19 Types of Golf Clubs (With Pictures and Examples)

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Do you know your lob wedge from your pitching wedge? And have you ever considered carrying two drivers in your bag?

The main different types of golf clubs all belong inside one of the woods, irons, wedges, putters, hybrids, and specialty club families.

While lots of recreational golfers stick to the set of clubs they’ve had for as long as they can remember, getting to know your equipment and adding better-suited clubs to your bag will help to improve your score.

In this comprehensive guide, we introduce you to the different golf clubs with images that you can carry in your bag, so you can use the ideal clubs to boost your game.

Woods Family

Woods are used for hitting long shots, primarily off the tee on longer holes, but players also use woods on the fairway when they’re still a considerable distance from the green.

Most players carry three woods in their bags – a driver (1 wood) and two fairway woods (most commonly 3 & 5 woods).

Although woods can be difficult for beginners to master, playing long shots is a vital component of the game, and hitting the ball straight and long down the fairway is the perfect foundation for building a competitive score.

1. Driver

driver club type
Example of a driver: TaylorMade SIM MAX Driver.

A driver has the lowest loft of any golf club, ranging between 7 & 12 degrees.

Higher lofted drivers are easier to hit and better suited to beginners and recreational players, whereas pros typically play lower lofted drivers that can be hit further.

The vast majority of players require the ball to be teed up to hit a driver successfully, which is why this club tends to only come out of the bag at the tee box of par 4s & 5s.

Driver average distance for recreational players:
Men: 200-230 yards.
Women: 150-175 yards.

2. Fairway Woods (3 & 5 woods)

fairway woods club typ
Example of a fairway wood: Cleveland Golf Launcher Fairway Wood.

With a loft between 15 & 18 degrees and 20 & 22 degrees, respectively, the 3 and 5 woods are used by golfers playing their second and third shots from the fairway (hence the name).

Still, fairway woods are commonly used on the tee box, as golfers are looking to play long and straight shots on slightly shorter holes, where the use of a driver isn’t necessary.

3 wood average distance for recreational players:
Men: 180-215 yards.
Women: 150-175 yards.

5 wood average distance for recreational players:
Men: 170-195 yards.
Women: 105-135 yards.

Hybrids Family (Utility Clubs)

In the past decade, hybrids often referred to as utility clubs, have become increasingly popular with professional and recreational golfers alike.

The essence of a hybrid is that it’s seen as an easier option than hitting a long iron, as hybrids are designed in such a way to provide players with a more forgiving option.

Most club manufacturers match the hybrid number to the iron number it has been designed to replace, making life a lot easier for players when deciding what to carry in their bag.

3. Hybrid Clubs: 2, 3, 4, and 5 Hybrid

hybrid club type
Example of a hybrid: Callaway Golf Mavrik Hybrid.

Typically, players hoping to improve their accuracy and loft from the fairway should consider swapping their long irons for hybrids.

Golf club manufacturers produce hybrids to replace long irons, usually ranging from the 2 iron through to a 5.

While it’s not necessary to fill your bag with hybrids, it’s undoubtedly helpful to replace long irons that you struggle to hit or avoid pulling out the bag at all costs!

It’s common to see players opt for 2-4 hybrids, then make use of irons from 5 through to 9. This strikes a nice balance in the bag between hybrids and irons and makes life a little easier from the fairway or rough.

Hybrids are used on both the fairway and the rough and may even be favored on long par 3s from the tee box.

One of the main reasons that they’ve become so popular is that they hit the ball on a higher trajectory than irons with a comparable loft, thanks to its bigger head design which alters the center of gravity of the club.

If you’re hoping to improve your long iron game, consider switching to hybrids and see what difference the more forgiving design of the clubs has on your game.

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2 hybrid average yardage distance for recreational players:
Men: 170-195 yards.
Women: 105-135 yards.

3 hybrid average yardage distance for recreational players:
Men: 160-180 yards.
Women: 100-125 yards.

4 hybrid average yardage distance for recreational players:
Men: 150-170 yards.
Women: 90-120 yards.

5 hybrid average yardage distance for recreational players:
Men: 140-160 yards.
Women: 80-110 yards.

Irons Family

Irons make up the bulk of the golf bag and are typically used within 200 yards of the green.

Simply, the further away you are from the green, the lower the iron you will use.

As mentioned, some people switch their long irons for hybrids, but other golfers have mastered the art of hitting long irons.

A golfer can choose to carry irons from 3 through to 9, but their selection tends to depend on their confidence to play certain clubs, as well as the distances they can hit with each iron.

4. Short Irons: 8 and 9 Iron Clubs

short irons club type
Example of a short iron: Callaway Big Bertha 8 Iron.

Short irons refer to the 8 and 9 irons, which are used on the direct approach to the green.

Some golfers consider a 7 iron to be part of their short game, too.

You will also hear the short irons referred to as the scoring irons, as they’re most commonly used as a golfer looks to make a birdie or par with an impressive approach.

The short irons are easier to hit for recreational players as the loft increases and the shaft length decreases simultaneously.

This allows more control over the shot and enables players to shape their shots on approach.

Although short irons are typically used in and around the green, they can also be used on short par 3s or if a golfer is looking to elevate the ball elsewhere on the course to avoid a particular hazard.

9 iron average distance for recreational players:
Men: 95-115 yards.
Women: 55-70 yards.

8 iron average distance for recreational players:
Men: 110-130 yards.
Women: 60-80 yards.

5. Medium Irons: 5, 6 and 7 Iron Clubs

medium irons club type
Example of a medium iron: Cobra Golf Radspeed 7 Iron.

Medium (or midrange) irons is the collective term given to the 5, 6, and 7 irons.

Due to their slightly longer shaft and less loft, medium irons are slightly more difficult to hit and control.

But that being said, they’re an essential part of the bag and will be the go-to clubs for most players as they’re within 160 yards of the green.

Players tend to turn to their medium irons on the tee box of par 3s, too, as they offer the chance of an elevated and controlled approach to the green.

7 iron average distance for recreational players:
Men: 120-140 yards.
Women: 65-90 yards.

6 iron average distance for recreational players:
Men: 130-150 yards.
Women: 70-100 yards.

5 iron average distance for recreational players:
Men: 140-160 yards.
Women: 80-110 yards.

6. Long Irons: 3 and 4 Iron Clubs

long irons  club type
Example of a long iron: Callaway Golf Apex 4 Iron.

We’ve touched on this point already, but the present-day golfer tends to replace their long irons with hybrid clubs, as they are much easier to hit and more forgiving.

However, for those brave souls who are up for the challenge, “long irons” is the term given for the 3 and 4 irons.

Although some people consider the 5 iron to be a long iron, it is more commonly grouped with the medium irons, which is why we’ve included it there.

Golfers turn to their long irons for their second shots on long par 4s and par 5s, and perhaps from the tee box of long par 3s.

It’s not easy to control the flight and trajectory of long irons, which is why many players go for the more forgiving option of hybrids, to ensure they can hit the required distances on the longer holes of the course.

4 iron average distance for recreational players:
Men: 150-170 yards.
Women: 90-120 yards.

3 iron average distance for recreational players:
Men: 160-180 yards.
Women: 100-125 yards.

Wedge Family

The easiest way to describe wedges is perhaps to brand them as a specialty, blade-like irons. They enable golfers to lift the ball in and around the green and dial into the flagstick.

The most technical (and important) aspect of wedges is their loft, which tends to increase in increments of 4 degrees.

So, you can expect to see angled wedges with 48, 52, 56, 60, and 64 degrees loft, for instance.

Most players have several wedges in their bag, to account for the various positions they’re likely to find themselves in as they approach the green.

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Wedges are played on the fairway, from the rough, on the fringe, and also from the sand around the green.

Golfers specifically pick their wedges to play certain shots, which is how they’re able to control their approach play as they look to score on the green.

7. Pitching Wedge

pitching wedge club type
Example of a pitching wedge: Pinemeadow Golf PGX Wedge.

Every golf bag comes with a pitching wedge. As the lowest lofted of the wedges (46-48 degrees), the pitching wedge can hit the ball the furthest.

Some players even consider the pitching wedge to be part of their short irons because of this. Golfers favor pitching wedges with a low bounce and narrow to medium depth.

Pitching wedge average distance for recreational players:
Men: 80-105 yards.
Women: 60-70 yards.

8. Sand Wedge

sand wedge club type
Example of a sand wedge: Cleveland Golf 56 Degree RTX ZipCore Wedge.

As you would reasonably expect by its name, the sand wedge is specifically designed to be played out of the bunker. But it’s not exclusively for this purpose.

Players opt for the sand wedge when they encounter difficult lies outside of the sand, including deep rough and soft dirt, or essentially any lie on which it’s difficult to make clean contact with the ball.

A sand wedge has a loft of between 54-56 degrees and has the most bounce out of the wedges.

Given its powers of recovery, it’s impossible to leave the sand wedge out of your bag.

Sand wedge average distance for recreational players:
Men: 60-80 yards.
Women: 40-50 yards.

9. Gap Wedge

gap wedge club type
Example of a gap wedge: LAZRUS 52 Degree Forged Golf Wedge.

The gap wedge takes its name from the fact that it falls in the ‘gap’ between the pitching wedge and a sand wedge when considering loft.

It has more loft than a pitching wedge, and less loft than a sand wedge and is usually between 50-52 degrees.

It can be used for a variety of approach shots, including pitches, bump and runs, as well as long bunker shots.

Due to the considerable distance between the loft of pitching and sand wedges, a gap wedge is considered an essential club for both pros and recreational golfers alike.

Gap wedge average distance for recreational players:
Men: 70-90 yards.
Women: 50-60 yards.

10. Lob Wedge

lob wedge club type
Example of a lob wedge: 60 Degree Wilson Harmonized Golf Wedge.

The lob wedge is usually the highest lofted club that a golfer will carry, and typically has a loft between 58-60 degrees.

Thanks to its design, the lob wedge creates a steep angle for the ascent and descent, meaning that shots that are played well rise into the air quickly.

The lob wedge is most commonly used to pitch over trees, bushes, or other hurdles on the approach to the green.

A lob wedge is also useful for pitching a ball onto the putting surface with minimum roll.

Lob wedge average distance for recreational players:
Men: 45-60 yards.
Women: 30-40 yards.

Specialty Club Family

Although lots of recreational golfers forego specialty golf clubs, the reality is that adding some of these clubs to your bag can lower your score. Specialty clubs fill the gap between normal clubs in terms of loft, yardage and feel.

There are several types of specialty clubs, and as you would expect, they enable something a little extra special out on the course.

Far from a golfer’s bread and butter, specialty clubs should be seen as being capable of producing that little bit of magic that could inspire you to try something a little different.

11. A-Wedge (Attack)

attack wedge club type
Example of an attack or “A” wedge: 58 Degree LAZRUS Premium Wedge.

Some manufacturers produce an A-wedge to offer players something slightly different when they’re in and around the green.

It’s widely accepted that ‘A’ stands for approach, but some manufactures consider ‘A’ to stand for attack.

In spite of its interesting name, the A-wedge is essentially the same as a gap wedge, offering players a club in between the sand and pitching wedge.

Although A-wedges are designed with a loft from anywhere between 46 and 54 degrees, expect them to be in the low fifties, the same as a gap wedge.

So, if you already have a gap wedge in your back, there’s no need to opt for an A-wedge as well.

A-wedge average distance for recreational players:
Men: 70-90 yards.
Women: 50-60 yards.

12. 64-Degree Wedge

64 degree wedge club type
Example of a 64 degree wedge: Cleveland Golf CBX Full-Face Wedge.

If you’re looking for exceptional loft and the ability to hit high shots from the thick rough around the greens, a 64-degree wedge could be the ideal addition to your bag.

However, that being said, it takes a high degree of skill to be able to consistently nail your shots with a 64-degree wedge, and the fact that it can only be used for specific lies makes it somewhat of a luxury club.

While Phil Mickelson has shown the world what is possible with a 64-degree wedge, most recreational players are better at sticking to a standard lob wedge.

64-degree wedge average distance for recreational players:
Men: 30-40 yards.
Women: 20-30 yards.

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13. Extra Putter

extra putter club type
Example of an extra putter: Pinemeadow Golf Men’s PGX Putter.

Adam Scott famously carried two putters in his bag during the PGA Championship in 2018.

He explained that he used a short putter for long puts and a long putter for short putts.

The primary reason for carrying more than one putter would be to offer such variation, particularly if you’ve been practicing with more than one putter.

Remember, you’re only allowed fourteen clubs in your bag at any given time, so think carefully before carrying that extra putter!

14. Second Driver

second driver club type
Example of a second driver: Cobra Golf Men’s Radspeed Driver.

It’s perhaps more common for golfers to carry an additional driver, as opposed to an extra putter, but it’s still quite rare.

Players of a higher skill may wish to bag two drivers as they see one as a draw driver, and the other as a fade driver.

This allows them to navigate the course depending on whether the trouble off the tee is to the left or right.

Again, like an extra putter, however, recreational players may be better served adding an extra wedge into their bag as opposed to a second driver.

Putter Family

One of the biggest challenges a golfer faces is deciding on the type of putter they should carry in their bag.

As well as a huge range of manufacturers, there are several different putter styles that should all be considered.

As you will be aware, your putter gets the business done on the green, so it’s hugely important for your scorecard that you pick a flat stick that you’re comfortable using.

15. Toe Balanced Putter

toe balanced putter club type
Example of a toe balanced putter: Odyssey Works Black Putter.

The center of gravity in a toe-balanced putter is not directly below the shaft axis, which means that it’s more likely to open and close during the putting stroke.

Therefore, toe-balanced putters are well suited to players who have an arc in their putting stroke.

16. Face Balanced Putter

face balanced putter club type
Example of a face balanced putter: Ray Cook Golf Silver SR575 Putter.

In contrast to a toe balanced putter, a face-balanced club is one that has its center of gravity directly below the axis of the shaft.

The movement is more restricted, and it is are less likely to open on the backswing or close on the follow-through.

Face-balanced putters are ideal for players with a straight putting stroke.

17. Blade Putter

blade putter club type
Example of a blade putter: Cobra Golf King Vintage Putter.

Blade putters are traditional in shape where the club head is straight with a narrow back cavity. There was a time in golf when blade putters were the most popular and widely used club on the green.

Their simple, flat design was easier to produce when golf clubs were not as high-tech as they are today.

Blade putters are better suited to harder and faster greens that require a delicate touch, so don’t opt for a blade if you’re heavy-handed!

18. Mallet Putter

mallet putter club type
Example of a mallet putter: TaylorMade Spider EX Putter.

Mallet putters are characterized by their larger heads and are designed to help people improve their alignment on the green.

The design of the putter head ensures mallet putters have a deeper center of gravity, which improves the outcome of off-center putts.

Although widely used throughout the game, mallet putters are ideal for beginners looking to improve their putting stroke.

19. Groove Faced Putter

groove putter club type
Example of a groove putter: Cleveland Golf 2135 Putter.

Although putters have long been flat-faced, grooves have started to appear on some putters. Groove putters have very small, milled grooves placed on the face of the clubhead with the aim of keeping the ball straight on the point of impact.

Although not unanimously popular, groove putters are designed in such a way to help a putt stay online, as they’re said to reduce the impact of poorly timed putts.

While the jury’s still out on groove-faced putters, they’re certainly gaining in popularity.

Recognizing Every Type of Golf Club in Your Bag

We hope you now have all the information you need to select the ideal golf clubs for your bag. Our exhaustive list includes 19 different types of golf clubs with sharp pictures so you can quickly identify each club.

Whether you swap your long irons for hybrids to improve consistency on the fairways or opt for an A-wedge and mallet putter to enhance your approach play; you now know everything you need to about the different options available to you.

We hope this guide helps you put your golf bag together, and you will soon start shooting lower scores that help improve your enjoyment of the game.