A wide array of golf clubs is available for golf enthusiasts, catering both amateurs and professionals. The number of options can be confusing to some, and so here’s a rundown of the basic parts of a golf club and why they matter.
Golf clubs are made up of three components: the grip, the shaft, and the head. The grip is essential to ensuring that the player obtains the right ‘feel’ to their club especially when making a strike. It comes in three designs: wraps, cords, and non-corded. Wraps are the cheapest, and are good in the rain and for people with sweaty hands.
Corded grips are the most expensive, and are made of woven strands, incorporated with rubber. These are known to be ideal for all types of weather, as it can get rid of moisture from the environment and from the player’s hands. However, the material construction of several corded grips can hurt players in the long term. Non-corded grips are slowly keeping up by using grips made out of a special kind of rubber that can deal with moisture while providing a smoother and softer surface, which is kinder to the hands.
The shaft of most golf clubs is made of either steel or graphite. It is an extension of the arms of the player and is therefore highly dependent on the body structure and the type of play that a person has. Graphite is known for its lighter weight and allows for a certain ‘bowing’ during a swing, also called the ‘flex’. The flex also adds to the distance covered by the ball after a hit. Steel, on the other hand is stiffer, and does not flex when swinging, thus making it a better choice for people who are skilled with fast swings. It also tends to vibrate during impact, which may affect players differently as some favor this kind of vibration as an indicator of how efficiently they were able to hit the ball, while others feel uncomfortable with it. Steel shafts are recommended for experienced players who go for power and faster swings.
Because of its lighter weight and more player-friendly nature, graphite shafts are commonly recommended to women, beginners, people with joint problems or other handicaps, and people who would prefer slow swings with longer distances. Graphite shafts weigh half of most steel shafts, and are able to reduce the impact felt by the player with every swing. It is gaining more popularity in the recent years, as more developments for graphite shafts are now being made to cater for longer distances, though the extent of control is not yet at par with steel.
Lastly, club heads are the heaviest part of golf clubs and have the most variety of materials to choose from because this makes direct contact with the ball during the strike. It is commonly made of steel, aluminum, titanium, zirconia, or Ti-alloys. The surface is lined with grooves to impart spin and remove moisture between the club head surface and the ball.
Aluminum is popular for long drives while steel is commonly used for iron heads. Titanium is the most expensive material for club heads because of its strength, durability and light weight. This is normally used for high-end club heads and professional players.
Titanium alloys are also gaining popularity for club heads due to its improved strength. However these cannot be compared to pure titanium club heads as these are really just aluminum club heads that were reinforced with small amounts of titanium. These types of alloys are best suited for beginners and junior golfers.
A balance in weight distribution, size, and style are all needed to come up with the perfect club head, and these all depend on the needs of the player. Together with the grip and the shaft, all these considerations have to be made when choosing the most ideal set of golf clubs.