The Types of Golf Clubs

By Bill Herrfeldt
Selecting the correct club can seem intimidating with so many choices.
Selecting the correct club can seem intimidating with so many choices.

In the past, it was far easier to buy golf clubs because there were fewer choices. But now a golfer not only has more categories of clubs to consider, he must choose from a wide assortment of options within each category. In the end, if he opts for the right combination of clubs, he will have the tools to improve his score and his enjoyment of the game.

Metal Woods

The player must decide what the club head is made of. Should he choose steel that is less expensive and heavier, or look for those made of titanium or a combination of the two that are lighter but more expensive? Then he must choose the loft, or hitting angle. Finally, he most decide on the flex, or the ability of his shafts to bend, and whether the shafts should be made of graphite or steel.

Hybrids

This is a relatively new category of club and is a cross between a metal wood and an iron. Many players carry hybrids because they are easier to hit than the clubs they replace. Golfers might abandon their long irons in favor of hybrid clubs. There are hybrids that replace virtually every club in the bag, with the exception of the driver and putter.

Irons

Irons are labeled by number to reflect the loft of each of their club faces, thus the distance they can go. For example, a 2-iron has a club face that is fairly upright and when struck, it will make the ball go farther than if the golfer hit a 7-iron whose club face has more of an angle. Generally, a golfer will hit an iron a shorter distance than if he were to use a metal wood and some longer hybrid club.

Wedges

Until the early 1990s, a golfer had only two wedges from which to make a choice, a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. As the names imply, the golfer would “pitch” the ball from a relatively short distance from the green, then he would use a sand wedge if he found his ball in a sand trap. Then the golfer had his choice of so-called “gap wedges” and “lob wedges”. The gap wedge has a loft angle between the pitching wedge and sand wedge, thus it fills the gap. And the lob wedge, with its 60 or more degree angle, is used for very short, high shots that will stop quickly on the green.

Putters

When a golfer reaches a green, he must use a putter. A putter is used to roll the ball on the ground until it finds the cup. There is a large variety of putters on the market to suit the needs of virtually all golfers.

About the Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

Photo Credits

  • Tom Dulat/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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