Types of Golf Clubs

Knowing what each club can do on the course is essential for beginner golfers.

Different golf clubs, from the driver to the wedge, perform specific tasks to produce the length and spin needed to get the ball close to the cup.

types of golf clubs

In this beginner-friendly guide to different types of golf clubs, we’ll provide an overview of each club you’ll find in a typical golf bag.

Since USGA rules dictate you can only carry 14 golf clubs in your bag, you’ll need to select each club according to your personal preference.


Even though these clubs are called woods, there’s no longer any wood in their club heads. Instead, manufacturers utilize titanium, aluminum, and other lightweight but strong metals to create the head.

Woods are the right golf clubs to use on the tee box because they are the most specialized clubs that golf equipment manufacturers create.

They typically have adjustable features such as a loft sleeve and sliding weights that can alter shot shape.


A golf driver is the lowest-lofted club for the teeing ground. With its large head, it is also the longest club in the bag in terms of distance.

The driver also carries a long shaft that averages roughly 46 inches in length.

While a very important club, the driver can be terribly difficult for beginner golfers to master because it demands a specific set of fundamentals to find consistent success.

Fairway Woods

Great for long-distance shots into the green, fairway woods are mini versions of the driver. They have a smaller head and lower profile that helps boost ball flight.

A fairway wood offers more control than a driver and helps bridge the yardage gap between woods and hybrid clubs.

It is a great alternative for beginner golfers on the tee box because it offers more loft on the face and the ability to hit the ball higher for more length and carry.


If you are looking for the happy medium between woods and irons, look no further than hybrids.

Hybrid clubs offer the loft of irons but the shape of woods. Great for tee shots but even better from the short grass of the fairway, hybrids are commonly considered utility clubs because of their versatility.

Hybrids, sometimes called utility clubs, offer a similar distance to long irons, but their wide sole helps keep the face stable through impact.

These golf clubs work great in light rough because they can move through without grass catching the hosel and closing the face.

Hybrids also work as iron replacement clubs for high handicappers and senior golfers who struggle with swing speed. These typically hollow club heads provide a lighter weight, increasing distance to help on long shots.


Golf clubs called irons allow golfers to hit mid-range shots on the golf course, mainly into the greens.

While you can certainly use irons on the tee box, they typically are put in play when you need to hit the ball short distances into the green.

For beginner golfers, most irons are designed with perimeter weighting along the outer edge to help balance and stabilize the face when hitting the golf ball.

Long Irons

Long irons produce lower ball flight, creating more length and rollout.

For long-distance shots over 200 yards, long irons are harder to master for beginning golfers, but once they find consistency, these club types are absolutely invaluable for lowering handicap.

Recommended: How to Hit Long Irons

Mid Irons

These golf clubs are ideal for shots from 150 yards and more for beginning golfers. The 5-7-irons are important to the golf bag because they deliver spin and distance on approach shots.

Typically, the 7-iron becomes the high handicapper’s favorite club due to its combination of shot height and consistent results.

Short Irons

Otherwise known as scoring irons, short irons typically cover the 8- and 9-iron. These higher-lofted clubs are great for short shots and weapons in the short game due to the spin they generate.


Some different types of golf clubs to be used from inside 120 yards are called wedges.

Ranging in loft from 46 degrees for a pitching wedge to a 60-degree wedge for a “lob” golf club, these wedges are vital in the short game to getting the ball close on approach shots into the green.

Pitching Wedge

With a loft of 46 degrees, a pitching wedge offers a great alternative on short par 4s when hitting a second shot into the green.

Featuring a distance range that can exceed 120 yards for some amateurs, these clubs deliver power with spin, helping you hold the green to create a birdie opportunity.

Gap Wedge

The gap wedge bridges the difference between the pitching and secondary wedges. With a loft of 52 degrees, the gap club delivers a high shot arc with plenty of spin.

Great for shots around 100 yards, the gap golf club can also be used around the green for chip and pitch shots.

Sand Wedge

Great for bunker shots, the sand wedge utilizes its 56-degree loft to move easily through sand bunkers to pop the ball up in the air.

The sand wedge helps place the ball on the putting surface softly with spin.

Lob Wedge

With a loft of 60 degrees, the lob wedge offers versatility around the green.

Whether you are sitting in the sand, rough, or from the fairway, this club provides enough spin to stop shots cold once they touch putting greens.

With the high loft, you can create high ball flight on shorter approach shots inside 100 yards.


Although the hitting area of a putter is only a few inches in length, that small distance provides the golf club that finishes out the hole.

There are two types of golf clubs that can be classified as a putter, a blade and a mallet putter.

Blade Putter

Shaped like the traditional blade of a knife, these golf putters offer a lightweight alternative to golfers who don’t want a heavier mallet putter.

Blade putters encourage an arcing stroke that brings the club head inside the golf ball before returning it to a square position at impact.

Mallet Putter

While most professional golfers utilize a blade putter on the links, many prefer a mallet because it’s easier to find consistency.

A mallet putter works best with a straight-back, straight-through playing style.

Instead of needing to time your impact with an arc stroke, you don’t need to be a golf expert to bring the mallet putter straight back to make more putts.