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Tour Quality Golf Beginner Tips: When Should You Use Each Golf Club

For first-timers and newcomers, golf seems like a challenging game. It boils down to the fact that they don’t use each golf club properly.

Did you know that USGA allows golfers to have no more than 14 golf clubs in their bag? The rule penalizes golfers with two strokes per hole or a maximum penalty of four strokes each round. If you are an amateur golfer, the 14-club regulation might confuse you. Even professional golfers have to take an educated guess when choosing which clubs to use.  A standard set of golf clubs consists of at least one hybrid, three woods, seven irons, and a putter, which gives you a total of 12 clubs. As a rule, you can fill your bag with 14 clubs, so add another specialty hybrid and a wedge to your bag. Every golf club has unique features and functions. Thus, the more tools you have in the toolbox, the more options you have to make the most out of your game. 

How to Determine the Right Golf Club for a Shot 

Choosing the club to hit the ball is a daunting task for beginners considering hazard placement, endless combinations of distance, and other factors. It will become second nature through practice. 

You can determine which club to use for a specific shot by considering the target distance and how far you normally hit with each club on average. If you want to know your club distances, start on the driving range and let experience hone your skills as a golfer. The most accurate gauge is a launch monitor. It captures the angle and speed of your clubhead on impact and calculates the distance of the ball accurately. Large retail pro golf shops usually have indoor ranges with launch monitors, so you can visit a pro shop if you want to determine how far you hit with different clubs. 

Different Types of Golf Clubs and When to Use Them

You have all the tools you need for a successful round. Knowing which club to use during certain situations is the first challenge you’ll face on the course. Will you go with a 3-wood or a hybrid? Which wedge will get the ball out of the bunker? Which iron will help you produce the best approach shot? To answer these questions, it is a must to learn when to use each golf club: 


This one is a necessity. You can use wood when you are at least 175 yards from the green. If you’re an experienced golfer, you may hit those long shots off the tee by carrying 3- and 5-woods. But for beginners, a 7-wood and even the 9-wood will help you gain control of your swing, even if they achieve shorter distances. 


Hybrids are a combination of fairway woods and irons, which can give you the best of both worlds. Many high handicappers use this type of golf club instead of 3, 4, or 5 irons since it covers more distance compared to a typical iron shot. Moreover, they have a higher spin rate, which delivers softer landing and less roll so that you can hit a more accurate shot. You can use hybrids on the fairway, to get out of a sand trap, or even shoot out the rough. 


These clubs are a subset of iron designed with more angle to produce high-trajectory, low-distance shots. Use wedges when you are within 130 yards from the green. For instance, a sand wedge is a suitable choice when you want to get the ball out of a bunker while a pitching wedge is perfect for shots approaching the green. 


Putters have a particular purpose on the green – they get the ball into the hole. Once you have hit your drive 250 yards right into the fairway, slammed your second shot into the rough, and wedged out into the green, it is time to send the ball home! Putters come with several styles to suit your game: center-hosel, heel-toe, mallet, short, long, and bent, to name a few.


If you are less than 200 yards away from the green, irons are your go-to club. The closer you are to the green, the higher the number of iron (7-iron, 9-iron, 11-iron, etc.) you will pull out of your bag. The 3- and 4- irons are more challenging to hit with compared to higher numbered irons. Some ladies, seniors, and high handicap golfers opt for higher-lofted irons (7-iron and 9-iron) since they are easier to hit with and, for them, may result in comparable distances to the lower numbered irons. 

Golf club selection gets better with experience. As you spend more time with your clubs, you can take your game to the next level and become more adept at choosing the right stick. But before you hit some balls on your local course and get your hands on as many clubs as you can, get fitted first! Our master fitters from Tour Quality Golf can help you find the right set makeup, shaft type, grip size, and more to fit your body and swing. Call (918) 221-7096 to get started!