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Know the Equipment

August 4th, 2014

Know the ins and outs of your golfing equipment!

The Clubs

Gold clubs can be easily split into two groups; irons and woods. This, as you would expect, reflects on the materials from which the clubs are made, however this is no longer the case as there are cheaper, more durable materials available for the manufacture of golf clubs. Woods are used to hit the long shots, irons are user to hit the shorter shots.

 

Woods;

A wood is usually the club you use to start your game if a hole is more than 450 yards from the tee to the green. Don’t use a wood if you are less than 175 yards away from the green – switch to irons.

Driver – this has the lowest loft (angle of the club face) meaning that you get between 7 and 12 degrees of lift from the ball. As the name suggests this is a club for driving the ball; meaning that the distance it travels is typically the greatest any of the clubs offer. This club is favoured with experienced golfers for its low loft and is most commonly used off the tee.

3 & 5 woods – these come after the driver. The 3-wood provides a loft between 15 and 18 degrees. The 5-wood offers between 20 and 22 degrees of loft. Both a great options for getting yourself over the fairway and onto the green in a few strokes or less if the driver didn’t quite get you there. Both could be an excellent choice if you’re face with a dog-legged hole.

7 & 9 woods – not every golfer actually carries the 7-wood or the 9-wood. They provide more forgiveness than the 3 and 5 and are most commonly referred to as utility woods. You might even see an 11-wood at some stage which falls into this category. The utility woods might be good if you need manoeuvrability or control around hazards but don’t want to use an iron.

 

Irons;

The iron is generally used from around 220 years from the green or closer. The closer you are to the green the higher the iron you need, with standard sets featuring 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 irons as well as a pitching wedge.

3 & 4 irons – the 3-iron and 4-iron are notoriously hard to hit and most women or higher handicapped golfers will replace the 3 & 4 irons in their bag with 7 & 9 woods, which provide a high loft to make them easier to hit while still producing approximately the same distances.

5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 irons – there are plenty of irons to choose from as you approach the green, the lower the number the more yardage you’re going to be able to get from it. These are used only for getting close to the green and can be tricky to work with, you should be sure to select with care.

Wedges – wedges are your ‘blade clubs’ you use it to get out of a hazard, such as sand, or out of the rough and on to the green. This has particularly good control and shaping to give you the best possible opportunity and of course there are different types of wedges available. The pitching wedge provides you with 48 degrees of loft, after this they increase by 4 degrees (48, 52, 56, 60).

Putters – the putter is what you use to get the ball in the hole once you’re on the green, assuming you didn’t accomplish a hole-in-one. A soft touch and careful judgement is needed when working with the butter and as you might expect there are different types and styles available so that you have something that suits your individual preferences; regardless of whether you like a long putter, shot putter, heel-toe, mallet or something else entirely.

 

The Balls;

The ball you choose doesn’t make a great deal of difference to your game unless you’re an experienced player, in which case the type of ball is less important than the individual features of the ball. Of course if you happen to favour a particular type of ball it is usually a good idea to stick with it, as the fewer alterations you make to your gameplay the more you can develop your playing skills before you test yourself with new equipment.

Construction – There are three types of construction to choose from. The first is a golf ball that is made up of two parts; a core and a cover. This provides a better result for golfers who want to get more distance from their shots. The second type is made up of a core and a skin, which is something a bit like a rubber band stretched over the core and then a cover. This provides a better result for golfers who want more feel and spin from their shots. The third type is made from multiple layers and is the most common and popular option given that it allows for both good distance and reasonable feel and spin. This makes it a more general purpose middle ground ball.

Compression – The compression of the ball is how hard the golf ball is and impacts how far a player can hit the ball. Balls are available at 80, 90 or 100 compression and while it has been established that with a skilled player a ball at 80 compression can accomplish the same distance as a ball at 100 compression there is a different feel when it is hit. Those with a slower swing speed or generally cooler conditions tend to find a lower compression is better suited to them.

Dimples – dimples to affect how long you can hit the ball as they impact how long the ball is likely to stay airborne, it is also often thought that the dimples impact backspin but this is not true as far as any evidence can indicate. The ideal range is 350-450 for maximum air time.

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