True Temper Elevate 95 Steel shaft. But if you're looking for even better performance and a custom look, check out their premium shaft options for a custom look and feel.
- Incredibly soft and damp
- Difficult to control with an inconsistent swing
If you want irons with a legendary feel and feedback, these Mizunos are a modern take on a classic, time-tested style. Mizuno's new Pro 225 irons are made from forged steel, layered with soft copper plating, and finished with a brushed satin for reduced glare, which means these are some of the truest-feeling, best-looking irons you'll ever swing.
The club face delivers a smooth feel at impact, and the large overall size helps minimize errant shots, without the feeling like you're swinging a snow shovel. This set includes six irons and one wedge (4-PW) for right around $1,400, which positions them competitively against iron sets from other top brands.
- Forged steel with copper plating feels truer than ever
Wilson offers beginner golf clubs for women in an affordable, distance-yielding set with their Profile SGI. This complete golf club set is course-ready straight out of the box, with everything you'll need for a round on the links.
This 10-club set has a huge graphite-shafted driver that increases forgiveness for those who have yet to perfect their swing, graphite-shafted irons that provide more stability at contact, two wedges that are great for your short game, and a simple, reliable putter.
Wilson's Profile SGI set comes complete with a backpack-style cart bag at a price that won't break the bank. It comes in a men's version, too.
- Graphite shafts are lighter and shots travel further
- Lower price means lower quality
Our colleagues at Men's Health said a few years back that these irons “have it all.” And with the most recent updates to this club, we still wholeheartedly agree. The newer T300 irons from Titleist give golf lovers plenty of distance, control, and consistency.
Priced at about $1099 for 4-PW (seven clubs), they're geared toward more serious golfers who find the T100 irons too compact, and thus, too demanding. The T300 are much more hittable for players with a higher handicap, thanks to a larger club face and sweet spot, but they don't feel bulky or oversized.
- Very long and forgiving
Instead of scrambling to find a babysitter, teach your little one to play. This five-club set is great for both boys and girls from ages 8 to 11. It includes a large titanium driver, a hybrid club, one iron, one wedge, a putter, and a lightweight kickstand carry bag with an included rain hood.
The golf clubs in this set are engineered specifically for younger players, so they can work on improving distance and accuracy. Instill the passion in your kids from a young age for a hobby that the two of you can enjoy together for years to come.
- A cheap starter set for young ones
- Only one iron and one wedge