There are a lot of options in equipment these days and with only being able to carry 14 clubs in your bag, picking the correct set configuration can certainly help lower your scores. The key to knowing what you need is to understand your personal game and most importantly, how far you ‘carry’ the ball with each club. Ideally, you want to maintain equal distance gapping between each club throughout your set…say 15 yards between each club. As you move into your longer clubs, this may become more difficult to achieve as most players (particularly those with slower swing speeds) will tend to plateau and hit their long irons / fairway woods the same distance. This is where hybrids and lofted fairways woods come into play and can help get the ball higher into the air to help gain crucial carry distance. The big mistake many beginner and intermediate players make is assuming they must have a driver and 3-wood in their bag. This is not always true and many players may benefit from a more lofted wood such as a high launch 3-wood or even a 4-wood or perhaps a hybrid instead of a 5-iron. Loft is your friend and can make life much easier when starting out.
This is a great topic and one that’s probably not talked about enough. Equipment changes rapidly and there is certainly a lot to more to consider such as your local turf conditions, wind tendencies where you play most, etc. The best advice I can leave you with is consult your local PGA professional. They can best observe and evaluate your game and make the best recommendation to help improve your game!