Unless the dog is severely matted, as to the skin or somthing, there is no reason that he should be "cut". A thorough brushing, and a good bath, then trimming the feet, ears, and tail neatly is all that is required for a Golden.
As Pointgold mentioned, unless there are severe matts, a good bath and lots of brushing works wonders. If there are tangles, use some cream rinse to help loosen them up. You can also use small scissors to cut out some of the more troublesome matts. I know many people use the Furminator, but they are expensive, and I find sturdy brushes such as a shedding rake and a slicker brush work well for me. I am sure he will amazing when you are done.