Whether you're embarking on a new solo adventure or trying to keep up with friends, golf can be a little confusing at first. Strict dress codes, strange scoring systems, and so many types of golf clubs! But as any golf-lover will tell you, it's worth it to hang in there. Long days in the summer sun or crisp fall air, sipping your favorite beverage and perfecting your signature swing await on the other side of your learning curve. Keep reading to learn the basics of the different types of golf clubs.

Table of Contents

1. Set of Golf Clubs
2. Types of Golf Clubs

Set of Golf Clubs

You can carry up to 14 clubs in your golf bag. How many you choose to carry is entirely up to you, and exactly which golf clubs are in your bag depend on your skill level. A beginner's golf bag will probably look very different than an experienced golfer's bag. Here's an example of what types of golf clubs a beginner might bring along:

  • 1 wood
  • 3 hybrids
  • 3 irons
  • 1 wedge
  • Putter

Types of Golf Clubs

Now that you have a general understanding of what's in a set of golf clubs, let's talk specifics. The variety of golf clubs exist to accommodate the variety of distances you want to hit the ball. And again, the types of clubs you choose for each shot completely depends on your comfort level and abilities. There isn't just one way to play golf.


The woods include your driver and fairway woods. These golf clubs hit the farthest; anywhere from 200-350 yards. Historically these clubs were constructed with wood, but they're actually made with steel or titanium nowadays. It's common to use your fairway woods to hit your longest shots, and your driver to tee-off.


Irons come in numbered sets, and which number you use depends on the distance of the shot. In general irons are used for distances fewer than 200 yards, and within a set there are long irons, middle irons, and short irons. Long irons are the hardest to master because they have little loft, but can send the ball the farthest.


For even shorter distances, choose from the sub-set of irons, a wedge. There's a type of wedge to get you out of every sticky situation: a pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. These golf clubs are used for chips and pitches around greens or, for example, to get you out of a sand bunker and back onto the green.


The newest type of golf club is a hybrid between a wood and an iron, and it's designed to accentuate the better qualities of each. Hybrids are great beginner clubs because they're easier to hit than a standard iron and give you more control over your swing.


Finally, both now and on the green, the putter. Putters come out to play for the last strokes of the game to knock the ball into the hole. They're the most specialized type of golf club and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It's vital that whatever putter you choose, it feels good to you, because it's the club that you'll use the most.

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