How Much Do Golf Clubs Cost? (And Should Beginners Spend a Lot?)

From the Golf Beginners FAQ

Man and woman shopping for golf clubs
Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

As we often say on this site, golf can be an expensive game - how expensive depends largely on how expensive you're willing to make it. How much do golf clubs cost? You can spend a lot - and we do mean a lot - if you want the best stuff and have the money, but depending on your goals and requirements, there are options for finding cheaper equipment.

We'll go over some of the price ranges of golf clubs here, plus link you to various Amazon.com searches so you can check out the prices that actually exist in the current marketplace.

And we'll offer some advice on how beginning golfers should approach shopping for golf clubs.

The Cost of New Golf Clubs: Running Down the Ranges

Top-of-the-line drivers range from $250 to $600. Those prices apply to the flagship drivers offered by the most recognizable, brand-name companies. However, there are numerous less-famous brands, not to mention never-used but less-recently issued drivers, that sell for much less. We've even seenĀ brand new drivers for less than $50 (for example, in a "bargain bin" at a big-box retailer) that will work just fine for beginners, and will serve you until (or unless) you decide to move up in quality and price.

A brand-new, top-of-the-line set of irons can range from the low $400s to $1,200 or more for the big companies:

Top-of-the-line putters can range up to $300. The best golf balls may cost up to $50 per dozen.

You Don't Need to Spend a Lot as a Beginner

In addition to the obvious question of "how much are you willing to spend," the most important questions for any golf newbie to ask, related to the cost of golf clubs and how much you're willing to invest, are:

  • How dedicated are you to learning golf and getting better at it?
  • What are your goals in the game?

We go more in-depth into these issues in our related article, Before You Buy Your First Set of Golf Clubs, but the gist is this: If you're shopping for golf clubs just so you can go out a few times a year with friends, go cheap; but if you're dedicated and willing to practice and want to become a good golfer, then spending more in the beginning is more justifiable. (And if you're well-off financially? Knock yourself out!)

As a beginner, do you need top-of-the-line equipment? Absolutely not. In fact, even many very good golfers play with less-expensive equipment. There are many golf club manufacturers who offer cheaper alternatives to their top-of-the-line clubs. There are off-brand clubs, there are clubs made from less expensive materials. There are overstocks and discontinued stock

Bargain iron sets can be had for $100-$200. Putters are easiest to find cheap, many for as little as $25 And balls? Plenty are on the market for less than $15 per dozen.

What About Used Golf Clubs?

And that's just the new clubs. Don't be afraid to start out with used clubs. Hand-me-downs, or garage-sale or second-hand-store finds are the clubs of choice for many beginners.

You can get a complete outfitting of clubs for under $100 by checking garage sales, flea markets or classified ads.

And as a beginner, such clubs (as long as they aren't 50 years old or damaged in some way) won't hurt you at all. Until you learn to play and start showing some improvement, you probably couldn't tell the difference between a 15-year-old set of irons you picked up at a garage sale and a $1,200 set of irons you were custom-fitted for by the manufacturer.

A great place to research the prices on used clubs and older models is the PGA Value Guide.

The Bottom Line on Golf Club Costs

If you're dead serious about becoming a great golfer and you're planning on taking lessons and spending time working on your game, and - most importantly - you have the money to spend, there's nothing wrong with starting out with top-of-the-line equipment.

But if you're looking to learn on a budget, or just aren't sure how committed to golf you'll be, there's also nothing wrong with learning on the cheap. You can always take the money you've saved and go get some lessons (which will help more than expensive equipment anyway).