For new golfers it can be difficult to know when to use what golf club during a round of golf, especially starting out.
To avoid embarrassment on the course and confusion when hitting shots, it’s wise to learn the basics of which club to use for various situations when playing a round.
In this guide we explore using the right golf clubs for different shots in different situations during a round. This will help make your round more enjoyable and less frustrating while helping you score better too.
When to use what golf club
As you’ll see in this section, you may carry 14 golf clubs with you in your golf bag but it is important to know when to use them. For example, what you use when teeing off is different from what you use when you are approaching the green.
Additionally, what golf club you use will depend on your ability and the distance you are hitting the ball.
Off The Tee
Off the tee, you should use a driver on long holes such as par 5s. This will give you the most distance and the best chance of reaching the green in two shots. On tight holes with hazards such as trees, you should use a wood or even an iron for better positioning. This will give you more control and help you avoid hitting the ball into trouble.
On short holes or par 3s, you should use an iron with a suitable distance. This will help you keep your ball on the green and avoid going over the back or coming up short.
One of the main considerations when you’re teeing off is the hazards such as trees or water on the fairway. If there are bunkers that need to be cleared or water hazards, you’ll want to choose a club that will give you the distance you need to clear them. If the fairway is clear, you can choose a club that will give you more distance. In turn, by considering the hazards on the fairway, you can make sure that you choose the right club for the shot.
Long Fairway Shots
When you have a long fairway shot, you’ll want to use a club that can give you the maximum distance to get you as close or closer to the green as possible without hitting the ball into the water or sand traps surrounding the green. A 3 wood or 5 hybrid is a great option for this.
You’ll likely still have 200 yards to carry, so you’ll need all the distance you can get. These clubs are also great for beginners because they’re easy to hit and offer a lot of forgiveness. So if you’re looking to hit a long fairway shot, reach for a 3 wood or 5 hybrid and you’ll be in good shape.
When you are hitting a long fairway shot, you want to choose a club that you are comfortable with. If you are aiming for the green, you want to make sure you have enough club to reach the green. If you are not comfortable with that shot, you can always aim for a safe shot around the green that is easy to play. By choosing something that you can trust to hit well, you will improve your chances of getting a good result and can avoid trouble on the course. This is all a key component of solid golf strategy that can help you to be more successful.
Mid Length Fairway Shots
When you’re hitting a mid length fairway shot, you’ll need to use a mid iron such as a 5 or 6 iron. You’ll need to find a balance between distance and control which is exactly what these irons are designed for. For most amateur golfers these kind of shots will range from 140-200 yards.
When you’re approaching the green, you’ll most likely be using a short iron such as a 9 iron or pitching wedge. The key with these shots is to control the ball flight and find an element on backspin to hit your desired location on the green.
By improving your wedge play and knowing your exact wedge distances you can leave yourself options from the middle of the greens and give yourself the best possible chance to knock your putt in at the first or second attempt.
Around The Green
Around the green, you have a few different options for clubs. If you’re looking to chip the ball, you can use a sand wedge or lob wedge. The main goal with chipping is to get the ball as close to the hole as possible, or to leave an easy putt.
Pitching is similar to chipping, but usually requires a bit more power to get the ball up and over obstacles. A pitching wedge can be used for this, or again, you can use a sand wedge or lob wedge. The main goal with pitching is also to get the ball close to the hole or leave an easy putt.
Ultimately which golf club you choose will probably come down to either the distance that you have left around the green or what obstacles are in your way. For example if you need to clear a bunker or water hazard then you ’ll probably want to hit a pitch shot to give yourself enough loft to clear it safely.
On The Green
The putter is the most important club in your bag as the average usage is around 41% during a round, so it is important to practice with it as much as possible.
Investing in a putting mat for home is a great way to make sure you are getting enough practice. This will allow you to work on ball speed and alignment to make sure that you avoid the dreaded 3 putt which can be a scorecard killer.
How To Know Which Club To Use For Each Distance
A great way to know what club to use for any particular distance is to regularly measure how far you hit each of your clubs during practice swings at the driving range and then record the results using a laser rangefinder or a yardage book.
Investing in either a launch monitor or AI technology such as Arccoss golf can be a great way to record your distances with each golf club and get a better steer on the best clubs to use for each particular shot.
If you know the difference between your average 6 iron and 7 iron for example then you are more likely to choose the correct one when you need it, rather than guessing and either overshooting or coming up short.
Knowing your average yardages can make the difference between a couple of shots on each hole.
What Are The Differences Between The Golf Clubs
There are a few different types of golf clubs, and each has its own purpose. The driver is the lowest lofted club and is designed to travel the farthest. Woods are next in line, and they are more lofted than the driver but less than the irons.
Irons are designed for accuracy and control, and they have the highest loft of all the clubs. The irons are usually ordered by their number. The most common numbers are 3-9 iron. The 3 iron will go much farther than the 9 iron, based on its loft angles. The club length of a 9 iron will also be shorter than the 3 iron, unless you use single length clubs such as those used by Bryson DeChambeau. Single length clubs are designed to have the same length, regardless of the number on the club. This can help with your swing, but is not as common as having different lengths for different clubs.
Wedges are similar to irons but have even more loft, which gives them extra control around the greens. Finally, putters are used to hit the golf ball into the hole. They have very little loft and are designed for precision rather than distance.
As you can see there are many factors that can influence the type of golf club that you choose to use during a round of golf. From considering the par of the hole on the tee to hazards that are in play to the pin position and green speeds, there is a lot to think about before committing to a club selection.
It is also imperative to remember that there is no one size fits all approach to choosing the right club for every situation. You must consider your strengths and weaknesses when selecting a club. If you are an aggressive player who likes to take risks, then you may want to select a woods oppose to irons to be attack the golf course. Additionally, as your game improves your average distances will change which is why golf club selection is different for all golfers, especially experienced players golf professional golfers.
By considering the key factors that go into each club selection you will be able to make the most informed decision possible during your round of golf, helping you to better enjoy your game.