The Best Golf Clubs For 2017

2017 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. (source) 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 as we enter 2017.

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.

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:

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.
Read Our Drivers Buying Guides

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.
Read Our Fairway Woods Buying Guides

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.
Read Our Irons Buying Guides

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).
Read Our Wedges Buying Guides

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 2016. 
Read Our Putters Buying Guides

Golf Clubs for 2017 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.​

Best Driver​

Cobra Fly Z

A driver blending distance and forgiveness, the Cobra Men’s Fly-Z Driver is one of the best golf clubs that offers game improvement. What it lacks in advanced features, it more than makes up for it in loft modification through MyFly8, which is appropriate to its target market.

The wall structure around the face’s perimeter is thin, increasing the speed while the Crown Zone Weighting Technology relocates the crown low and back in the head for a low deep center of gravity (CG), by removing the weight.

The wall structure around the face’s perimeter is thin, increasing the speed while the Crown Zone Weighting Technology relocates the crown low and back in the head for a low deep center of gravity (CG), by removing the weight. The speed of the sweet zone and size increases with the forged E9 zone face that eliminates weight from the face and hosel.

Despite the loft setting, SmartPad technology offers a square face ideal for the direction in which you want to hit the ball, not forgetting trajectory settings and a custom loft.​

Best Fairway Woods

Titleist 915Fd

With a biannual release, Titleist has upgraded the 915F to deliver outstanding performance from the tee and turf. However, this brand has lagged behind with some of the woods lacking adjustability despite other drivers having passed this milestone. Even with this lag, they are catching on to keep up with the competition.

An additional distance is covered through a lower spin at top speed. The Centre of Gravity offers stability and raises ball speed by 1.5 to 2.5 mph. It conserves forgiveness with a bulbous pear head while inspiring confidence in hitting off a tee. The ball speed spreads across the whole face due to the high-speed insert.

The Active Recoil Channel running from the heel to toe, behind the face and at the bottom of the club is located strategically at the front of the club to enhance speed while reducing spin.​

Best Irons

Callaway X Hot 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.

Best Wedges

Titleist Vokey SM6 Series

This is a distinguished jet black wedge that you will be proud of whipping from your bag on the course. The Titleist Vokey SM6 has a sharp, constant groove edging and tighter class for enhanced spin thanks to a new parallel face texture of 100% inspected grooves.

It is versatile enough for a variety of players to get a fill of their preferred swing made possible by Bob’s tour proven grinds. It is workable for any course condition, making it one of the preferred sand and lob 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 SM6 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 SM6 is probably the most consistent across loft angles when it comes to wedges.

Best Putters

Cleveland Golf TFI 2135 1.0 Putter

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. 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.​

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 2017.