How to Tell Which Golf Club to Use

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Caddies
hold a special place in golf lore. As a personal assistant, it’s their
specialty to suggest the right club. They’re also called on to distract angry
ex-girlfriends and impart certain sage wisdom about life that may or may not
have any connection to your round of 18 holes.

Enjoyable
though it may be, most golfers don’t use caddies and instead select their own
clubs. If you’re not sure which one to use in a given situation, read on to
learn how to evaluate a shot and select the club for the job. 

Shot

You
may know that golf clubs break down into four basic types. Irons are typically
for when the ball is less than 200 yards from the green. The longer the iron, the farther it
will hit

the ball. Drivers, or woods, are for teeing off and very long fairway shots.
Wedges are generally for approach shots or to escape a hazard. When it comes
time to keep things on the ground, that’s where the putter comes in. 

Distance

Within
the categories of clubs, you’ll find different variations that inform the range
of your shot. For long distances, you should use a
fairway wood

or low-numbered iron. Fairway woods can be challenging to master, but resemble
a smaller driver. In lieu of this option, many golfers choose to use a
low-numbered iron, such as a four iron. 

As
you move closer to the pin, your wedges come out. Most golfers carry just a pitching
wedge and perhaps a sand wedge, but there are many variations on the design,
and choosing the right one could help your game. 

Loft

Clubs
with flatter, upright profiles, such as a four, five or six iron, send the ball
on a straighter trajectory over more distance. Those with a slacker profile,
such as a nine iron or pitching wedge, lift the ball into the air, converting
more of your swing energy into vertical movement. A ball sent in a vertical
trajectory tends to roll less, allowing more precision.

Convention
dictates the amount of loft on some popular club designs, such as most irons.
However, you can find wedges and woods with varying degrees of loft.

Putting It All Together

Choosing
the right club based on the type of shot, distance and appropriate loft is an
art form caddies have perfected. However, you can do it without their
help. 

Everyone’s
game is different, but it starts with the basics. Drive with your driver,
approach with irons and wedges, then putt. As your game gets stronger, you’ll
realize that you hit your seven iron better than your six, or you prefer to use
a sand wedge for approach shots.

Further
down the line, you can begin to work towards maximizing every club. Once you
get the knack, travel around to different courses to test out your skills.
Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Oregon, for instance, offers
challenging sand dunes
and stunning seaside views. You can also try out Friar’s Head Golf
Course in Baiting Hollow, New York. When you switch up your location, you
maximize your abilities. 


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