So, you have decided that you are wanting to take up golf but you don’t know much about what clubs you are wanting to use. Don’t worry, as, for the most part, you can bring whatever clubs you want to have. However, if you are looking to have a standard golf club set, this is the article you will want to read.
A set of golf clubs typically consists of 3 woods (the 1-driver, 3, and 5), at least 1 hybrid (3H), 7 irons (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and PW), and a putter. This gives a total of 12 clubs. The rules of golf allow 14 clubs in a bag, so many golfers add another wedge or specialty hybrid.
This is what a standard club layout looks like, however, this doesn’t mean that much if you are new to golf and don’t know what each of these clubs is. So, throughout the rest of the article, I will go over each of the most common types of clubs and the difference between them, including the differences between clubs like the 4 and 5 iron.
Woods are used to hitting long shots. If a golf hole is 450 yards from tee to green, most golfers use wood to hit off the tee. Wood is a hollow-bodied large headed golf club. It’s customary to use your woods when you are 175 yards or more away from the green.
The driver (also called the 1 wood) has the lowest loft of any golf club. The loft is the angle of the club face that controls trajectory and affects distance. A driver has a loft between 7 and 12 degrees. Experienced golfers have traditionally favored lower-lofted drivers (less than 10 degrees of loft), which require much more skill to hit than higher-lofted drivers.
Most PGA pros now carry drivers with lofts of 8.5 to 10 degrees or more. Non-pros should probably play drivers with lifts 10 degrees or higher. So, my recommendation is to follow the advice of the PGA pros and increase the loft of your driver.
Most golfers also carry 3 and 5 wood in their bags. A 3-wood has a loft between 15 and 18 degrees, and a 5-wood has a loft between 20 and 22 degrees. The higher the golf club number, the higher the loft. The 3-wood and 5-wood are commonly referred to as fairway woods because they are most often used during the second shot of play when you are supposed to be in the fairway of the golf hole.
All higher-lofted woods (7, 9, 11, and so on) are commonly referred to as utility woods. A 3 wood is generally ½” shorter than a driver and so on with each successive club. We believe that a 5-wood is short enough, and while the 7 and 9 woods provide more forgiveness, we also want longer distances in our shots.
Hybrids are a combination of a fairway wood head design and an iron-length shaft. Long irons have traditionally been the most difficult to hit. Hybrids are commonly touted as “the best of both worlds.” The popularity of hybrids has been so strong in recent years that many golfers have decided to replace many of their 3 and 4 irons with hybrid clubs.
An important factor is the distance that many hybrids offer when compared to a typical 3 or 4 iron shot. You will also see golfers opt out of using 5 woods and 7 woods, replacing fairway woods with a #2 or #3 hybrid.
It is important to remember that while most manufacturers match the hybrid number to the corresponding iron number, the best indicator of distance when looking at hybrids is the loft. Most 3 hybrids match up closely with a 3 iron in the loft. Most hybrids will perform better with regard to distance and forgiveness.
Irons are generally used when you are less than 200 yards away from the green. The closer you are to the green, the higher the iron you will use will be. A standard set of irons consists of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 irons and the pitching wedge (PW). 3 and 4 irons are harder to hit than the higher number of irons.
Many golfers, especially ladies, seniors, and higher handicap golfers, are changing to a modified standard golf set that replaces the 3 and 4 iron with higher lofted woods like the 7 and 9 woods. We think this is a sensible trend and one that a beginning golfer should consider. Higher lofted woods like the 7 and 9 wood are easier to hit than a 3 or 4 iron and result in comparable distances.
Wedges are really just specialty irons. The first wedge is the pitching wedge (PW), which is usually about 46-48 degrees in loft. Wedges generally increase in increments of 4 degrees loft. Wedges commonly come in 48, 52, 56, 60, and 64-degree lofts.
The PW is the highest lofted iron in a standard set and the lowest loft of the wedges. Following the PW with higher lofts are the approach wedge (AW), sand wedge (SW), lob wedge (LW), and high-lob wedge. We also manufacture a very special wedge called the last wedge, which has a 68-degree loft.
Wedges are extremely useful to your game, and most golfers have a few of them. Wedges are generally designed as “blade clubs” because you are close enough to the green that the game improvement design elements such as wide soles are less important. The need for increased shot control and shot shaping, which blade design encourages, becomes the more important technology for a good wedge design.
A putter is a golf club with a special purpose: getting the ball into the hole. After you have slammed your drive 250 yards right into the middle of the fairway, hit your second shot 175 yards into the sand trap, and then wedged out onto the green, it is time to “putt for dough.” The putter is used on the green and there are many styles of putters: short, belly, long, bent, center-hosel, heel-toe, mallet, and so on.