Golf Club Choices
New golfers have a tough time ahead of them, and not just in learning the game of golf, but also in choosing their golf equipment. Golf is a game that has been played for centuries, so it should come as no surprise that all areas of golf have evolved in that time. Everything, from the golf course, golf shoes, golf apparel, golf balls, even golf gadgets have changed and none more so than the golf clubs we use to send the golf ball on it's way to being sunk in the hole. Arguably, a golf course, golf shoes, golf balls and golf clubs are all that is necessary in order to play golf, our focus here will be on the golf equipment, specifically, the golf clubs themselves.
All golf clubs have the same basic make-up, a tapering shaft with a grip fitted on the fat end and a head fitted to the thin end, and there, the sameness of golf clubs end. Apart from the putter which has a flat face, all other golf clubs have a lofted face on the head of the club, the amount of loft changes with each subsequent club in the golf club set. So what golf clubs should I use?
Today, a standard set of golf clubs normally consist of:
1 x 1 wood normally referred to as the "driver"
1 x 3 wood
1 x 5 wood
7 x irons (numbered 3 to 9)
1 x pitching wedge
1 x putter
The Rules of Golf dictate a maximum of 14 golf clubs in your golf bag, the other two clubs, if carried at all, is a personal choice with every golfer having their own favorites. By the way, the above list is of course optional, you can carry whatever range of golf clubs that you prefer, and as few, there is no requirement to carry all of them, the only rule is a maximum of 14 clubs, there is no minimum.
The higher the number of the golf club, the more lofted the face is. Loft is the angle of the face of the golf club, the bigger the loft, the higher the golf ball will fly and the less distance it will travel. A driver will produce a lower flight trajectory than a 3 or 5 wood and the same is true for the irons.
Not all drivers have the same degree of loft and new golfers would be well advised to use a driver with a minimum of 10 degrees, they would be far better using a 12 degree driver. The reason is that the more loft there is in a golf club the more forgiving that club is when a less than perfect swing is used. For example, it is far more common and easier to produce a golf slice using a 10 (or less) degree driver than a 12 (or more) degree driver. New golfers might well leave their driver at home until they have built a solid and consistent golf swing using the easier, more lofted, golf clubs.
As a general guide, for distance of 200 yards and less, the irons would be used and for distances over 200 yards, the woods would be used. The driver is generally only used from the tee box, it is not an easy club to use from the fairway, the 3 or 5 wood would be used in preference. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.
The choice of which iron to use for any particular distance comes down to experience, some golfers get great distance from their irons and others find it more difficult to get the same length of shot, so it is important that you get to know what distance you can expect each of your irons to reach, but regardless, the closer you get to the green, the higher numbered club you would normally use. This is not a hard and fast rule though, for instance, a 7 iron is often used to produce what they call a 'bump and run' shot from fairly close to the green, this would obviously have to be played much gentler than a full shot with a 7 iron normally would.
A pitching wedge is more lofted than the 9 iron, the ball will fly higher and will run less when it lands, it is often used to get the ball up in the air to fly over hazards like sand bunkers (also known as sand traps). There are other more lofted clubs not mentioned so far, the sand wedge for instance, is more lofted than the than the pitching wedge and has a thinner blade to help the club cut through the sand when you have landed in a bunker. There are various lob wedges that are more lofted still and some golfers carry an assortment of wedges with them in favor of other clubs that they seldom use.
There is another point that is probably worth making and that has to do with your budget for buying golf equipment. As you know, playing golf is expensive and the costs just start with buying the right golf equipment. In addition, golf course charges or green fees are high and accumulate over time. Plus, you need appropriate clothing, a golf bag, golf balls, and golf shoes. The list goes on. However, there is one beginner mistake that many new golfers make, and that is to go out and buy a complete set of new golf clubs, before they really understand the game and their strengths and weaknesses. From this website, you should have learned that success in golf is largely the result of the technique and has much less to do with the quality or expensiveness of your golf equipment. Therefore, a modest suggestion is that you could buy some Used Golf Clubs when you start out and are learning the game. Once you know what you are doing, you can then buy a full and brand new set of golf clubs that is appropriate to your needs. At that point you could either resell your used golf clubs, or you could give them to someone else who is starting out with golf. They could learn with your used golf clubs, before they, in turn, buy a set of new golf clubs.
I hope that this has gone some way in answering your question, "what golf clubs should I use?" There is a huge choice of different makes of golf clubs, although the Rules of Golf place restrictions on golf club design, the makers of golf clubs have their own designs within the rules and you also have a choice of shaft length and flexibility, weight, grips, etc., and trying them out and getting unbiased advice when you are buying your clubs is highly recommended.