"Improve your game by better understanding golf
Golf clubs are the tools we use to strike the golf ball. A golf club has
three components — the Head, the Shaft and the Grip. The rules of golf constrain
golf club designs, but the goal of clubmakers is to create golf clubs, within
those rules of golf, that maximize the physics of the golfer's swing while
allowing for a range of swing error to provide an accurate, long, yet forgiving
shot. The better your swing, the less forgiving club you require.
A standard set of golf clubs consists of three woods (the 1-driver, 3, and 5),
eight irons (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and PW), and a putter — twelve clubs. The
rules of golf allow you to carry fourteen clubs in your bag, so many golfers add
another iron or a specialty wood. After all, the more tools we have in our
toolbox, the easier it is to do our job! Click here to learn more about golf
clubs from Pinemeadow Golf.
Woods are used to hit long shots. If a golf hole is 450 yards from tee to
green, most golfers use a wood to hit off the tee. A wood is a hollow-bodied
large headed golf club. Use your woods when you are 175 yards or more away from
The Driver (also called the 1 wood) has the lowest loft of any golf club. Loft
is the angle of the club face that controls trajectory and affects distance. A
driver has a loft between 7 and 12 degrees. Experienced golfers have
traditionally favored lower lofted drivers (less than 10 degrees of loft), which
require much more skill to hit than higher lofted drivers.
A dramatic development has occurred over the past several years - professional
golfers are throwing out their low lofted drivers and opting for large-headed,
higher-lofted 10 and 11 degree drivers. Their argument is that the longest
drives are achieved by combining a high launch angle with lower spin.
higher-lofted designs for large-headed drivers provide the higher launch angle;
the new solid core golf balls provide less spin on the golf ball. This results
in the longest drives. So the professionals are increasingly moving to larger
headed higher lofted drivers. They get more carry with less shot error. Just
like you should do!
Most PGA pros now carry drivers with lofts of 8.5 to 10 degrees or more.
Non-pros should probably play drivers with lifts 10 degrees or higher. So our
recommendation is follow the advice of the PGA pros and increase the loft of
Most golfers also carry 3 and 5 woods in their bag. A 3 wood has a loft between
15 and 18 degrees, and a 5 wood has a loft between 20 and 22 degrees. The higher
the golf club number, the higher the loft. In addition, the higher the golf club
number, the shorter the club. A 3 wood is generally 1/2" shorter than a Driver
and so on with each successive club.
However, we build all our woods higher than
a 5 wood the same length as the 5 wood. This is because the shorter the club,
the smaller the arc of the swing. The smaller the arc of the swing, the less
speed the golf club will have when it strikes the ball — ergo the less distance
the ball will travel. We believe that a 5 wood is short enough and while the 7
and 9 woods provide more forgiveness, we also want longer distance in our shots. Arghh, the physics of golf!
Why aren't woods made of wood? They used to be, but since the 1980's woods have
been made of metal. Metal has many advantages over wood — the most important to
the beginning golfer being the ability to precisely mold metal to create a golf
club that has perimeter weighting and low center of gravity (LCG).
Both of these
design technologies result in golf clubs that are much more forgiving than
wooden woods. Perimeter weighting helps create a larger sweet spot — a larger
area on the face of the club that will result in a good hit. Low center of
gravity creates mass at the right place — increasing the height that the ball
will launch off the club and reducing the likelihood of miss-hits into the
What about 2 and 4 woods? These woods actually exist and were popular 20 or more
years ago, but they have fallen out of favor as newer technologies have improved
the performance of woods. Today, most golfers prefer 7 and 9 woods in their bag
(which can only have fourteen clubs) than a 2 or 4 wood.
In fact, there is now a trend to include higher numbered woods and eliminate
the traditional low numbered irons in your set of golf clubs. That will be
discussed in greater detail when we talk about irons.
The 3 wood and 5 wood are commonly referred to as Fairway Woods, because they
are most often used during the second shot of play, when you are supposed to be
in the fairway of the golf hole (as opposed to in the woods!). All higher lofted
woods (7, 9, 11, and so on) are commonly referred to as utility woods.
Irons are generally used when you are less than 200 yards away from the
green. The closer you are to the green, the higher the iron you will use. A
standard set of irons consists of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 irons and the Pitching
Wedge (PW). The 3 and 4 irons are harder to hit than the higher number irons.
Many golfers, especially ladies, seniors and higher handicap golfers, are
changing to a modified standard golf set that replaces the 3 and 4 iron with
higher lofted woods like the 7 and 9 woods.
We think this is a sensible trend and one that a beginning golfer should
consider. Higher lofted woods, like the 7 and 9 wood are easier to hit than a 3
or 4 iron and result in comparable distances.
Wedges are really just specialty irons. The first wedge is the Pitching Wedge
(PW), which is usually about 48 degrees in loft. Wedges generally increase in 4
degree loft amounts. So wedges commonly come in 48, 52, 56, 60 and 64 degree
We manufacture a very special wedge called the Last Wedge — which has a 68
degree loft. The PW is the highest lofted iron in a standard set and lowest loft
of the wedges. Following the PW with higher lofts are the Approach Wedge (AW),
Sand Wedge (SW), the Lob Wedge (LW), the High-Lob Wedge and, finally, our
Pinemeadow Last Wedge at 68 degrees.
Wedges are extremely useful to your game and most golfers have a few of them.
Wedges are generally designed as "blade clubs" because you are close enough to
the green that the game improvement design elements (discussed below) are less
The need for increased shot control and shot shaping, which blade design
encourages, becomes the more important technology for a good wedge design.
A putter is a golf club with a special purpose: getting the ball into the
hole. After you have slammed your drive 250 yards right into the middle of the
fairway, hit your second shot 175 yards into the sand trap, and then wedged out
onto the green, it is time to "putt for dough."
The putter is used on the green and there are many style of putters: short,
belly, long, bent, center-hosel, heel-toe, mallet, and so on.
At Pinemeadow Golf, we provide
you a huge selection of putters and we have a good reason for it, which we
Buying Custom Golf Clubs - The
basics of buying custom golf clubs - Overview of club components - Advice from a
custom golf club maker.
Buying Golf Clubs - Tips on buying the
right golf clubs for your specific needs - Differences between graphite shafts
and steel shafts.
Golf Swing Biomechanics Part 1 -
How to make a perfect golf swing every time - Improve your golf swing with these
tips on using the proper grip and posture when addressing the ball.
Getting Started - Simple tips on how to get
started at playing golf - Why you shouldn't buy any clubs right away - Lessons
from a certified pro are the best investment you can make.
How To Fix Your Shank - Advice on how to correct your
swing to avoid shanking the ball - What a shanked shot is and how to fix your
shank - Easy practice method to keep your club vertical at impact.
The Most Important Golf Shot - Discover
which golf shot is the most important - Ben Hogan favored the initial tee shot -
Harvey Penick favored the putt - Which do you think is the most important?
How To Play A Water Hazard - The best
way to play a water hazard is to ignore it - Trying to loft a ball over the
water causes you to top the ball and hit it directly into the water.