From its Scotland roots amid the 1400’s, golf has developed into an international sporting phenomenon, and has achieved status among millions of people from various age and ethnic groups. However, despite its acquired positive reputation, millions more still remain perplexed by golf, or find it so odd that they dislike the sport entirely. While golf, at a glance, may seem straightforward, it is actually an incredibly complex sport, composed of just as many (if not, more) intricacies as more renowned sports, such as football. Once of these intricacies revolves around the primary tool utilized by the golfer – the golf club.
All types of golf clubs are composed of the same key components, including the lance (the shaft by which the player wields the club) and the head (utilized in propelling the ball itself). However, the effect on gameplay is directly linked to the varieties of each component and how they work to benefit the golfer in a diverse selection of scenarios. Most people know that the goal of golf is to get the ball from a starting tee to an end hole. In this instance, the type of golf club controls the ebb and flow of that process, in which the golfer must move his ball to the goal. While additional types have occasionally been suggested or mentioned, there are but 4 official categories defining a model of golf club, classified by their general focus in-game and differing function/appearance: Woods, Irons, Wedges and Putters.
Woods originally get their name from the roots of golf, as clubs in history were often made of wood. Today, however, practically all clubs used for playing are made of steel, iron or an alloy of metals; they have since retained their name and function over the course of golf’s evolution as a sport, despite a notable change in material used for construction. These powerful clubs have a reputation for sending golf balls across the greatest distances in a game; they are designed with peak power and optimal control in mind, and are usually used as an opening club for the first few hits a golfer makes. Woods can be recognized by their longer lances and bulkier heads. As the golf ball approaches its target, Woods become a less viable choice of club; distance is no longer a primary concern. As a result, golfers move over to Irons. Irons trade a portion of the distance of Woods for more air-time and stability. Additionally, overshooting the goal becomes less likely with Irons.
The last 2 types of golf club – Wedges and Putters – deal primarily with getting the ball into the hole at the end of the course. While the difference between Woods and Irons is generally marginal, the difference between Irons and Wedges is extraordinary. Wedges are utilized very briefly, where the ball is very close to the “green” and Woods/Irons are not a viable option. They trade a significant amount of distance for air. Some Wedges also specialize in removing the ball from sand traps or tall grass. The final of the 3 main varieties of golf club consists of the Putters, which see considerably more usage than any of the other 3. Once the golf ball is on the green, the golfer uses Putters to roll the ball along the ground, into the goal. In mini-golf, a popular, recreational derivation of golf, Putters are the only type of club used. In both types of golf activity, Putters give the most control and stability.
Photos: Wikipedia Commons
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