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Golf: Equipment

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The two main items that a golfer needs to play golf are a golf club and a golf ball. Most golfers have multiple golf clubs that are specialized for different shots. They also have other equipment that we'll discuss below.

close up of a golf ball
Photo by Ducksters
Golf Clubs

Each golfer can carry up to 14 golf clubs in their bag. Many of the clubs are numbered. The number refers to the angle or loft of the club. The lower the number of the club the lower the angle or loft. So a 1 iron will have very little angle or loft allowing the ball to go further on a lower trajectory while a 9 iron will have a lot of loft and will cause the golf ball to be hit high into the air. There are three main traditional types of golf clubs:

Woods: Woods have a big head (sometimes made out of wood) and are played for long shots. They tend to have less accuracy and are harder to hit than irons, but they will hit the ball further. Woods are numbered clubs with the lowest having the least loft and typically called a driver. Woods are usually hit of the tee or from the fairway on long golf holes.

Golf tees
Photo by Ducksters
Irons: Irons are clubs with a more flat head made out of metal. Irons tend to be more accurate, allowing the golfer more control over the distance, spin, and direction of the ball. Many irons are numbered for their loft, but there are some specialized irons that have names; for example the Wedge or Sand Wedge. Irons are used by golfers from pretty much every location and shot on the golf course, but are especially helpful in the rough or when approaching the green.

Putters: The putter is a club with a flat face used to roll the ball. Putters are mostly used on the green, but may sometimes be used from the fringe to roll the ball onto the green. Good putting is a key to scoring well in golf, although the type of putter is not nearly as important as the skill of the golfer doing the putting.

Golf Balls

Golf balls have a minimum diameter (1.68 inches) and weight (1.62 ounces) defined by the rules. The materials that the ball is made of will affect the characteristics of the ball when hit. A harder ball will travel further, but a softer ball will allow the golfer more control over spin and distance.

Many golfers wear a glove while golfing
Photo by Ducksters
Other Golf Equipment

In addition to the mandatory golf clubs and balls, golfers will also need a bag to carry their clubs and other extras (like balls and tees). Golf tees are also used when teeing off to raise the ball up and to allow for a cleaner shot off the teeing area. Most golfers also wear special golf shoes that have spikes on the soles to help them grip the ground and keep their balance while swinging the club. Another helpful piece of equipment is the glove. Most golfers will wear a club on their off-hand (i.e. a right-hander will wear a glove on the left hand). The golf can help keep a good grip on the club without having to squeeze the club too hard. A towel is a good idea to clean off the golf ball and/or the club head. If rain is a possibility, it's a good idea to have an umbrellas as well.

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