Which Golf Clubs To Use? – Types of Golf Clubs Explained

Golf is a sport that has many pieces of equipment, including the 14 golf clubs you are allowed to carry during any single round.

That being said, figuring out what each golf club type does can be extremely complicated and overwhelming for a beginner. By reading this guide, you will never again attempt to shoot the golf ball off the tee with a putter.

Different Types of Golf Clubs
Different Types of Golf Clubs

Read down below an in-depth explanation about why it is important to have many different golf clubs in your golf bag, as well as descriptions of the use cases of each type of golf clubs.

Which Golf Clubs To Use?

Why Do You Need 14 Golf Clubs To Play Golf?

When you are playing a round of golf, you will be playing through 18 holes generally.

Each of those 18 holes has a completely different layout, different elevations, different obstacles, different hazards, all in different positions. This means that you will be in many different positions and situations, especially if you go to multiple golf courses.

To be able to respond to each situation you find yourself in on every hole of every golf course, you will ideally want to have a wide range of golf clubs to choose from, up to the limit of 14 clubs. Why? Each shot you need to take will require a certain carry distance and a certain golf club loft (club loft determines how much the balls path arcs).

To answer the distance and loft requirements each situation will require, you want to have different golf clubs with different characteristics, such as club length, shaft flex, weight, and loft. Each of your golf clubs will be the best option possible in your arsenal for one or more situations.

For example, to maximize carry distance off the tee, a driver will be your best option. Using a putter is ridiculous to start a golf hole. Each situation, each shot on a golf course will be best suited for one of your golf clubs.

If there is an obstacle you need to lob over, you will want a golf club that is good for chipping, rather than a driver.

There is an infinity of examples you can think of in which one golf club will be better suited than all other golf clubs in your set. The variety of situations of golf player finds themselves in is the reason why you need many golf clubs in your set.

Types Of Golf Clubs Explained

Why Do You Need a Driver Club in Golf?

A driver golf club is almost shaped like a hammer. It has a heavy club end at its end, and it is meant for shooting the ball as far as possible.

The driver is usually the go-to golf club you will use at the beginning of a full-sized golf hole, when you tee off.

Depending on your strength and technique, the driver will shoot the golf ball over a carry of distance of 225-300+ yards.

Why Do You Need a Wood Club in Golf?

In golf, numbered wood clubs, woods, are also called fairway woods. Examples of the numbered wood clubs include the 3-wood, 4-wood, 5-wood.

The higher the golf number (e.g. 3 in 3-wood), the higher the loft. The higher the golf number, the shorter the shaft length.

It is important to note that the lower the golf number on your golf club, the lower the flight of the ball, and the further it travels.

Therefore, a 3-wood will shoot a golf ball significantly further than a 5-wood, in terms of carry distance.

In general, woods tend to shoot less far than a driver, but further than irons.

Why Do You Need an Iron Club in Golf?

Irons are the most common golf clubs found in most golf sets, in the sets you can purchase, or in the custom sets professionals carry.

Examples of the numbered irons include 2-iron, 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron & 9-iron.

It is important to note that the lower the golf number on your golf club, the lower the flight of the ball, and the further it travels.

2-iron, 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-ron, 7-iron, 8-iron, and 9-iron clubs each have about 10-15 yards of difference in carry distance between each other, from one number to the next highest.

For example, a 5-iron shoots about 10-15 yards further than a 6-iron.

Overall, numbered irons typically shoot less far than woods, but further than wedges.

Why Do You Need a Wedge Club in Golf?

Wedge clubs tend to somewhat lob the golf ball over short-to-medium distances.

Wedges are designed to shoot the golf ball with high arcs, often to lob the ball over obstacles & hazards, or to get a more controlled landing of the golf ball. A golf ball that lands from a near-vertical flight will sit better upon impact than a ball that lands with lots of horizontal velocity.

There are multiple types of wedges, and they are described down below:

Pitching wedge

The pitching wedge has a loft between 46-50 degrees.

It is designed to shoot the golf ball over a carry distance of about 110-120 yards away from the target.

Gap wedge

The gap wedge has a loft between 50-55 degrees.

It is designed to shoot the golf ball over a carry distance of about 90-110 yards away from the target.

The gap wedge is designed to be used when the pitching wedge would shoot too far, and the sand wedge would shoot too short of your target.

Sand wedge

The sand wedge has a loft between 54-58 degrees.

It is designed to shoot the golf ball over a carry distance of about 70-90 yards away from the target.

This golf club is very useful to get your ball out of sand terrain or sand bunkers.

Lob wedge

The lob wedge has a loft between 60-64 degrees.

It is designed to shoot the golf ball over a carry distance of about 65 yards away from the target.

The lob wedge is designed for shorter distances and high lobs, notably to lob the golf ball over obstacles, such as bushes, bunkers, rough, or more. The lob wedge can also help you shoot the golf ball effectively when you are shooting from the bottom of high elevation.

Why Do You Need a Hybrid Club in Golf?

Hybrid golf clubs are like a hybrid mix between wedges & irons. Hybrid club heads are more massive and heavier than normal wedges.

Hybrids also have a larger sweet spot, allowing for more forgiveness because the club head hits the ground before it hits the ball.

Hybrids tend to be a bit easier to hit than traditional wedges, for beginners.

Examples of the numbered hybrids include the 50-degree hybrid, 52-degree hybrid, 54-degree hybrid, 56-degree hybrid, 58-degree hybrid and the 60-degree hybrid.

Why Do You Need a Putter Club in Golf?

A putter is the shortest shooting golf club in any player’s golf bag.

A putter is generally only used when the golf ball starts on the golf green.

When hit by the putter, the golf ball will normally roll on the ground, rather than travel in the air like it is the case with other golf club types.

How Many Of Each Golf Club Type Should I Carry?

It is up to you how many of each golf club you carry, and you will find out your preferences over time as you complete more rounds of golf.

However, if you are a beginner, a good rule of thumb is that you should at least carry 1 driver, 1 3-wood, 4 numbered irons, some wedges, and a putter. You can fill in the rest of your bag with other golf clubs that will complete the ones you already have selected.

If you are a beginner golf player who does not yet have equipment, and you want to know which golf clubs to select and buy, check out our guide: Which Golf Clubs Should I Buy? – Beginner’s Guide.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you understand the importance of carrying many golf clubs in order to be prepared for any situation during a round of golf.

You also learned what each type of golf club is designed to do, as well as which situation to use each golf club in. You should now be decently confident in choosing which golf clubs should go into your golf bag, as well as when to use them.

Which golf club types do you carry in your golf bag? What proportion of each golf club type do you carry? Let us know in the comments down below!