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  Golf Clubs 101  
 
Golf is a wonderful game. The most important components of golfing equipment are golf clubs. These are expensive items and should be purchased after careful selection. They also need proper care and maintenance for long life and continued accuracy of shots.
Golf clubs are of different types and a complete golf club set, that usually consists of 12/14 clubs, comprises of an assortment of different types. Clubs are known as woods, drivers, irons, wedges and putters and each is sub-classified and denoted by numbers that range from 1 to 9 and sometimes by higher numbers. A higher number means a shorter shaft and conversely a lower number means a longer shaft. Longer shafts cater to longer drives. Woods are used for hitting the longest shots. A number 1 wood also called a driver gives the longest shot of all.

The golf club comprises of three basic components:

• The club heads
• The club shaft and
• The Grip

Club heads:

Club heads are made from a variety of materials that include aluminium alloys, zinc, stainless steel and titanium to name a few, not forgetting the traditional materiel i.e. wood. Most expensive among all the materials used in club heads is titanium, which provides an excellent combination of lightweight and strength. Other materials less in use these days include graphite, plastics and ceramics. One material that is often confused with titanium is Ti-alloy, which is in fact aluminium with a trace of titanium. Club heads using Ti-alloy are low end and meant for beginners and juniors in golfing.

Club heads come in various shapes. The design features are based on the principle of weight distribution in the club head and are meant to give the best shots under different playing conditions. Some club heads are weighted around the perimeter; some have a low centre of gravity etc. and each is called by a different name such as keel sole, wide body, cavity back, deep face, muscle back etc. Club heads come in different sizes that are denoted in cubic centimetres. Some may be of traditional size, some oversize and still others may be super-oversized.

 
Club shafts:

Nowadays club shafts are usually made from steel or graphite. With advancement in manufacturing technology, graphite shafts are considered as the best in present times. They are very strong and much lighter than stainless steel and greatly lower the overall weight of the club. Club shafts are available in different flex ratings generally denoted by X (extra stiff), S (Stiff), R (Regular), A (for seniors) and L (Ladies). The shaft flex affects your swing and hitting with a shaft having a flex that does not match your swing will cause your shots to fly off your target.

The Grip:

The grip is the least expensive part of the golf club. However, its importance cannot be undermined. It is the only direct contact with the club and plays a major role in the overall quality of your shot. Grips come in different sizes that are regular, mid-size, over-sized/ jumbo and you need to determine which size fits best in your hands. If in doubt, measure your hands from the wrist to the base of your longest finger. If the measurement is less than 6.5 inches, then choose a junior grip, 6.5 to 7 inches call for a .560- inch grip. For larger dimensions use a .580- inch grip for 7 to 7.5 inches, a mid-size grip for 7.5 to 8 inches and jumbo grips for any size over 8 inches.





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