Best Golf Clubs Under $500 2022

Want to get some new golf clubs but don't want to break the bank? Here is our guide on the best clubs on the market for less than $500.

Best Golf Clubs Under $500
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Best Golf Clubs Under $500

If you have been on any golf retailer it should be reasonably clear to you that golf clubs can be very expensive, but believe it or not this doesn't have to be the case because there are high-quality clubs out there which don't have to break the bank. This is where this guide comes in because we have done a lot of thorough testing to see which are the best golf clubs (opens in new tab) money can buy for less than $500. 

We chose this number because it is more realistic for more golfers to have that kind of money to spend on golf clubs compared to $1000 or above. We also chose this number because across all sections of clubs, from package sets, to drivers (opens in new tab), to irons, $500 is a number in which you can still get very, very good models. Whereas if we went any lower in price, we would find it harder to recommend a good set of irons for example, because the cheaper you go in that section there is undeniable trade-off in performance. 

We have also split this guide into sections so you can navigate to the clubs you want, and we start with package sets. (For what it's worth we would also recommend taking a look at our best golf club sets (opens in new tab), and best sets for beginners (opens in new tab) guides). 

Best Golf Clubs Under $500

Package Sets

MacGregor CG3000 package set pictured outdoors

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Clubs: Driver, fairway, hybrid, 6-SW, putter

Reasons to buy

+
Complete set
+
Includes a decent stand/cart bag

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best grips
-
No putter cover 

Starting with package sets under $500, our first selection is the MacGregor CG3000. The brand has a long and distinguished history in golf and yet its clubs don't cost a lot of money compared to others. 

The CG3000 is an entry level set, with the 13° driver, low profile fairway and hybrid designed in such a way that they're easy to hit. Meanwhile, the irons (steel and graphite options are available) feature an undercut cavity to keep the centre of gravity low and deep, so golfers should find them easier to launch.

The irons do have a fairly thick top line, but having played a few rounds with them, we don't think they're too intrusive. They are forgiving, too, and they go the distance. You also get a mallet putter and a cart/stand bag (opens in new tab) as well so there is great value on offer here. 

Strata Men's Golf Package Set

(Image credit: Dan Parker)

Specifications

Clubs: Driver, fairway, 4-hybrid, 5-hybrid, 6-SW, putter

Reasons to buy

+
Forgiving irons and driver that offer plenty of distance
+
Lightweight and spacious carry bag

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic putter lets the set down
-
Hybrids are fitted with steel shafts so are not so easy to launch

We were pretty impressed with this starter set when we tested it, not least because of how forgiving they were. In the set you get 11 clubs, two of which are hybrids, which we didn't feel were quite so easy to launch. It's about our only criticism, along with the fact that the putter is very basic.

Overall, however, this set offers great value and it's a really comprehensive package for beginners - one that's built to last and is further boosted with a decent carry bag.

Wilson Prostaff SGI Package Set

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Clubs included: 10

Reasons to buy

+
Modern looks
+
Nice distribution of clubs

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may want a more forgiving putter

Our final set in this guide is from Wilson, the Prostaff SGI, which is a set you should consider if you are new to the game. The clubs in the set are large and forgiving, whilst the heads inspire confidence as well. Meanwhile, the wide sole of the sand wedge makes escaping bunkers far easier, which is an area of the game beginners can really struggle with.

This set comes with a 10.5° driver, a three wood, a hybrid, a 6-iron to sand wedge and an excellent putter to match. Price is also another plus as it comes in at an attractive price point.

Drivers

Cobra LTDx Driver ReviewEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 9°, 10.5° & 12°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke iM10 or Project X HZRDUS RDX Blue
Left Handed Option: Yes, in all available lofts

Reasons to buy

+
More refined aesthetics versus last generation
+
Improved sound and feel
+
Good value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited performance gains versus previous generation

Launched right at the start of 2022 to replace the Radspeed range of the clubs, the new LTDx driver was a worthy inclusion in our best golf drivers (opens in new tab) guide. As tends to be the case with Cobra drivers, the RRP is a decent chunk lower than the competitors, all with very little difference in performance. The standard model we selected here will likely suit the broadest range of golfers and comes in at just less than $500.

As far as performance goes, the aesthetics have become more refined - this year’s LTDx features a very similar-looking matte black carbon crown to last year’s Radspeed. It has a much lower pitched, quieter impact sound than the Radspeed as well. For us, it was significantly better - creating a satisfying ‘crack’ through impact that felt very powerful. 

Tour Edge Exotics C722 Driver Review

(Image credit: Scott Kramer)

Tour Edge Exotics C722 Driver

Specifications

Lofts : 9.5° & 10.5°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Adjustable Weight: Yes
Stock Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red, Fujikura Ventus Blue & Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Blue
Left Handed Option: Yes, only in 10.5°

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic look and sound with a loud metallic pop at impact
+
Crown graphics are really nice, with the non-weaved “T” portion guiding you through the swing path
+
Distance is comparable to many competitors, but at a lower price

Reasons to avoid

-
The shaft we tried felt a little whippy, causing the rare miss to draw strongly

The “C” in Tour Edge Exotics C722 driver name stands for a compact 445cc clubhead – which nicely complements the deep face with minimal offset. This is aimed at better players looking for one of the best drivers of 2022 but without paying the premium price of some other top brands.

Like its sibling Tour Edge Exotics E722 driver model, this sports a thin “Ridgeback” spine acting as a brace that runs from the clubface center through the crown and connecting with a new sole plate rail, that produces a powerful impact sound. An adjustable hosel allows you to alter the base 9.5- and 10.5-degree lofts by +/- 2 degrees, and lie angle through a range of 3 degrees. And the shaft is scientifically paired for every flex.

Mizuno ST-Z 220 Driver Review

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts : 9.5° & 10.5°
Adjustable Hosel: Yes
Stock Shaft: 23 options in custom fit
Left Handed Option: Yes, only in 9.5°

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to launch 
+
Stable ball flight
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Minimal difference on the previous generation

Our final driver pick comes from Mizuno, another brand that makes high quality golf gear with usually a slightly lower price than other premium brands. Replacing the ST220G driver from 2020, the new ST-Z 220 driver is a lower spinning model that should blend power and forgiveness and as such is aimed at the largest cross section of golfers. 

During our testing we found the ball speed is up there with the likes of Callaway, TaylorMade (opens in new tab), Ping and Titleist (opens in new tab). With a good fitting we think this driver should help most golfers find some extra yardage. All in all during our testing, we really enjoyed hitting this Mizuno driver. In all the key categories - from looks to forgiveness - it performs well, and the lower price point sweetens the deal as well.

Fairways

TaylorMade Stealth Fairway lying on grassEditors Choice 2022


(Image credit: Matthew Moore)

Reasons to buy

+
Serious distance with impressive accuracy
+
Very forgiving on off-centre hits
+
Versatile from different lies and situations

Reasons to avoid

-
Non-adjustable for loft
-
Headcover is tight and awkward to pull on and off

In 2022, TaylorMade introduced the eye-catching 190cc Stealth Head featuring in five options from 3-wood through to 9-wood. Ranked as one of the best fairway woods (opens in new tab) on the market, the first thing you’ll notice at address is the premium looks, with the red and black head featuring a Fujikura Ventus shaft which leads to a striking carbon coated head. 

The head looks great at address and a new laser-etched alignment aid on the clubface makes it easy to line up. The Stealth model was a clear winner in our testing, even outperforming Stealth Plus. As you would expect, it comes in at comfortably under the $500 threshold for this guide. 

ping g425 max fairway with grass backgroundEditors Choice 2022


(Image credit: Future)

Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood

Reasons to buy

+
One of the best golf clubs for all-round forgiveness
+
Three models to suit different player types

Reasons to avoid

-
Dot system on the crown won’t suit everyone’s eye

Unlike its predecessor, the Ping G425 fairway wood has a one-piece face, rather than a steel face insert, which has increased ball speeds on the G425 by up to 1.5mph. This has translated into one of the most forgiving woods on the market gaining a decent amount of distance.

The Max head is an all-rounder and Ping has removed the turbulators from the crown, making for a much cleaner, matte aesthetic. The adjustable hosel with eight settings allows you to change both loft and lie, meaning you can tweak the G425 to more precise specifications.

Callaway Rogue ST MAX Fairway with grass backgroundEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Matthew Moore)

Reasons to buy

+
Attractive premium looks
+
Offset face and slight draw bias for greater forgiveness
+
Best-in-class ball speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Speedometer graphics on crown aren’t needed

Callaway has released its Rogue ST Max Fairway to appeal to a wide range of golfers looking for distance, forgiveness and all-around performance. Available in 3-wood to 11-wood heads, it marks the largest selection in the brand's history.

The sound of the Rogue ST Max is rather deeper and muted compared to the metallic ting of the Mavrik which feels energetic and punchy. On test, the Rogue ST Max’s average ball speed was 152.7 mph, with a total average distance of 247.3 yards. Even better, dispersion and accuracy were outstanding, with the combination of length, accuracy and speed making the Rogue ST Max one of the most forgiving fairway woods on the market today.

Titleist TSi2 fairway with grass backgroundEditors Choice 2022


(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Classic, traditional shape and aesthetics
+
Excellent all-round performance

Reasons to avoid

-
More compact look may be intimidating for some

Our final pick from the fairway woods section is the TSi2 from Titleist. A classic, clean black look at address is accompanied by a nice size head that inspires plenty of confidence off a tee or off a fairway lie.

It launches nice and high and is super forgiving across the face, thanks to the deeper and lower CG. This makes it a thoroughly playable fairway wood for golfers up and down the handicap range. Plenty of adjustment in the hosel and five different lofts mean it’s easy to find the right fit. 

Irons

inesis 500 irons

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Inesis 500 Irons

Reasons to buy

+
Low price
+
Strong flight

Reasons to avoid

-
Unique look will put some off

It can be tricky to find a good iron set for less than $500 but we have found some in the Inesis 500's. Designed for higher handicap golfers, these offer forgiveness, distance as we like the look of them as well. The ultra slim face gives good ball speed and power while the perimeter weighting means even off-centre hits get good flight and distance.

Ultimately the best budget irons (opens in new tab) not only have to be good value, but they also have to offer performance that further enhances the appeal of the irons too. We think the Inesis 500's tick all of these boxes. 

Ram EZ3 irons

(Image credit: Ram)

Ram EZ3 Irons

Reasons to buy

+
Forgiving off center
+
Hybrid included

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of shelf appeal

The Ram Golf EZ3 irons are built for the golfer that wants a playable set that won't put a big hole in the bank account. They prioritise distance and forgiveness through the oversize design but should also be consistent in the performance they deliver. The cavity back design helps generate fast ball speeds while the high MOI creates what is effectively a larger sweetspot, so your poor swings are not punished too severely. 

The set includes six irons; 5-6-7-8-9 plus a pitching wedge. As a bonus, you also get a #4 hybrid included at no extra charge which is a nice little bit of value.

Wedges

Titleist Vokey SM9 wedge in three finishesEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Specifications

Lofts: 46°-62°
Grinds: 6 (F, S, M, K, L, D)
Finishes: 4 (Tour Chrome, Brushed Steel, Jet Black, Raw)

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible trajectory control
+
Unrivalled looks
+
Loads of bounce and grind options

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited gains over SM8

Titleist Vokey wedges continue to stand out from the crowd when it comes to the best golf wedges (opens in new tab) on the market. The new model, the SM9, sits at a premium price point in the wedge sector but still comfortable below the $500 marker of this guide. In fact you could probably get three of the wedges under that marker.

Back again are Titleist’s six grind options - F, S, M, K, L and D - making the Vokey SM9 range highly versatile for every golfer and their unique swing. In total, there are 23 different loft and bounce options and we took advantage of that in our custom fitting to optimize our wedge set-up for improved performance. 

In testing, we found it very easy to square-up on full shots and deliver excellent consistency of spin and flight from closer to the green.

Callaway Jaws MD5 Wedge

Specifications

Lofts : 46°-64°
Grinds: 5 (S, W, C, X, L-W)
Finishes: 3 (Platinum Chrome, Tour Grey, Custom)

Reasons to buy

+
Soft feel and exceptional spin control
+
Wide variety of loft and sole grind options

Reasons to avoid

-
Some may prefer a straighter, longer leading edge for easier alignment

Another outstanding model worth considering is the Jaws MD5 wedge. With an RRP of around $130 you get a lot of wedge for your buck here. The wedges are constructed from 8620 mild carbon steel and the Centre of Gravity (CG) of the wedges is precisely placed to create a soft, crisp feel. A big focus has also been on the shape of the wedge, with Roger Cleveland using his 23 years of experience to create a profile that is appealing from all angles.

It has no obvious weakness but it really excels at creating spin on longer pitch shots and full shots where the extra speed generates backspin in excess of 11,000rpm in some cases. It’s at the level where you might want to think about landing the ball a yard or two further than normal on full shots to allow for the ball to zip back, especially in softer conditions.

Ping Glide 4.0 WedgeEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Specifications

Lofts: 46°-60°
Grinds: 4 (SS, WS, TS, Eye2)
Finishes: 1 (Chrome)

Reasons to buy

+
Unrivalled spin
+
Excellent grind options
+
Looks great over the ball

Reasons to avoid

-
Feel takes a while to get used to

The Ping Glide 4.0 wedge looks exceptional - especially in the more traditional teardrop shape that is available in three of the four sole options. It also has the classic Ping Hydropearl 2.0 chrome finish, which reduces glare as well as flyers from the rough in damp conditions while also adding a touch of style to the aesthetics. 

At around $200 the Glide 4.0's are slightly more expensive than a couple of others on this guide but given the performance and variety on offer this comes as no surprise to us. Across all four sole options, the most impressive thing was how easy it was to spin the golf ball. Even when hitting shots that came off a little hotter and lower than expected, the ball sat to attention quicker than most new wedges. This could well have been down to the new Emery face blast, which adds a little more friction to the hitting surface.

Putters

Odyssey Eleven putterEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: MHopley)

Reasons to buy

+
Confidence inspiring shape
+
Good alignment line options

Reasons to avoid

-
Prefer darker head across all models

You can pretty much get any putter you like for less than $500 these days so we have just highlighted a few of our favorites in this section, starting with the Odyssey Eleven. A putter with a very high MOI, this model is ideal for those players who need some forgiveness on off-centre hits whilst the White Hot insert in the face improves the roll. Additionally the latest generation Stroke Lab shaft stimulates a better stroke tempo, all of which should contribute to you making more putts. There is also a choice of different alignment lines on the head and hosels for a straight or arc stroke.

TaylorMade Spider GT PutterEditors Choice 2022

(Image credit: MHopley)

Reasons to buy

+
Very stable and consistent
+
Cavity design helps alignment

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suited well to arced putting strokes

The latest generation of the Spider family is designed to be one of the most stable compact mallet putters (opens in new tab). The Spider GT has a Pure Roll 2 face insert of aluminum and TPU for a soft feel with consistent roll allowing golfers to maximize their pace control on the greens.

The 'wings' on each side are made from heavier steel and the centre section from lighter aluminum to raise the MOI and with a choice of different GT head shapes and hosels you are sure to find the right one for your game. Importantly they are all available for significantly less than $500 too. 

Cleveland Frontline Elevado putter

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to align and the S-shape groove pattern regulates ball speed across the face
+
Stock grip is excellent

Reasons to avoid

-
Not most solid sound at impact

Cleveland have moved the centre of gravity forward to the front of the head when conventional wisdom says you need to push it back. They’ve done this by developing new forward weighting technology and by having two tungsten weights into the face of the putter. The result is better stability through impact on off-centre hits. This slant neck version is ideal for slight arc strokes.

How we test golf clubs

Our testing for golf clubs (opens in new tab) is built upon a comprehensive process combined with the knowledge and expertise of the Golf Monthly test team. Our team usually attend product launches and then when it comes to our actual testing, we first try clubs in a controlled environment. This usually takes place on an indoor simulator at Foresight Sports, with premium balls and the GCQuad launch monitor.

Next up is outdoor testing, which normally takes place at several different golf clubs. We think it is vitally important to do both and continue to test the clubs so they have been comprehensively put to the test in different conditions. It should also be mentioned that manufacturers cannot pay for a good review and we make our conclusions from the testing and our experiences. This is because we strive to give the best reviews possible so you can get a greater understanding of the clubs themselves.