We Build The Ultimate Golf Bag For High Handicappers

Using the latest 2023 golf club launches as a guide, the Golf Monthly equipment testing team builds the best golf bag for high handicap golfers

High Handicap golf bag
(Image credit: Future)

We Build The Ultimate Golf Bag For High Handicappers 

With loads of new golf equipment launches already, we thought it was time to take stock of some of the main launches so far and, specifically, which newly released golf clubs would best suit high-handicap golfers. In this video, you'll hear from four members of the Golf Monthly equipment testing team from all of the main equipment categories who will give you some suggestions (and pick their favorites) from each category, creating a full golf bag ideal for higher handicap golfers.

WATCH: The Golf Monthly equipment team chooses best golf equipment from 2023 for high handicap golfers. 


PING G430 SFT driver review

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

There are loads of great drivers that have been launched this year if you're a higher handicap golfer. If you're a slower swing speed golfer, consider testing something like the Titleist TSR1 driver which is designed to be super-lightweight and help you generate more clubhead speed without having to swing the club any faster. If you're a slicer of the golf ball, consider something like the Cobra Aerojet Max which has a draw-biased head but also sits a little bit offset, which should help you straighten out any slicing ball flights.  

If we had to pick one driver from the 2023 launches, we'd say the Ping G430 SFT is the best all-rounder for high handicappers. It's got the draw bias built into the head - with all-new Draw+ adjustability available too - and it offers a generous look at address with plenty of overall forgiveness across the face.  

Fairway Woods

Yonex Ezone Elite 4 Fairway Review

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to fairway woods for higher handicap golfers, pretty much any of the 'max' versions from all the brands will offer plenty of forgiveness and playability. One that really stood out to us however is the Yonex Ezone Elite 4, thanks to the unique diagonal grooves on the face as well as a super-stable graphite shaft that is one of the best we've tried in recent fairway woods. It's surprisingly playable off the deck too and will offer plenty of uses for high handicap golfers off the tee and from the fairway too. 


Callaway Paradym Hybrid

(Image credit: Future)

A trend we've seen this year across the best hybrids is larger profile heads. With that in mind, there have been a lot of releases in 2023 that should suit the swing characteristics of a high-handicap golfer. One of our favorites from this year is the Callaway Paradym Hybrid and Paradym X. Both have large profile heads and adjustable hosel that allow you to dial in a ball flight or some extra draw bias. The Paradym X has an even larger profile head with higher MOI, draw bias built in, and will suit high handicappers who don't mind seeing a larger head from their hybrid club. 


Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL iron

(Image credit: Future)

Two key features a high handicap iron needs to have is a confidence-inspiring look behind the ball while also providing plenty of launch on the ball to help with stopping power and control when approaching greens. A cost-effective option for high handicappers is the Wilson Dynapower iron. For the price, you get a lot of bang for your buck with plenty of distance, great launch capabilities, and a lot of shelf appeal. An iron to consider if you're looking for one that gets the ball up in the air a bit easier, the Mizuno JPX923 Hot Metal HL iron is one to consider. This iron goes against the trend for game improvement iron by actually weakening the lofts slightly which will give slower-swinging golfers a much more playable ball flight while still offering solid overall distance. 

A great all-rounder this year is the Ping G430 iron which is one of the best high-handicap irons for overall look, feel, and playability. It has quite a long blade length, giving it a confidence-inspiring look at address, as well as a wide sole which gives you plenty of forgiveness on turf interaction. 


Cleveland CBX Full-Face 2 Wedge

(Image credit: MHopley)

High-handicap golfers will benefit from any kind of wedge that offers perimeter weighting as well as full-face grooves. A great example of this from 2023 is the Cleveland CBX Full Face 2 wedge, which offers both of these characteristics in abundance. This wedge will blend perfectly into a set of cavity back irons with a similar sole width to some of the most forgiving irons in the game. Having grooves that cover the entire face is especially beneficial from the bunker, where the ball often slides high and toward to toe. 


Inesis High MOI Putter

(Image credit: MHopley)

Forgiveness from putters often comes from larger, high MOI mallet head shapes. The PXG Blackjack range offers some of the best examples of a high MOI head with perimeter weighting around the outside of the head. One of the best value putters for high handicap golfers is the Inesis High MOI putter which very much does what it says on the tin, offering plenty of forgiveness from a large mallet head. Even for a relatively cheap putter in this part of the market, it has a very clean look with clear sightlines and a wonderful face insert that produce a consistent roll on all different length of putts. 

Dan Parker
Staff Writer

Dan has been with Golf Monthly team since 2021. He graduated with a Masters degree in International Journalism from the University of Sussex and looks after equipment reviews and buyer's guides, specializing in golf shoe, golf bag and golf cart reviews. Dan has now tested and reviewed over 30 pairs of golf shoes and is an expert in the field. A left-handed golfer, his handicap index is currently 6.5 and he plays at Fulford Heath Golf Club in the West Midlands. 

Dan is currently playing: 

Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 

Fairway: TaylorMade Stealth 2 15°, Ping G425 Max 21°

Hybrid: Ping G425 

Irons: Cobra King Tec Utility, Ping i230 (5-PW) 

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged Pro

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour X

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

With contributions from