Golfers can spend $300 in a variety of ways.
- They can put $300 down on a new driver. That would be completely stupid, as the driver isn’t going to make you any better.
- They can pay in advance for 4-5 lessons with a PGA professional instructor. This is a great option, and hopefully you are currently working with someone or at least looking for a good instructor for YOU.
- They can spend $300 and come out with a set of golf clubs that will last them MANY years to come. This is another great option. This article that you are reading is going to go a little more in depth about the best golf clubs that beginners can purchase for under $300 total.
The first decision that you’ll come to is this: are you going to buy a complete set of golf clubs? Or are you going to buy your clubs (driver, irons, putter, etc) individually? This article will be broken up into two separate categories: buying a complete set and buying individually.
Buying a Complete Set for Under $300
For complete beginners that aren’t sure if they will keep playing golf for the next 5+ years, a complete set is a great option. Just one purchase, and BAM! You are ready to go to the course and start learning.
Complete sets have lots of similarities and differences. The main similarity is what you’ll get. Typically, a complete set will come with a driver, a fairway wood, a hybrid or two, a set of irons (4-PW), a sand wedge, a putter, and a golf bag.
The main differences between complete golf sets for beginners is durability and performance. The cheaper, off brand complete sets will break very easily. Even after 20 rounds of less, it’s common for golfers to hit a shot and for the club head to fly right off with cheaper sets. These sets will also feel clunky when hit and not fly as high and far as better sets.
The higher quality, brand name complete sets will be more durable and better performing than cheap sets. Before you ask, yes… you CAN buy a high quality brand name of golf clubs for under $300.
The only brand that we recommend for new golfers? Strata and Wilson. They are BY FAR the two most popular brands for complete sets of clubs. Strata is the top seller, and Wilson is a decent bit behind (but still the second biggest seller).
Callaway Strata 12 Piece Complete Set (Best Value Option)
Alright, if you are tired of reading reviews and opinions and just want to know which set to get, this is the one for you. It’s got everything you need. Brand name recognition/trust, all of the clubs that you need, a great design, and lots more.
Callaway’s Strata line of clubs is simply the best name in complete sets of golf clubs for beginners. It’s by far the most common brand of clubs bought by those that are new to the game, and for good reason.
Strata has many lines of clubs – some sets offer more clubs for higher prices. This set (the 12-piece set) is the bare minimum of what is needed to play golf. The only downside? There is no sand wedge. However, that’s not a big concern for brand new golfers, as the PW (pitching wedge) is a fine alternative.
Wilson Ultra Complete Golf Set (Lower Priced Option)
Wilson is far underrated when it comes to golf clubs for beginners. They offer high quality complete sets at RIDICULOUSLY LOW prices. The set that we recommend is the Wilson Ultra set. It’s been one of the best selling complete sets for many years.
Although the quality of this Wilson set is a taaaaaad bit lower than Strata complete sets, it will be all that a beginner really needs. They won’t be able to tell a difference between this Wilson set and the highest end clubs like Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, etc.
Wilson offers more expensive complete sets that offer more clubs. However, if you are looking to stay as cheap as possible without sacrificing quality, this is a great option.
Like the Strata set, the Wilson Ultra complete set doesn’t offer a sand wedge. You can either using the pitching wedge (which isn’t the exact same thing, but similar) or buy a sand wedge separately. In fact, Wilson makes one of the best selling wedges on the market, the Wilson Harmonized golf wedge, that only costs around $30.
The Wilson Ultra Complete Set is around $50 cheaper than the Strata option. That’s not a large amount, but hey… $50 is $50. As a beginner, you truly can’t go wrong with EITHER of these sets.
Buying Individual Golf Clubs for Under $300
Alright, so buying complete set is easy. One purchase and done. Easy peasy.
However, there are two main downsides to buying complete sets. Firstly, you don’t get to mix and match. If you aren’t happy with all of the clubs, that’s just too bad. So, there is little to no customization available. Secondly, the clubs in complete sets are generally lower quality than name brand clubs that you can buy individually.
Here’s the problem: individually purchased clubs are generally more expensive when you add everything up. Irons ALONE can cost 3-4x our budget of $300, so we have some work to do. First, we are going to be buying clubs that are OLDER (5+ years since being released) & USED (slightly used = the best value option).
Let’s begin, shall we?
Here’s how we are going to budget this out:
- $50 for a driver. There are lots of premium drivers on a market that can be picked up for just $50 in used condition. You just have to be patient and take advantage of a good deal when you see one. You might have to find one locally (facebook marketplace, thrift store, etc) if you can’t find one online.
- $40 for a three wood. An older model three wood should be on the only fairway wood that you need as a beginner.
- $40 for a hybrid. One hybrid should fill the gap between your fairway wood and your longest iron. Typically, this will be a 3 hybrid with around 19 degrees of loft.
- $100 for irons. That sounds like nothing for irons, but you’d be surprised what you can get with just a one hundred dollar bill in used condition. Remember: older, name brand clubs in used condition. We’ll be looking for a forgiving, game improvement iron set.
- $40 for a wedge. Guess what!? We can buy a NEW wedge for this price. This will be the only new club for our $300 set of clubs.
- $20 for a putter. All putters are pretty much the same, believe it or not. Golfers just like to blame their putters and buy a new one when they 3-putt five or more times in a round.
- $10 for a golf bag. You won’t believe the number of golf bags I’ve seen that people want to get rid of. I’d recommend trying to find a stand bag, as they are lighter and easier to transport. I’ve seen tons of bags priced at $10 or less at thrift stores and on Facebook Marketplace. It may not be pretty, but it will work. I bet you have a friend or relative that has a spare golf bag in his garage that he’d be willing to give you, anyway.
$50 Driver: TaylorMade Burner
TaylorMade’s Burner series of clubs have truly stood the test of time. They were INCREDIBLE clubs when they were first released, and not much has changed. There are many different models that use the name “Burner”. I’d recommend looking for the TaylorMade Burner driver, which came before the Burner SuperFast driver.
Sure, some of the newer drivers are a little bit further and a little bit more forgiving than the old Burner driver. However, the difference is MINISCULE. I’d feel 100x better about picking up a used TaylorMade Burner driver for $50 than picking up a $500 new TaylorMade driver.
$40 Fairway Wood: Callaway RAZR X Black
If you’ve read any articles that I’ve written about fairway woods, then you know I’m a HUGE fan of Callaway fairway woods. I actually still play this Callaway RAZR X Black three wood that I bought 6+ years ago. Now, you can pick one up in slightly used condition for under $40!
Unlike other brands, the soles are longer and flatter, which are great for new golfers that need more forgiveness. Fairway woods are already difficult clubs to hit. When they have longer and flatter soles, though, they are a little more forgiving on mishits.
$40 Hybrid: Adams Idea 2014
If you are new to golf, you may not have heard about Adams hybrids. They were bought out by TaylorMade many years ago. Adams offered the best AND the best value hybrids in one. It was a no brainer. We’d recommend the Adams Idea 2014. eBay is by far the best website to pick one up for under $40, but other sites have a few available as well.
You really can’t go wrong with ANY Adams hybrid that you can find slightly used. Some of their hybrids are smaller profile. We’d recommend trying to find one with a little more weight behind it to help launch the ball higher and easier, though. After all, hybrids are supposed to make the game easier, especially for high handicaps and beginners like yourself.
$100 Iron Set: King Cobra SS Oversized
Iron sets truly haven’t improved that much in the last 20 years. Sure, the lofts have gotten stronger. Other than that, though, the improvements have been marginal at best. A super forgiving iron set like the Cobra King SS Oversized is a great option for new golfers looking for a set that will last them a long time. As long as you can get over the dumb oval shape in the club face, it’s a great set of irons for beginners.
In 2002, Cobra released the King Cobra SS oversized iron set with large cavity backs, thinner faces, and perimeter weighting for a bigger sweet spot, more distance, and improved accuracy. Is it just as good as the 2020 game improvement irons from Cobra? No, but it’s pretty dang close. For $100, you can’t go wrong here.
$40 Wedge: NEW Wilson Harmonized Wedge
That’s right: the ONLY new club that we are getting is this Wilson Harmonized Wedge. I’d recommend the 56 degree wedge if you have no other wedge that you are working around. It’s $40 currently, but the price sometimes drops to close to $30.
This is one of the most popular wedges of all time – golfers love the name brand image at the discounted price. It’s been the best selling wedge on Amazon for as long as I can remember, and the reviews are almost all 5 stars. Is this wedge going to perform as well as a Cleveland or Vokey? No. However, as a beginner, you won’t be able to tell the difference – guaranteed!
$20 Putter: Anything
Listen: a putter is a putter. All putters are pretty much the same. No matter the design. No matter the brand. No matter the putter face. As long as the face is flat, you can literally putt with a potato. Yes, a potato.
I’d recommend going to your local thrift store or looking for an older putter on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You are sure to find many different putters under $20. Find one that fits your eye and start practicing! Bonus points if you can find a brand name model – but don’t hesitate if you find a great looking off brand putter. Again: a putter is a putter.
$10 Golf Bag: Any Old Stand Bag That You Can Find
There are tons of stand bags out there that have seen their years and years of usage. Golfers upgrade bags and then their old bag either goes in the attic or for sale. I’ve passed up on TONS of stand bags for under $10 at my local thrift stores – hopefully your area has similar options.
Before going out and buying one, ask your friends and family. I’m sure that 90% of people have a friend or family that has a spare golf bag that they’d be willing to give to a new beginner golfer.
BAM! You now have a complete set of golf clubs for $300. That wasn’t too bad, was it?
If you have better value alternatives to the clubs that I mentioned, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.