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The Official Rules of Golf mandate no more than 14 clubs are allowed in your bag during a round of golf, and that includes your putter. So it is vital that you choose a selection of clubs that best fits your swing, where you play and your ability level.
Determining Your Ability Level
Players can be divided into 3 basic ability levels--low-handicaps, mid-handicaps, and high-handicaps. A handicap is the golfer's way of measuring their performance against the par on a course, usually in relation to a par 72 regulation course.
The Low-Handicap Golfer
A low-handicaps player has a single-digit handicap, meaning he or she generally scores less than 10 strokes over par, or an 82 or less on a par-72 course.
The low-handicap player should carry a driver and at least 1 fairway wood, most likely the 3-wood
The low-handicap player will benefit from lower irons in his bag, because the 3 or 4-iron is a difficult club to hit, but can be very useful if it can be controlled
A minimum of 3 wedges--pitching wedge, sand wedge, and either a lob wedge or approach wedge--in their bags, with a maximum four-degree difference between each one
The Mid-Handicap Golfer
The mid-handicap golfer plays "bogey golf," meaning his or her score averages out to 1 over par on each hole, or somewhere in the 11-20 handicap range.
In addition to the driver and a 3-wood and a 5-wood, consider adding a 7-wood or even a 9-wood. These fairway woods give much better control and consistency than the harder to hit long irons.
Most sets are comprised of the pitching wedge and irons 3 through 9
Three different wedges are recommended--pitching wedge, sand wedge, and either a lob wedge or approach wedge
The High-Handicap Golfer
The high-handicap golfer is either a beginner or has not had the time to hone his game to reach the mid-handicap level. The high-handicapper usually shoots close to or over 100.
You may not even want to have a driver in your bag. Instead, go with the 3-wood as your off-the-tee wood and add the easier-to-hit 7- and 9-woods.
Up to 3 wedges--pitching wedge, sand wedge, and either a lob wedge or approach wedge--should be carried
Determining the Type of Club
Various shafts and club head compositions and designs make it possible to select the right combination to suit every individual's golf game.
Golf club shafts now primarily come in 2 materials, steel and graphite
Stronger, more durable and generally less expensive
Offer greater consistency from shaft to shaft
More control on shots, but requires a faster swing speed to generate the same distance as graphite
Recommended for stronger players who could use a little extra control in their game
Generally lighter than steel and can be made in many more variations
Graphite is generally more expensive than steel and less durable
The lighter shaft allows greater swing speed for more power, but it sacrifices control
Graphite absorbs shock in a swing
Flex refers to the amount of "bend" in a shaft
Your shaft flex needs to match with the speed of your golf swing
Beginners and players with less powerful swings will benefit from a more flexible shaft
An average player has a swing speed of 75-90 mph, and should look for a regular shaft
Players with powerful swings - in the 90 -110 mph range - should purchase a stiff or firm shaft. This will provide a stiffer club for more control.
Many shafts are now available in a uniflex that will fit most any golfer's swing
Types of Irons
Cavity back construction, also known as perimeter weighted irons
Most of the head weight on the outside of the head
A larger sweet spot because it puts more weight on the edges of the club face
Beginners who tend to mishit the ball more often would benefit from cavity back/perimeter weighted irons because they are more forgiving
No special weight distribution on the back of the club head
The center of gravity is in the center of the club head
Small sweet spots, offers lower handicapper more control
More advanced players who tend to strike the ball consistently in the center of the club would benefit from forged irons
Determining Your Ability Level
Determining the Type of Club
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