For Beginners: Choosing the Right Club for the Shot

We’ve all seen the guy who uses the same 3 clubs in his bag because they’re the only ones he’s truly comfortable using.  It’s important to learn to use all the clubs in your bag since, well, that’s why they why they were made.  These tips will help you choose the right club for each shot.

Gauging Distance

The biggest factor in choosing a club is distance.  Irons and wedges should be used if you’re close to the green, since they don’t require as much hitting power.  Fairway woods or a driver should be used for long distance tee and fairway shots.


Determining how the wind will affect your ball is something that most beginners have a difficult with.  If the wind is blowing toward you, you’ll need to choose a club one higher than the club you’d normally use in order to make up the resistance on the ball.  If the wind is blowing in the direction you’re aiming, you’ll need to choose a lower club to make up for the extra push the ball will receive.

Vertical Distance

How far you need the ball to travel horizontally isn’t the only factor you’ll need to consider in choosing a club.  You’ll also need to factor in vertical distance.  If you’re playing to a higher plane than the one you’re currently standing on, you’ll need more club power.  LIkewise, a lower plane requires less club power.

Surface of Play

If you’re in difficult terrain, it may be best to hit a shot that won’t get you to the green, but to a point where it will be easier to play.  High loft irons are good for this purpose since they cause the ball to travel a shorter distance at a higher angle.

This can be a bit overwhelming at first and it’s a lot of information to take in all at once, but with some practice (and a little patience) you’ll be using every club beautifully.



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