What wood and iron clubs are best for: a quick guide

For golf beginners, a full golf bag might look like a world of confusion, but there are only three main types of clubs: wood clubs, iron clubs and the putter. The putter taps the ball over very short distances, while wood and iron clubs drive the ball over long distances. Here's how to properly use wood and iron clubs.

What wood and iron clubs are best for: a quick guide

When to use a wood club

Wood clubs are almost always used on the first shot in golf, when the ball needs to travel for as long as possible.

The largest wood club — used for the longest shots — is the one wood. Other popular wood sizes that are used in the second and sometimes the third shot are the three wood and the five wood.

Most golfers don't carry more than two or three different woods in their bag as these clubs are large, heavy, and usually only used on the first shot or two.

Although traditionally made of ebony woods like persimmon, many modern "wood" clubs are actually made of materials like titanium or carbon fibre, which are considerably lighter than solid wood but can still drive the ball long distances.

When to use an iron club

The bulk of the clubs in a golfers bag are iron clubs, and that's because they are the most versatile and come in several types based on particular uses.

The iron clubs known as wedges, for example, have letters on them instead of numbers, which indicate their specific use in the game. "S" stands for "sand wedge," since clubs with an "S" are designed to get your ball out of a sand trap.

Also, the letter "P" stands for "pitching wedge," and clubs marked with this letter are meant to get a high trajectory on a shot. This kind of trajectory is useful for hitting the ball over obstacles.

Then there are "L" clubs. The "L" on these clubs stands for "lob wedge," and these clubs are used to get the same sort of results as "P" clubs. What makes "L" clubs different from "P" clubs, though, is that "L" clubs can get the shortest distance shots next to the putter but with a very high arc.

Aside from the wedges, other iron clubs are numbered like the wood clubs and are generally used for medium distance shots.

The thing to remember with numbered iron clubs is that the lower the number, the farther the iron club can hit the ball, just like with the wood clubs.

Most golfers carry anywhere from four to eight iron clubs in their bags, including the wedges.

Keep this information about wood and iron clubs in mind when you're stocking your own golf bag, so that you can get the most out of each club.

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