There are “kids/juniors” golf clubs. There are “mens” golf clubs. There are “seniors” golf clubs. But, wait. What about golf clubs for teenagers and high school players? Well, that’s what this article is all about. I’m just going to generalize all teenagers and high school golfers as being being 13-19 years old. That’s still a pretty big age gap, but this article will hopefully make it VERY clear which golf clubs you need to be buying today.
Ok, so there are going to be lots of decisions that you have to make throughout this process. Do NOT let it overwhelm you.
- Should I buy a complete set or individual clubs (driver, woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, putter, bag, etc)?
- How much money should I spend on golf clubs for a teenager? Should I buy a cheap set or an expensive set?
- What golf club brands should I stick with? What golf clubs do I need?
- What height should the golf clubs be? What if my teenager or high school golfer is __feet & __ inches tall?
First Decision: Should I Buy Junior Golf Clubs or Mens Golf Clubs for My Teenager or High School Golfer?
This is the first big question. Should you buy junior golf clubs or mens golf clubs? Great question. This shouldn’t be based on age, because everyone ages differently. Some grow (in height and in muscularity) much easier and quicker than others.
In my opinion, all male teenagers and high school golfers should be buying men’s golf clubs. Here’s why:
- Men’s golf clubs are not THAT much heavier and taller than junior golf clubs. Teenagers and high school golfers need to continue to develop their muscles, anyway, so the slightly heavier men’s golf clubs are better than playing with junior clubs.
- All teenagers and high schoolers want to have a good time on the course. They do NOT want to be made fun of by their friends for using small boys golf clubs. Trust me: high school boys are mean.
- If your teenager or high school golfer is smaller and weaker than most his age, he can still “choke down” on the golf clubs. This means that they will simply grip the golf club 1-2 inches lower than the top of the grip. As they grow, they can slowly choke down less and less, until it fits them perfectly.
- Men’s golf clubs won’t be outgrown. Junior golf clubs can be outgrown within a couple of months, especially if your teenager or high school golfer hits a growth spurt out of nowhere. Men’s golf clubs will not be outgrown.
Second Decision: Should I Buy A Complete Set or Individual Clubs?
If you want to buy men’s/women’s golf clubs, then this is the next big question. Does your teenager or high school golfer need to buy a complete set or buy all clubs individually?
Complete golf club sets are great for many reasons. They are convenient. You’ll have everything you’ll need to play as soon as you get the set in (besides golf balls, a glove, and tees of course). After a few months of practicing with your clubs, you’ll be ready to try-out for the high school team.
They are much more affordable, too, which is great for teenagers and high schoolers that don’t have a lot of money to spend. You’ll also know that you have no significant gap in clubs, because the golf club manufacturer has given you every club you’ll need. However, they are lower quality, and may break at the hosel relatively quickly, which will need to be replaced or upgraded.
Buying golf clubs individually is great for very different reasons. The quality is typically a lot higher. You have much more room for selecting what is best for you (if you know what you are doing). They will typically perform better and last longer than a complete set.
However, the price adds up when you factor in everything you’ll need. Plus, you’ll have to make sure that you don’t leave yourself with a large gap in distance, so you’ll need to carefully select the lofts of the clubs you buy. For example, if you have a 4 iron that is 25 degrees, you may need a hybrid that is 21 degrees so that you don’t have a large gap between irons and your 3 wood.
If your teenager or high school golfer is brand new to golf, I’d highly recommend a complete set for many reasons:
- Complete sets are cheaper. If you aren’t sure if they are going to like golf a year from now, it’s best to spend a small amount now and upgrade later if necessary. You’d regret spending a lot on golf clubs if your golfer decides that he/she doesn’t actually like golf.
- Complete sets are convenient. Finding all of the clubs needed can be daunting. You may be looking at clubs locally, but you aren’t sure if the shafts are right, if they are the right length, if you’ll have everything you need, etc. A complete set will allow you to rest assured that you’ll have everything you need in just ONE single purchase. Less stress = a good thing.
- Complete sets will perform just as well as premium golf clubs when used by beginners. If your high school golfer or teenage golfer is brand new to golf, they won’t benefit from playing expensive golf clubs. They will need lots of practice (on their swing and mental game) before better equipment would have any added value.
If your teenager or high school golfer has outgrown their first complete set, I’d highly recommend they get individually purchased clubs, because:
- If they have outgrown their first set of clubs, they have (hopefully) shown that they want to stick with golf long term. In that case, they need better performing clubs (longer, more durable, and more consistent).
- Individual clubs allow more opportunity for selecting certain brands for certain clubs. For example, it’s very common for golfers to pick TaylorMade drivers, Callaway fairway woods, TaylorMade/Callaway hybrids, Mizuno irons, Cleveland wedges, and Callaway (Odyssey) putters. These are oftentimes the best reviewed brands for those specific club types. Individual clubs also allow for more tweaking, as you can change shafts fairly easily and adjust lofts if necessary.
- Individual clubs hold their value better. If you buy a complete set for $300 and use it for a couple of years, you may be able to sell it for $50 when you are done with it, assuming you have only broken one club. If you buy individual clubs for $300 clubs and use them for a couple of years, you can probably sell them for $150-250 when you are done with them. Not bad!
- You can still buy individual clubs for a great price. As a high schooler or teenager, you can buy USED clubs or OLDER MODELS. You can search facebook/craigslist/local selling apps to buy a used, complete set of individually purchased clubs for very cheap. You don’t have to worry about taxes/shipping, which is nice. Plus, you could pick them up today and hit the course TODAY, too.
The Best Complete Set of Golf Clubs for Teenagers & High Schoolers
If you have decided to buy a complete set, here are 2 great options. The first option is for those that aren’t too concerned with money. The second option is for those that are looking for the best value complete set. Remember: best value doesn’t mean “cheapest”. It means the most value PER DOLLAR SPENT.
Before I talk about the two sets, I do want to make one thing clear. I NEVER recommend off-brand clubs. They break easily, have poor customer service, and simply do not perform as well as proven name brand complete sets.
Another thing to note: make sure you get a standing carry bag, NOT a cart bag. Cart bags are big and heavy, as they are only meant to be ridden with. As a high schooler or a teenager, they will be walking more often than not, not a carry bag is the only way to go. Nearly all high school golf events are walking, in case you were wondering.
#1 Overall: Strata 16 Piece Complete Set
If money is not much of a problem for you, then consider the Strata 16 Piece set. Strata is by FAR the highest selling complete set in golf. The 16-piece set is the highest priced Strata set at the moment. There are cheaper Strata sets that have less clubs.
The 16-piece set has everything that a new, young golfer will need to start his game off on the right foot. At the time of this writing, it’s about $400 with free shipping. That may sound like a lot, but consider the fact that many new drivers sell for $500 ALONE.
Yes, there are many higher priced options for complete sets, but they are no better than Strata clubs in my opinion. Even the higher priced complete sets have many reviews of club heads falling off prematurely.
- Pros: The highest reviewed & most popular set ever made. Has everything you’ll need, including a sand wedge. Has an extra hybrid compared to the lower priced Strata set.
- Cons: $150 more expensive than the 12-piece Strata set.
- Who it’s best for: A teenager or high schooler that is new to golf and wants to have all clubs needed to learn the game of golf quickly, without too much worry about the cost.
Best Value: Strata 12 Piece Complete Set
If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, then the Strata 12-Piece set is 100% the best option for you. Wilson has some great complete sets that are CLOSE to competing with the popularity of the Strata sets, but not close enough.
The Strata 12-Piece set is exactly like the 16 piece set, except is doesn’t have a 4 hybrid and a sand wedge, along with 2 club head covers. The 12-Piece set is just $250.
Personally, I’d highly recommend going with this cheaper Strata set and then buying this Wilson Harmonized sand wedge for around $35, which would bring your total to just $285 for a complete set. The 4 hybrid (and the two other club head covers) isn’t really needed, realistically.
- Pros: $150 cheaper than the 16-Piece set. Has everything you need, except the SW. The PW is a good (not perfect) substitute for the SW.
- Cons: We’d recommend you buy the sand wedge separately.
- Who it’s best for: A teenager or high school golfer that wants to get into the game of golf without spending too much money.
The Best Individually Purchased Golf Clubs for Teenage and High School Golfers
If you have decided to purchase individual clubs over buying a complete set, then we need to talk about the best clubs that you can buy for your teenager or high school golfer.
First, remember that just because you are buying individual branded clubs does NOT mean that you’ll have to spend $1,000. Here are my best tips to save you money when buying individual clubs.
- Buy used clubs locally. This is the best tip. Search facebook marketplace for “golf clubs”. You’ll find many golfers that are either upgrading or leaving the game for good. They may have spent $2,500 on a new Callaway driver, a new Titleist 3 wood, a new Cobra hybrid, new Mizuno irons, new Titleist Vokey wedges, a new Odyssey Putter, and a new Ping Hoofer golf bag. However, now that the clubs are older and used, you can pick up this GREAT set of clubs for just ~$400.
- Always buy used. I always recommend buying slightly used golf clubs, no matter what you are looking for. Slightly used clubs will perform the same as new, last nearly as long, and cost a FRACTION of the price.
- No shame in buying old golf clubs. Old golf clubs (10+ years old) won’t be as easy to hit as newer golf clubs, but they will be way cheaper. However, that means that your teenager or high school golfer will be playing with harder to hit clubs, therefore making them a better golfer when they eventually upgrade down the road.
Here are my best recommendations for golf clubs for teenagers and high school golfers. The total for this set would be around $300, give or take a little. The prices are from the lowest priced golf club retailer online.
Driver for just $50: TaylorMade Burner
Listen: you just can’t go wrong with the TaylorMade Burner series of clubs. Low priced. High quality. Durable as hell.
There are many different varieties of “Burner” clubs. I’d recommend checking out the Taylormade Burner driver, which is the model right before the Burner SuperFast driver, which is a little more expensive. And yes, I played this driver for around 3 years and loved every bit of it.
Don’t get me wrong: the latest and greatest drivers are just a little bit longer and more forgiving than the TaylorMade Burner driver. However, as a teenager or high school golfer, you most likley won’t be able to tell the difference. It’s worth the cost savings, no doubt. Get this $50 driver instead of the $400+ new TaylorMade drivers on the market.
Fairway Wood for Just $40: Callaway RAZR X Black
Another club that stayed in my bag for around 3 years that gave me lots of good times? The Callaway RAZR X Black three wood. If you have seen other articles that I’ve posted about 3 woods, you’ll know that I LOVE Callaway fairway woods. They are super forgiving due to their flatter sole design, which gives you more martin for error on your shots. 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. At this time, you can pick one up in excellent condition for around $40 SHIPPED, which is mind boggling.
Other brands design their three woods to be more versatile with v-shaped soles. Callaway fairway woods have soles that are longer and flatter. That gives high school golfers and teenagers a little more forgiveness on their off center hits, which are sure to happen often. Hell – fairway woods are simply hard clubs to hit! The sole of the Callaway RAZR X Black fairway wood will make your life easier… trust me.
Hybrid for Just $40: Adams Idea
Adams Golf isn’t a thing any more (bought out by TaylorMade), so you may not have heard about them. Trust me… they were THE best brand for hybrids by far. Both with quality AND with price, which is extremely rare.
If I were shopping around for a high schooler or teenager, I’d suggest picking up an Adams Idea hybrid. There are many varieties of “Idea” hybrids out there. You truly can’t go wrong with any of them, as long as they fit your eye and have the right loft to fill your gap between irons and your fairway woods.
Iron Set for Just $100: King Cobra SS Oversized
You may think that an iron set that is 20 years old is deemed useless now. Nope! This Cobra King SS Oversized iron set is crazy durable, has great feel, and surprisingly good distance for such an old set. Best of all? You can pick it up for just $100!
Lofts of new iron sets are much stronger. That means that a 5 iron 20 years ago now has a “7” on the bottom of the club, to make you think you are hitting the ball further. It’s just a scheme to make you buy new clubs. Stick with older clubs and you’ll save money, as long as you can get over your 5 iron being the same loft as your friend’s 7 iron.
This is a great set for high schoolers or teenagers looking for a game improvement iron set. It’s got the forgiveness you need and the durability that will make you want to keep playing the set for another 20 years!
Brand New Wedge for Under $40: Wilson Harmonized Wedge
All of the clubs so far have been used. But guess what? The Wilson Harmonized wedge is BRAND NEW, and just under $40. The price even falls to closer to $30 sometimes.
If you are looking to buy just one wedge, I’d suggest getting a 56 degree. It’s a good in-between for a gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge.
The Wilson Harmonized wedge is one of the highest selling wedges of all times. It’s the highest selling wedge on Amazon, that’s for sure. And you’ll have a hard time finding anything but 5-star reviews. It offers the brand name that you are looking for (Wilson) at the price of an off brand. This wedge isn’t quite as good as a Cleveland or Vokey wedge, but a teenager or high school golfer probably won’t even notice.
$20 Putter: Anything
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Putters are all pretty much the same. Sure, mallet putters may be a little bit easier to aim than a blade putter. However, a high school aged golfer won’t care. Any putter will do. Any brand. Any design. Any color.
Honestly, just go to your local thrift store and see what they have got. I’m sure you’ll be able to find tons of options under $5 each. I wanted to give you some leeway with the $20 budget here. Check Facebook marketplace too. Type in “putter” and just “golf clubs” to see your options.
$10 Golf Bag: Any Stand Bag
Similar to the putter, the golf bag doesn’t matter much either. However, make SURE that you get a stand bag, AKA a carrying/walking bag (not a cart bag).
You’ll be able to find tons of old stand bags. I’ve seen them at yard sales, on local marketplaces, at my friends houses, at my family’s houses. I’d wager that you’ve got a family member out there that has 3 bags that are just sitting in the attic collecting dust right now.
And that’s it! Your high school golfer or teenage golfer now has a full set of great golf clubs for under $300!