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Basic Golf Equipment For Beginners
Peter Faulkner

If you're new to the sport, and just about to take lessons for the first time, it can help to know what exactly you're playing with. While even casual sports watchers have heard the terms wood, iron and drivers, not everyone knows exactly what they are, or why they're important to a particular part of your game.

In golf, the rules permit 14 clubs in a bag. Two are usually personal favorites, but the 12 basic clubs are: three woods- 1 drive, 3 and 5, eight irons- 3-9 plus a pitching wedge, and a putter.

Woods are clubs used to drive the ball distances, and are what is used at the tee, to start off a hole. Since the first shot is always a long one, there isn't as much need for variety in the style of a wood, consequently, most sets have only three.

A woods' design in the head, causes the ball to loft at a specific degree. The higher the wood number, the higher the loft, and the shorter the club. The wood is used for any drive over 175 yards.

Irons are for medium range shots of under 175 yards. If you've had a good first shot off the tee, an iron will be your choice for the second shot on a par four hole. The further you are from the green, the lower the number of your iron. Many golfers find the 3 and 4 iron to be less adequate than a higher wood, and generally go with those instead.

The pitching wedge has the lowest degree of loft. There are others in 4 degree increments, starting with 48. They're used when close to the green, and there is a need for greater control, something that is enhanced through the blade shape of the head.

While the golf bag may only have one putter, the club itself comes in a wide variety of styles, suited to the player's preference. Its purpose is to tap the ball into the hole from a short distance.

If you're just starting out with golf instruction, it may be wise to purchase only a partial set of clubs, with the minimum of irons, woods and a putter, in order to work on the basics of the game, and to find out what you really need in a club, before investing a significant amount of money in a good set. You can also rent from the club or course where you are taking instruction.
About the Author

Peter Faulkner has been a keen golfer for many years. On day at the 19th hole he decided to relate his experiences in a series of articles...

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