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How to Choose the Right Golf Club for Your Game

Updated on October 30, 2015

Different golf clubs exist for a reason. These clubs are especially designed to give you the best swing while increasing your chances of getting the ball in the hole. To some people, golf may seem like a game of luck—swinging a club and waiting for the ball to get in the hole. However, there’s really more to golf than that and a big part would actually depend on the different variables that a player has to decide on.

Players have to consider the distance, the terrain, and the club they use to get the ball in the hole with the least amount of swings possible. Generally, putters get the most use in a standard bag of 14 clubs or a starter kit of nine to ten clubs. All golfers carry a putter around and this is designed to roll the ball over the green with the aim of putting it in the hole. Apart from the usually used putters though, there are other golf clubs with specific uses that are meant to improve your game.

A standard golf club bag has 14 clubs, and golfers are allowed to use a combination of the different kinds of clubs throughout the game. Here are the other kinds of golf clubs and more information on how and when to use them.

Drivers

Driver clubs are one of the standard golf clubs in a set of 14. From the name itself, you can conclude that a driver is used to hit the ball and give it maximum distance. It is also known as the largest wood designated as a 1-wood and it has the largest club head. It is usually the largest and longest club in a bag, with the length exception changed if you have exceptionally long putters. Drivers are typically made of titanium, steel, or other composite materials and the shafts are usually graphite, fiberglass, or steel.

This kind of golf club is most usually used for tee shots and while there are some golfers who would attempt using a driver on the fairway, most golfers should just use their drivers off the tee. Because of the low amount of loft and the usually long shaft length of a driver, this is usually the most challenging club for amateurs and other recreational golfers. Designed to give the golfer the best possible distance, drivers are usually used to begin the game and are actually some of the most expensive clubs one can have in a set.

Woods

Woods, where drivers are included, are the clubs designed to give maximum distance ranging from anywhere between 200 to 350 yards. They are called “woods” because in the earlier days of golfing, the head of this golf club was made of wood. Today, however, most golf clubs are made of alloys and different materials which are more durable compared to wood.

Woods have club heads that are usually large and rounded. The bottom of the club heads are flat, allowing them to glide off the ground during the swing. Whenever golf balls need more distance, woods can be used to get them closer to the hole. Woods are usually used right off the tee or at the beginning of the game. Mid-game, these clubs can be used to hit balls directly off of the ground too. Since the rest of the woods have more loft compared to drivers, they give shots that are shorter but have higher trajectories.

Irons

Irons are clubs with club heads that are made of metal. This kind of club is used when the ball is usually less than 200 yards away from the hole. Irons are numbered 1 to 9 with the higher numbers having more loft. “Long irons” or 1-3 have the least loft which means they can send the ball the farthest. “Middle irons” or irons 4-6 can be used when the ball is around 150-170 yards away from the hole. Lastly, “short irons” or irons 7-9 can quickly get the ball in the air because of their loft.

Usually, golf club sets have only 3 to 9-iron clubs. This is because 1 and 2-iron clubs are usually the hardest to master. These thin-profiled clubs make up the most of the clubs inside a golfer’s bag and can be used for teeing off on short holes or for short shots around the green or the hole itself. Whenever pitch and chip shots are needed, irons are recommended.

Wedges

Wedges are clubs that have the highest amount of loft and are used to make the ball fly higher than the other clubs. Where woods can give distance, wedges can give height. Golfers would usually use a pitching wedge for shots which are at about 130 yards away from the hole while they can choose a sand wedge to escape very tall grasses or bunkers. Gap wedges, on the other hand, allow golfers to have a full swing and land the ball around 110 yards away.

If you need the ball to go over hazards but not go a long way, lob wedges are the best choice. Golf club sets usually include pitching wedge clubs but other clubs are bought separately. For shots that require high trajectory over short distances, a wedge club is the best choice. They are particularly suitable for escaping obstacles.

Because of the more specialized nature of wedges, choosing them carefully is a must. Wedges are chosen based on the terrain you will be playing on and the number of hazards you have to go through in the green. Knowing the best wedge for the purpose of your shot can make the difference between landing your ball in an obstacle and right where you want it to be.

Hybrid Clubs

For professional golfers, it probably won’t be a problem to use hybrid clubs, but then again, these special clubs would need a bit of adjusting to. Hybrid clubs are a combination of woods and irons and they usually have shorter shafts. If you need an iron that is less lofted, considering a hybrid club may be the best way to go. Sometimes, hybrid clubs may be easier to use for beginners because of the combined features of irons and woods.

Hybrid clubs have the long distance and high launch of woods while giving the golfer a more comfortable swing that irons can give. A hybrid club’s heads are usually smaller compared to true woods while the shaft length is more similar to irons which is what gives it the similar and somehow “friendlier” swing mechanics. These clubs can be used to replace low-numbered irons, and golfers who feel more comfortable with an iron swing can definitely enjoy the feel that hybrid clubs bring.

The mixture of the features of woods and irons can make choosing and using hybrid clubs a bit tricky, and for traditional players, sticking to the more standard set may be the better way to go. However, when you find yourself in a tricky situation where you need a comfortable and confident iron-like swing and the trajectory from a wood, you can rely on this kind of golf club for support.

Now that you know the different kinds of golf clubs available for lovers of the sport, you can make more informed choices while playing. Choose the set you bring wisely and remember to consider factors like the height, the distance, and the terrain to make the best possible club choice.

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