Buying Golf clubs is like walking into a government conspiracy. There are too many entities and all of them try to play you. So get smart with us and play your golf clubs than the other way round. Out of your full blown golf club set of 14, it could be a pain to select the right club for your next shot. In this guide, we will help you get better acquainted with the capabilities of your clubs, which will, in turn, make the club selection routine before shots much easier.
Take a look at our golf club buying guide for beginners if you are getting your first set of golf clubs. Keep the basics of swingweight in mind.
Know your golf clubs
Do iron, wedge, hybrid etc. sound like something out of a medieval blacksmith’s shop? They are not, but they are just as serious a business:
Irons are categorized as long, mid and short. The 1,2,3,4 long irons are barely used. These will be used to put maximum distance and minimum height to your shot. Mid irons 5, 6, and 7 are the most forgiving and convenient clubs for beginners.
They let the ball fly an appreciable distance and lend enough loft to propel the golf ball out of the foliage of golf course. Short irons 8 and 9 are used when you want to close the last few yards to the hole. They allow less distance and more elevation.
The driver or 1-wood is prime club used to put maximum distance between yourself and the golf ball. It, generally, has low loft. As the loft angle of the driver decreases it becomes harder to hit. 10-12 degree should serve an average golfer well.
3. Fairway woods:
These golf clubs have higher loft than drivers. They are used to drive the golf ball from mid fairway and shy fairway distances. The loft will fling the ball over obstacles and out of the fairway turf. A 5-wood can easily replace the functionality of long irons.
Take out the putter for the finishing lunge. These golf clubs are meant for delicate shots from minor distances from the hole at putting green. This is a virtually irreplaceable club because of the precision required for such a sophisticated shot.
Wedges take the golf ball out of tough spots. If the ball has disappeared under sand or a thicket of grass, wedges can wedge them out and onto the greens. These golf clubs have the highest loft.
Hybrid golf clubs are relatively new to golf. They are a cross between irons and woods, hence the name. The low loft of irons and the length of fairway woods can be obtrusive in some cases. And here, hybrids come to the rescue. They have the loft of woods and the swing dynamics of drivers. Higher loft and arrested distances can help you make tricky shots like a hole in hazard just before the green.
Know the range of your golf clubs
Each golf club has an optimum range to which it will lob the golf ball, by design. These ranges are not set in stone and differ slightly from golfer to golfer. When you practice, your job is to find out the ranges of each of your clubs. Take the nearest target as reference and start taking your shot with each club in your set. Using the reference distance, find out how far you hit with each golf club. Or you can use an app on your phone or GPS handheld device which have swing analysis tools. These modern contraptions also use your average club distances to suggest club for the next shot.
Know the lie of your golf ball
You choose the club, but its interaction with the golf ball defines its trajectory. If your golf ball is situated upslope, choose a club with lesser loft because the slope already adds angle to the ball’s lift. The longer club will add distance to its flight. If the ball lies downhill, use a shorter club to compensate for the low loft of the ground. If the golf ball is in a rough lie, use a lofted club like 9-iron or wedge. If the ball lies buried, use a sand wedge to toss it right out of the sand and clear the hazard.
Know where to draw the line
The prime aim in golf is to get the golf ball close to putting green in as less shots as possible. But this is not always the wisest decision, especially if you are close to a hazard. You may find the approach shot arcs on your GPS device. They guide you on the distances you should hit, so that the golf ball does not land smack dab in the middle of a hazard. So try not to choose the extreme golf clubs. Aim for neither the longest nor the shortest. Take your chances with the clubs that cover medium loft and shot distances.
Know the wind
Always figure in the wind velocity while taking a stroke. Oncoming wind will apprehend the ball sooner than you estimate. So it is advisable to use a higher iron than you usually would for the intended distance. If it’s tailwind, it will carry the ball for you so opt for a lower iron.