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Golf Club - What are the Different Meanings of 'Golf Club'?

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golf club

Irons are a type of golf club, one of the three main usages of the term.

Courtesy of Henry-Griffitts; used with permission
Question: Golf Club - What are the Different Meanings of 'Golf Club'?
What is the meaning of the term "golf club"? There are three major usages of the term "golf club," usages that are very important and very distinct. Depending on its usage, "golf club" can refer to equipment - the implements used to strike the golf ball; it can refer to a golf course or golfing facility; or it can refer to a group or association of golfers.
Golf Glossary
Answer: Here is more on each of those three usages, with links accompanying each description for those want to delve farther into a topic.

Golf Club - Equipment

The most common usage of "golf club" is this one. The golf club as equipment is one of the necessary tools used to play the game - the implement used to strike the ball. No golf club, no golf.

A golf club can come in many different forms, and in several different categories: Woods, irons, hybrids, wedges and putters. Woods include the driver and the fairway woods. Irons are usually sold as a set including the 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, 9-iron and pitching wedge. Hybrids are, well, a hybrid of a wood and an iron, carrying some of the characteristics and funtions of each.

Wedges are also irons, but are often grouped separately, and can include a gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge. And the putters are used on putting greens as the last step of playing a golf hole - knocking the ball into the cup.

All of these are golf clubs; any individual one is a golf club.

Beginners who want to know more about the basic form and function of individual golf clubs should take a look at our Meet the Golf Clubs section. More advanced golfers might enjoy our Golf Club FAQ section.

To read about specific makes and models of golf clubs, including reviews, see the equipment news and reviews section.

If you have specific golf club questions to ask, visit our Golf Forum and post your question in the "Equipment - General Discussion" folder.

Golf Club - Course

If a golf course has the words "golf club" in its title - for example, "Augusta National Golf Club" - that is usually (but not always) an indication that the course in question is a higher-fee, more upscale golf course; and it is sometimes an indication that the course in question is a private, members-only golf course.

For public courses, using the words "golf club" in the course name, rather than "golf course," is a way to imply a certain level of service, of course conditioning, of fees.

On the other hand, sometimes the words "golf club" in a title are nothing but a marketing ploy.

At any rate, in this usage "golf club" refers to a golf course.

Resources:

The About.com Golf Travel guide has much more about individual upscale resorts and daily fee courses (reviews, rankings, etc.) - the type of courses more likely to be called a "golf club."

Golf Club - Association

The third meaning of "golf club" is, well, a club of golfers - a group, an association, an organization. If you join the Podunk Municipal Golf Course Men's Golf Association, then you are a member of a golf club.

Joining this type of golf club is a necessary step for anyone desiring an official golf handicap index (it is also possible to join a "virtual golf club," or a golf club without real estate, in order to establish a handicap).

The most famous golf clubs of this type are the two governing bodies of the sport, the USGA and the R&A.

Also see:

Related Video
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Golf Swing Basics

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