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Do You Need A Full Set Of Irons To Start Playing Golf?

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Do You Need A Full Set Of Irons To Start Playing Golf?

A set of golf irons can be the most expensive purchase a golfer makes and it can be a daunting investment for those just starting to play golf for the first time. Which is why I would suggest that no, you don’t need a full set of irons to start playing golf. The Rules of Golf state that a golfer is allowed a maximum of 14 clubs, but you don’t need to fill your bag with the full compliment. While a driver, some sort of sand wedge and putter are essential, the number of irons required depends on your ability and enthusiasm levels.

A good starting point with the irons if you’re a newcomer to the game is to opt for a half set (often called a short set) or even just a three-piece set comprising a 5, 7 and 9-iron. This will be enough to cover different approach shot distances while you work out the type of iron you like the look of and the type of performance you want to experience. As a beginner, your strike pattern will likely be quite inconsistent and so it makes little sense to invest in a full set of seven irons from 4-iron to pitching wedge. The benefits from owning a full set come when you are able to strike the ball correctly on a semi-consistent basis in order to hit the ball different distances depending on the shot in hand. A side benefit of having less irons in your bag is that it will be lighter to carry around, therefore placing less strain on the body.

Package sets are an affordable way to get hold of a near full set of irons

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

That said, there are some very good beginner iron sets as well as package set options that include a full set of irons without the premium cost. While you don’t necessarily need a full set of irons, it’s nice to have a full matching set and most package sets come with matching metalwoods as well as a bag to carry them around the course in.

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