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I first took up golf in high school. Not only was it an excuse to avoid running track each spring, but I also wanted to put myself in a better position for my then-prospects in the corporate world: It’s widely known that networking and business deals get done on the golf course.
I was 17 years old and my friend’s father, an avid golfer, got me sorted with a set of old golf clubs. After a year or two, around 2003, I upgraded my equipment with a new set of TaylorMade RAC irons. While golf has come in and out of my life (a common trend for many), I continued to sparingly use them over the next two decades. It wasn’t until I recently had the opportunity to visit the Kingdom—TaylorMade’s mecca for tour-caliber, custom-fitted golf clubs—where I finally received clubs that were made specifically for me. I swiftly got rid of my RACs.
As I make it a personal and professional priority to play more golf—with opportunities to play at Cabot Cape Breton, Pinehurst, Panther National, and Kapalua—I definitely feel more confident than ever with my custom clubs. I’ve even complimented my kit with a Five Iron membership and steady one-on-one instruction.
This is the thing about golf: It’s costly and time consuming. Though each person’s journey is different, you only get better if you invest in the game. And it starts with your clubs. Essentially, you need a set that’s personal to you and your skills. You need to have an understanding of the right wedges, irons, putters, drivers, and more that will propel you on the course. Because, as I have learned throughout the years, not all golf clubs and the brands that offer them are created equal.
Indeed, there are plenty of golf club brands, a mix of legacy manufacturers and niche upstarts. There’s truly something for everyone. And as golf evolves, so, too, does the equipment. Consistent advancements in tech and materials yield better clubs, which means the ones you have now may feel lackluster in due time. It’s advantageous to keep track of the latest and greatest, and to refresh your arsenal every couple of years.
While it may seem overwhelming, almost intimidating, like your trusted caddie, we’re here to help. This is why we’ve rounded up the best golf club brands, the ones with track records of innovation, the ones that’ll undoubtedly improve your game.
What to Consider Before Buying the Best Golf Clubs:
The makeup of your golf bag is completely your choice. But a typical golf bag setup consists of up to 14 clubs: a driver, 3-wood, 5-wood, a selection of irons (from a 3-iron to a 9-iron), a wedge or two, and a putter. But feel free to get creative depending on your tendencies and preferences. If, for example, you struggle hitting higher irons (3, 4, and 5), you can replace them with more forgiving fairway woods and hybrids. Wedges come in varying lofts, ranging between 42 and 64 degrees, so many golfers utilize two or three to ensure they’re covered for various distances and situations.
Holes on golf courses range from longer par-5s that can be 500-plus yards to shorter par-3s, and the contents of your golf bag need to facilitate all these distances. The last thing you want is a range gap between two clubs, which can leave you high and dry at a certain stretch.
For high handicappers who are new to the game or might have a slower swing speed, clubs that offer more forgiveness and provide an extra distance boost are preferred. Whereas mid- to low-handicap players often favor clubs catered toward higher swing speeds with added precision, control, and spin.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to building a set of golf clubs, which, depending on how you look at it, can be either a gift or a curse. Thankfully, brands like Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, PXG, and more offer something for everyone. They’re also constantly improving their products, tweaking them to help with your game. Think about it: Do you still use an iPhone 8 or have you upgraded (a few times) over the years? Golf clubs are no different.
All of the brands on this list have a history—whether it’s 100 years or 10 years—of producing high-quality products that are beloved by amateur and professional golfers around the world. While some boast unbeatable name recognition, others are continuing to carve out a place in the market as golf grows in popularity. The fun part is mixing, matching, and testing clubs to best fit your personality, swing style, and game.
Most Recognized Golf Club Brand
Is there a brand more synonymous with golf than Titleist? The company was founded in 1932 as a golf ball manufacturer after amateur Phil Young missed a well-stroked putt and X-rayed the ball to realize its core was off-center. Then, in 1970, Titleist started producing clubs with the introduction of the Finalist Forge irons. The brand released its first driver in 1984, while sister company Scotty Cameron, established in 1994, became part of the family in 1997, the same year Titleist launched its Vokey wedges. Under the Acushnet Holdings Corp. umbrella—which includes FootJoy, Vokey, Scotty Cameron, Pinnacle, and KJUS—Titleist continues to push the envelope with innovation, technology, and performance—particularly around its fittings, fitness, and education, headlined by the Titleist Performance Institute that began in 2003.
Date of Origin: 1932.
Notable Golfers: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Patrick Cantlay, and Adam Scott.
Most Popular Golf Club Brand
Callaway has come a long way since founder Ely Callaway started selling hickory sticks out of the trunk of his car in 1982. Today, Callaway is the No. 1–selling driver brand and No. 1–selling irons brand, per Golf Datatech. It also has the No. 1 putter (Odyssey) in Tour wins, as well as No. 2 golf balls, led by its popular Chrome Soft. Rising to prominence in 1991 with the release of the Big Bertha driver, the brand has grown and evolved into Topgolf Callaway Brands after merging with Topgolf in early 2021. Labels currently under the TCB umbrella include Callaway, Topgolf, Odyssey, TravisMathew, TopTracer, Ogio, Jack Wolfskin, and World Golf Tour.
Date of Origin: 1982.
Notable Golfers: Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Rose Zhang, Sam Burns, Ruoning Yin, and Atthaya Thitikul.
Best Legacy Golf Club Brand
Not satisfied with the available putters on the market in 1959, Norwegian-born engineer Karsten Solheim decided to create his own in his garage in Redwood City, Calif. With the name inspired by the sound that his new putter made when it came into contact with the ball, Solheim grew Ping’s offerings, which included the iconic Anser putter and the Karsten I iron. With a legacy of innovation (via its perimeter-weighted clubs), durability, longevity, and performance, the company has cemented itself as one of the top golf club brands. Its founder also lends his name to the Solheim Cup, a biennial tournament between the best U.S. and European women golfers, which was first held in 1990.
Date of Origin: 1959.
Notable Golfers: Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau, Tyrrell Hatton, In Gee Chun, Sahith Theegala, Bubba Watson, Jennifer Kupcho, and Leona Maguire.
Most Innovative Golf Club Brand
In 1979, golf equipment salesman Gary Adams took out a $24,000 loan on his home to launch TaylorMade Golf Company. Initially started with three employees working in a rented 6,000-square-foot facility that previously housed a TV assembly plant, TaylorMade broke into the market with an innovative product: a 12-degree driver cast in stainless steel, which sounded and, more importantly, performed better than original woods. The company’s history of innovation and authenticity continues to drive the brand forward decades later, which is not only evident by its high-tech products—including adjustable drivers, movable weights, carbon faces on drivers, and rusting faces on wedges—but also by the names of golf stars signed to Team TaylorMade.
Date of Origin: 1979.
Notable Golfers: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, Nelly Korda, Scottie Scheffler, Brooke Henderson, and Charley Hull.
Most Historical Golf Club Brand
Founded in 1913 as Ashland Manufacturing Company, Wilson Sporting Goods began as a subsidiary of Schwarzschild and Sulzberger, a meatpacking company that utilized animal byproducts to create surgical sutures and strings for tennis rackets and musical instruments. After introducing Wilson Staff golf balls in 1954, the brand released the original Dynapower irons and an innovative weight distribution that revolutionized the game two years later. Featuring variable face thicknesses to make the clubface hotter, Wilson became a favorite of Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper, and even astronaut Alan Shepard, who infamously hit a golf ball on the moon in 1971. Paying homage to its golf history, Wilson reintroduced the legendary Dynapower franchise in 2023 for the modern game.
Date of Origin: 1913.
Notable Golfers: Kevin Kisner, Trey Mullinax, Willie Mack III, Padraig Harrington, and Kevin Streelman.
Best Golf Club Fitting Experience
Founded in September 2013 by well-known businessman, philanthropist, and golf nut Bob Parsons, Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) was born out of Parsons’s passion to make the world’s best golf equipment. With more than 200 global patents to its name, PXG prides itself on utilizing the latest and greatest technologies, not only in its cutting-edge clubs but also in its unique fitting experience that allows golfers to completely personalize their clubs based on their individual swings. What’s more, PXG broke into the golf ball market with the release of PXG Xtreme Golf Balls in February 2023.
Date of Origin: 2013.
Notable Golfers: Zach Johnson, Joel Dahmen, Luke List, Celine Boutier, Megan Khang, and Mina Harigae.
Most Underrated Golf Club Brand
While some still struggle with how to pronounce this well-known golf brand, what they don’t struggle with is understanding and appreciating the quality of clubs manufactured by Srixon. The name is derived from the initials of parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries, coupled with an “x” (the symbol for future in Japan) and “on” (an abbreviation of “onward”). While it began in 2001, Srixon is under the SRI umbrella, a company that has been manufacturing golf and tennis balls since 1930 and golf clubs since 1964. SRI added to its portfolio by acquiring Dunlop in 1963 and Cleveland Golf in 2008, while launching XXIO in 2000. Tailored more toward low- to mid-handicap golfers, Srixon released its first irons in 2009.
Date of Origin: 2001.
Notable Golfers: Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Shane Lowry, InBee Park, Keegan Bradley, Lucas Glover, and MinJee Lee.
Most Accessible Golf Club Brand
In 1973, Australian amateur golfer Tom Crow moved to Kearney Mesa, Calif., to launch Cobra Golf. The goal was to make great clubs at a more affordable price. Within two years, Cobra was a household name, thanks to the Baffler hybrid, a laminated wood with a 23-degree loft that introduced a new category of clubs to the game. From there, Cobra continued to make industry-wide statements with the Trusty Rusty wedge in 1980; the Autoclave System in 1985, which strengthened graphite shafts using proprietary technology; and the 1994 release of oversized irons, which became the No. 1–selling iron in golf. Puma acquired Cobra Golf in 2010, evidently becoming Puma Cobra Golf.
Date of Origin: 1973.
Notable Golfers: Rickie Fowler, Lexi Thompson, Gary Woodland, Jason Dufner, Kyle Berkshire.
Best High-End Golf Club Brand
Katsuhiro Miura launched his brand in 1977 after two decades of learning the golf club business and state-of-the-art forging techniques at other companies. Miura began his career in 1957 at Morita Golf, where he worked on the manufacturing line learning how to grind and adjust irons. From there, he spent a decade at Kojima Iron Works, where he mastered how to process metals. Capped with a stint at Kyoei Golf Industry, where he saw firsthand how to forge a golf club, Miura took all of his learnings and experience and launched his own brand, which has since revolutionized the forging process. Building a proprietary machine that would permit the correct manipulation of a club head’s grain structure, Miura Golf has set itself apart by, according to many pros, “the world’s finest forged golf clubs.”
Date of Origin: 1977.
Notable Golfers: Adam Scott, Abraham Ancer, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker.
Best CraftED Golf Club Brand
Rihachi Mizuno, a kimono shop worker from Osaka, Japan, fell in love with baseball when he saw his first game at 18 years old. His passion became his career when he and his brother Rizo opened a baseball equipment store in 1906. Seven years later, the company began manufacturing its own products. By 1933, Mizuno started manufacturing golf equipment with its debut products named Starline. Utilizing a more precise two-mold forging process, Mizuno saw its reputation grow as it started exporting its clubs to Europe in the 1970s. The brand continued going against the grain two decades later by doubling down on its Grain Flow Forging process, as other manufacturers switched to a casting process.
Date of Origin: 1906.
Notable Golfers: Nick Faldo, Keith Mitchell, Bailey Tardy, Ben Griffin, and Stacy Lewis.