Golfing equipment buying guide

Golfing Equipment

Whether you're a keen learner or a seasoned professional, your performance on the golf course will partly rely on having the right golfing equipment.

Types of golf club

Each club has its own job to do, so owning a selection of different sized woods, irons and wedges will get the ball rolling, along with the right combination of shafts and club heads.

  • Wood

    These are designed to hit the ball further than other clubs, so if you're over 175 yards away from the green this is what you should be using. Generally, woods are made from titanium or stainless steel. Titanium woods are lighter, allowing for a lighter head and sweet spots. On the other hand, stainless steel woods are heavier but more expensive.

    • Standard: about 150-155 cu; these clubs give you better control of the ball, but have a smaller sweet spot.
    • Midsized: about 195 cu; these have a larger sweet spot but weigh a little more.
    • Oversized: up to 250 cu; these woods have the largest club heads, though you don't have as much control as with the other sizes.
  • Iron

    If the ball is approaching the green or lying in an awkward position, this club would be best for you. A standard set of irons includes the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9-irons as well as a pitching wedge.

    • Cast / perimeter-weighted: these clubs are ideal for mid-to-high handicap golfers, being more forgiving of mishits.
    • Forged steel: made from a softer metal, these clubs are more difficult to hit, and are suited for mid-to-low handicap golfers.

Wedges

Wedges create lift, making them ideal when you need to get the ball out of the rough or a bunker.

  • Pitching wedge: known as a 10-iron, these wedges are suitable for getting the ball from the fairway into the green.
  • Sand wedge: used for digging balls out of bunkers.
  • Lob wedge: ideal for short distance shots around the green.
  • Gap wedge: these clubs come halfway between the pitching wedge and the lob wedge and are often referred to as the approach or utility wedge.

The shaft

The shaft of the golf club is usually made from either steel or graphite.

  • Steel shafts are stronger, more durable and usually less expensive than graphite shafts. They tend to give you more control over your shot, though require more swing speed to achieve the same result as graphite.
  • Graphite shafts are lighter, allowing more swing, and absorb shocks better. However, they don't give you as much control and tend to be more expensive and less durable.
  • Shaft flex

    The amount of flex or bend the shaft of your golf club will need to match your swing in order to give you best results.

    • Flexible: useful for beginners and those with a less powerful swing
    • Regular: ideal for average players with a swing speed of 75-90mph
    • Stiff / firm: perfect for more proficient golfers

Choosing the right golf clubs

Amateur players can be divided into three basic ability levels: low handicaps, mid-handicaps and high handicaps. A handicap is the way a golfer measures his performance by calculating his net score from the strokes played, allowing him to play other golfers of different proficiencies on equal terms.

  • Low handicap course score: 72 - 82
    Wood: driver, 3-wood
    Wedge: pitching wedge, sand wedge, and a lob wedge or approach wedge
    Iron: 3 or 4 iron
  • Mid handicap course score: 83 - 92
    Wood: driver, 3-wood, and 7-wood or 9-wood
    Wedge: pitching wedge, sand wedge, and a lob wedge or approach wedge
    Iron: 3 - 9
  • High handicap course score: 100+
    Wood: driver, 3-wood, 7-wood, 9-wood
    Wedge: pitching wedge, sand wedge, and a lob wedge or approach wedge

Don't forget clubs are available for both adult players as well as kids.

Golf etiquette

As with any other game, and to make everyone's time on the green a pleasant experience, there are some rules you should follow on the course:

  • Make sure there's a clear distance between your swing and other players.
  • When practicing your swing, never direct it towards another players.
  • Wait until fellow players are out of the way before hitting the ball.
  • Be ready to take your shot to keep the round moving.
  • If your ball goes missing, try not to spend too much time looking for it, particularly if there is a group waiting behind you.
  • Save time by taking a couple of clubs with you when walking from your cart to your ball.
  • Be quiet - it's rude to disturb another player's swing.
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