Wood Golf Clubs

Golf Clubs of Wood

Woods are the longest clubs in the bag and mostly used for long shots. They have large heads that are somewhat spherical in shape with a slightly bulging clubface and a flattened sole that slides over the ground without digging in during the swing. Originally the "wood" heads were made of persimmon or maple wood, hence the name. Modern club heads are usually made of hollow steel, titanium or composite materials, and are also called metalwoods. The first steel metalwoods were filled with foam in order to ensure structural stability.

The longest wood, the 1 wood, is usually referred to as the driver. It also has the biggest head, making it ideal for use off the tee. The shorter woods are referred to as fairway woods, and feature a shallower face height which enables players to hit them off the turf. The driver can also be hit from the turf, although it requires a high level of skill to execute the shot correctly.

The typical loft for wood faces ranges from 7.5 to 31 degrees. Higher lofted fairways woods are usually preferred by ladies and senior players, as they get the ball up in the air easier than long irons at lower clubhead speeds.

The shaft length in woods varies from about 40-47 inches or 100-115 cm. The shaft enters the head at the top corner nearest to the player through a hollow tube known as a hosel in such a way that the face of the wood is roughly at a right angle to one side of the shaft. Modern woods may employ a slightly closed face to make them easier to square at impact for the average player.

Some companies, such as Callaway Golf, famously eschewed the hosel in order to place more useable weight in the head. This made the clubs easier to hit, but the process resulted in far less of the shaft being affixed to a surrounding structure. This had the effect of weakening the bond between the shaft and clubhead while also exposing more of the shaft to direct contact with the ball on particularly poor swings and was often a culprit in shaft breakage in the more fragile graphite shafts.

The standard length for the driver is 45 inches. Some players prefer shorter driver shafts (43.5"-44.5") because they are easier to use, though the shorter shaft slightly reduces distance. Graphite shafts are usually preferred for woods due to their light weight, which enables users to generate higher clubhead speeds and thus, greater distance. As with many aspects of golf equipment, shaft length is subject to USGA regulations. The maximum legal length of a shaft is 47 inches, although some woods such as Black Rock's Killer Bee, have been made with shaft lengths of up to 50 inches. These woods are mainly used in long drive contests, and are not tournament legal.