Upgrading Golf Clubs: Which Ones to Prioritize First

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If you’re like most golfers, you probably have a mixed bag of clubs that you’ve accumulated over the years and as your game has improved, you may be wondering which golf clubs to upgrade first.

While there is no definitive answer, there are a few factors to consider that will help you make the best decision for your game.

In this article, I will share with you my thoughts on which golf clubs to upgrade first and why as well as covering how this may differ depending on what type of golfer you are.

Which Golf Clubs Should I Upgrade First?

When it comes to upgrading golf clubs, it really depends on each individual player. I know some people who change their clubs every few years, while others keep the same set for much longer.

It really all comes down to personal preference and how often you play. If you’re someone who plays a lot of golf, then you’re going to see more wear and tear on your clubs and you may want to consider upgrading sooner. 

To add to this when it comes to upgrading your golf clubs, cost definitely comes into it. If you’re looking to make a significant investment, you’ll want to start with the clubs that are going to have the biggest impact on your game and also fit your budget. Drivers for example cost alot and also show wear and tear sooner than other clubs such as wedges and putters.

Short Game Clubs

I believe that the short game clubs offer the best bang for your buck. This is because there are so many shots in and around the green that can make or break your score. Having a good set of short-game clubs will allow you to get up and down more often, and this will lead to lower scores.

In addition, short game clubs are generally more forgiving than long game clubs, so if you’re just starting out or are still working on your game, they can be a great option.

Therefore, if you’re looking to upgrade your golf clubs, I would recommend starting with the short game clubs first such as your putter and wedges as they offer great value and can help you to shave strokes off your score.

Let’s explore these golf clubs further…


golf putter

The putter is often overlooked but should be one of the first golf clubs you upgrade. This is because the putter accounts for around 41% of strokes per round and 3 putt avoidance is an easy win for golfers of all abilities.

By upgrading your putter, you’ll be able to improve your accuracy and distance control which can be problematic on tricky greens. Additionally, a top putter can also help you with alignment issues and make it easier to make putts where you are struggling to line up your putt well.

Combined these benefits can mean fewer missed opportunities and strokes saved here and there.


golf wedge

Another club that I always start with is my wedges. I find that having a few trusty wedges that I can rely on to get me out of tough situations and help me make more greens in regulation is invaluable. I also like to leave mid-range putts, so having a good wedge game is essential for me.

While there are a lot of different types of clubs that you can upgrade, I believe that wedges should be at the top of your list as they are an essential part of the game and can make a big difference in your score if you use them correctly.

Fairway Finders

Another area to consider is the clubs that you use off the tee as I always think that it’s important to get the ball in play first and foremost. This is where driver and woods come in handy as good ones are designed for forgiveness and can help you avoid slices and hooks.

Once you have the ball in play, you can then start to focus on improving your accuracy and distance with better golf technique. For me, fairway finders are near the top of the list of the best clubs to upgrade first as they can really help you feel confident in your game.

Other Things To Consider

There are some key things to take into consideration when it comes to upgrading your golf clubs and these are:

  • Golf club condition
  • Golfer skill level
  • Budget
  • Club usage

Golf Club Condition

The first thing to consider is the condition of your golf clubs. If you have any cracked clubs, they’re going to need attention before you can use them again. Old clubs can also lose performance over time, so if you’re using clubs that are more than a few years old, they might not be up to par anymore.

To add to this, I try to extend the golf clubs shelf life by doing my own service check on the clubs yearly. This process will involve regular cleaning as well as regripping the golf clubs when it is necessary.

Skill Level

You want to choose clubs that are appropriate for your skill level so that you can get the most out of them. For example, if you’re a new golfer, you’ll need clubs that offer more forgiveness so that you can learn the game without being punished too harshly for your mistakes.

Another example of this is with the driver as the loft angle on your clubs can also differ depending on your skill level. Higher-skilled golfers will often go for lower loft angles so that they can get more distance out of their shots relative to their swing speed.

If you’re not sure what kind of clubs to get, it’s always best to consult with a professional who can help you choose the right ones for your game and look at other factors such as sizing.


Another thing that you need to take into consideration is your budget. Drivers are usually the most expensive club in a set and if you’re looking to upgrade this then you’ll need to be prepared to spend a bit more money.

Another thing to consider is whether you want to buy a whole set of new clubs or just replace individual clubs as needed. If you’re on a tight budget, buying individual clubs may be the way to go but if you have a bit more money to spend, getting a whole new set might be worth it if you find a whole host of golf clubs suitable for your needs.

Club Usage

When it comes to upgrading golf clubs, one of the things that you need to take into consideration is how often you use the golf clubs during a round. For example if you aren’t a fan of hybrids or a certain wedge then there is probably no point in spending money on those types of clubs.

I also consider which kind of shots I like to hit. I often play golf courses with narrow fairways which means a 3 wood I can trust is going to be much more useful to me than a Driver as I put a premium on accuracy.

How To Extend The Life Of Golf Clubs

soapy water to clean golf clubs

Another way to ensure that you don’t need to worry about upgrading your golf clubs is to make sure that you look after them properly. You should clean them regularly and give them a good regrip every now and then as this can really improve their performance as well as extend their lifespan.

In addition to this, I also try to store them correctly by storing them upright in an area where they won’t get wet. This is important as moisture can cause rusting.

Rounding Up

To conclude, I like to take good care of my golf clubs so that I don’t need to replace them as often. However, there are some golf clubs that I keep an eye out for when it comes to upgrading.

These include clubs that I use off the tee as they can help with hitting more fairways. Also short game clubs such as wedges and the putter are important as they can help you get up and down more often and shots that are saved around the green can really add up over the course of a round.