What Is The Best Golf Clubs To Buy In 2021?

2021 has been quite an eventful year for Golf. The sport made a much awaited return to the biggest sporting event in the world, the Summer Olympics, after more than a century.

This has resulted in some much needed global exposure for the sport, and interest among non golfers is at an all time high.

The USGA, golf manufacturers and golf course owners are all focused on making the sport more accessible (and less time consuming) to beginners and non-golfers. After the bad days of recession, things are looking brighter for the sport.

For golf equipment consumers, now is a fantastic time to invest some money in golf clubs and equipment. Club manufacturers are facing some restructuring issues, with the likes of Adidas is trying to divest from some of their brands. (source)

Some manufacturers are also trying to cut down on production due to unsold inventories. (source) And in the biggest news of all, Nike decided to leave the business altogether. (source)

While all that maybe bad news for the individual brands, the current market in the short term is wholly favorable for golf club buyers. Clubs have never been cheaper and you can often find great deals on some of the best golf clubs ever!

In this article, we will take a quick look at the major club manufacturers and the different categories of clubs used in golf. Finally we will go over some of the best golf clubs in each of these categories, all of which we have already reviewed on our site. They include:

Our Top Clubs For 2021

Golf Club Buying Guide

The rules of the game allow you to carry a set of 14 clubs for a game of golf. You can carry less if you prefer it so, but you cannot exceed the number.

And you cannot change the clubs out in the middle of a game. It takes time and practice to learn the quirks of your own game and acquire a set of trustworthy game-ready clubs that augment your skills.

Try out as many different types of clubs as possible to figure out which suits you best. Since each category of clubs are usually sold separately, your golf bag could very well have a driver from one brand, woods (or hybrids) from another, a different brand iron set and so on. Or you could even have everything by one manufacturer. The choice is yours.

Here are a few salient points to keep in mind while shopping for different types of golf clubs:

Drivers

These are the clubs that you use to kick start your game of golf. But they are essentially one trick ponies, since the only situation where you would use a driver would be from the tee area.

Though in their defense, they are really good at sending the ball zipping through the air across hundreds of yards of fairways.

For beginners and high handicappers it can be argued that an easier club like a hybrid or even a fairway wood might be a better option from the tee. These clubs are usually cheaper and more versatile, but they do not have the aura and panache of a driver.

If you feel the need to have a driver, you gotta have a driver! Here are a few pointers to keep in mind though:

  • Get drivers with the maximum 460cc head size, preferably made of Titanium.
  • Graphite shafts are the best, way better than steel shafts.
  • If available, go for modern drivers with adjustable features like lofts and moveable weights. They increase the versatility of the driver manifold.

Fairway Woods

Their star was on the wane with the arrival of easy to use hybrid clubs. Traditional woods are not the most friendly clubs for beginners to wield effectively.

But manufacturers have been releasing newer models with added features to increase the forgiveness of woods. In a 14 club set, adding a driver or two can be beneficial especially on the longer holes, usually par 4 and above.

They can function as a driver replacement as well as a reliable second shot club from the fairway. Their distance and finesse give them an edge over hybrids. Buy them once you start getting consistent shots with a hybrid. Things to keep in mind include:

  • For longer distance and use as a driver replacement, get a lower lofted wood, ideally a 3 wood with a graphite shaft and titanium head.
  • For predominantly fairway use, especially from rough, higher lofted 5 woods and 7 woods are better.
  • Don’t keep more than 2 woods in a set, a 3 and 5 wood should be enough.
  • If you want more distance, look for graphite shafts.
  • Other design options are not too significant, though modern woods do have a bevy of tweaks and configuration choices on offer.

Irons Sets + Hybrids

The workhorse clubs of your collection, they are usually sold in sets of up to 9 clubs. Probably second only to putters in terms of impact on your final score. With irons, you can either get on the greens faster, or get into trouble even faster.

These are the most versatile set of clubs in a golfers arsenal, designed to face a variety of fairway and turf conditions and lies. Choosing the right set of irons is not easy. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you are a beginner, get iron sets with hybrids instead of 2-4 irons (long irons). They will make your life much easier.
  • Cavity back designs are better than muscle back, unless your handicap is in single digits.
  • Don’t buy graphite shafts since distance is not the main concern with irons, accuracy and feedback is. Get iron shafts unless you have severe issues with swing speeds.
  • If you mix and match irons from different sets, remember to keep a watch on the loft angle progression.
  • And don’t mix steel shafted irons with graphite shafted ones if you want to maintain a consistent swing action.

Wedges

These are basically your “get out of jail” clubs, the ones that you turn to when an errant shot lands the ball in a bunker, hazard, rough or a really bad lie. They can also be used aggressively to lob the ball high above hazards and onto the green.

You might get a couple of these specialized clubs along with a normal set of irons, but wedges are usually sold as individual clubs or as part of a set of wedges. They include the pitching wedge (PW), the gap wedge (GW), the sand wedge (SW) and the lob wedge (LW) When buying wedges, remember to:

  • Match your swing style with a wedge having the appropriate bounce angle.
  • Ideal bounce in wedges are also determined by the local course surface conditions you have.
  • Focus on the loft angles of the individual wedges rather than their labels. Remember to maintain an average maximum loft spread of 4 degrees between each wedge (if you buy them separately).

Putters

People lose more sleep over their putts and putters than over any other golf clubs. Not surprising, since you might end up using this club more than half the time during the course of a game.

And did we forget to mention that your putter will decide your final score on the card? There are simply far too many nuances involved in the art of selecting the best putter. Our best buying advise for you would be:

  • Get the help of an expert or a professional clubfitter to pick the ideal putter for you.
  • Avoid belly putters, or any long putters that require anchoring, since they are not legal as of 2021. (source)

A (Very Short) Guide To Major Brands

The ideal golf club is the one with a specific configuration that suits your golf style. If a particular manufacturer has this configuration club in a color that you like, in a budget that suits you, go for it.

Don’t get too much hung upon specific brands, especially within the top 7 or 8. There is not much to choose between them in terms of performance or reliability. The top 3 popular brands are probably:

  • Titleist
  • Callaway
  • TaylorMade

followed closely by:

  • Cobra
  • Cleveland
  • Ping
  • Mizunno

Since Nike announced their withdrawal from the golf club business in 2016, they are the only notable absentee from our list.

Golf Clubs For 2021 Reviewed

The list includes the best clubs in the extremely popular game improvement and super game improvement segment, which caters to beginners and mid to high handicap golfers.

The largest volume of sales of golf clubs happens in this category.

1. Cobra Men's Fly-Z Driver (Best Driver)


A driver with high levels of forgiveness, the Fly Z straddles the gray area between game improvement and better player drivers. It is approachable enough for beginners, yet manages to offer a healthy measure of performance that better mid handicap players can appreciate.


Though it sure lacks some of the advanced features offered by its competitors, there is still a lot of loft customization options on offer which is more than adequate for the demographic it is aimed at.


With a competitive pricing, and Cobra’s customary dark and bold styling, it is hard to say no to this driver. A simple, yet high performing driver that will suit double digit handicappers of different skill levels. You cant ask for much more than that.

Pros
  • The shaft is made of graphite, rendering it a lightweight with a regular flex that caters for both the beginner and the golfer focused on game-improvement.
  • A wide sweet spot from the center to the toe and high on the face does not leave room for a miss hit.
  • It has a high level of forgiveness, endearing it to both the beginners and intermediates who would want a swing ‘corrected’ when they hit it wrongly.
Cons
  • The shaft may range from regular to stiff but this is easily rectifiable by re-shafting.
  • It may not be easily adjusted or customized as compared to other drivers.

2. Titleist 915 F Fairway Wood (Best Fairway Woods)


The 915F series has two variants, the F is for higher handicappers while the Fd is for more middle level players. We were sold on the sheer performance of woods from Titleist. And the lack of any major flaws or faults made our pick all the more easier in the woods category.


Woods are for distance, and the 915Fd had a lot of distance to offer, both from the tee as well as on the fairway. Its ability to get good shots even from the toughest of lies made it stand out all the more.


With the availability of adjustable lofts, these drivers offer more versatility than traditional designs. Forgiveness is on the lower side, but the easy swinging nature of the club, along with increased accuracy of shots more than covers up for that minor flaw.


High handicappers can turn to the 915F for a bigger sweet spot and minimal drop in performance levels.

An excellent wood capable of working as a driver replacement or a fairway specialist.


3. Callaway X Hot Iron Set (Best Irons)


A great series of beginner friendly irons with cavity back design and massive soles, there is nothing much to dislike about the X Hot iron set.


The sheer variety of configuration options on offer caters to a wide variety of golfers. That kind of freedom of choice is nice, since nobody wants to pay for clubs they know they are never going to use much.


We like the fact that they are optimized for distance and launch, since these are the two things that beginners tend to struggle more with. And with ample forgiveness on those humongous soles, Callaway shows that they got their priorities bang on when designing these iron sets.


Full marks for consistency in performance throughout the set, something that many manufacturers ignore or fail at.


4. Titleist Vokey SM7 Lob Wedge (Best Wedges)


They may be know more for their golf balls, but this Fila subsidiary do have some great short golf clubs in their inventory. The Vokey SM7 series was the pick of the lot in both our sand wedge and lob wedge .


Since wedges these days are sold more as in progression of lofts rather than categories, it is safe to say that the Vokey SM7 is probably the most consistent across loft angles when it comes to wedges.


5. Cleveland Golf TFI 2135 1.0 Putter (Best Putters)


Golfing is a precise sport, exerting discipline and having a putter that matches to these attribute, gives you time to maintain the appropriate tension for the perfect swing.

The Cleveland Golf TFI 2135 1.0 Putter offers perfect alignment, no matter how you set up.

This makes it a favorite among a myriad of golfers since 80% of golfers never have their eyes directly above the golf ball leading to inaccurate alignment especially in utilizing the traditional alignment line.

In true innovative style, Cleveland Golf TFI 2135 1.0 Putter, adjusts the traditional line to 21.35mm off the ground, the accurate radius of the golf ball. Who would want to miss out on the chance to improve their game with such innovation?

It gives the true alignment as opposed to playing tricks on your eyes regardless of the position you address the golf ball. This wedge innovation is such that, no matter where your eyes are as you putt, you can be sure to get a precise alignment.

Pros
  • Distance, control, and accuracy are bound to improve with the Cleveland Golf TFI, 2135 1.0 Putter.
  • Aesthetically, this putt is pleasing from being well-designed with a perfect finish.
Cons
  • If not in use, it is vital to have the head cover on since the soft face can easily get marked.
  • The Cleveland Golf TFI 2135 1.0 Putter may feel a bit light to some golfers who prefer some weight from their putts.

6. Titleist Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 (Best Blade Putter)


This putter looks as good as it works sporting a carefully crafted look complete with a framed and double milled cherry dots, eliciting a contemporary but timeless appearance.

The tradition of the ScottyA family, whose race car inspires the good looks of this putt, is upheld while introducing Fastback and Squareback mid mallets that are progressive in weighting and alignment technology. Titleist 2014 Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 Putter has a tour feel with a soft sound emanating from the deep mill face. 

The cherry accented heel and toe is a perfect match to the shaft length, preventing the club from twirling at impact when not hit perfectly. 

A tour favorite with professionals, its only distinguishing mark is a single line of sight in the cavity, leaving the golfers to solely mind about making the putt with no distractions. 

An accurate specification of loft, lie and length facilitates a smooth and straight roll of the ball and can save you two strokes per round.

Pros
  • A head cover protects the delicately crafted head from additional marks that may serve to distract the golfer.
  • The Titleist 2014 Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 Putter has a smaller pistolini grip to fit well in the hand for a responsive feel when you hit the ball.
Cons
  • This tour favorite may not satisfy the needs of a beginner who may need to manipulate the various features to work for them.
  • These manipulations may also serve as a distraction and we would not want that.

Conclusion

The beginner and higher handicaps friendly categories dominate the golf clubs landscape in terms of sales.

And these clubs are incredibly important for the future of the sport, even if some people scoff at them for putting less emphasis on skill. The popularity of an individual sport is dependent on popular participation.

If more and more people are to take up golf on on a regular basis, they need access to friendly and forgiving clubs. The above selection of clubs are some of the best in the business.

And with the interest in golf surging in recent years, we can expect more such exciting clubs to be unveiled in the coming years. But until then, these are the best golf clubs for 2021.