A package bundle is one of the best, cheapest and easiest ways to get into the game of golf, as it provides all the basics you need to play the sport.
In a basic set, you’ll often find a driver, a fairway wood or two, a range of irons and wedges, and a putter. A bag will be included with the clubs meaning you are more or less ready to get out on the course or playing field to play.
With package bundles becoming increasingly popular as more and more people take up the sport, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. Prices start at around $300, with some of the best golf club sets going up to $1,000. Apart from cost, there are also factors such as quality, number of clubs supplied and aesthetics of the set that should be taken into consideration.
Below we take a look at two of the best golf club sets available on the market, with the TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite Set and the Strata Men’s Golf Package giving players two fantastic options at two different price points.
TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite vs. Strata Men’s Golf Package Set: Read our head-to-head verdict
What is the set made of?
Both sets offer plenty, with the RBZ SpeedLite displaying a 12-club lineup that includes a driver, two fairway woods, two hybrids, a sand wedge 6-iron and a putter. In addition to the clubs, you also receive a trolley bag/cart style option with a single carry strap which, while not rivaling the best golf trolley bags, still offers plenty of storage space and an elegant and modern look.
The Strata is similar, in that it offers a driver, 3 woods, two hybrids, a sand wedge 6 iron and a 35″ blade putter for 11 clubs in total. You also get a great stand bag, complete with the ability to add more clubs to your setup if desired.
So what is the cost of these two sets of packages? Well, the TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite retails for around $1000 which is pretty good value for money, especially considering the clubs supplied are from a well-known brand and feel very reliable. However, when you look at the price of the Strata, you may think differently, with the whole package costing around $300-350! It’s amazing value for all the clubs and bags you get.
The common theme of both sets of packages is forgiveness, with both offering trust at address. We start with TaylorMade and specifically the irons, which feature toplines that are thick enough to inspire confidence at address without being too clunky and unattractive.
With the irons, the gray finish on the crown of the fairway woods combines with a little flash of green that looks great, while the sand wedge and putter are slightly more compact, with a refined, premium look.
The Strata set also impresses in the area of looks, with its irons featuring a thick topline that will provide confidence at address. Another bonus is the amount of offset, which should suit those who tend to slice their irons, however, a slight negative is how quickly the faces scuff, perhaps reflecting the cheaper price.
At the top of the bag, the driver is very impressive, with the 460cc head and regular flex shaft offering a superb amount of forgiveness. The only problem here is the putter which, because it has no countersink or insert, means the ball tends to slide off the face left or right.
TaylorMade is known for producing some of the best golf drivers on the market, with the Stealth rated among the best drivers for distance. While the overall driver doesn’t quite have the quality of the Stealth, it certainly performs well and feels very solid.
It’s a similar story in the irons department as well, with the face feel still remaining solid. Although they aren’t as smooth in the center as some of the best golf irons on the market, the feel doesn’t diminish too much when you’re not hitting the very center of the face. The same goes for the lower end of the bag, as the wedges and putter also provide a classy feel.
Strata aren’t well known for their clubs, but there’s a lot to love about the feel of this set, with the irons and driver a particular highlight. The driver, which looks good at address, is also one of the best drivers we’ve found in a set of packages.
However, the putter, which is where set makers choose to save money, is disappointing, with inconsistent face feel. If it was our money and we were on a budget, we would personally review some of the best inexpensive putters on the market.
Although we tested the TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite with the wrong shaft spec (we were testing the standard flexible RBZ shaft as opposed to something more towards the stiffer end of the spectrum), we were impressed with the performance proposed. Throughout the set, all clubs were easy to throw and very forgiving.
A notable point was the hybrids’ generosity at address – there’s plenty of space between heel and toe – which can really help players in an area of the bag that is notoriously difficult to master.
The last factor was that the ball flight was on the high side, but a stiffer shaft option would almost certainly have helped solve this problem. As a result, we lost a bit of carry distance (three meters in the 7-iron and 15 meters in the driver) compared to our custom clubs. However, for golfers looking to lift the ball with a smooth swing, the regular shank version we tested should definitely do the trick.
The Strata package also provided decent performance, with the driver and irons working solidly, despite the iron faces scuffing easily. Again, the rods are lightly whipped, but this should help players get the ball off the ground, which is needed when starting to play golf.
The only negative aspect, at least at the top end of the bag, is that both hybrids in the set are equipped with steel rods rather than traditional graphite. It’s obviously another cost-saving measure and while it doesn’t hamper the experience as much as the putter, it’s not ideal.
Both hybrids are good off the tee, but off the fairway or rough the lack of extra flex means they fly very low and are hard to launch. For a set aimed at beginner golfers, steel-shafted hybrids are not ideal.
Which should you choose
Choose the TaylorMade RBZ SpeedLite Pack if…
– You are looking for a recognized brand that will not ruin you
– You want strong, high-performance clubs that are forgiving
– You are looking for clubs that are easy to throw
Choose the Strata Men’s Golf Set if…
– You are looking for a cheap and reliable set
– You are someone who does not play regularly
– You want a good set that comes with a quality stand bag