06 Sep Maximizing The Use of Your Golf Clubs
Any day on the golf course is always a good day, and your choice of golf clubs can make it even better. By maximizing the use of your golf clubs, you can hit the ball farther, higher and faster than ever before. The Arnold Palmer Signature Course at Crescent Pointe Golf Club and the Davis Love III Signature Course at Eagle’s Pointe Golf Club are the perfect pair of courses to maximize the use of your clubs and grow your game.
Our dual courses are great for players of all skill levels. If your goal is to finish under par around our links, you may be wondering, “What golf clubs do I need?” The different types of golf clubs in your bag will either get you up on the green or send you straight to the rough. For our novice golfers, we’ve gathered this quick guide explaining the different golf club uses and when to use each golf club type.
Types of Golf Clubs
Before you head out to the course, you need to be ready to make every stroke count. Having the right clubs in your bag will either get you closer to the pin or take you from the bunker to the green without too many squares on your scorecard. The United States Golf Association permits a golfer to have 14 clubs in their bag. You can choose the standard 12 — three woods, eight irons and a putter — with room for two additional clubs like drivers or another putter.
The driver is the biggest, baddest club in your bag. A powerful, precise swing will launch your ball straight toward the green. Weekend golfers will benefit from a steel-headed driver, while occasional golfers will get more forgiveness and a larger sweet spot with a titanium or composite driver. Look for a loft between 11 and 18 degrees, less if you slice or hook the ball often. For more control over flight, weighted types of golf club drivers and a consistent swing will help you direct the ball’s flight path.
Fairway woods, also known as fairway metals depending on composition, have longer shafts and larger heads than irons or hybrids and can help you gain distance on the course. Although their name suggests you use them as you make your way down the fairway, you can also use woods off the tee or to get you out of the rough in a single stroke. One or two fairway woods are ideal for each bag set, though their use will vary depending on your comfort level and course.
Just as there are different fairway woods, there are different golf club iron head types. There are three types of irons — short, middle and long. Having each one in your bag gives you versatility around the greens. Short irons are useful for accurate shots across small distances, while middle irons have a larger clubface that can get you within 150 yards of where you want to be. A long iron may not get you as far as a fairway wood, but it will provide ample distance and loft.
A wedge is a necessity for getting the ball out of a sand trap and onto the green without overshooting your distance. There are various golf club wedge types for different shots, including a sand wedge, lob wedge and pitching wedge. Although wedges are technically iron clubs, their design and usage are significantly different than short, middle and long irons.
A hybrid is a cross between an iron and a fairway wood, designed to give you the best of both in a single, versatile club. Their clubheads are often larger than an iron’s for better speed and loft, but their shafts are usually much shorter than a fairway wood and work well with a lower swing speed. A hybrid is an excellent club to hone your game on, and will help you transition to irons and fairway woods when you’re more comfortable with your swing.
Any types of golf club putters will be your best friend. Knowing where the sweet spot is on a metal-faced, insert-faced or groove-faced putter and understanding how to read the green will help you putt for dough. Like other clubs, putters come in all shapes, sizes and weights to cater to different playing styles. No matter which putter you choose, take time to practice with it often, as this single club can make or break the best round of your life.
Golf Number Meanings
Grab your wood or iron, and you’ll notice a number on the head of the club near the bottom or rear. This number identifies the club in relation to its loft. Look closely at each clubface, and you’ll also notice the angle is different depending on the number. One way to remember how numbers generally impact the club’s performance is to remember that low numbers equal low loft, low height, low angles and more distance. Higher numbers have higher angles, more height, higher loft and less distance.
For example, a 3-iron and 3-wood each have a low number, which will get you distance, but not height. A 9-iron and 5-wood have higher numbers, and thus will give you a higher loft, but not travel as far. The different uses for golf clubs will help you achieve any yardage you desire.
Wood Distance Average Chart
- 2-wood: 180 to 235 yards
- 3-wood: 170 to 225 yards
- 4-wood: 165 to 215 yards
- 5-wood: 150 to 205 yards
Iron Distance Average Chart
- 2-iron: 145 to 190 yards
- 3-iron: 135 to 180 yards
- 4-iron: 125 to 170 yards
- 5-iron: 120 to 165 yards
- 6-iron: 115 to 160 yards
- 7-iron: 105 to 150 yards
- 8-iron: 95 to 140 yards
- 9-iron: 80 to 125 yards
Let’s compare those to a few other clubs in your bag.
- Driver: 190 to 250 yards
- Pitching wedge: 70 to 110 yards
- Sand wedge: 55 to 95 yards
For golfers who want to incorporate hybrids into their game, here is a replacement chart.
- 1-hybrid = 1-iron or 4-wood
- 2-hybrid = 2-iron or 5-wood
- 3-hybrid = 3-iron or 7-wood
- 4-hybrid = 4-iron
- 5-hybrid = 5-iron
- 6-hybrid = 6-iron
- 7-hybrid = 7-iron
- 8-hybrid = 8-iron
- 9-hybrid = 9-iron
You can replace your traditional driver or wedges with a similar hybrid as well. As you improve your game, the look and feel of each club will become second nature to you, so you won’t necessarily need to reference the numbers as often.
When to Use Each Golf Club
Knowing when to use each golf club type is vital to your game. Pulling the wrong club out — or worse, not having the right club in the bag — can make the difference between triple bogey blues and the best game you’ve ever played. It’s not enough to know what each club is for. You also need to know the right times to use it. There are many crucial moments on the course when a different club may get you closer to par than the one you’d normally use.
When to Use the Driver
We get our drivers out almost instinctively when we ride up to the tee box, and with good reason. The driver can make or break a hole, giving us a great approach or slicing our way into a frustration. Most holes will require a driver. However, there are a few par-3s and par-4s in which a 3-wood or a hybrid would be a better play. It may take some getting used to, but consider playing a few holes you know without using a driver.
When To Use The Fairway Wood
You may use your fairway wood off the tee, from the fairway or even to get out of the rough. Depending on which woods you have in your bag, different woods will help you achieve different distances. Some scenarios in which you’d want to pull out your wood include when you’ve got a good lie without obstructions around the green, when you’re facing wind and need an extra bit of power or when you’re attempting an aggressive shot and the ball has room to roll a bit farther.
When to Use the Iron
You will likely have some combination of a 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 9-iron in your bag that are best to use when you’re within 200 yards or less from the pin. Use higher-numbered iron clubs when you’re closer to the green. A 3-iron, for example, can get you as far as 200 yards, while a 9-iron may land you as close as 60 yards.
When to Use the Wedge
Different golf club wedge types have different uses. Your pitching wedge is best for an approach shot from the fairway to the green or for a chip shot out of the bunker. You can also use the sand wedge to get you out of a bunker or out of the rough. A gap wedge sits between a pitching and sand wedge, giving you the option to achieve the desired distance you need. Lob wedges are for precise shots that require high loft and soft landings.
When to Use a Hybrid
If you’ve got a hybrid in your bag, you’ve got an excellent resource. You’ll want a hybrid to help cut through long grass in a thick rough or get you out of a fairway bunker.
When to Use a Putter
Although it may seem self-explanatory, the best time to use a putter is when you’re putting. However, you can also use the putter to get out from a bunker or from the fairway. Knowing when to get up and down with a wedge or a putter can save you a stroke or two. If you’ve got a decent lie without much between the ball and the hole, use a putter instead of attempting a chip shot when you’re within 20 yards or so.
Golf Clubs for Beginners
Most golfers will want a full 14 set of clubs in their bags. However, most beginners will do just fine learning the game and their swing with only seven clubs in their bags — a driver, 3-wood, 9-iron, 5- or 7-iron, 3-iron or hybrid, sand wedge and a putter. Learning the basics of golf clubs involves an understanding of the club from top to bottom, including its material composition, grip and shaft flex. When choosing your set, make sure you consider these factors before finalizing your bag.
Golf Club Material Types
Clubs of all shapes and sizes are made with different materials. Some are metal or wood, while others feature composites, plastics or ceramics. The U.S. Golf Association accepts golf clubs made from all materials, as long as they meet dimension requirements. While the composition does influence ball distance, speed, precision and performance, your swing is just as impactful. Before delving into the different types of woods, metals and composites that yield advantages and disadvantages, we recommend playing with a standard set until you’ve honed a consistent swing.
Types of Golf Club Grips
Your grips are more influential than you realize. Size, firmness, material and surface texture will all impact your performance and comfort. Your physical grip style — whether it’s an overlapping, interlocking or 10-finger grip — will also influence which type of grips you choose. After finding your perfect fit, you need to consistently re-grip your clubs either after every 60 rounds played or when they start to show signs of wear, cracking or hardening.
What are the Types of Golf Club Shafts?
Golf club shafts can be steel or graphite, available in five different flexes — extra-stiff (X), stiff (S), regular (R), senior (A) or ladies (L). X shafts are not as popular, as their level of stiffness is ideal only for long hitters who can control their swings. An S shaft is a good choice for consistent drivers, while the R shaft is a little more forgiving for higher handicap golfers. Senior shafts accommodate slower swing speeds, while ladies’ shafts accommodate the lowest club speeds.
Custom Golf Clubs
There’s nothing better than a set of custom golf clubs. Even if you’re a novice, we recommend you get professionally fitted to get the most out of your clubs. Matching the right shaft to your unique swing, in addition to getting the right grip, lie, length and loft, will completely transform your game, no matter what your skill level. You’d be surprised how well even a standard set of golf clubs play when they precisely fit your needs.
Golfing With the Right Club
No matter if you’re new to the game or if you’re focused on dropping your handicap to single digits, your skill is only as good as the clubs you’re using. If you find yourself unsure about the different golf club types or when to use each, you may want to consider asking your course’s PGA pro for advice on the right clubs to use the next time you hit the links. A little swing instruction and a few suggestions concerning club use can go a long way — even as far as 400 yards!
Maximize the Use of Your Clubs on the Best Lowcountry Links
Now that you’ve got your bag loaded with the clubs you need to come in under par, it’s time to hone your skill. We invite you to experience Lowcountry golf at its best. Challenge yourself on the risk-reward Eagle’s Pointe course, designed by Davis Love III, and enjoy the spectacular views and dramatic shot-making opportunities of the Crescent Pointe course, designed by the king himself, Arnold Palmer. Contact us today to book a tee time and play the Crown Golf experience that is unrivaled in the Lowcountry area!