A Guide to Golf Club Components

What do you know about golf club components? Isn't a golf club just the long, stick-like thing you use to hit a golf ball? While a golf club seems simple enough, it can be highly beneficial to understand the different parts of the club, and what they do to help your ball travel. It might even help your game.

Shaft...Can You Dig It?
The biggest part of your club is the part that connects the grip to the head. The shaft plays a huge role in the driving force of the club's head and your ability to control the ball. Graphite shafts weigh less than steel ones, creating lighter clubs that can be swung at greater speed, giving you more distance on your drive. Performance shafts have varying degrees of flex, or movement through your swing, which lets you launch the ball higher or lower or adjust the timing of your swing to maximize your power. The rule of thumb is that more flex gives you greater control, while less flex gives you more power. 

Get a Grip
The grip is the part of the club that you hold. During your swing, the grip helps you keep the club in your hands and acts as a shock absorber between your wrists and impact of hitting the ball. Thinner grip material gives some golfers a better feel for the ball, while thicker grips may give you more control. The grip on a club can easily be changed to give the club a different feel.

Hosel
The hosel connects the shaft to the head. Hosel design determines a club's balance, feel and power. Hosels are generally designed to move the club's mass toward the back of the head. This keeps the weight of the club behind the striking face, adding distance on woods and loft on irons. 

Head
A golf club's head is the component that hits the ball. Woods and lofting irons have a single striking surface, while some putters and irons have two, depending on the situation. When you're looking at heads, remember that the larger the head, the larger the sweet spot, or the part of the head that transfers the most power to the ball. Larger heads are great for a power game or for beginners, but you'll get more control and a faster swing from smaller heads.

Ferrule
This is the decorative ring that surrounds the hosel right above the point where it meets the head. Ferrules don't impact the performance of a club apart from the small amount of weight that they add, and most ferrules are so lightweight that they do nothing to change your game. They are, however, the place where golf club makers show off their artistic side, and custom-made golf clubs will often have an insignia or design mark to identify the manufacturer.

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