Woods are used primarily from the tee and the fairway. The longest clubs in the bag, generate the most distance when hit correctly. Woods were manufactured from persimmon, laminated wood, and hickory. Today, they are made from metal and other non-wood materials, like graphite. Using these materials enables manufacturers to create golf clubs that have perimeter weighting and a low center of gravity (LCG)-game improvement features that help golfers play better.
Key features of woods are the clubhead, the shaft, and the club’s loft. The length and weight are also important. The loft is the angle of the club head’s face. The loft controls trajectory when a ball is hit. The higher the loft, the higher the ball goes. The higher a ball goes, the less distance it travels.
The 1-wood (known as the Driver) is the longest club in the bag. It has the lowest loft (7-12 degrees) of any club, except the putter. Most professionals carry drivers with lofts from 8.5-10 degrees; most recreational golfers use drivers with lofts of 10 degrees or more. Clubs with these lofts produce drives with higher trajectories and less spin than lower-lofted drivers, resulting in better drives. Oversize club heads make today’s drivers more forgiving than previous versions.
Most golfers also carry a 3-wood and a 5-wood in their bags. Referred to as fairway woods because they’re often used on the fairway, the 3-wood and 5-wood are among the game’s most versatile clubs. The 3-wood has between 15-18 degrees of loft and the 5 wood is between 20-22 degrees of loft. The 3 wood is about an inch shorter than a Driver, the 5-wood an inch shorter than the 3-wood. Woods higher than a 5-wood are the same length as the 5-wood. The 2-wood and 4-wood are not popular anymore and are seldom carried. The higher-lofted woods (7, 9, 11, and so on) are called utility woods.
Use the info below to educate yourself, then do your shopping online for better prices. Getting custom fitted online is easy and painless with web-based fitting tools like the ‘club fitting wizard’ at Pinemeadow Golf or the ‘e-fit System’ at GigaGolf. Both tools are free, you can click either link and just try them out. It helps to have a partner who assists with some of the measurements required, like your full height and your wrist height from the ground.
Choosing the right driver
Drivers are available in a wide variety of makes, models, and sizes. Thanks to recent innovations, today’s golfers are better able to choose a driver that’s right for them than previous golfers.
The clubhead is a key component of a driver. The clubhead comes in 3 sizes -standard, midsize, and oversize. The standard size club head measures about 150-155 cubic centimeters. A driver with a smaller size club head is harder to hit than a driver with midsize and oversize club heads. The midsize club head measures about 195 cubic centimeters. A driver with a midsize club head is easier to hit than a driver with a smaller size club head but is heavier than a small size club head. The oversize club head measures 250 cubic centimeters and more. It has the widest “sweet spot” of any size club head. It is the heaviest and hardest to control.
Club heads come in stainless steel and titanium. Clubs with stainless steel club heads are less expensive but slightly heavier than club heads manufactured from titanium and other alloys. They provide a traditional look and feel to the clubhead, thanks to the slightly smaller size head. Clubs with titanium club heads are more expensive than those made from stainless steel. Titanium enables manufacturers to produce a larger but lighter club head. This club head is more forgiving on mis-hits than clubs with stainless steel club heads.
The shaft is also a key component of a driver. Golf club shafts are manufactured from two materials – steel and graphite. Steel shafts are stronger, heavier, and more durable than graphite shafts. They provide more control on shots but require more swing speed to generate the same distance as a club with a graphite shaft. Steel shafts are recommended for stronger players who need extra control. Graphite shafts are lighter and less durable than steel shafts. The graphite absorbs the shock of impact in a swing. Their lighter weight allows players to generate higher swing speeds for more power. They’re harder to control than clubs with stainless steel shafts. Other materials are sometimes added to graphite shafts to make them stronger and more durable.
Shaft flex is a key factor. Flex is the amount of “bend” in a shaft. Shafts come in one of five flex levels: L (or Ladies), A (or Senior), R (or Regular), S (or Stiff0, X (or Extra Stiff). A shaft with more flex provides more distance than a shaft with less flex but less control. A shaft with less flex provides less distance than a shaft with more flex but is easier to control. In general, a shaft’s flex needs to match a golfer’s swing speed. Beginners and players with less powerful swings benefit most from a more flexible shaft. Players with a swing speed of 75-90 mph benefit most from a regular shaft. Players with powerful swings – in the 90 -110 mph range – benefit most from a stiff shaft, which provides better control.
The loft is the third factor. The greater the loft, the greater the angle of the club head’s face. The greater the angle of the club head’s face, the more control the player has when he/she hits the ball but the less distance the ball travels. The less the loft, the shallower the angle of the clubhead face. The lesser the angle’s face, the fewer control players have when hitting the ball, but the greater the distance the ball travels. Clubhead lofts generally range from 8-12 degrees. The slower the player’s swing, the higher loft the golfer needs. The average swing speed requires between 9.5 and 10.5 degrees of loft.
The club’s weight impacts the distance a ball travels when hit. The lighter the club, the faster the swing speed and the longer the ball travels. Players with slower swing speeds benefit most from a lighter club. Golfers with higher swing speeds benefit most from heavier clubs. If you don’t know what your swing speed is, ask where you’re buying your clubs to test you.
The longer the club, the harder it is to hit. A 1-wood is harder to hit than a 7-iron because the driver is much longer than the iron. A driver comes in three basic lengths-average, mid-length, and long. The average driver is about 43-44 inches long. The average mid-length driver is about 45-46 inches long. The extra length adds distance to the ball when hit. It also adds weight to the club. The long driver is 46 inches or more. These drivers provide the farthest distance but are the hardest to hit because of their length.
Golfers often use fairway woods in place of drivers off the tee and in place of hard-to-hit long irons such as the 2-, 3- or 4-iron on the fairway. Using a 3-wood or a 5-wood off the tee provides more control of the shot. Many players are more comfortable hitting a wood on the fairway than a long iron. The wood’s lower center of gravity makes it easier to get the ball in the air out of the fairway, the rough, or the sand. In addition, the wood’s larger clubhead compared to a long iron’s provides more distance without swinging hard, and it also increases control as well. Generally, the 3-wood can be used instead of the 2- or 3-iron, and the 5-wood instead of the 4- or 5-iron. Which club the golfer uses depends on a number of factors, including the skill and experience of the golfer.
Use the same care and criteria in choosing a fairway wood as you do in choosing a driver. Pick the club that’s the most suited to your style rather than the most expensive or the most popular in the clubhouse. What works for one golfer may not work for another.
On our site we have some Drivers and Woods for you to look at, please check them out by clicking on the below links: