What are the different types of Woods?

Woods are specialist clubs in one way and non-specialist in other ways. What is certain is that woods are very important clubs to get right. This is because the ball will be flying off them for the furthest distance, and getting the ball going that distance in the right direction is very important.

Woods are a bit of a misnomer now. They are all made of metal, or graphite, rarely wood. But the name stuck.

You can use woods off the tee, you can also use them off the fairway, and they are also usable in the rough, mainly because their shape means that they are less likely to get caught up in the long grass. Some players, Tiger Woods in particular, are beginning to use woods for chipping, as their straight faces make them the nearest to the putter in terms of face angle whilst being able to get momentum on the ball if on the green.

The driver, also known as the 1-wood, is something that you should focus on as much as possible, mainly because you are likely to use it on around ¾ of the holes on the course. The driver gives you the greatest distance, so you will be using it at par 4s, par 5s and even some long par 3s off the tee. Some of the more experienced player will use it off the fairway if they need more distance.

There are many fairway woods, ranging from the rarely seen 2-Wood up to the also rarely seen 13-wood. Fairway woods used to only go up to 5-wood, but it was found that high-handicappers could hit higher fairway woods better and easier off the tee and the fairway, as well as the rough, so manufacturers began to respond to this demand by going up higher and higher (sometimes called utility woods). Some people, even pros, use fairway woods off the tee so that they can have more precision on narrow holes or the hole is reasonably short and driver distance isn't needed.

Choosing the right wood is a matter of finding the right composition of shaft and club head. Standard drivers have a head of around 150 cubic centimetres and have a smaller sweet spot but provides better control. Midsize heads measure around 195 cubic centimetres, and offers a larger sweet spot whilst controlling the weight of the club. Oversized heads can be up to 250 cubic centimetres in size. They have the largest sweet spot but are the most difficult to control. Heads can be made of stainless steel or titanium. Shafts are steel or graphite. Non-steel heads and shafts are lighter. With club heads that means non-steel ones can be larger without weight being a problem.

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