A player usually carries several clubs during the game (but no more than fourteen, the limit defined by the rules). There are three major types of clubs, known as woods, irons, and putters. Wedges are irons used to play shorter shots. Woods are played for long shots from the tee or fairway, and occasionally rough, while irons are for precision shots from fairways as well as from the rough.
A new type of wood known as a “hybrid” combines the straight-hitting characteristics of irons with the easy-to-hit-in-the-air characteristics of higher-lofted woods. A “hybrid” is often used for long shots from difficult rough. Hybrids are also used by players who have a difficult time getting the ball airborne with long irons. Wedges are played from difficult ground such as sand or the rough and for approach shots to the green. Putters are mostly played on the green, but can also be useful when playing from bunkers or for some approach shots.
A Golf ball is a small white ball with a tough rubber core, the minimum allowed diameter of a golf ball is 42.67mm and its mass may not exceed 45.93g. Modern golf balls have a two-, three-, or four-layer design constructed from various synthetic materials. The surface usually has a pattern of 300-400 dimples designed to improve the ball’s aerodynamics.
The method of construction and materials used greatly affect the ball’s playing characteristics such as distance, trajectory, spin and feel. Harder materials, such as Surlyn, usually result in the ball’s traveling longer distances, while softer covers, such as Balata, tend to generate higher spin, more “feel” and greater stopping potential. Golf balls are separated into three groups depending on their construction: two-, three-, or four-piece covers. Generally four-piece golf balls tend to be the most expensive, though price is no assurance of quality. As of 2006 there are even golf balls that utilize RFID technology, which allows golfers to more easily locate errant shots using a handheld homing device.
Golf shafts are used between the grip and the “club head”. The profile of the golf shaft is circlular in shape and some of the strongest and lightest materials are used to make the golf shaft. Graphite and tempered steels are used for the best strength. In 2006 the newest profiles that are USGA approved and have ultimate strength are Triangle Golf Shafts or some call the shaft Trigraphite Shafts.
Other Golf Items
Golf Tees are used to prop up the ballSometimes transport is by special golf carts. Clubs and other equipment are carried in golf bags. Golfers wear special shoes with exchangeable spikes (or small plastic claws termed soft spikes) attached to the soles. They also often wear gloves that help grip the club and prevent blistering. Golf tees resemble nails with a small cup on the head and are usually made of wood or plastic.
A tee is pushed into the ground to rest a ball on top of for an easier shot; however, this is only allowed for the first stroke (tee shot or drive) of each hole. When on the green, the ball may be picked up to be cleaned or if it is in the way of an opponent’s putting line; its position must then be marked using a ball marker (usually a flat, round piece of plastic or a coin). A ball mark repair tool (or pitchfork) is used to repair a ball mark (depression in the green where a ball has hit the ground). To repair a ball mark, one pushes the tool under the mark, and lifts upwards gently, loosening the compacted turf to allow rapid regrowth of grass. Scores are recorded on a score card during the round.
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