According to the rules of golf, a golfer is allowed to carry a maximum of 14 clubs in their golf bag. The golfer can decide which 14 clubs to carry but in general, it will be a combination of the 4 most popular types of golf clubs. The 4 most popular types of golf clubs include woods, irons, wedges, and putters. 

Below we will take a closer look at the 4 different types of golf clubs and we will also take a closer at the different types of clubs within each category. 

The 4 Most Popular Types of Golf Clubs:

1. Irons

Taylormade-P790-UDI-2-Iron
Taylormade P790 UDI 2 Iron

Irons make up the majority of a set of golf clubs. Standard iron sets include 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 irons. Modern golfers tend to replace their long irons with hybrids with the long irons being the 3, 5, and 5 irons. The 5, 6, and 7 irons are classified as middle irons and the 8 and 9 irons are known as short irons. 

Iron sets come in different shapes and sizes. Muscle back irons, also known as blade irons, feature small clubheads with small sweet spots. Blades are difficult to hit, but they offer exceptional workability and forgiveness which is why they are the iron type of choice for professional players. 

Cavity back irons feature slightly bigger clubheads than muscle-back irons. Cavity back irons offer the best of both worlds in terms of feel and performance. Many professional players are opting to swap out their small blades for bigger cavity back irons and these irons are also common amongst low handicap amateur players. 

Game improvement and super game improvement irons feature bigger clubheads. These irons are ideal for high handicap players that need forgiveness and assistance with getting the golf ball in the air. Game improvement irons feature big sweet spots and low center of gravities that ensure consistency and maximum distance on all iron shots. 

To learn more about different irons read our The 4 Most Popular Types of Golf Irons article. 

2. Wedges 

TaylorMade-Grind-2-MG2-Approach-Wedge
TaylorMade Grind 2 MG2 Approach Wedge

The majority of golfers carry either 2 or 3 wedges in their golf bag. There is no rule as to how many wedges should be in your golf bag, what works for one player might not work for another. Wedge designs seem simple but they are very complex. Let’s take a closer look at these complex wedge design features. 

Bounce 

In the words of legendary wedge maker, Bob Vokey, the bounce is “The angle between the leading edge and lowest point on the sole”. Wedges are available in 3 different bounce options which are low, mid, and high bounce. 

The bounce on a wedge affects how the club interacts with the ground at impact. Low bounce wedges tend to dig into the turf and vice versa with high bounce wedges. Low bounce wedges are ideal for golfers with shallow angles of attack and high bounce wedges are best for players with steeper angles of attack. 

Bounce can also assist depending on the surface that you play on, players that play mostly firm courses are best off with a low bounce wedge and players that play mostly in areas with high rainfall where the turf is soggy will benefit greatly by opting for high bounce wedges instead. 

Grind

Another wedge design feature that affects turf interaction is the grind of the wedge. Grind refers to the shape of the sole of a wedge. Different grind options interact with the ground in different ways, there is no standard measure of grind, each manufacturer refers to their grinds differently. To learn more about wedge grind options click here

Wedge Types

The 4 most popular types of golf wedges are the pitching wedge, gap wedge, approach wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. Wedges feature similar designs, the only difference between these wedges is their loft. Pitching wedges can either feature a wedge design/look or it can be a continuation of your iron set in terms of design. 

Wedges are very versatile golf clubs and your golf game can definitely benefit from the right combination of wedges in your bag. To learn more about the intricate designs of wedges read our The 4 Most Popular Types of Golf Wedges article. 

3. Woods

Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood
Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood

Golf woods come in different shapes and sizes, let’s take a closer look at some of these wood options. 

Drivers

Drivers are the woods with the big heads that are designed to hit the golf ball far and straight off the tee. Modern drivers are packed with technology which includes various options to adjust the driver to your needs. 

Fairway Woods

Fairway woods feature slightly smaller clubheads than drivers. Fairway woods are available in a variety of options that vary in loft. 3 Woods are the fairway woods with the least amount of loft and 7 woods are the fairway woods with the most loft, 9 woods are available but it is very rare to find a 9 wood. 

Fairway woods are versatile woods, they can either be utilized as an alternative option off of the tee or it can be a great alternative to hard to hit long irons. 

Hybrids

Hybrids are technically not woods but they aren’t irons either, they are in fact what their name suggests, hybrids. Hybrids are very versatile golf clubs that complement any golf set. Many golfers replace their long irons with hybrids since they are very easy to hit and they are a welcome addition to any golfer’s bag. 

To learn more about the different shapes and sizes of golf woods read our The 3 Most Popular Types of Golf Woods article. 

4. Putters

Pinemeadow Golf Men's PGX Putter
Pinemeadow Golf Men’s PGX Putter

As the saying goes, “drive for show and putt for dough”. It might be an old saying but it is very accurate. Putting is arguably the most important part of the game of golf and many golfers tend to neglect this part of the game. Long drives are spectacular, but they are worth nothing if you can’t knock in those 3 footers. 

Putters are available in different shapes and sizes. Traditional putters feature sleek blade designs, modern mallet putters, however, feature big oversize designs. Putter designs have evolved tremendously over the last decade and many advances have been made in terms of grip options, balancing, and weight distribution. To learn more about different putter styles click here

Conclusion 

The 4 most popular types of golf clubs are woods, irons, wedges, and putters. When we take a closer look at these 4 types of golf clubs however it is evident that each category is packed with many different types and options and each category deserves to be looked at in-depth. 

Bertine Strauss
Written by
Bertine Strauss
Join the discussion

The Golf Blog