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Golf Clubs For Beginners: A Step-By-Step Guide

Most instructors put emphasis on golf club grip and swing when teaching beginner golfers. This reason for this is because you'll actually use the same swing for nearly every single club!

This fact immediately caught my attention. And made me feel some much more confident in pinning down my swing! Because, I knew that it would be reapplied and that I wouldn't have to learn 12-14 different swings for all the clubs options. Which is what I originally thought I would have to do... (lol!)

But once I considered the fact that my swing actually stays the same, and my clubs are they only real variable, I realized how important my golf clubs are to my game! Not in terms of the brand, but in terms of what they're built to do. And of course, what their differences are.

It turns out that the reason golfers carry up to 14 golf clubs is because each club provides a player with a few different benefits.

Let's take a closer look at golf clubs, step-by-step!


Every single golf club is designed for a specific type of shot. And their distinctive differences are based on the size/shape of their heads, the length of the shaft, and their loft.

The loft is the most important thing to note on each golf club. Loft means the angle of the club face (on the head of the club). It is the primary factor in determining the height of the shot. To complicate things a bit, clubs are considered "long" and "medium" when the loft angle is low, and "short" when the loft angle is high. For example, your sand wedge which has a steep loft (high angle) is used in order to get you out of sand traps and is considered a "short" club!

Your skill set, whichever club you feel most comfortable with, and creativity will ultimately dictate which club you select for different scenarios. There's no right or wrong when it comes to your club selection when you're on the course. There's only right or wrong for your golf abilities on a given shot!


When you're a beginner you're typically buying your golf clubs in a set, rather than as individual clubs or custom made clubs. It's the best way to try out a bunch of different clubs when you're new to golf, without the costs. FYI, my first set that I still play with today, is this Wilson golf club set- which is ranked one of the best women's beginner sets.

A set of golf clubs typically consists of 12-14 clubs; a combination of woods, hybrids, irons and a putter. (To see which clubs I recommend learning first of all, read this post on 5 tips for the girl who wants to learn golf .)

While, it's not a particularly sexy topic, knowing the specifics to your golf clubs and their distances is important for when you're ready to hit the course, so let's take a closer look at the differences between specific golf clubs.

And by the way, this post comes with a free distance tracker workbook! Click below to get your free copy.


1. Driver. The driver is your longest, lightest club. The head is typically made of lightweight titanium in order to maximize its size without becoming too heavy. Golfers use the driver exclusively for tee shots because it produces maximum height and distance with minimum spin for straighter, longer shots. It's also worth noting that a driver is technically considered a "Fairway Wood" - which is explained in more detail below.

2.Irons. Irons are used when you are closer to the green; typically less than 200 yards from the fairway to the green. They're also great for the occasional chip shots from just off the green. Shots from long and medium irons travel farther, while short-iron shots fly higher but a shorter distance. The pitching wedge is the shortest iron (highest loft) with a loft of about 46 degrees.

3.Fairway Woods. Despite their name, fairway woods are no longer made of wood. And you don’t necessarily use them in the fairway. Just like with a driver these clubs are usually made of stainless steel. The shaft is set off center and the flattened bottom lets the head slide over the top of the grass. They are typically selected when the fairway shot is beyond the range of an iron shot. Or on tee shots when a player needs more control of the ball. For example, I typically grab a 3 wood for a par 3 hole, since I need a shorter distance than the driver, but greater distance than an iron.


4. Utility clubs (Hybrids). Utility clubs, also known as hybrids, are a cross between fairway woods and long irons. I previously read that club manufacturers initially marketed them for long shots out of the rough (bushes, trees or other landscaping), or from other difficult ball lies. But the clubs' design makes it so easy to hit the ball and to do so more accurately that for many golfer they've replaced long irons. These are the most forgiving clubs you can play with. In other words, you do not have to hit the ball perfectly in order for it to go where you want it to go. And for the record, I do love using them to get out of tricky landscaping. To learn more about why these are genuinely my favorite clubs, check out have a read of this post on hybrid golf clubs.

5. Wedges. Wedges are used to get you out of trouble… (lol!) I mean, out of the beach (sand) or rough (tall(er) grass). Wedges are typically referred o by their specific name such as sand wedge, lob wedge and gap wedge. And, like their name suggests, they are used for short pitches from the fairway. The club heads a steep angle (high loft) and therefore create more height. Golfers often carry several wedges with different lofts for use from a variety of distances and conditions. These clubs allow for the most creativity with your abilities and the lie of your ball!

6. Putters. Putters are used on or around green - the putting surface surrounding the hole - or for when you're on a very flat surface near the hole. They have flat faces with minimal loft to keep the ball from bouncing when you strike it. And many putters have plastic or soft metal face inserts for rolling the ball more smoothly.


  • Golf clubs are designed for a specific type of shot.

  • The distinctive differences between golf clubs are based on the size/shape of their heads, the length of the shaft, and their loft.

  • The loft on a golf club is the angle of the club face that primarily determines the height of the shot. As a rule of thumb, the higher the loft, the higher your ball flight will be.

  • A set of golf clubs typically consists of 12-14 clubs; a combination of woods, hybrids, irons and a putter.

  • There's no right or wrong when it comes to your club selection when you're on the golf course but there's right or wrong for your golf abilities on a given shot!

PRO TIP: When I first started playing golf, I played with just 5 clubs: a driver, eight iron, 5 hybrid, pitching wedge, and my putter. And I still believe that these are the most important clubs to learn first and foremost! These 5 clubs will get your out on the course playing with the best of them in no time, while all the other clubs else can wait for another day! :)

Meanwhile, leave a comment below to let me know which clubs you're loving or if you have any questions.

And don't forget your free workbook!

Talk soon,


P.S. Before I go, I want to invite you to join the community of 700+ positive golfers! Sign up below!

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I'm Florence, and I encourage women to play golf! Feel welcome to reach out to me directly, here.

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