Clubs

Mobley recommends investing in a moderately priced set of clubs including the following:

Woods

Driver

A driver is used off the tee on most holes. It's used for maximum distance and is generally only used on the tee.

Driver, 5-wood and 7-wood

3, 5 & 7

Woods are either used off the tee or for longer fairway shots. The lower the number on the wood the more the distance. For example, a 3-wood shot will most likely have more distance than a 7-wood shot.

Collage of irons, wedges and putter

Irons

Low Irons

Low irons, including the 4, 5 and 6, are used for long fairway shots. Contrary to popular belief, the low irons provide longer distances than high irons.

High Irons

High irons, such as the 7, 8 and 9, are used for medium to short distance shots, usually in the fairways. These irons can also be used for chip shots around the green.

Wedges & Putter

One wedge you'll want in your bag is a pitching wedge. The pitching wedge is generally used for chip shots fairly close to the green or really short shots from the fairway. Another essential wedge is a 60-degree sand wedge used for sand shots. This club can also be used in fairways and around greens, but it is heavier than other clubs so a beginner should probably stick to using it in the sand. The putter is used on the green for putting, and generally is the only club used on the green.

Note:

It will take some practice before you will learn the distance for each of your clubs. Also, distances may vary from what I have said above. These are just general assumptions. Furthermore, beginners may not need the full set of irons. Mobley says the essentials are the 5, 7 and 9 irons.

Picture of golf shoes, glove and golf ball

Gloves

The glove helps maintain a solid grip on the club and protects your hand from the roughness of the club grip, preventing blisters and calluses. Generally, a left-handed player wears a glove on their right hand and a right-handed player wears it on their left hand. Mobley says some ladies prefer to wear two gloves.

Balls

Choosing the right type of ball depends on the strength of your swing. Mobley recommends a softer, lower compression for ladies, such as the Maxfli Noodle or Lady Precept. For men, he recommends a harder, higher compression ball, such as the Titleist NXT or Top-Flite balls. Mobley stresses that beginners use inexpensive balls during the learning process.

Shoes

In the beginning, regular athletic shoes can be worn, but eventually you'll probably want to invest in golf shoes with spikes. Shoes come in all different styles. For example, if you prefer to walk the course, there are sneaker style golf shoes for maximum comfort. I suggest Nike or Adidas golf shoes.

Ronny Mobley

The Expert

Ronny Mobley grew up cutting greens and fairways on a 9-hole course in Brundidge, Ala. He played in his first golf tournament at the age of 15. Mobley attended Troy University in Alabama on a golf scholarship, and played on two national champion teams. He played on the PGA Tour from 1978 to 1979. After a career as a small business owner and later in banking, he is playing professionally as a senior and teaching lessons.