A top quality set of golf clubs is essential for the advanced golfer. A complete set of clubs consists of woods, irons and a putter.
The rules of golf, as set forth by the United States Golf Association (USGA), dictate that a golfer’sbag may hold 14 clubs. Most golfers will carry a driver, two fairway woods, 7 irons, 3 wedges and the putter.
A driver is a long-shafted club with a full head used to strike the ball that is set upon a tee.
The club head does not have much lift to it, to achieve maximum distance off the tee. The fairway woods have club heads that are slightly more lofted than the driver, and are used for long shots when the ball is lying on the ground.
Most brand name drivers cost between $200 and $400. Fairway woods normally retail from $150 to $300.
Golf irons are the essential part of a set of golf clubs. Two thirds of the shots in a normal round of golf will utilize an iron.
Irons are used to hit the golf ball off the ground from distances of 125 yards to 225 yards. Each iron is assigned a number based upon the loft angle of the club head. The 9-iron has the most loft, and is used to hit short, high shots. A 2-iron has very little loft, and is used to hit low, long shorts.
Wedges are normally included in the purchase of a set of irons. The most common wedges are the pitching wedge, the sand wedge and the lob wedge. These golf clubs are used for short, controlled shots, normally very close to the putting green.
Some golfers may choose to remove one of the wedges in lieu of a 2-iron. Also worth noting, there are two primary types of irons available. Forged irons are precision clubs that can give experienced golfers a greater ability to shape their shots.
Gravity-back irons are considered to be more forgiving, with a larger sweet spot and primarily for golfers who want to focus on hitting straight shots. A set of 10 irons can range in price from as little as $250, to as much as $1,500.
The final and perhaps most important golf club, is the putter. The putter is also known as the money club because it is the club used to tap the ball into the hole. The purpose of the putter is to roll the ball, so there is no loft on the club head.
There are many varieties of putters in all shapes and sizes. Some of the putter shafts are so short that the golfer grips it near his knees, and some are so long that they are gripped at the golfer’s chest.
Many golfers spend their entire lives changing putters to find the one that feels right for them. Simple putters can cost as little as $20 but some of the more exotic putters can cost as much as $300.
Some players opt to avoid some of the more difficult-to-hit longer irons in favor of higher-lofted “fairway” woods and extra “utility” wedges. In part, this reflects a pattern of design of clubs in which club manufacturers have reduced the lofts of the irons so that they can be used from longer distances.
In effect, today’s 3-iron has a loft that is equivalent to a 2-iron of years ago.
Irene Forde is a writer and publisher of Leisure and Business publications.
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