We run through all the essential gear you need to get start playing golf. From drivers and bags to shoes and tees, we cover everything you need to get out on the course.

What Gear You Need To Start Playing Golf

If you’re looking to start playing golf you’ve come to the right place. Below is a list of the essential gear you need to start playing golf and, most importantly, enjoying the game as much as possible.

WATCH: We Explain What Gear You Need To Start Playing Golf

However, before you even start considering buying what we’ve listed below, a great and affordable way to get into the game is by going to your local driving range. It only costs around £5 for a medium bucket of balls and most will have clubs there you can rent for free. Once you’ve got a feel for it and are feeling excited and confident to get out on the course, then this list will cover what you need to do next.

Golf Clubs 

Lexi Thompson Golf Bag

(Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

First of all is, of course, golf clubs. The maximum number of clubs you are allowed to carry at one time is 14 – but you don’t need to get all 14 to start. 

The best way to start is with a half set. A set of four irons – a 3, 5, 7, 9 iron for example – accompanied by a couple of wedges and a putter will be more than enough to get you started on a golf course. Add to this a driver, and you’ll be ready to go. 

Related: Best Golf Club Sets For Beginners

Certainly, as you play more and more, you might find the gaps between these irons frustrating and that is when you’ll be ready to buy a full set. 

When entering the market for your first full set, it’s important to know you don’t have to instantly go for new products because there is a great second hand market. Manufacturers produce new golf clubs every year, so clubs that are one, two or even three years old are still very good and come at a fraction of the price for a brand new set. 

Second hand websites like Golf Bidder have a vast range of second hand products at a great price. The most important thing to be aware of when buying second hand is that the clubs haven’t been custom fit to someone with different specifications to you. If you are an average height golfer, you don’t want to be picking up a used set of clubs that were made for a 6ft 5” golfer. Second hand club sellers will note down if a club is longer, shorter or has had its lie angle drastically changed so keep an eye out. 

It’s also important to select the right kind of iron. Whilst the bladed irons sat in Rory McIlroy’s bag might look the part, they’re certainly not for golfers just starting. Look to purchase a game improvement set of irons with a cavity back for the most help possible to get the most enjoyment out of the game. 

Related: Best Irons For Beginners

Bag

Black Friday Golf Bag

Next, you’re going to need a bag to put your new clubs in. There’s a little variety to look out for in the market for which bag will suit you the best. 

A stand bag is the easiest and most basic option to get started. It comes with two straps so you can carry it on your back and stands up on its own when put down. 

If you think you’re going to use a trolley to get around the golf course, you can get a trolley bag that exclusively sits on a trolley. These bags are a lot bulkier than stand bags so be sure you are going to use a trolley, as these bags are very awkward to carry around if you don’t. 

Related: Best Golf Stand Bags

Some manufacturers make bags that are a hybrid of the two – they are stand bags that fit flush onto trolleys. If you think you’ll do a mix of carrying and using a trolley these are great options that mean you have one bag for every occasion. 

If you are starting with a half-set as we recommended earlier, a pencil bag is a great option for something very lightweight and easy to use that will easily fit six or seven clubs. 

Related: Best Golf Cart Bags

Balls 

When it comes to what gear you need to start playing golf – of course, you’ll need some golf balls!

There are quite a few options here too. If you’re serious about the game, you can pay up to £50 for a dozen of premium balls. 

However, if you’re just starting out, there’s no real need to pay this much for golf balls and you’ll hardly notice the difference in a cheaper dozen. 

Related: Best Golf Balls For Beginners

There’s two great options away from premium balls for a golfer just starting out. Firstly, you can go for a cheaper, new ball that is priced anywhere for £15-£25 a dozen for decent quality. Secondly, buying lake balls is a great way to get cheap, high quality golf balls for a fraction of the price. These are golf balls that have been lost, found again and then reconditioned to nearly as good as they were fresh out of the packet. 

Shoes

Best Spiked Golf Shoes

If you are just starting out at the driving range, trainers will do the job and you won’t require a specialist shoe just yet. 

When you venture out onto the golf course however, a good golf shoe is an essential piece of kit. Once you are out hitting on the grass and varying lies, you’ll need the performance and comfort benefits that come from a good golf shoe. 

Related: Best Spikeless Golf Shoes

There are a couple of options here too. Spikeless golf shoes are brilliant in the summer and are comfortable to wear off the golf course too. Alternatively, you can go for spiked shoes – often soft cleats in modern shoes – that provide a bit more traction and are a bit more traditional when you think of an archetypal golf shoe. 

Modern golf shoes also come in lots of different designs too. Gone are the days where the classic brogue was the only option and now you can even get a Jordan basketball shoe in a golf version. 

Related: Best Spiked Shoes

Apparel 

As you start out, a smart pair of trousers and a polo shirt do a sufficient job at making sure you look the part on the golf course. 

As with everything in this list, as you start playing more and getting better, you’re going to want some clothing that is more golf specific. 

There are plenty of performance benefits from proper golf clothing. Jackets that will keep you warm and dry in inclement weather and polos that will keep you cool will help you focus on your game and not the weather around you. 

Related: Best Golf Waterproofs

Finally for apparel it is the all important glove. You wear this throughout the round on the opposite hand to how you play – so if you are right handed, wear it on your left hand and vice versa for left handers. If you are new to golf this certainly feels a bit strange to start out but there is a marked difference to how easy it is to grip the club when you are wearing a glove. Again, there are many options in the glove market from cheaper synthetic gloves, to full leather gloves. If you are just starting out, a synthetic glove will do a perfectly good job.

RELATED: Best Golf Gloves

Accessories 

Now you’ve got all the big essentials to get started, there are a few smaller accessories to put in the bag that will make playing the game that bit easier and more enjoyable. 

Firstly, golf tees. There are loads of different sizes of tees and they are often made from either wood or plastic. You’ll be using these at the start of every hole to tee off with and it’s important to have a variety of sizes in the bag to give you the option to hit a range of clubs from the tee box. Longer tees will be used when you hit drivers and these will help you get the ball in the air and shorter tees will be used to hit irons off the tee if you are playing a short par 3. 

Related: Best Golf Tees

Secondly, a marker pen. When you are playing you should always mark your balls with an individual and easily recognisable mark so if your ball does end up next to another ball, you can easily identify which is yours. 

Finally, a pitch mark repairer. These are used to repair the indents you make in the green where the ball has landed. There’s nothing worse for a golfer than putting on an uneven putting surface so repairing these indentations in the greens helps your fellow golfers out and keeps the greens in good condition for everyone to use.