The golf club you use during your round can be just as important as the ball you hit. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, there’s a club that will help you hit shots effectively and efficiently on the golf course.
The wrong club could cause you to hit shots far from your target. You may also struggle to get out of specific lies or bunkers. That’s why it’s crucial you know which clubs are used most often and when they should be used in your round, especially if you’re a beginner.
The question is: which clubs should you use? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular clubs found in golf bags and help you decide which ones are the best for you.
How Many Golf Clubs Are Allowed?
The number of golf clubs you have in your golf bag is crucial. According to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A), Rule 4.1b states that golfers can carry only 14 clubs in their bag during a round. Any more than that, and they will be subject to penalty strokes.
However, there is technically no minimum number of clubs required. That means both beginner and experienced golfers must choose the right combination of clubs that can be used most effectively.
There are no rules that dictate which clubs you have to carry in your bag. It all depends on your individual playing style and the golf course you are playing. However, there are some standard clubs that most golf players tend to include:
- One putter golf club
- Three types of wood golf clubs
- Eight iron golf clubs
- Two more golf clubs of your choice
What Are the Different Types of Golf Clubs?
Golf clubs are divided into woods, irons, and putters. Here’s a quick overview of each category.
Woods are the longest clubs in your bag, and they have a large head on them to make it easier to hit the ball further with less effort. They are often used for tee shots on par 4 and 5 holes and long approach shots.
- Driver (1 wood): The longest club in your bag and the one you’ll use for all your tee shots.
- Fairway Woods (3, 5, and 7 woods): Shorter than a driver, these are used for long approach shots.
- Hybrids (2, 4, and 6 hybrids): A combination of iron and wood, hybrids are great for shots in the fairway or out of light rough.
Irons are shorter than woods and have a flatter clubface, making them perfect for hitting approach shots and chip shots. They range from 3-iron to 9-iron, and each iron has a different loft angle.
- 3-iron: Long-distance shots
- 4-iron: Long-distance shots with a slightly lower trajectory than the 3-iron
- 5-iron: Mid to long-distance approach shots
- 6-Iron: Short to mid-distance approach shots
- 7-Iron: Mid-distance approach shots and chip shots around the green
- 8-Iron: Shorter approach shots and chip shots
- 9-Iron: Short approach shots and chip shots
Wedge golf clubs are a subset of irons and come in four types:
- Pitching Wedge: Used for short and mid-distance shots
- Gap Wedge: Used for mid to long-distance shots
- Sand Wedge: Used for bunkers and roughs
- Lob Wedge: Used for very short-range approach shots
Putters are the most important clubs in your bag as they are used to get the ball into the hole. Usually the shortest clubs in your bag, putters come in various designs with different head shapes and shaft lengths.
Which Golf Clubs Are Used Most Often?
Legendary golf player and coach Harvey Penick stated in his best-selling book, “Little Red Book” that the most important clubs golfers should have in their bag are the putter, driver, and wedge, in that particular order.
While it’s true that the clubs you use the most will depend on your own playing style and the courses you play, most golf players often use golf clubs in line with Penick’s recommendation.
The putter is arguably the most often used type of golf club. This club is used on every hole, and every golf player relies on it for accurate putting. It’s used for all of the shots once you reach the green and some chip shots around it.
The driver comes next in line and is used for tee shots on par 4 and 5 holes and long approach shots. This golf club allows you to hit the ball across long distances easily. Plenty of golf courses require long-distance hitting, and a driver can cover the most significant distances in one shot. However, it’s important to note that drivers are the most demanding clubs to hit, so if you’re a beginner, it’s best to practice with them on the driving range.
The third most used club is the wedge. Wedge clubs are the most versatile ones in your bag, and they can be used for various shots, from short-distance approaches to bunker shots. Some experienced golfers even use the wedge for long-distance approach shots.
The other clubs in your bag can also be used depending on the situation or course, but these three types are the most often used and should be your priority in practice.
What Makes a Good Golf Club?
Whether it’s a putter, driver, or wedge, certain types of golf clubs are preferred by most golfers for a reason. Not only are they designed to do the job right, but they also provide a certain level of control, comfort, and performance.
When it comes to good golf clubs, it’s essential to consider the following:
Balanced Versatility and Forgiveness
Forgiveness refers to how well the clubface can reduce spin and prevents flaws in your swing from affecting the ball’s flight. It also refers to how easy it is to hit straight shots with a golf club. A good golf club should be able to provide a relatively straight shot, even if your swing isn’t perfect. Generally speaking, a bigger clubhead will provide you with better forgiveness on off-center hits.
As for versatility, it’s vital to pick a golf club that can be used in various situations. Good golf clubs should be able to deliver the expected performance, whether you’re hitting from the fairway or rough.
The grip of your golf club is vital as it can affect your performance and comfort. Golf grips come in various sizes, textures, and materials that can make all the difference in your game. It’s essential to try out different clubs and find one that works best for you.
Great Sound and Feel
When it comes to golf clubs, the sound and feel usually indicate good performance. A good club should provide great feedback when you hit the ball. Moreover, it should give an excellent sound that lets you know you’ve made solid contact with the ball.
Gapping refers to the distance you hit between each club in your bag. Golfers need to have a proper gapping, meaning that there are approximately 10-15 yards between each club. Good gapping ensures you can hit the ball with relative ease and accuracy from any lie on the course.
Appearance isn’t necessarily the most critical factor in golf clubs, but a good-looking club can help you with your confidence. Be sure to pick one that looks and feels great in your hands. A beautiful club inspires excellent shots!
The putter, driver, and wedge are the most often used golf clubs. Use this information as a guide to help you find the right golf clubs for you. It is crucial to consider the aspects of balance, grip, appearance, sound and feel, and gapping to determine which clubs are best for your style of play.
Choosing the right golf clubs for your game can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the different types of clubs and what they are used for, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and find the club that fits your needs perfectly.
With the right set of golf clubs, plenty of practice, and dedication, you’ll be on your way to lower scores and more consistent play.
If you want to learn more about golf clubs and how to choose the right ones for your game, be sure to check out High Golf Handicap. Our blog offers valuable information and insights into golf to help beginners and high handicappers become better golfers.