Helpful Tips

The Five Main Types of Golf Clubs

A set up new

If you’re new to the game of golf, then you already have a lot to learn, aside from finding the right types of golf clubs that will match your skill level. There are many different types of golf clubs to choose from although there are the standard five types that most golfers rely on the most.

Golfers of all skill levels realize that the clubs they use are what will have the most impact on how they play the game, how they hit the ball and even how they can improve and grow as a player. In this guide, I’ll go over the five basic types of clubs what to look for when you’re shopping around for the perfect addition to your set, and how each type of club can improve your overall performance.

There are five types of golf clubs:

  • Woods
  • Irons
  • Putters
  • Hybrids
  • Wedges

Each type of club is used for specific shots, whether you’re putting, working on your long game, or if you’re stuck in a bunker. Choosing the right type of club during a game can depend on the type of shot you’re making, the terrain, and of course the distance to the next hole. Each  club can do wonders for your score when used correctly.

Woods

Golf clubs categorized as woods encompass both the fairway woods and the drivers. These clubs are referred to as woods despite the fact that their club heads are not made of wood like they were several years ago. Woods have the biggest club heads. Additionally, they also have the longest shafts. Players can swing with the wood faster than they can with another type of club. Typically, woods are the type of club that you want to rely on for your long game.

Irons

Irons in a Golf

The best irons for beginners consists of approximately six clubs in total. Irons range from the three-iron to the nine-iron, in addition to the pitching wedge. These clubs are smaller than the woods. In fact, they have a much thinner club head in comparison. Traditional irons have a solid head, however, some irons are hollow and have an angled face which is referred to as the loft. The angled face is etched within the grooves. The size of the head can have an impact on the amount of spin you get per shot. These are the clubs that are used for shots from the fairway, however, they can also be used for short holes or tee shots. The number of the iron progresses from three to nine. The loft size increases while the length of the shaft will decrease.

Hybrids

Some golfers believe you can’t have too many hybrids in your set. Essentially, these are the newest types of clubs to hit from the green and they’re also among the most popular. While these clubs have been around for several years, they have just recently gained quite a reputation for their versatility out on the green. The hybrid clubhead is a blend of both the iron and the wood. Which is why these clubs are referred to as hybrids. They’re also numbered just like irons, with the clubhead increasing corresponding with the higher number. Hybrids are often used in place of traditional irons. Typically, hybrid clubs will replace irons ranging from two to five.

Wedges

In the wedge category, there are an extensive amount of wedge types to choose from including the lob wedge, gap, and sand. The wedge is categorized as its own type of club, however, there are some subsets of irons because they also share the same club characteristics as traditional irons, yet they have more loft and more severity in the angle of the clubface. In terms of loft, the wedge is among the highest lofted club you can find. These are the clubs that are used for short games, or the best golf chipping techniques and the type of club you want to use when you’re practicing how to get out of a bunker.

Putter

Out of all the golf clubs, the putter is probably considered the most specialized. This is the type of club that comes in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. These are obviously the clubs you want to use when putting and when it comes to taking those last strokes played on a hole. However, there are other clubs that can also be used to knock balls into holes.

There are several types of putters to choose from on the market, but the right type of putter for you is more a matter of personal preference. When you buy a putter you want to choose one based on your playing style, which is why it’s important for you to take several swings with a variety of different types of putters before you can find one that feels right when you swing and one that you feel will match your playing style on the green.

In terms of categories, there are three main types of clubheads two choose from, in addition to a range of length options.

Clubhead Style

A close-up of a golf club

For the putter, you can choose from a mallet clubhead, the heel-toe clubhead, or the traditional blade. The traditional club consists of a  shallow and narrow clubhead, with a shaft that enters at the heel while the heel-toe head features are similar in clubhead shape. However, it offers more weight located at the toe and heel, which makes it a good choice for the golfer who often struggles with miss-hits. The mallet style club features a much bigger clubhead which is why it’s designed for beginners since it can help players who often struggle with making the proper contact. These putters are available in many different sizes and shapes.

Club Length

For the standard putter length, you can expect measurements of thirty-two to thirty-six inches. The traditional length is the most popular type for this club which is why many beginners start with it. The popular belly putter is a type of club that has a slightly longer length that will reach the golfer’s belly, hence the name. Longer putters will measure forty inches in length, however, there are some that are fifty inches long.  These putters will allow the player to take a more upright stance at address.

Playing Style

As I mentioned earlier, the type of putter you choose is more a matter of personal playing style. If you try out several different types of putters you want to go with the one that feels good to you when you’re taking a swing. In the end, how well you hit is also more a matter of confidence as opposed to the type of putter you choose.

Regardless of the size or shape, each type of putter is designed to get the ball rolling smoothly using little backspin to avoid causing the ball to skip or skid. Most types of putters will generally have a smaller loft that ranges from two to four degrees.

Buying The Right Clubs

As a beginner, I mentioned how many choices you’ll have when it comes to purchasing new clubs. Below, you’ll find some handy buying tips that will help you pick out the perfect clubs to match your skillset and your playing style.

First, focus on purchasing a good driver. For the beginner, a shorter driver is usually a better option than a longer one. Additionally, a closed club is better than a neutral. The types of drivers these days have shafts that measure in around forty inches or much longer, with the average driver measuring in at around forty-two inches. But why? The length of the driver matters because the longer the club shaft, the harder it will be for the beginner to hit the ball squarely.

If you’ve been practicing out on the green have you found that you hit your three wood as far as your driver? If so, then you should consider making the three-wood your go-to club. If you’re hitting your three-wood as far as your driver this can indicate that your driver doesn’t have enough loft. On average, most players have found that eleven degrees of loft is not adequate, which is why many players are turning to five to seven wood combinations instead of hitting with a traditional driver. Making this type of simple change can help shave off as many as six strokes.

Did you know that many golf club manufacturers have been lowering the amount of loft on their irons? Many manufacturers claim that doing so will help the player to hit farther. Because of this, the three iron and four iron have a lower level of loft which can make them impossible to hit with even for the average golfer. This is why many golfers are now turning to hybrids as the solution.

Unfortunately, if you’re new to golf then finding the right type of hybrid can be tricky. However, when you’re shopping for hybrids a good tip to follow is to match the hybrids to the types of irons you’re replacing. This means don’t purchase hybrids that are shorter or longer. Instead, be sure that you replace the long irons with the same length of hybrid. Additionally, you want clubs that share the same loft. This will help you to avoid any distance gaps in your game.

Know Your Clubs

Golf ball and golf

A common rookie mistake is confusing fairway woods with hybrid clubs. But these clubs are very different from each other. As I mentioned earlier, hybrids are more commonly used to replace irons, not fairway woods. However, it can be confusing because hybrids share the same lengths and lofts as many fairway woods.

As you probably already know, shopping around to find a club that suits your skills and your playing style is a must. Not every set of clubs will work for the same player. Because of this, many players refrain from buying full sets of clubs, and instead choose to buy clubs individually to create their own unique sets. If you do decide to buy a set of golf clubs that are too long or too heavy for you, they can have a negative impact on your playing performance.

Buying a New Wedge

When you’re shopping around for wedges consider the type of golf course you normally play on. If the greens are elevated, fast, or small, then you’ll need clubs with plenty of loft. Are the bunkers on your home course filled with a lot of sand? If so, then you’re going to need a sand wedge that features a much wider head.

Take Your Time

When you’re shopping for a new putter, you’ll come across a variety of styles and shapes. Make sure that you pay attention to the club’s angle, loft, and length. The type of putter you choose should have the right type of loft. If you choose a putter that’s the wrong length or angle this can have a major impact on your performance. Additionally, too much loft or even too little loft can result in too much bounce.

Assess Your Skills

One of the best tips I can give you is to be honest with yourself regarding your golfing skills. If you’re not the best player then I recommend getting custom clubs. Most beginners think that a custom set of clubs is designed more for professional players or those with a low handicap. However, custom clubs are designed to enhance your playing skills. This means, if you’re not the best out on the green, then a set of clubs designed specifically for you can actually do wonders in terms of lowering your score. The wrong set of clubs will only hinder your performance and leave you feeling frustrated and discouraged.

Find the Right Ball and Stick With it

Do golf balls matter? Yes, they do. Modern golf balls are much different than the balls you played with just ten years ago. Modern golf ball technology will simply blow you away. Basically, if you’re a beginner I recommend trying out a few different types of balls and sticking with a specific type that works well for you and your game.

Practicing with Your New Clubs

If you finally found a set of clubs that match your playing style, skill level and playing goals, then now it’s time to practice with them.

Most players are more than eager to use their new clubs for a round of golf with their buddies. However, I recommend putting in some time out on the course and practicing with your new clubs in order to have an edge over your opponents. Most new golfers simply don’t practice enough. Hitting some balls at the range for an hour or two a week will not do much for your short game. Instead, I recommend spending at least an hour on the course practicing both your long and short games, in order to get a feel for how your new clubs hit and what you may need to do to adjust your swing based on the feel of your new set of clubs.

Putting and Chipping Techniques

Most players are very eager to get a new driver and start hitting balls. However, you’re going to need to force yourself to practice your putting and chipping techniques. By practicing both chipping and putting you’ll find that doing so will have the most impact on your score. Which is why you should begin each practice session focusing on these two techniques. I would dedicate at least half an hour working on your chipping and around twenty minutes focusing on putting skills.

Related Questions

Can Buying a New Club Improve My Performance?

Yes. You can purchase a hybrid if you have irons that are hard to hit with. Hybrids often include the best characteristics of the iron and the wood and they’re designed so that the clubface will be less likely to turn upon impact, resulting in truer shots. To improve your short game, you can purchase a sand wedge for any shot that requires you to choke up a pitching wedge. Purchase a lob wedge for those shots that require you to get the ball high in the air. If you’re struggling with your long game, I recommend the Callaway Golf 2018 Men’s Rogue Individual Iron, for improved distance and shot accuracy.

What Do Numbers on Golf Clubs Mean?

The numbers on the club with increase with the amount of loft each type of club offers. This means the clubface will have a more intense angle, which will allow the ball to travel higher at a shorter distance.

Final Thoughts

The different types of golf clubs you choose will have the most impact on your score. If you settle for a standard set of clubs right off the shelf, then you’ll find that you’re working harder than you need to, or the clubs are simply a poor match for your playing style, height, or even your skill-set. If you’re dedicated to becoming a better player, then I recommend taking the time to shop around and find clubs that feel good to you when you take a swing, clubs that will allow you to take the proper stance at address, and clubs that will generally make a difference in how you play the game.

While finding clubs that are perfect for you can take a little work on your part, it’s crucial if you’re serious about becoming a better player, if you’re dedicated to the game of golf, and you know that the right set of clubs can make all the difference in terms of how you play the game, your score, and whether or not you’ll wipe the floor with the competition.