Golf clubs explained: have you ever wondered about how many different parts there are to a golf club, and how they each work to assist you with your swing?
Maybe you’re just a beginner on the golf course looking to familiarize yourself with the sport, or a decent golfer who’s looking to improve your knowledge of clubs so that you can buy a golf club set that is best suited for you.
Either way, in this golf clubs explained article we will be breaking down the basic components of golf clubs, the different types of golf clubs, and what you should be looking for in a golf club based on your experience level.
Golf Clubs Explained: Basic Parts of a Golf Club
The three most basic parts of a golf club are the grip, shaft, and clubhead:
- Circular rubber section located at the top of the club
- Golfers can grip with their hands when swinging
- Tapering metal tube with smaller circular diameter than grip
- Attaches the grip with the clubhead
- Bulky bottom of the club
- Provides face that comes into contact with ball during swing
Sound interesting? But there’s even more parts to consider!
In the clubhead specifically, you’ll find subcomponents that affect how your club interacts with the golf ball. Among these are the face, topline/crown, heel, sole, toe, and cavity back/club muscleback, hosel, and ferrule:
- Area that strikes the ball
- Has grooves on the surface that give the ball spin when hit
- Controls ball distance, trajectory, and angle
Topline or Crown
- Top surface of the clubhead
- Adjacent to the face
- Thickness of the top layer determines maneuverability of swing
- Provides hollow tunnel for shaft to connect to clubhead
- Shaft tapers off within the tube
- Decorative component
- Surrounds the rim at the top of the hosel
- Improves overall look of the club
- Upper portion of the face
- Closest to the hosel connecting to the shaft
- Bottom surface of the clubhead
- Makes contact with golf course turf
Cavity Back/Pad/Insert or Club Muscleback
- Bulky part of clubhead behind the face surface
- Cavity back is hollowed out for missed swing forgiveness
- Club muscleback has metal inserts for club workability
These subcomponents are often made of different materials, and scaled to different sizes, shapes, and angles, to accommodate for what type of swing angle and distance you’re trying to achieve.
3 Types of Golf Clubs Based on Material Composition and Usage
In fact, during a single course, a player may use multiple types of clubs depending on distance from the hole. There are three types of golf clubs based on their material compositions and usages:
- Long shafts
- Round heads
- Meant to hit balls long distance
- Short shafts
- Flatter heads with grooves
- Meant to hit balls closer to the cup
- Comprise most of a golf clubbing set
- Use both iron and wood designs
- Have both long and short distance benefits due to combined nature of design
A 14 club set, which is the standard club set for golfers, has a variation of these three main types of clubs, and they are often numbered to show the variations in shaft length and clubhead loft, which is the angle between the turf and the face.
Golf Club Variations
There are also more specific variations of these three basic clubs:
- Wood club with the longest shaft and biggest head
- Meant to hit the ball as far as you can
- Typically referred to as 1-wood
- Subset of iron clubs that have the highest loft
- Used for the shortest and most accurate shots
- Made with carbon steel
- Used for short and slow strokes that roll the ball into a nearby hole
In a typical 14 club set you may find 3 woods (consisting of a driver), 7 irons (consisting of a few wedges), 1 hybrid, and 1 putter.
You may also be wondering what materials are best for you based on your experience level. The most suitable golf clubs all have different materials and manufacturing processes for beginners compared to more experienced players.
If you are a beginner, you would be better off using a club with lighter material, like graphite, because clubs made out of these materials are much easier to manage when you miss a ball. Most beginners also use hybrid clubs when starting their first course due to the combined long distance and short distance benefits of using both iron and wood designs.
If you are an experienced player or seasoned pro, on the other hand, and want to improve the quality of your swings, you would be better off using clubs made with heavier materials like steel. If you know that you are less likely to miss the ball, using these heavier clubs would give you added benefits. They will not only allow you to improve your swing speed, but they will also give you feedback on how well your hit is, based on the club’s vibration when you strike the ball.
Conclusion: Golf Clubs Meaning
The grip, shaft, and clubhead are the three main parts of a golf club, and changing their qualities can drastically shift the way your swing affects your ball on a golf course.
Different materials, clubhead lofts and shapes, as well as shaft lengths all change your club’s maneuverability and usages. Not to mention, your overall experience as a golfer also affects how well you play with these different types of golf clubs. However, now that you know all about golf clubs from this article, you can apply these tips to improve your game as much as possible on the course!