Introduction to golf clubs

Introduction To Golf Clubs

Understanding Your Golf Bag

If you are new to golf, you may have noticed the different numbers on each club. You may have also heard things like “I think I’ll hit my 7 iron” or “This is definitely a pitching wedge for me”. No idea what any of this means? Don’t worry, this golf clubs guide will introduce you to the following:

  • The different categories of clubs within a set
  • Numbers and lofts of each club and what they mean
  • When you you should be using a specific club

After understanding the basics of golf clubs, you will be able to make more informed, accurate decisions around the golf course. Using the right club based on your location to the flag will having you playing better golf. Hitting the ball the correct distance means a higher chance of landing closer to where it needs to be.

All the clubs within a golf set

A golf set is made up of the following types of clubs:

  • Irons
  • Wedges
  • A driver and Woods
  • Hybrids
  • A putter


Your iron set is comprised of a 3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 iron. As the lower numbers, specifically 3,4 and ocassionally 5 are the irons with the lowest loft, whether you include these clubs in your iron set is a matter of preference. Alternates to the 3,4 and 5 irons exist in the form of ‘woods’ and ‘hybrids’. You can commonly find ‘3 woods’ and ‘5 woods’ or even ‘7 woods’, however the 4 iron is more commonly being replaced by a ‘4 hybrid’. Similarly, hybrids can be purchased in 3,4 and 5 hybrid variants.


Wedges are the golf clubs you use when you are relatively close to the pin. This radius is typically 120 yards from the flag. A standard golf set includes a pitching wedge (often purchased part of your iron set), a sandwedge, a gap wedge and the highest loftest club in your bag – your lob wedge.

Driver and Woods

The driver is what you use to hit the golf ball as far as you can. The driver gets a lot of use as on many holes around the course, the distance to the pin is far greater than the distance in which your lowest lofted iron is capable. It is important you become confident and able with your driver so that you can find the fairway.


Hybrids are similar to drivers in that they are designed to hit the ball further. The main difference with the hybrid is that you are able to hit it off of the grass without teeing your ball up. This allows you to potentially use your hybrid on the fairway if you are still far away from the flag.


The putter is the club you use when you are on the green. With a club face loft of 0 degrees, the putter is designed to keep the ball on the ground post impact so that you can roll your golf ball towards the hole accurately. You can read a focused putting guide here.

What the numbers mean

Club numbers

The numbers assigned to specific clubs in your golf set have a purpose. This purpose is to help you identify the loft of the club head of the golf club. The numbers on the irons typically ascend from 3 to 9. These irons are what you will be using when you are anywhere between 220 and 130 (depending on how far you hit each iron) yards from the golf pin located on the green. The lower the number on your golf club, the further the ball should go. This is because of the loft.


The loft of the golf club refers to the angle in which the face of the golf club lies. The lower the loft, the further the golf ball should travel due to the trajectory at impact. Higher lofts mean the ball travels higher in the air, having a higher apex, thus traveling less far. Golf is a game of angles and understanding and identifying when a certain angle is more appropriate will give you an advantage over compeitors.

Understanding when you you should use each club

As all of us hit the golf ball differently, no golfer is the same. When practicing it is important to spend the time recording the distance you hit each number of iron. Working out the average over 100 shots for each iron is a great way to see how far you hit each club on average.

There are many methods to do this. With modern technology such as golf simulators and golf tags syncing with your phone, you are able to get accurate measurements that provide you with an indepth analysis of your data. This can include distance, club head speed, spin rate and many more other details…more on that later. When you are standing at the tee box on a par three that is 160 yards, you will immediately know that you hit your 8 or 7 iron 160 yards. Knowing exactly what club to hit depending on how far you hit it is a sure way to get around the golf course easier.

The typical distances for each club

3 iron200
4 iron190
5 iron180
6 iron170
7 iron160
8 iron150
9 iron140
Pitching wedge130
Gap wedge100
Lob wedge80-100
This numbers are a rough guide. Your distances will be different to the above numbers. It is important you determine your own stats for each club you use.

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Steve, your digital Ecaddie sharing pro golf tips, how to guides, top golf news and equipment maintenance. I'm here to help you perform better on the golf course!

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