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How to play golf: Building a bag for your skill level



When it comes to learning how to play golf, putting together a set of clubs is a vital step. The best way to do so will always be to see a fitter and go through the process of getting everything dialed in.

The problem for many golfers is this process can be both cost and time prohibitive. So to help you simplify your bag, we have put together an easy to follow guide, as well as a link to some of our most recent pieces about selecting clubs to put in your bag.

How to play golf: Building the right bag for you

Beginner/Casual golfer/Lower swing speed

how to play golf beginner set

This is where most new golfers fit in, and the biggest goal when putting together a set for a player in this category is to make the club selection process on the course easier and use clubs that provide the most confidence.

A typical set for someone just learning how to play golf will include but not be limited to

  • A driver with a fixed hosel and loft between 10.5 and 12°.
  • Fairway wood, generally a single (18°) 5-wood to be used all over the course. One of the hardest clubs to hit even for skilled players is a 3-wood, so even if one comes with your set, maybe set it aside for a while.
  • Hybrid clubs to replace hard to hit long irons, which can also be helpful with chipping around the greens.
  • Cavity back irons offer the greatest amount of forgiveness, and for beginners and slower speed players their perimeter weighting and a lower center of gravity help get the ball in the air.
  • Sand wedge. Having a single wedge (after the pitching wedge) for around the green will help simplify the decision-making process and for new players. Getting comfortable with a single club around the green for different shots can help quickly lower scores.
  • A putter that is the right length and has a comfortable grip should be all you’re really focusing on at this point. Try not to get too caught up with a certain design, but keep in mind larger mallet putters can be easier to line up and can really help nail down the basics.
  • Value two-piece golf balls to help reduce spin, keep shots more on line, and save a few dollars—because over the course of a round of golf this player is likely to lose a few.

Intermediate/Occasional golfer/Average swing speed

This is the largest part of the golf population and simply having the right clubs can vastly improve scoring and consistency. It is at this level when most golfers start to build preferences towards certain styles of clubs, particularly putters, and it becomes a lot more important to have a number of properly gapped wedges.

  • An adjustable driver can help correct for misses and a changing golf swing.
  • Multiple fairway woods including higher lofted options like a 7 or 9-wood can help with longer approach shots and getting out of the rough.
  • Hybrids are another option for long shots because of their increased forgiveness and ease to launch – for golfers in this category looking for irons sets, hybrids are often included.
  • Cavity back irons are still going to be the best option but as mentioned above. Finding a combo set with hybrids included can help with gapping and keep costs down too.
  • Multiple wedges after the pitching wedge, most importantly a gap wedge before a sand wedge can tighten up distance gaps with shorter clubs and help prevent the dreaded “in-between clubs” situation.
  • Using a multi-piece ball that offers more spin and a softer feel around the green or a urethane “tour” ball will help tighten dispersion and control around the green and can assist in turning bogeys into pars.

Low Handicap/Regular golfer/Higher swing speed

It is at this level where getting fit becomes vital in being able to maximize potential and scoring. One thing to keep in mind—not all low handicap golfers have high swing speeds, so make sure you select clubs with the right shaft flex and weight. The general setup for this golfer is as follows

  • An adjustable driver can optimizing trajectory and flight and will maximize potential distance while reducing dispersion.
  • Multiple fairway woods that offer proper gapping to approach longer holes or lay back off the tee.
  • Hybrid or driving iron—because everyone can need help hitting longer approach shots.
  • Irons with a smaller profile are a favorite of lower handicap players, and one of the most common setups involves a combo set to increase control.
  • Multiple (specialty) wedges assist in saving shots and this means selecting the right ones for different situations based on playing style and course conditions.
  • A putter that matches stroke style, as well as a golfer’s eye, will provide the most confidence and consistency.
  • Using a multi-piece urethane “tour” ball will offer the most control and help with short game scoring.

The half set 

Using a half set is the great equalizer. Regardless of swing speed or skill level, it is still one of the best ways to enjoy the game. It makes clubs selection simple, it promotes creativity and can speed up play. Add on the fact that you are potentially carrying half the weight you would normally carry during a round of golf, and it’s a recipe for fun.

Don’t just take my word for it either, a few months ago Rory McIlroy said this on the McKellar Podcast

“I think it’s one of the best ways to practice, I do it quite a bit… because when you have only half your clubs you are always in between clubs and you have to do something…I tell junior golfers to learn to hit a 7 iron 140 yards (implying hitting it much shorter than a stock shot) because it teaches artistry, which is something they don’t do enough of in the modern game.”

Other GolfWRX resources for selecting clubs

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.



  1. david kupsick

    Aug 2, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Spend a few hundred dollars on instructions from PGA professional.

    You’ll enjoy the game sooner.

  2. Mike Singleton

    Aug 1, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Your 1/2 set suggestion has merit for every golfer. Learning to control your club speed & distances with various clubs, some not your typical pulls for the shot at hand, teach you how to play golf…manipulate the balls flight-speed-spin-carry….then you become a scoring threat !

    Learned this a long time ago….even suggested to many Golf Equip. Mfgrs. Reps. to have their companies spread lofts to 5-6 degrees between clubs as this makes you consider these factors ( above ) and create shots that provide satisfaction to the better player. Remember, Ben Hogan said,
    ” On my good days, I only hit maybe 6 shots exactly as I planned….after that, it’s managing your miss hits “

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ProjectX launches HZRDUS Smoke RDX shafts



Last week, at the WGC-FedEx Memphis St. Jude invitational, we got a sneak peek at the newest HZRDUS shaft from Project X, and now we have all the details on the new Smoke RDX.

To produce this shaft, Project X has teamed up with Hexcel, a global leader in composites technology for aerospace and military operations based in Stamford, Connecticut, for the purpose of utilizing their HexTow® carbon fibers to add more stability to the already extremely stable line of HZRDUS Smoke shafts.

Hexcel’s HexTow® carbon fibers represent the highest quality aerospace-grade carbon fiber and are used in the construction of some of the world’s most advanced aircraft including the Airbus A350 XWB, F18 E/F, A380, and more. I realize that sounds a bit generic, but when you consider some of the other applications for their materials and the fact Hexcel topped over 3.25 Billion dollars in sales last year – they mean serious business.

Photo by S. Ramadier – Airbus

The Project X HZRDUS line of shafts has established itself as a shaft built for golfers with aggressive swing tempos, and that continues with the new HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX. It’s the first golf shaft to utilize Hexcel’s new HexTow® HM54 high modulus carbon fiber and combines it with high tensile strength HexTow® IM2C carbon fiber to provide the ideal blend of stiffness and stability desired by engineers to build into the HZRDUS shafts.

Smoke Black RDX profile features an ultra-stiff midsection along with a stiff tip to provide low launch and low spin performance designed to keep up with aggressive swings.  Although unconfirmed we can make the possible assumption that since this shaft has been branded the “Black” RDX there may be other profiles released that utilize the same Hexcel composites.

Specs & Pricing

Right now we are waiting on confirmation on pricing but specs, and available flexes of the new Smoke Black RDX are available below.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: Brickhouze



Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of WRX member: ‘Brickhouze’

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: Brickhouze

Handicap (per profile): 4

Brickhouze WITB

Driver: Titleist TS3 (8.5-degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro 76 Tour Spec X

3-wood: PXG Gen2
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 869 Evolution 8.0 S

Driving iron: Srixon U65
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei White 90HY TX

Irons: Miura TC 201 4-PW
Shafts: Royal P Rifle Parallel Tip 6.0 (hard step 2x)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 50.08F, 54.10S, 58.08M (stripped the black finish with vinegar)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Directed Force Reno 1

Putter Grip: Press OG

Grips: Pure Pro Midsize

Golf Ball: Bridgestone TourB XS

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

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GolfWRX Classifieds (08/07/20): Ping G410+, Tour Issue SIM, Ping G410 LST fairway wood



At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member bleuachdu – Ping G410+ driver head

This driver head might have been photographed in the rough but with the forgiveness of the Ping G410+ you’re not likely to find yourself in it too often.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping 410+ driver.

Member KC4441 – Tour Issue TaylorMade Sim Driver

At GolfWRX we thrive on Tour Issue gear and this is a prime example of what we love—a tour issue driver still in the plastic. This is a BYOS (bring your own shaft) kinda build, but one that I think might be worth it.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Sim Driver Head

Member jblough99 – Ping G410 LST fairway head

Ping drivers and fairway woods are all over the used market for the same reason Toyotas are—quality, reliability, and just the fact that they sell so darn many of them. This G410 LST is in almost new shape and a bargain.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Ping LST Fairway

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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