Understanding how to use golf clubs on the golf course is essential to a successful round and not looking like an amateur. In reality, any golf club can be used at any time on the golf course, but golf clubs are optimized to be used in certain situations. Using a certain golf club at an inappropriate time can result in a shot that you don't like as well as quite a few weird looks.
- The driver is your best friend off the tee box. You should only use the driver off the tee in the tee box. The loft on the club is so low (typically below ten degrees), that hitting it anywhere except off a tee will likely result in an errant or missed hit shot.
- Fairway woods get the job done at long distances. Fairway woods look a lot like drivers, but perform quite differently. A fairway wood has a higher loft than a driver, and can be hit off short grass without a tee. In some cases, the fairway wood can even be used out of medium rough with success, depending on your skill level.
- The three iron through the nine iron, your work horse clubs. The three iron through seven iron golf clubs are some of the most versatile clubs in the bag. Many beginning players find that the long irons (like the three and four irons) are hard to hit, and choose to hit the fairway woods over long irons. These golf clubs will help you get out of deep rough and the short stuff at a variety of distances from the hole. The eight and nine iron are good clubs for short approach shots where you want to get high loft and stick the ball near the pin without the resulting roll of the ball. Learning which golf club you require at which distance requires a lot of work on the driving range to find out the distance you hit each club.
- Pitching and sand wedges can get you out of tight spots. When you just couldn't get to the green on approach with any of your other clubs and find you are just off the green, a pitching wedge allows you to take a short, smooth swing and try to put the ball close the pin. Sand wedges golf clubs are designed with high loft and a solid blade to help you get out of those pesky sand bunkers.
- The putter = your money maker. The putter is your best friend on the golf course. Many an excellent drive off the tee has been ruined by poor putting. Use the putter only on the putting surface. Occasionally, if you are on very short grass on the fringe of the green with no obstructions in front of you, you may choose to use the putter.
Now that you know how and where to use each of your golf clubs, all you have to do is execute your shots for a great round!