The two main items that a golfer needs to play golf are a golf club and a golf ball. Most golfers have multiple golf clubs that are specialized for different shots. They also have other equipment that we’ll discuss below.
Each golfer can carry up to 14 golf clubs in their bag. Many of the clubs are numbered. The number refers to the angle or loft of the club. The lower the number of the club the lower the angle or loft. So a 1 iron will have very little angle or loft allowing the ball to go further on a lower trajectory while a 9 iron will have a lot of loft and will cause the golf ball to be hit high into the air.
There are three main traditional types of golf clubs:
Woods: Woods have a big head (sometimes made out of wood) and are played for long shots. They tend to have less accuracy and are harder to hit than irons, but they will hit the ball further. Woods are numbered clubs with the lowest having the least loft and typically called a driver. Woods are usually hit of the tee or from the fairway on long golf holes.
Irons: Irons are clubs with a more flat head made out of metal. Irons tend to be more accurate, allowing the golfer more control over the distance, spin, and direction of the ball. Many irons are numbered for their loft, but there are some specialized irons that have names; for example the Wedge or Sand Wedge. Irons are used by golfers from pretty much every location and shot on the golf course, but are especially helpful in the rough or when approaching the green.
Putters: The putter is a club with a flat face used to roll the ball. Putters are mostly used on the green, but may sometimes be used from the fringe to roll the ball onto the green. Good putting is a key to scoring well in golf, although the type of putter is not nearly as important as the skill of the golfer doing the putting.
Golf balls have a minimum diameter (1.68 inches) and weight (1.62 ounces) defined by the rules. The materials that the ball is made of will affect the characteristics of the ball when hit. A harder ball will travel further, but a softer ball will allow the golfer more control over spin and distance.