Different types of golf clubs
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Catering to a whole range of distances and trajectories, there are a variety of golf clubs that may be used for different kinds of shots. These clubs are classified into four main categories - woods, irons, wedges, and putters. Within each group, there are different sizes available as well, indicated by a number on the club. Lower numbers indicate more power, allowing you to make further shots.
Woods are named after their historical make - the clubheads of wood clubs used to be crafted from wood, but modern-day ones are now made of metal. Their heads are big and rounded, with a flat bottom and a small loft degree. In fact, woods usually have the smallest loft among all the types of clubs. The loft angle of the club is the angle that is measured against an imaginary vertical plane which is perpendicular to the ground. The smaller the degree of loft, the more power the club packs. A 1-wood, also known as a driver, is the longest club, and has the smallest loft. It is used for hitting long distances, and is not usually favoured by beginners.
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Made from metal, irons are usually used for distances up to around 182 metres. They have a higher degree of loft than woods, and come in nine different sizes. Sizes one to three are called long irons and are the most difficult type to master. They carry smaller lofts, and can hit balls over long distances. Sizes four to six are middle irons, while seven to nine are known as short irons. Irons have thin clubheads, with grooves on their faces. There are two different types of clubheads that players may choose from within this category - the muscleback and the cavity back. The former is more suited for advanced players, due to the lower flight path that it provides. This is facilitated by the clubhead’s filled-out back. The latter, on the other hand, has a clubhead that is hollowed out, and is the preferred choice of most novices.
Wedges are usually used to make a ball fly onto the putting surface. Possessing higher loft angles than the woods and irons, they consist of four different varieties - the gap wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge, and pitching wedge. The gap wedge is commonly used for hitting the ball along short distances and onto the putting green, while the sand wedge is used to get a ball out of bunkers (sand pits) and tall grass. For shots that require height but not distance, lob wedges will be used. Pitching wedges, on the other hand, are used for balls that are positioned quite some distance from the green, but are too near to necessitate the use of a larger iron. They are also considered to be an iron by some people.
The most-used club in a game of golf, putters help to move a ball, usually gently, along the putting green and into a hole. There are three kinds of clubheads available under the putting category - traditional blade, heel-toe clubhead, and mallet clubhead. Putters with shorter shafts are known as standard or conventional putters, while the belly and broomstick putters are the longer types. There is no correct or recommended putter for any one person; individual preferences and playing styles are most important in the selection of putters.
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