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List of Different Types of Golf Clubs & Their Uses

by John Lindell

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    Overview

    There are many different types of golf clubs that a player can choose from. These clubs are designed to hit the ball varying distances and come with assorted degrees of loft to get the ball into the air. The typical set of golf clubs is composed of a combination of different clubs so that the player has one for every shot she may be faced with. Clubs come with numbers on them; those with lower numbers are designed so the player can hit the ball a longer distance than the higher-numbered ones.

    Woods

    Woods are the clubs that propel a golf ball the farthest, from 200 to 350 yards, when used properly. At one time, the head of this type of club was made of wood, such as persimmon or hickory, which gave the club its name. Nowadays, however, woods are actually metals, such as steel and titanium, along with other alloys. The head of a wood is large and rounded, with a flat bottom to glide over the ground during the course of a shot. The clubface is big, and the typical wood has a degree of loft, measured at a right angle to the ground, lower than other clubs. The driver, or 1-wood, is the least lofted and is employed to hit the ball the farthest. Woods with higher numbers are more lofted and can be used to hit the ball in the fairway or when on a tee.

    Irons

    Irons have clubheads made of metal and are typically used by the golfer when his ball is fewer than 200 yards from the green. Numbered 1 through 9, the irons possess a higher degree of loft than the woods, with the 9-iron having the most. 1-, 2-, and 3-irons are called long irons and have little loft, meaning they can send the golf ball the farthest. The 4-, 5-, and 6-irons are known as the middle irons and are used when the ball is about 150 to 170 yards from the hole. The short irons are the 7-, 8-, and 9-irons and get the ball in the air quickly due to their loft. The normal golf set contains a 3- through 9-iron because the 1- and 2-irons are the most difficult to master.

    Wedges

    The wedges are used to strike the ball and make it fly high into the air before landing on the putting surface. These clubs are lofted much higher than the others; for example, a pitching wedge has a loft between 46 to 51 degrees, and a lob wedge's loft can be as high as 64 degrees. Golfers usually select a pitching wedge when the shot is as far as 130 yards to the green and a sand wedge to escape from bunkers and very tall grass. A gap wedge allows the golfer to take a full swing and hit the ball about 110 yards. The lob wedge is chosen when the ball needs to rise quickly to clear a hazard but not have to carry a great distance. Golf sets generally come with a pitching wedge; other wedges must be purchased separately.

    Putters

    The putter is the club that gets the most use. It is utilized to roll the ball along the green toward the hole. Putters come in different sizes, with the standard putter about 34 to 35 inches tall. The belly putter and broomstick putter are much taller clubs and are used to give the golfer a better putting stroke when the player has problems using a standard putter. The heads of putters can be in the form of a flat blade or a mallet with a flat surface.

    About the Author

    John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.

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