Beginner Golfers often have a difficult time understanding the specific uses for each individual golf club. There is a lot to determine when selecting a club before your next golf shot. New golfers would quickly improve their golf game, if they just had a basic understanding of what each golf club is used for and when to use them. Obviously, this is not going to make you a Tiger Woods, but as most golfers know, club selection is very important. This is why I have created the following list of briefly described golf clubs and their uses.
The driver is the longest hitting club in your bag, and for that and many other reasons the hardest club to control. Hitting a straight shot in golf is difficult with any club, but with a driver few if ever will go straight. Drivers have the biggest club head and has the least amount of loft. Typical loft with a driver is between 8.5 to 12 degrees and will change in increments of .5 degrees. It is best to get a professional analysis of your swing in determining what degree of driver you should be using, but it is often recommended that beginner golfers use a driver with a 10.5 degree loft or more.
Fortunately, the hardest club to hit (driver) is also the least used club during a round of golf. Typically you will only use this club off the tee box, which is usually about 14 times. Beginners should stay away from the driver as much as possible. Hitting a 3 wood or one of your hybrid clubs is much easier to control especially for newbies.
A fairway wood can be your best friend on the course. Fairway woods can be less problematic off the tee and when on a long par-4 hole will make it a little more reachable. And when compared to long irons (2 or 3 irons) fairway woods are easier to hit. Most golfers carry a 3 wood and a 5 wood, but there is also the 7-wood. Although, rarely used today since the introduction of Hybrid clubs.
The loft of a fairway wood is typically around 15 degrees for a 3-wood and 19 degrees for a 5-wood. A 5-wood would be comparable to using a 2-iron, and a 7-wood to a 4-iron. Just remember, the more the loft the less the distance you will hit the ball.
Hybrid clubs have become very popular amongst the average golfer, and even some of the professionals are using them. The Hybrid was designed to give you the control of an iron with the distance of a fairway wood. As a beginner golfer it is highly recommended that you replace your 3 and 4-iron with hybrid clubs. the hybrid club is a mixed creation of an iron and a wood combined. A 3-hybrid will hit the ball from around 150-180 yards, while a 4-hybrid will hit it between 140-170 yards.
Iron Clubs are more commonly used on the fairway, but can also be used on the tee box for shorter par 4 and obviously par-3 holes. You will find that irons are easier to control than your woods, These clubs are put into three different categories: Long irons, Mid irons and short irons. 2-4 irons are considered long irons, 5-7 are your mid-irons and 8-9 are short irons. Each of these clubs will be marked on the club-head with a number identifying its loft and length. Most players carry and are commonly sold in sets from pitching wedge (PW) through 3-iron (PW-3). You can purchase separately a 2-iron and any wedges you want. Although, for beginner golfers it is recommended that you stay away from the long-irons such as the 2-4 irons and utilize the hybrid clubs we disused earlier.
Of all the irons you carry in your bag, the wedges will be used the most (over 40 percent of your shots will be within 100 yards of the green). Fortunately, these are the easiest clubs to hit. Wedges are, of course, irons. Although, wedges are often put in a separate category, because they are considered specialized irons. When talking about wedges, people are usually referring to the gap wedge, sand wedge and or lob wedge. Even though, the Pitching wedge has the name “wedge” in its name, it is typically grouped with the other irons.
Beginner Golfers should not worry to much about all the different types of wedges other than the pitching wedge. As you become more experienced, you will find the need to carry other wedges. The sand wedge was designed to be used in a sand trap (bunker), but can also be used in deep rough situations or around the green for chipping. Wedges are sold in 2 degree increments, from 48-defrees to 64-degrees. The higher the degree, the less distance and higher the trajectory of the shot will be.
The putter, last but not least (literally). You will be using this club the most on the golf course. Your putter will be used more than any club in your bag (over 40 percent of your strokes per round).
The putter club comes in different sizes, head shapes and styles. The standard length of a putter is either 34 inches or 35 inches. however, their are other styles of putters used, such as the long-handled putter or the belly putter. Although, I do have to mention the recent changes to the USGA rules, which has banned the anchoring of the long-handled club and belly putters. This new ruling will not take effect until 2016. Here is a good article with infographic that explains what will be prohibited in the future. Putter Anchoring Ban
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