If you're new to the sport, and just about to take lessons
for the first time, it can help to know what exactly you're
playing with. While even casual sports watchers have heard
the terms wood, iron and drivers, not everyone knows
exactly what they are, or why they're important to a
particular part of your game.
In golf, the rules permit 14 clubs in a bag. Two are
usually personal favorites, but the 12 basic clubs are:
three woods- 1 drive, 3 and 5, eight irons- 3-9 plus a
pitching wedge, and a putter.
Woods are clubs used to drive the ball distances, and are
what is used at the tee, to start off a hole. Since the
first shot is always a long one, there isn't as much need
for variety in the style of a wood, consequently, most sets
have only three.
A woods' design in the head, causes the ball to loft at a
specific degree. The higher the wood number, the higher the
loft, and the shorter the club. The wood is used for any
drive over 175 yards.
Irons are for medium range shots of under 175 yards. If
you've had a good first shot off the tee, an iron will be
your choice for the second shot on a par four hole. The
further you are from the green, the lower the number of
your iron. Many golfers find the 3 and 4 iron to be less
adequate than a higher wood, and generally go with those
The pitching wedge has the lowest degree of loft. There
are others in 4 degree increments, starting with 48.
They're used when close to the green, and there is a need
for greater control, something that is enhanced through the
blade shape of the head.
While the golf bag may only have one putter, the club
itself comes in a wide variety of styles, suited to the
player's preference. Its purpose is to tap the ball into
the hole from a short distance.
If you're just starting out with golf instruction, it may
be wise to purchase only a partial set of clubs, with the
minimum of irons, woods and a putter, in order to work on
the basics of the game, and to find out what you really
need in a club, before investing a significant amount of
money in a good set. You can also rent from the club or
course where you are taking instruction.
About the author:
Peter Faulkner has been a keen golfer for many years. On
day at the 19th hole he decided to relate his experiences
in a series of articles...
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