19 Types of Golf Clubs (With Pictures and Examples)

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Golf is a sport that demands precision and skill, with the proper equipment being crucial for achieving success. Understanding the different types of golf clubs and their uses can help players improve their game and achieve better scores.

The main types of golf clubs are categorized into six different families: woods, irons, wedges, putters, hybrids, and speciality clubs.

While many golfers may stick to the same set of clubs they have always used, this comprehensive guide provides images and descriptions of each type of club so players can better understand their equipment and make informed decisions about which clubs to add to their bag.

Regardless of whether a player is a novice or an experienced professional, the selection of appropriate golf clubs can have a profound impact on their performance on the course.

Woods Family

1. Driver

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

A driver is a type of wood that has the lowest loft among all golf clubs. It is commonly employed for striking powerful shots from the tee on longer holes. Most players carry a driver (1 wood) in their bags, and it is commonly used on par 4s and 5s.

The loft of a driver ranges between 7 and 12 degrees, with higher lofted drivers being easier to hit and better suited for beginners and recreational players. Pros typically play lower lofted drivers that can be hit further.

Most players rely on teeing up the ball to achieve a successful drive with a driver. The average distance for recreational players is around 200-230 yards for men and 150-175 yards for women.

2. Fairway Woods (3 & 5 woods)

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

Fairway Woods are a type of club designed for long shots. Among the commonly used fairway woods are the 3-wood and the 5-wood, with loft angles ranging from 15 to 18 degrees and 20 to 22 degrees, respectively.

These clubs are specifically crafted for maximum distance and accuracy, making them a valuable asset in a golfer’s arsenal.

They are typically used by golfers playing their second and third shots from the fairway, but they can also be used on the tee box on slightly shorter holes where the use of a driver isn’t necessary.

The average distance for recreational players using a 3 wood is around 180-215 yards for men and 150-175 yards for women. The average distance for recreational players using a 5 wood is around 170-195 yards for men and 105-135 yards for women.

In golf, woods are indispensable clubs in a player’s bag, as launching the ball straight and far down the fairway is pivotal for achieving a competitive score. Although mastering them can be challenging, executing long shots is an integral aspect of the game.

Hybrids Family (Utility Clubs)

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

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

In recent years, hybrids, also referred to as utility clubs, have become increasingly popular among golfers. These clubs offer a more forgiving alternative to long irons, making it easier to achieve a higher trajectory when striking the ball.

With their enhanced design and versatility, they have quickly become a preferred choice for many players on the golf course.

Most club manufacturers match the hybrid number to the iron number it has been designed to replace, making it easier for players to decide what to carry in their bag. Hybrids are designed as substitutes for long irons, typically covering the range from 2 iron to 5 iron.

Swapping long irons for hybrids can improve accuracy and loft from the fairway. It is common for players to choose 2-4 hybrids and utilize irons from 5 to 9, creating a balanced combination of clubs.

Hybrids are versatile, suitable for both fairway and rough shots, and are even preferred for long par 3s from the tee box. They are designed with a larger clubhead, which alters the club’s center of gravity, resulting in a higher trajectory compared to irons with a similar loft.

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The Callaway Golf Mavrik Hybrid is an example of a hybrid club. If a player is struggling with long irons or avoiding them altogether, they should consider switching to hybrids to see what difference the more forgiving design of the clubs has on their game.

Recreational players can expect an average yardage distance for hybrids as follows:

2 hybrid:
– Men: 170-195 yards
– Women: 105-135 yards
3 hybrid:
– Men: 160-180 yards
– Women: 100-125 yards
4 hybrid:
– Men: 150-170 yards
– Women: 90-120 yards
5 hybrid:
– Men: 140-160 yards
– Women: 80-110 yards

Irons Family

Short Irons: 8 and 9 Iron Clubs

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

Short irons are the 8 and 9 irons that golfers use for the direct approach to the green. Some golfers consider a 7 iron to be part of their short game as well.

Short irons, often referred to as scoring irons, are a golfer’s weapon of choice when it comes to achieving a birdie or par with a remarkable approach.

These irons are easier to hit for recreational players because the loft increases and the shaft length decreases simultaneously, allowing more control over the shot and enabling 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.

For recreational players, the average distance of a 9 iron is between 95-115 yards for men and 55-70 yards for women. The average distance of an 8 iron is between 110-130 yards for men and 60-80 yards for women.

Medium Irons: 5, 6 and 7 Iron Clubs

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

Medium irons are the collective term given to the 5, 6, and 7 irons. Medium irons, with their slightly longer shaft and less loft, present a moderate challenge when it comes to hitting and controlling shots.

Nonetheless, they are indispensable in any golfer’s bag, serving as the go-to clubs for most players within 160 yards of the green. In fact, players often rely on their medium irons even on par 3 tee boxes, as they provide an opportunity for a controlled and elevated approach to the green.

For recreational players, the average distance of a 7 iron is between 120-140 yards for men and 65-90 yards for women.

The average distance of a 6 iron is between 130-150 yards for men and 70-100 yards for women. The average distance of a 5 iron is between 140-160 yards for men and 80-110 yards for women.

Long Irons: 3 and 4 Iron Clubs

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

Long irons, such as the 3 and 4 irons, are typically used by golfers for their second shots on long par 4s and par 5s, and occasionally from the tee box of long par 3s. While some may categorize the 5 iron as a long iron, it is more commonly grouped with the medium irons.

The challenge lies in controlling the flight and trajectory of long irons, prompting many players to opt for the more forgiving hybrids, ensuring they can achieve the necessary distances on longer holes throughout the course.

For recreational players, the average distance of a 4 iron is between 150-170 yards for men and 90-120 yards for women. For men, the average distance covered by a 3 iron ranges from 160 to 180 yards, while for women, it typically falls between 100 and 125 yards.

Wedge Family

Wedges are specialized iron clubs resembling blades that allow golfers to effortlessly lift the ball when navigating the green and accurately aiming for the flagstick. The loft of wedges, which increases by increments of 4 degrees, constitutes their most intricate attribute.

Wedges are versatile clubs that can be used from the fairway, rough, fringe, and even the sand surrounding the green. Most golfers carry multiple wedges in their bag to accommodate the diverse situations they may encounter as they approach 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.

The pitching wedge, classified as one of the short irons, boasts the lowest loft among the wedge family with an angle of 46-48 degrees. It possesses the ability to propel the ball the farthest and is preferred for its low bounce and narrow to medium depth design.

Men can expect an average distance of 80-105 yards, while women can expect 60-70 yards.

8. Sand Wedge

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

True to its name, the sand wedge is primarily crafted for bunker shots, yet its utility extends beyond sandy terrains. Golfers resort to the sand wedge when faced with challenging lies that lie outside the bunker.

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With a loft ranging between 54-56 degrees, the sand wedge offers the greatest bounce among all wedges. Its exceptional recovery capabilities make it an indispensable addition to any golfer’s bag. Men can expect an average distance of 60-80 yards, while women can expect 40-50 yards.

9. Gap Wedge

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

The gap wedge derives its name from its position between the pitching wedge and sand wedge in terms of loft. With more loft than a pitching wedge and less loft than a sand wedge, it typically ranges between 50-52 degrees.

Men can expect an average distance of 70-90 yards, while women can expect 50-60 yards. This versatile club is suitable for various approach shots, including pitches, bump and runs, and long bunker shots.

Given the significant difference in loft between the pitching and sand wedges, the gap wedge is a crucial club for both professional and recreational golfers alike.

10. Lob Wedge

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

The lob wedge is typically the golfer’s highest lofted club, boasting a loft between 58-60 degrees. Its design allows for a steep angle of ascent and descent, ensuring shots that are executed well soar swiftly into the air.

The highly versatile pitching wedge is primarily used to navigate obstacles like trees, bushes, or other hurdles encountered while approaching the green.

Additionally, the lob wedge is invaluable for delicately pitching a ball onto the putting surface, minimizing roll and maximizing precision. Men can expect an average distance of 45-60 yards, while women can expect 30-40 yards.

Specialty Club Family

11. Attack Wedge

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

The attack wedge, commonly referred to as an A-wedge, serves as a versatile club that bridges the gap between the sand wedge and pitching wedge.

Its design aims to provide golfers with an optimal tool for various shots, ensuring a smooth transition and enhanced performance on the course.

It is generally used for approach shots and is considered to be an essential club for golfers. The A-wedge features a loft angle ranging from 46 to 54 degrees, with the majority falling within the low fifties.

The club is designed to offer players something slightly different when they are in and around the green. The average distance for recreational players is 70-90 yards for men and 50-60 yards for women.

12. 64-Degree Wedge

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

The 64-degree wedge is a specialized club crafted to provide exceptional loft and the capability to execute high shots from the dense rough surrounding the greens.

Nevertheless, proficiency is crucial to consistently execute accurate shots with this club, and its usage is limited to specific lies, rendering it somewhat of an indulgence for golfers.

The average distance for recreational players is 30-40 yards for men and 20-30 yards for women.

13. Extra Putter

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

An extra putter is a club that is carried in the bag to offer variation, particularly if a golfer has been practicing with more than one putter.

It is primarily used to offer different options for long and short putts. However, golfers should be aware that they are only allowed to carry fourteen clubs in their bag at any given time.

14. Second Driver

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

A second driver is a club that is used by golfers who wish to navigate the course depending on whether the trouble off the tee is to the left or right. By utilizing one driver as a draw driver and the other as a fade driver, golfers can enhance their versatility on the course.

However, recreational players may find it more beneficial to include an additional wedge in their bag rather than a second driver. This strategic adjustment can greatly improve their overall performance and scoring potential.

Putter Family

15. Toe Balanced Putter

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

A toe-balanced putter is a unique type of putter where the center of gravity is not directly beneath the shaft axis. As a result, the club has a tendency to open and close during the putting stroke, adding an element of challenge and skill to the game.

As a result, toe-balanced putters are well suited to players who have an arc in their putting stroke. An example of a toe-balanced putter is the Odyssey Works Black Putter.

16. Face Balanced Putter

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

Compared to a toe-balanced putter, a face-balanced putter positions its center of gravity directly beneath the shaft axis. This design restricts movement and reduces the likelihood of the club opening during the backswing or closing during the follow-through.

Face-balanced putters are ideal for players with a straight putting stroke. An example of a face-balanced putter is the Ray Cook Golf Silver SR575 Putter.

17. Blade Putter

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

Blade putters are traditional in shape, with a straight club head and a narrow back cavity. In the past, they were the favored and extensively employed clubs on the green.

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Their uncomplicated and streamlined design was more feasible to manufacture during a time when golf clubs were not as technologically advanced as they are in the present day.

Blade putters are better suited to harder and faster greens that require a delicate touch. An example of a blade putter is the Cobra Golf King Vintage Putter.

18. Mallet Putter

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

Mallet putters feature larger heads and are specifically designed to aid in aligning putts on the green. The unique design of the putter head ensures that mallet putters have a deeper center of gravity, resulting in improved performance even on off-center putts.

While mallet putters are widely used across the game, they are particularly beneficial for beginners seeking to enhance their putting stroke. An example of a mallet putter is the TaylorMade Spider EX Putter.

19. Groove Faced Putter

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

Groove-faced putters feature finely milled grooves on the clubhead’s face, strategically positioned to promote ball alignment upon impact. This design element aims to enhance precision and accuracy during your stroke.

Although putters have long been flat-faced, grooves have started to appear on some putters.

While the jury’s still out on groove-faced putters, they’re certainly gaining in popularity. Groove putters are meticulously crafted to enhance the putt’s alignment, minimizing the effects of mistimed strokes.

An example of a groove-faced putter is the Cleveland Golf 2135 Putter.

Recognizing Every Type of Golf Club in Your Bag

To ensure a successful game of golf, it’s important to have a variety of golf clubs in your bag. Golf enthusiasts have the luxury of choosing from a diverse range of 19 club types, each possessing distinct characteristics and purposes.

When making club selections, it is crucial to factor in elements such as distance, accuracy, spin, forgiveness, and versatility.

By carefully considering these aspects, players can optimize their game and make informed choices on the course. Golfers should also take into account their swing speed and ball flight when choosing clubs.

Here is a list of the 19 types of golf clubs and their corresponding numbers:

Golf ClubNumber
Fairway Woods3, 5, 7
Hybrids2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Irons3-9, Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Sand Wedge, Lob Wedge

Each club has its own specific purpose, with drivers being used for long-distance shots off the tee, and putters used for shorter, delicate shots on the green.

Fairway woods and hybrids excel in approach shots, showcasing their precision and finesse. On the other hand, irons offer versatility, proving their worth in a multitude of situations.

By having a well-rounded selection of golf clubs, golfers can improve their performance and enjoy the game even more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of golf clubs?

Golf clubs are categorized into five types: woods, irons, hybrids, wedges, and putters. Each type of club is designed for specific shots, distances, and situations.

What are the different types of irons?

Irons are numbered from 1 to 9, with 1 being the longest and 9 being the shortest. The lower the number, the lower the loft and the farther the ball will travel. Irons are used for approach shots and shots from the fairway.

What are the different types of woods?

Woods are also numbered, with the driver being the longest and typically numbered as 1. Fairway woods are also commonly used and are numbered 3, 5, and 7. Woods are used for long shots from the tee or fairway.

What are the different types of hybrids?

Hybrids are a combination of irons and woods, with a design that allows for easier shots from difficult lies. They are numbered similarly to irons, with the higher numbers having more loft.

What are the different types of wedges?

Wedges are used for short shots around the green and for getting out of bunkers. There are four types of wedges: pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. Each has a different degree of loft and is used for specific shots.

How do I choose the right golf club for a shot?

Choosing the right golf club depends on several factors, including the distance to the hole, the lie of the ball, and the golfer’s skill level.

Golfers should consider the type of shot they want to make and choose a club that will allow them to execute it effectively. It’s important to practice with different clubs and learn how they perform in different situations to make the best decision on the course.