Golf Club Types: A Beginner’s Guide
Interested in learning more about golf clubs? Let’s go through a typical golfer’s bag. There are five types of clubs available today: woods (including the driver), irons, hybrids, wedges, and putters. In this handy guide, you’ll learn what these clubs are, what they do, and how you can use them on your next golf trip.
Although their clubheads are no longer made of wood, the driver and fairway woods are still referred to as wood clubs. The woods have the largest heads (usually hollow, stretching a few inches side to side and a few inches front to back, with rounded lines) and the longest shafts. They are used for the longest shots, especially those from the tee, and golfers are able to swing them the fastest.
A 3-iron, a 9-iron, or a pitching wedge are available in numbered sets. In comparison to woods, irons have smaller clubheads, particularly from front to back, where they are relatively thin (hence their nickname “blades”). Most iron heads are solid, but some are hollow. Irons have angled faces (called “loft”) carved with grooves that enhance grip and spin. Typically, they are used for fairway drives or short-hole tee shots. As the number of irons increases (5-iron, 6-iron, etc.), the loft increases while the shaft length decreases.
The hybrid club is the newest type of golf club. Although they’ve been around for many years, hybrid clubs gained popularity around the turn of the century. A hybrid clubhead is a cross between an iron and a wood club head. As with irons, hybrids are numbered (e.g., 2-hybrid, 3-hybrid, etc.), and their number corresponds to the iron they replace. Since hybrid clubs are called “iron-replacement clubs,” they are easier to hit than the irons they replace. However, most golfers use hybrids to replace long irons (2-, 3-, 4- and 5-irons).
As well as pitching wedges, there are gap wedges, sand wedges, and lob wedges. The wedges are a form of the golf club in and of themselves and a subset of irons because they have the same clubhead as irons, just sharply slanted for higher loft. The wedges are the golf clubs with the highest loft. They are used for short approach shots, chipping and pitching around greens, and playing out of sand bunkers.
They are the clubs that golfers use to knock the ball into the hole on putting greens, and they come in the most different shapes and sizes.
In terms of variations, putters are the most popular club. That may be because selecting a putter is such a personal experience. There is no “perfect” putter, just one that works for you. Putters are typically available in three club head styles and three lengths.
Standard blades, heel-toe clubheads, and mallet clubheads are all available. A classic blade is narrow and shallow, with the shaft typically entering at the heel (although sometimes the shaft is centered). Although heel-toe putters have a similar shape to blades, they add perimeter weights and other design techniques to make the clubs more “forgiving” on mishits by placing more weight at the heel and toe. The club head is broad in mallet putters to compensate for weak contact. Various shapes and sizes of mallets are available, some of which are quite large and odd-looking.
A standard-length putter sometimes called a “conventional putter,” is 32 to 36 inches long from one end to the other. In novices, the standard length should be used. Belly putters are ones that reach up to the golfer’s belly as a result of their length. Golfers can stand more erect with long putters (sometimes broomstick putters), which are between 40 and 50 inches long.
Putters are ultimately a matter of personal preference. If you feel comfortable using a putter, it will probably perform well. Putting is so much about the confidence that having a putter that feels good, looks nice, and you like cannot hurt.
Every putter’s aim, regardless of size or shape, is to start the ball moving smoothly with the minimum amount of backspin.