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Why Are Some Golf Clubs Called Woods?

random golf clubs
random golf clubs

There are many different types of golf clubs out there to choose from, and they each have a specific name. One of these club types is called the wood, also known as a fairway wood. Woods are golf clubs that can send the ball flying over far distances, but where does the term “woods” come from in golf?

The etymology of the term “woods” in golf not being blatantly obvious to most people, you may wonder: why are some golf clubs called Woods?

In this article, we will tell you exactly why some golf clubs are called Woods.

Why Are Some Golf Clubs Called Woods?

Certain golf clubs are called Woods because they were literally made of wood many years ago. After metal-based golf clubs gained in popularity, all golf clubs started being manufactured with metal, but the names of each golf club type, such as Woods, remained.

If you play or watch golf, you may certainly have noticed that some golf clubs are called “Woods”, despite not incorporating any visible wood in their construction.

Why is this?

In fact, back in the day, decades ago, golf clubs were made out of wood. In fact, you may know about Woods type clubs, such as the 2-Wood and the 3-Wood, but what you may not know is that the driver is the 1-Wood club.

These golf clubs used to be made out of trees such as Persimmon trees, Hazel trees, Ash trees and Hickory trees. Hickory wood is very strong and shock-resistant, making it a prime material for golf clubs of the past. The other woods used also had good mechanical properties.

The “Woods” type golf clubs used to be called “Longnose Woods”, due to their long club heads. However, in the recent decades, golf club manufacturers experimented by using different materials to build golf clubs, such as metals, plastics, and composites.

Overtime, the popularity of wooden golf clubs slowly declined, and they are almost impossible to find nowadays. If you are still interested in playing wooden golf clubs, you may however still be able to order some custom ones from artisans and craftsmen.

Nowadays, most golf clubs are made from metals such as steel, and composite materials. These materials are more durable and can bend like a bow to release extra energy. Partially for this reason, golfers are increasing their carry distance as the decades go by.

With the change of material, “Longnose Woods” also lost their long nose, which changed their name to a blander “Woods”. Modern day Woods look dramatically different from “Longnose Woods” of the past.

Now that “Woods” type golf clubs are no longer made out of wood, and replaced with metal ones, they still retain their name. “Woods” are called this way because of their past of being made out of wood.

Therefore, if certain golf clubs are still called “Woods” nowadays, it is by tradition and to remember the heritage and origin of golf clubs being made from wood.


There you go! After reading this article, you have discovered exactly why some golf clubs are referred to as woods. You now know the etymology behind the golf term “Woods”.

Did the origin of the term “Woods” surprise you? Do you use fairway woods in your golf bag? Let us know in the comments down below!

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