Complete sets or full sets of golf clubs can contain anywhere from 12 to 17 golf clubs, the composition of which will vary based on the manufacturer. The traditional set of clubs consists of a driver, a couple of fairway woods (a 3-wood and sometimes a 5-wood), irons (5-iron to 9-iron), 2 or 3 hybrid clubs (3-hybrid to 5-hybrid), a pitching wedge, a sand wedge and a putter. As golfers are permitted to carry a maximum 14 golf clubs onto the course, a complete set is an economical way to acquire the necessary equipment to get into the game.
The driver is the biggest club in the bag, both in clubhead size and the distance produced when a ball is struck well. With steep faces, between 7.5 and 13 degrees, the driver is commonly used off a tee. Talented golfers, however, can use the driver on the fairway under the right conditions.
Complete sets will usually include a 3-wood with a loft between 12 and 17 degrees, and sometimes a 5-wood, lofted 18 to 23 degrees. Fairway woods feature larger heads like the driver, but are shallower with a lower sweet spot toward the bottom of the club. Fairway woods can be hit off the tee and off the ground when presented with a good lie, such as that on the fairway.
While irons range from 1 to 9, most sets will include irons from 5 to 9, with hybrids replacing the lower number irons. Irons have a comparatively thin face, allowing them to slice through thick lies, including rough and sand, and still put force on the ball. Irons are most commonly played off the ground, however, on many par 3s, players will use irons off the tee.
Complete sets will typically include 2 or 3 hybrids, from #3 to #5 hybrids, as these are easier to hit than comparable long irons. Hybrids seek to combine elements of woods and irons to make a club that is easier to hit cleanly, like a wood, but also has a shallower face to allow it to be played out of tighter lies, like an iron.
A pitching wedge and sand wedge will usually be included in most sets. Wedges have heads similar to irons, however, the faces are more open, meaning they point higher and send the ball a shorter distance at a greater height when struck. Wedges can be used to play high flops with backspin to cause a ball to stop quickly, to back up on a hole where there is not a lot of green between the player and the hole, or played back in a stance as a running pitch shot that travels low toward the ground and rolls up to a hill when a lot of green is present.
Complete sets will usually include 1 blade or mallet putter. The putter is the most commonly played club, and will be used in a vast majority of holes a golfer plays. The putter features a flat face that provides minimal or no loft on the ball, and is used to roll the ball along the ground toward the hole.
Golf Bag & Headcovers:
Complete sets will include a golf bag. A stand or carry bag is most common, although some sets come with a cart bag instead. It will also include 3 or 4 matching headcovers to protect the woods and hybrids.