A Brief History of Golf and Different Types of Golf Clubs

by : Allan Wilson

Before you start learning to play golf, let's look at how the game began. This first set of tips will give you the history of golf and some fun facts.

The first reference to Golf that we know of was mentioned in 1297 in the Netherlands. The Dutch played the game with a stick and a leather ball. Whoever hit the ball the least number of times to get it into the target, won.

In Scotland, King James II banned the game of golf (along with soccer). Apparently, the sports were keeping his subjects from their archery practice. The ban stayed in place through the next three kings, until 1502.

King James IV of Scotland lifted the ban on golf, because he took up the game himself. King James also bought the first set of golf clubs, engineered by a local bow maker.

Mary, Queen of Scots (daughter of James IV) loved playing golf. In fact, in 1467 she was chastised for playing golf just a day or two after her husband was murdered.

In 1744, the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers in Scotland (the first official golf society) drew up 13 rules of golf. They also announced that GOLF stood for, Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.


Today's standard golf club has three parts: the head, the shaft, and the grip. This next set of tips will explain each of these and tell you why they're important.


The head of your club is the very end part that makes contact with the golf ball. Heads today are primarily made from Zinc and Aluminum alloys. Heads have several shapes and weights that make up the standard twelve club set.


The shaft is the long part of the club that connects the head and the grip. You can get your shafts made from two different components: graphite or steel. Graphite is best for beginners. You can also have your shaft custom made to fit your height.


The grip on your club is on top, and it's what you hold when you swing it. It's important that you change your grips often because they can harden, oxidize, get slick and lose their grip. A good rule of thumb is to change your grip every six months.


There are basically three (sometimes four) types of golf clubs. This next set of tips will describe them and what they're used for.


Woods are big-headed, hollow-bodied clubs. They are used to hit long shots (more than 175 yards away from the green). They all are assigned a different number called loft, which tells you how angled the head is. A standard set of clubs has three woods. These usually consist of:

1 wood (also called the driver)
3 wood
5 wood


Irons are primarily used for shots less than 200 yards away from the green. A standard set of clubs has eight irons: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 irons and the Pitching Wedge (which we will discuss next). The closer you are to the green, the higher the iron you will use.


Wedges are really just specialty irons. (REWORD) Wedges increase in 4 degree loft amounts, so they come in 48-, 52-, 56-, 60-, and 64-degree lofts, and they are as follows:

Pitching Wedge: 48 degrees
Approach Wedge: 52 degrees
Sand Wedge: 56 degrees
Lob Wedge: 60 degrees
High-Lob Wedge: 64 degrees


A golf set includes just one putter. This putter has only one job: to get your ball into the hole. When you finally get on the green and close to the hole, use your putter to putt your ball gently into the hole.