The principle of golf is not that complex at first glance. It is easy to understand the basics of golf: put the ball in each of the 18 holes. One of the key differences between beginners and advanced players lies in this answer: when to use each golf club? If you want to practice the sport at its best, you need to understand how to play efficiently. When planning to play golf on a regular basis, you basically need to invest in good quality golf equipment and golf clubs are undoubtedly the most obvious of them. But even the best clubs are not enough if you do not know when to use each golf club.
Knowing how to use each of the golf clubs is essential for having a good game. Here’s what you need to know about golf clubs and when to use each club in golf. We will also explain how to use each golf club so that they will be no mystery for you anymore. Many advanced players, if not all, already know the drill so this guide is more for beginners. Let’s begin.
Golf Wood clubs, for long distance
As a general rule, you use a wood club to hit long shots, more than 200 yards from tee to green. They are very distinctive from the other clubs: they have a longer shaft and have a large head. They were originally made of wood, hence the name. Obviously, this is not the case today.
There are many types of wood clubs. The old 1 wood (see below the driver club section) has a low loft which refers to the fact that the angle of the club can control trajectory and affect the distance. The 2 and 4 wood clubs are not that popular among golf players because there are more efficient golf clubs that have taken their place.
Most golf players use a 3 or 5 wood club. While the 3 wood has a loft with an angle between 15 and 18 degrees, the 5 wood has a loft between 20 and 22 degrees. Both of the woods are also called “fairway woods” because they are used at the point of the game where you are in the fairway of the golf club. The rest of the woods, namely the 7, 9, 11 are referred to as “utility woods”. They are less in use today than before, replaced by hybrids or low loft irons.
Position of the ball with woods
With drivers or woods, on most occasions, you will align the ball with the left foot. (or right foot if you are a leftie)
What is the driver club ?
The driver would be the 1 wood who slightly change over time. The shape of golf drivers has a little more curve. The loft is now around 8 to 12 degrees. They are now a bit more complex to use without a tee. Some players do limit the driver to be used with a tee due to the difficulty to hit off the grass. This is, for example, my case as I only use the driver club with a long tee (3.4 inches) as it makes it easier to hit properly the ball. In the end, it all depends on the player’s preferences.
Hybrids, for long distance
Hybrids are simply a combination between a fairway wood club and an iron club. Recently, many golf players have turned to these types of golf clubs because they have proven to be highly polyvalent on the golf course. Generally speaking, it’s best to use hybrids when you want to improve the accuracy and most important the performance in regards to distance.
In recent years, some players replace 3 and 4 irons (even sometimes the 5 iron) with the 3 and 5 hybrids. They can be easier to tame than the woods with a higher spin rate, smaller size, and slightly higher loft than woods. They have more potential in distance than irons, more accuracy than woods and this makes them great for learning how to hit properly the ball for average distance without using the driver club or woods.
Irons, for short/medium distance
It’s often most recommended to use irons when you are less than 200 yards from tee to green. As a matter of fact, if you are close to the green you need to use a higher iron. An iron set includes the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and the PW (pitching wedge). Among all of these, only the 3 and 4 are the hardest to hit, that’s why there are so many golfers who choose to replace the 3 or 4 irons with 7 or 9 woods (or hybrids) because they are easier to hit.
Wedges, to approach
You’ve mentioned earlier the PW, namely the pitching wedge which is basically a specialty iron. The PW is the highest lofted iron in a basic set but is considered to be the lowest loft in a set of wedges. The approach wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge as well as high-lob wedge have higher lofts. A good wedge can increase shot control when you are close to the green.
This category of golf clubs will help you lift the ball high in the air if needed. This is due to its high loft profile. In terms of numbers, 50º, 56º or even 60º are common lofts degrees for wedges.
Position of the ball with wedges
There is no definitive answer here. Typically, you would have the ball aligned on the right foot (left foot for lefties) to make the ball fly low and go farther. But in most cases, you are using a wedge to let the ball fly high. In that case, the ball is centered between the feet.
Putters, to finish
Putters have been designed to help you “putt for dough”, get the ball into the hole. There are many styles of putters available on the market, such as the short, long, bent, belly, heel-toe, center-hosel, mallet and many more. The overall design stays the same though. The putter is different from the other clubs with a short and most of the time flat head.