50 Words or Less
Stix Golf aims to bridge the gap between low quality box sets and expensive, a la carte clubs. Really nice iron set. Durable finish. Very good bag.
Getting started in golf is a tough proposition. You can buy a cheap box set, but if you end up liking golf, you’ll want to upgrade in short order. Alternately, you can dive into an a la carte set, but that’s a significant financial commitment.
Stix Golf is trying to create a third way with sets of clubs that are more affordable than the name brands but higher quality than your average box set. I tested their Complete Set to see what kind of value it delivers to the new or budget-conscious golfer.
The first thing that struck me when I unboxed the Stix Golf Complete Set is the high quality of the golf bag. Its legs pop out swiftly and provide a strong base. The zippers operate smoothly, and the materials feel sturdy enough to last many seasons.
This stand bag has backpack straps, five zippered pockets, and a water bottle sleeve. It has a five-way top with three full length dividers. While it lacks the truly top of the line features like insulated pockets and waterproofing, this bag is an excellent value as part of a Stix package.
Finally, it’s worth saying that this bag looks sharp. A lot of box sets look cheap right down to the bag. The grey and black color combo with red zipper pulls looks good enough to be sold by any of the major bag makers.
I’m going to review each club type independently, touching on all the key elements: looks, sound, feel, and performance.
At address, the Stix driver has a two-tone matte black crown. It’s a bit hard to see the difference in the picture below, but if you look carefully you’ll see a straight line from toe to heel just behind the red alignment dot. This club is of average size and is slightly larger on the heel side, though it’s close to symmetrical. What stands out most to me when I set it down is that it is extremely closed.
Also, this needs to be mentioned somewhere, so I’ll get it out of the way here: the Stix headcovers are literally the worst headcovers I’ve ever seen. They’re hard to get on and off the clubs, they don’t offer much protection, and they look terrible. It’s a shame because I can see them dragging down someone’s perception of this set before they’ve given the clubs a chance.
The impact sound is quite loud and fairly high pitched. To be honest, it’s not too far from breaking glass. While that’s a cool sound if you’re Stone Cold Steve Austin, I’m not a huge fan of it on the tee box. That said, I’ll foreshadow the next section by saying that I’m not really the target audience for this driver.
The average new golfer fights a big slice off the tee and probably doesn’t have a ton of power. I have slightly above average speed and hate seeing the ball go left. The Stix driver is built for that new golfer, not for me.
If you need a driver to keep your ball out of the trees on the right, this is going to do the job. Between the closed face and the soft, active shaft, it really wants to go left. For me, that meant needing to put my Bubba-style cut swing on it to keep it from producing a screaming hook. While this driver is a terrible fit for me, I can see it being quite good for the beginner or occasional player.
There are a lot of visual similarities between the fairway woods and driver in the Stix set. Both have the two tone matte black crown and red alignment dot. The fairway woods are average in size, symmetrical, round, and have medium depth faces. Also like the driver, they sit shut at address.
The sound and feel of impact with the fairway woods is noticeably quieter than the driver. It’s still slightly above average in volume, but it’s a solid, mid-pitched sound without a heavy metallic character. The face feels crisp and snappy giving me the sense that it has good ball speed.
I found the performance of the Stix fairway woods to be excellent. Both the 3W and 5W launched the ball high without any effort. They are slightly higher spinning than many modern FWs, but that spin will help beginners keep the ball in the air for more carry distance. Similarly, there is a fairly strong left bias, but that will help combat the average beginner’s slice.
The Stix hybrid has a symmetrical, oval shape at address. Just like the FW and driver, it has a matte black crown with a red alignment dot. The hybrid does want to sit closed, but it’s not as extreme as the FW or driver.
The impact sound of the Stix hybrid is similar to the FW in that it’s slightly louder than average but pleasing overall. There’s a touch of metallic “tink” in an otherwise mid-pitched “crack.” Feedback on strike location through the hands is very good.
On the course, the Stix hybrid was serviceable, but it didn’t impress me quite as much as the fairway woods. I think it will work perfectly well for the beginner – it launches fairly easily and favors a draw – but it wasn’t quite as forgiving as its lower-lofted counterparts. I’d also note that the shaft felt considerably softer than those in the fairway woods. That’s only my feel, not a CPM measurement, but it did leave me wondering a bit about the quality control procedures.
Now we get to the undeniable high point of the Stix Complete Set: the irons. In terms of looks, the Stix irons ride the fence between game improvement and super game improvement. There’s a lot of offset and a meaty top line, but the blade length is average and nothing sticks out behind the top line. The black finish – referred to as “Diamond Like Coating” or DLC – helps to make the club look a bit slimmer at address.
In the bag, the irons embody Stix’s minimalist design philosophy. They have a simple cavity back with black on black paint fill. The Stix logo is engraved near the toe opposite “DLC Milled”.
If you had told me that I was going to fall in love with the feel of a box set iron, I’d have probably laughed. But that’s exactly what happened. Impact feels very, very soft with a crisp little “click” on centered shots. I think a lot of the sweetness in the feel comes from the soft graphite shaft, but whatever the reason, I found these addictive to hit.
By this point in the review, you should be sensing a pattern in the performance of the Stix clubs. The shaft is fairly soft which makes the irons favor the left side, though not as intensely as the woods. Also the sole is pretty wide, so getting the ball airborne is extremely easy. The deep cavity makes them quite forgiving.
When I kept my swing around 80%, these irons were point-and-shoot. The shaft did not respond well to my 100% swing, but, again, I’m not the target audience, so that’s ok.
It’s worth noting that these irons do have very strong lofts and large gaps in the scoring irons (6 degrees from 8 to 9 and 9 to PW). The spec nerd side of me would like to see this evened out a bit more – the gaps on the high end are only 3 degrees.
One of my first thoughts when I started hitting these irons was, “What will this finish look like after a few swings?” After the first range session, the irons looked no worse for the wear, so I continued hitting them. And then hit them some more. I hit 100 shots with the 7I, gave it a quick wipe, and took the pictures above and below.
With the exception of the small blemish near the toe, they look great. Color me impressed with the Diamond Like Coating. After several seasons and lots of in-and-out of the trunk, any black finish is going to wear, but these look like they’ll hold up better than almost anything I’ve seen before.
The Stix wedges have a top line that is thick, similar to the irons. Their blade length is also similar, but the shape is a more exaggerated teardrop. In the bag, it’s extremely clean with its matte black finish and minimal branding. Overall, it’s a fine looking wedge that blends in well with the rest of the set.
Much like the irons, the wedges feel very nice when hit on center. Impact feels soft, likely due to the soft graphite shafts. Feedback on the wedges is a little more stark – mishits get noticeably firmer.
On the course, the Stix wedges fall just behind the irons in terms of how impressive I found them. There’s nothing that stands out about them, but there aren’t any clear weaknesses either. They’re very solid and can serve a beginner well for several seasons.
The look of the Stix putter is a mixed bag. I strongly dislike the logo on the flange, particularly from a company that talks so much about minimalism. That said, the head shape and finish are both good.
The feel of impact, even with a tour ball, is surprisingly firm. Given how the graphite shaft softened the feel of the irons and wedges, I was really surprised by how contact felt with the putter. That firm feel is accompanied by a medium volume knocking sound.
This traditional mallet has 45 degrees of toe hang which should allow it to work well for a wide range of players. While the toe hang is very middle of the road, the weight is not. Stix notes that the head weight is a shocking 430 grams. I tried to measure the swing weight, but it exceeded G0 which is where my scale ends. This extremely high swing weight is the result of a very heavy head with a light grip and shaft.
With so much focus on forgiveness in the other clubs, I’m surprised Stix did not create a more stable putter for this set. There’s nothing happening here in terms of perimeter weighting, so mishits can end up well short of their target.
Stix Golf offers their clubs in a number of different combinations. What you see in this review is the Complete Set – 14 Clubs + Bag, which costs $999. You can get 14 clubs without the bag for $899, though the bag sells separately for $185.
Continuing down the price spectrum, Stix has The Classic Set (11 clubs) for $949 with the bag or $799 without. The 11 piece set subtracts the 3W and two wedges (52 and 60) from the 14 piece set.
The Casual Set (9 clubs) drops the 6 and 8 irons to bring the price to $849 with bag, $699 without. Finally, Stix offers the irons (6 clubs, 5-PW) for $449, the wedge set (3 wedges, 52, 56, 60) for $185, and the 3W for $115.
Looking over all the options, it’s clear that Stix is really incentivizing players to go with the Complete Set. While a beginning player probably doesn’t need 14 clubs, losing 3 clubs to save $50 doesn’t seem like a smart play since the price per club goes up from approximately $64 to $72.
Options & Customization
Stix offers a very decent level of customization, given their pricing. Golfers can get their set right or left handed, in Stiff, Regular, or A-Flex. Stix also customizes the length: you can add or remove up to an inch from the shaft length.
For the new players or those unfamiliar with club specs, Stix offers height recommendations for each club length right on the drop down menu. There are also a couple paragraphs on choosing the right flex, and an offer to exchange the clubs for a better shaft fit within 30 days if you’re unsatisfied.
With golf booming, I’m glad to see that Stix is giving new players another option for how to get started in the game. While their clubs are not on the same level as the top tier OEMs, they’re superior to most box sets and well designed for the new player. If you’re starting out in golf and want an option that can stay with you until your skills develop, Stix is worth checking out.