basic golf equipment

Basic Golf Equipment – A Beginner’s Guide

So you’re ready to try your hand at golf. what equipment do you need and what do all those golf clubs do? Well, let’s take a quick look;

Golf Clubs

Golf is played with golf clubs of various types. There are four major categories of clubs, known as woods, hybrids, irons and putters. Wedges resemble irons and can be counted among these.

A golfer is allowed to carry up to fourteen clubs during a round. A typical set of clubs normally consists of 2 woods, 2 wedges, a putter, and 9 irons, numbered from1 to 9.

Clubfaces are designed with differing loft (the angle between a vertical plane and the clubface when the club is at rest).

The parts of a club are the shaft, the grip and the head. The grip of the golf club connects the club to the golfer’s hands and is usually made of rubber or leather. According to the rules of golf, the grip must be round and devoid of any obvious bumps, lumps or hollows.

The shaft of the golf club connects the grip to the head and, like the grip, must be basically round in cross section. Most modern golf club shafts are made of either steel or a carbon-fiber and resin composite. Shafts are quantified in a number of different ways.

The most common variable is the stiffness or flex. Most shaft makers offer a variety of flexes. The most common are: L (Lady), A (known as Soft Regular or Senior Flex), R (Regular Flex), S (Stiff Flex) and X (Tour Stiff, Extra Stiff or Strong Flex). Some companies also offer a stiff-regular flex.

The golf ball is struck with head of the golf club. There is more variation in the appearance of golf club heads compared to shafts or grips, but all the variations are categorized under the three broad categories of woods, irons and putters.

Nicknames of various types of clubs

Driver [1 wood]
Brassie [2 wood]
Spoon [3 wood]
Baffy [4 wood]
Cleek [5 wood]
Driving Iron [1 iron]
Midiron [2 iron]
Mid Mashie [3 iron]
Jigger [4 iron]
Mashie Iron [4 iron]
Mashie [5 iron]
Spade Mashie [6 iron]
Mashie Niblick [7 iron]
Pitching Niblick [8 iron]

Golf balls

An appendix to the Rules of Golf states that a golf ball must not weigh more than 45.93 grams, its diameter must not be less than 42.67 mm and its shape may not differ significantly from a symmetric sphere. Like golf clubs, golf balls are subject to testing and approval by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the United States Golf Association.

The evolution chart of the golf ball:

Wooden Balls – Early 17th Century

Featherie Balls – 17th century

Guttie Balls – 19th century

Multi-Layered Balls – 19th century

Golf balls today generally consist of a two, three, or four-layer design, consisting of different synthetic materials like surlyn or urethane blends.

Why do golf balls have dimples?

The answer lies in aerodynamics. A ball moving through air experiences two major forces: drag and lift. The former slows the forward motion, whereas the latter acts in a direction perpendicular to it.

The magnitude of these forces is dependent on the behavior of the boundary layer of air moving with the ball surface. The function of dimples is to increase and shape the lift and drag forces by modifying the behavior of the boundary layer.

Most balls on sale these days have about 300 to 450 dimples. Previously, a few balls with over 500 dimples were also available; but the record holder was a ball with 1,070 dimples – 414 larger ones (in four different sizes) and 656 pinhead-sized ones. All brands of balls, except one, have even-numbered dimples. The only odd-numbered ball in the market is a ball with 333 dimples.

Most golf ball designs are based on platonic solids such as icosahedron. The example of two similar icosahedron golf ball designs given below is disclosed in U.S. Patent 4,560,168.

Other equipment

Special golf shoes, bags and gloves are also used.

A golf tee, which resembles a nail with a flattened head, is generally made of wood or plastic. It is pushed into the ground to rest a ball on top of for an easier shot; however, this is only allowed for the first stroke (tee shot or drive) of each hole.

Major Brands

Popular brands for golf equipment include Ping, Titleist, Wilson, Taylor Made, Callaway, Cobra, Burton, Adams, Cleveland, Mizuno, Taylormade, Izzo, Nike, Adidas, Odyssey, Proline, Slazenger, and many more.

Adidas, Bite Golf, Callaway, Cyclonic, Dexter, Dunlop, Nike, Oakley and Florsheim are also among the major golf shoes manufacturers.