Golf is a pretty intricate sport where a serious level of skill and precision are required. Because of the various different distances and terrain types a golfer will need to handle in a given game, golfers use all kinds of different golf clubs to achieve different types of shot. In serious golf competitions, golfers are usually limited to carrying 14 clubs, however casual golfers may have even more than this, which is why caddies who look after a golfer’s kit and golf carts to transport both people and clubs around are so necessary!
If you are thinking of taking up golf, or are simply curious as to what the names of and reasons for all of those different clubs in your friends’ golfing set are, then here are the main types and where they would be used:
The driver has the longest ‘shaft’ (the long bar that makes up the body of the club) of all the clubs, and is designed for hitting balls long distances off of a tee. A golfer will usually just carry one driver. In a modern set of clubs, the driver will have a head made of a lightweight material like carbon fiber, however historically these clubs would have a hardwood head.
putting gripThe driver is considered the ’1 wood’, and then the next long range golf clubs are the fairway woods, which are the 2, 3, 4, and 5 woods. Most golfers these days will only carry two woods, usually the 3 wood and the 5 wood, though some only carry one, and those who aren’t restricted by a 14 club rule may carry all of them. They are used for long distance shots, but from the ground rather than from the tee.
Irons are the most commonly used clubs in the average game, and are numbered from 1 to 9, with the 1 iron being the longest and the 9 the shortest. Few golfers carry the 1, 2 or 3 irons any more, as advances in kit design have made them pretty much redundant. Irons have flat heads rather than the rounded kind found on woods and drivers, and they are used for precision shots of varying distances.
Wedges are designed for when a golfer needs to get under the ball and scoop it up high, for example if the ball is in a sand trap or bunker. Indeed, there is a specific wedge called a sand wedge used for sand shots.
For many golfers, the putter is the most loved club, but also the one that can cause the most frustration, as it is used for very precise short range shots, usually intended to get the ball into the hole! They are usually the shortest clubs, however some modern golfers use long putters which allow for a different style of play.
With so many clubs to choose, carry and swap between during a game of golf, it is no wonder that it is considered good exercise, due to all the walking and carrying! Luckily for golfers who want to get through their games faster and without all the hefting around of clubs, there are those golf cart wheels to take the strain instead!