Golf Gear 101
Without the right set of clubs you won’t go far (or straight). The key is to find a set that suits your height, power and swing. You'll also need a golf bag to carry your clubs, a pair of comfortable golf shoes and weather-appropriate clothing to protect you from heat, sun, cold, wind and rain. And if you really want to improve your game consider practice equipment, such as a practice cage to work on your drives and a putt return to work on your short game.
Types of Golf Gear
Golf Club Sets
The main advantage of purchasing a golf club set is to instantly have all of the clubs you need to make any shot. A complete set typically includes long and short irons, a driver, two fairway woods and a putter. Hybrid clubs are also available, which combine the best qualities of a wood and a long iron. Club sets are made for men, women and junior players, and come right or left-handed. Another advantage of purchasing a set is that all the clubs are matched for weight, design and consistency. Shafts are made of steel or the lighter and more flexible graphite.
Distance and accuracy are the most important factors when choosing a driver. You want the longest, straightest shot possible off the tee. Drivers have the biggest club heads to maximize the area of contact with the ball and minimize the chance of a mishit. The driver is the largest of three woods in a set. The slightly smaller woods are known as fairway woods or hybrids. Many players purchase a metal hybrid for more distance on long fairway shots. Hybrids have smaller club heads but more loft than a typical 3 or 4-iron.
Driving the ball off the tee is great fun, but nothing beats sinking a long putt — especially to win the game! There are many different putter styles to choose from, partly because all golfers are on a quest to improve their putting game. The two basic types are blade putters and mallet putters. Blade putters are lighter and more widely used. Mallet putters are heavier and tend to work best in on slower greens. The perfect putter is the one that gives you the best results and most confidence. Experiment with putter styles until you find your personal “magic wand.”
Wedges and Chippers
Wedges, sand wedges and chippers are open-faced clubs with short shafts. They're designed to get the ball high into the air and land it softly near the hole. A wedge is the default club for short, high pitch shots, or for escaping tough lies in long grass or sand when you need to elevate the ball quickly. A standard wedge is included in many golf club sets, but you might want to add a chipper or sand wedge to your bag for special situations. A sand wedge has a steeper loft than a regular wedge to raise the ball quickly from a trap. A chipper resembles a putter and has an angled clubface to get the ball moving quickly along the ground.
A golf cart helps to protect both you and your golf bag from the elements, and it can also save you from fatigue and save you time on the course. A folding cart stows away quickly in your car trunk and sets up easily at the course. Two-wheel and three-wheel models are stable under normal conditions, roll smoothly and provide a holder for your scorecard, pencil, balls and tees. Look for an aluminum or lightweight steel frame. The cart should also have straps with buckles or fasteners to secure your golf bag. With occasional maintenance and cleaning, your golf cart should last many seasons.
Golf gloves will help you grip your club securely and swing with more confidence. Right-handed players wear a golf glove on their top or left hand; left-handed players do the opposite. In the spring or fall, you might prefer to wear gloves on both hands for more comfort and control. Golf gloves come in all sizes and are made of soft leather with synthetic gussets between the fingers and a reinforced palm. Your gloves will take a beating from friction, general wear and moisture, so carry extras in your bag and discard your glove if it’s torn or soiled. The feel of a fresh glove can recharge your game.
With so many golf balls on the market, it can be hard to know which is best for you. The first step in choosing a ball is to assess your game. If your drives are often short of your target, you should consider a low compression ball, which generally travels farther than a high compression ball. If you're trying to get better at sticking the ball to the green, choose a ball designed for better spin control.
Once you’ve invested in golf clubs, you'll want to protect them with a sturdy golf bag. Look for a bag with a waterproof hood to shield the club heads and separate compartments for each shaft. Most bags are made of nylon, canvas or leather and have zippered pockets, a shoulder strap, golf umbrella holder and rigid, plastic base. If you don’t have a cart you’ll want a lightweight stand bag with recessed legs that extend to hold the bag upright.
Golf Shoes & Apparel
Well-fitting golf shoes provide a stable base when you swing and vital comfort for walking long hours. Replaceable, soft spikes or spikeless soles are required by most courses to protect fragile greens. Synthetic, waterproof uppers will help keep your feet dry. Choose a cushioned sock to reduce friction. Performance golf apparel, including shorts and polo shirts, wicks moisture away from your skin and allows freedom of movement. Keep a light windbreaker or sweater in your bag for chilly mornings or sudden temperature changes. A hat, eyewear and sun protection are highly recommended.
Course & Practice Accessories
A big part of prepping for golf season is ensuring your bag is stocked with the gear and accessories you'll need on the course. For example, you'll need a ready supply of golf tees, extra balls and replacement golf shoe spikes. You should also carry a ring retriever to rescue your ball from ponds or water hazards. Optional items include a range finder, stroke counter and club cleaning brush. The ultimate accessory is a golf cart enclosure for maximum protection from sun, wind and rain. A practice cage is a great option for working on your swing or warming up before a game. You can install a large practice cage in your backyard or go with a portable indoor model for use in your basement. A putt return allows you to practice your putting stroke right in your own living room or hallway. You can also fine-tune your chipping game with a chipping net and practice balls without fear of damaging anything in your home.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.