Golfers love their clubs. Professional golfers use clubs which are "forged." This makes the face of the club softer for better control. Of course, they tear up easily; but the pros don't care 'cause they are getting them free from their sponsor anyway. Recreational golfers usually use "cast" clubs which are not so easy to damage.

You are allowed 14 clubs in your golf bag. Since one of them is a putter, that leaves room for (usually) 3 woods and 10 irons. The irons usually number 3 thru 9 and that leaves room for up to 4 wedges. These would usually be a sand wedge for shots around 100 yards (56 degrees is normal), a pitching wedge for shots around 125 yards (48 degrees is normal), a lob wedge for very short, high shots (60 degrees is normal), and some carry a mid-range wedge that is usually around 52 degrees for those shots in between a sand wedge and a pitching wedge.

Nowadays, golf clubs have boring names.

We have the putter (used on the green to finally hit the ball into the hole), woods (which are usually metal nowadays) and irons.

Woods have big, bloated-looking heads and are used for long-distance shots. They are longer than irons and have a very low loft (in golf, the angle from the vertical to the club face).

The most well-known wood is the 1W, also called the driver. Lofts vary from 8 degrees up to something like 13 degrees. It is almost exclusively played from the tee to bring the ball into play. A lesser known fact is that the driver is usually also the lightest club in your bag - the shorter a club, the heavier the head. A whopping 450 cubic centimeter titanium driver head has a weight of about 200 grams - while some of the shorter iron heads are as heavy as 295 grams. (Shaft weight does not vary much, grip weight is identical).

Next would be the 2W, 3W, 4W and so on, up to 11W or 13W. However, a normal golfer will usually carry a driver, a 3W and a 5W.

Similar rules apply to irons. Their heads are more blade-like, not hollow and the number or letter on them gives an indication of loft. The 1I and 2I are mostly played by very good amateurs and a number or professional players, while mere mortals carry 3I to 9I. (Long irons like the 1I ("One Iron") are extremely difficult to control).

After a putter, a driver, the 3W and 5W and 3I to 9I, we reached 11 of the 14 clubs a golfer is allowed to carry. The three that haven't been metioned are usually something called wedges. A wedge is a club with a lot of loft, the club face is more horizontal than vertical. Wedges come in a number of variations. The most well-known ones are the PW or pitching wedge, used for short approach shots and the SW or sand wedge, which (due to a unique shape of the sole) is used to play out of sand. Many players also carry a LW or lob wedge, which is used for very short, very high shots around the green. Other wedges include the AW or approach wedge and the GW or gap wedge.

In the good old days, when people were using wooden woods, had no 14 club limit and a tie was mandantory, clubs had much nicer names, of which only the driver and putter have survived.

We had :

The woods
Brassie (A 2 wood with a brass sole plate)
Spoon (a 3W) Baffy (4W)

The Irons
Cleek (about 1I, also used for 4W)
Mid-iron (2I) Mid-mashie (3I) Mashie-iron(4I)
Mashie (5I)
Mashie-niblick (7I)
Niblick (9I)

...and the putter

Beware - due to changes in loft, the iron numbers next to the names do not correspond to the iron numbers used today.

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