The Beginner's Guide to Understanding Golf Clubs

When you’re new to golf, there’s a lot to learn. Figuring out all the rules and collecting the gear needed to play can take some time. Fortunately, a quality set of golf clubs will give you a great start out on any Fountain Valley golf course.

Read on to learn more about golf clubs and how to choose the clubs that best fit your needs.

Using Clubs in Golf

Clubs are one of the most important tools in any game of golf. Professionals and dedicated players often get attached to their clubs, and may customize them or have personal preferences when it comes to materials.

Players are allowed to carry up to 14 clubs in a game of golf, and there are penalties for carrying too many clubs. In professional golf games, these rules are strictly held. At the British Open in 2001, a leading player realized he was carrying an extra club, and he had to pay the two-stroke penalty, and it cost him his lead.

Does a beginner really need 14 clubs? Generally, you can get away with somewhere between eight and 10 clubs when you’re first starting out. Here are some of the most important features of golf clubs that will affect how they work.

Anatomy of a Golf Club

Every golf club shares a few basic components. Experts and longtime players tend to develop strong preferences for certain materials or club types.

The grip is at the very end of a golf club, and most are made of rubber for comfort and to make them easier to hold. Some professionals prefer to use grips that include cotton cord between layers of rubber, because that cotton gives you a better, firmer grip.

A golf club’s shaft is the long tube that gives a club most of its length. Children and women in particular might want to get clubs made specifically for shorter people. Most club shafts are made of steel, but graphite is another option. Graphite shafts are more expensive and less durable, but they can move through the air faster and deliver more power.

The shaft leads into the hosel, which leads into the club head, and there are several types, depending on the type of club. Some people choose to cover these with head covers to keep them pristine, especially when they’re being transported in your golf bag.

The club head has a face, which is the flat surface on the head that you use to hit the ball. The back of the head is referred to as the heel, and the bottom is the sole, like a foot. The top front of the club is called a toe, continuing the theme.

Different Types of Golf Clubs

A range of club types are available, and they serve different purposes. Each one is best suited to different golfing situations. Beginners can get started with a set that includes all of these types of clubs, so you can be prepared for any golfing situation.


The driver is also known as the #1 wood, and it’s the longest club and has the biggest head. Because of its size, this kind of club is used for power hitting, and it’s used to drive the ball across long distances.

People use this kind of club to tee off because of how well it can cross distances. This is a necessary club for any beginner, and it will help you out on the Orange County golf course.

Fairway Woods

Despite their name, these clubs are generally made out of metal nowadays. Before the 1990s, the shafts were made of wood, but metal is far more popular, in part because they give clubs a lower center of gravity.

Fairway woods also have slightly smaller club heads than the driver. They are used to shoot the ball medium distances, shorter than the driver but longer than irons. It also has a high, soft loft that tends to give you better control over the ball.


These clubs, sometimes called utility clubs, are a combination between irons and woods. They have the long length of irons and the larger head size of fairway woods. This gives them an edge, and means you can send the ball longer distances with more control over its path.

Hybrids have become popular in recent decades, and some golfers replace use these in place of fairway woods, especially #5 and #7 clubs.


Irons got their name because they’ve always been made out of metal, while other golf heads used to be made of wood. The club heads are thinner than others, and these are used when you’re close to the green.

Irons are designed for control over the ball, not distance. They’re generally used when you are less than 200 yards away from the green and want to send the ball in a specific direction.

There are two kinds of irons: muscle back and cavity back. Generally, muscle back clubs are preferred by skilled players, including professionals, because they require precision. Otherwise, you’re better off using cavity back irons, because they provide better results.

Wedges fall into this category, too. These clubs have the highest loft of any golf clubs. The pitching wedge, or PW, is the most common option, and it’s considered a staple in any set of clubs. It can send a ball higher than other clubs.


These golf clubs are used frequently, since they are designed for sending the ball into the hole. The short shaft and thin, rectangular club head make this the perfect club to cover short distances with precision. It has a low loft, to make sure the ball rolls along the grass instead of bouncing away from the hole.

This club is a staple that should be found in every bag, because it’s crucial to helping you get the ball in the hole. There are plenty of club head and face options to choose from. Some putters have a plastic insert in the face, for example, because it softens impact and makes the sweet spot larger, so more energy goes into the ball and it goes farther.

Now that you know the basics of golf clubs, you can find the perfect combination to get out on your local Orange County golf course. Once you have your clubs, you’re on your way to having fun with golf and diving into the rules and skills needed to play. Call us to book your tee time at Mile Square Golf Course today.