Glossary – golf clubs and components

Glossary of golf names and terms relating to golf clubs and theirs components. Items are listed alphabetically.

To find a sought word:
– use any search function (e.g. Ctrl+F in Windows, Find in Page in Androd, Find on Page in iOS etc.),
– select desired letter range in the Index (below)
– or just scroll down.

 

A-C   .   C-D   .   E-F   .   G-H   .    I-L  .   M-O   .   P-R   .   S-T   .   U-Z

 

 

Angle of Attack
The angle at which the club impacts the ball. It is formed between the vertical plane and center of the shaft when the face strikes the ball. The Angle of Attack affect ball trajectory, backspin and distance of the shot.
see the picture …

 

Approach Wedge (AW)
wedge designed to fill the gap in loft (and distance of a shot) between the pitching wedge and the sand wedge. Usually with the loft of 52 to 54 degrees. Other names: Attack Wedge, Dual Wedge, Gap Wedge.

 

Attack Wedge see Approach Wedge

 

Back
Back surface of the club head, opposite the face.
see the picture…

 

Back Edge see Trailing Edge

 

Back Weighting
The process of adding weight to the back of a head to move the center of gravity rearward, further from the face.

 

Baffy
Older name of the #5 wood.

 

Balance Point
The point where a weight of shaft or club is evenly distributed in both directions when rested on a single point.
see the picture …

 

BBGM
The abbreviation for the “Bottom of Bore to Ground line Measurement”. In other words it is the distance from the bottom of the hosel bore to the point where the shaft would meets the ground, when the club is in the address position. BBGM could be calculated by substracting the hosel depth  from the hosel length.
see the picture…

 

Blade¹
A design of a putter with a narrow club head from the face to the back.
see the picture…

 

Blade²
A design of an iron head with the solid, relatively smooth back of the club head and equal weight distribution throughout the head. Designed for experienced golfers as they are very unforgiving, but provide increased feel and feedback. Blade heads are sometimes called muscle back heads but they are usually thinner that classic muscle back ones.
see the picture…

 

Blade³
The casual name of a face.

 

Blank Shaft see Raw Shaft

 

Blind Bore
A hosel bore in which the installed shaft does not go all the way through the sole of the head.
see the picture …

 

Bore-through
A hosel bore which goes all the way through the club head. The tip of the shaft is then visible on the sole of the club.

 

Bore Type
The term used to describe how far a shaft penetrates into a hosel. The two basic types are: blind bore and bore-through.

 

Bounce
The term referred to the type of sole where the trailing edge of the sole is lower than the leading edge. It keeps clubs from digging too deep in the sand or getting stopped by tall grass.
read more about bounce …

 

Bounce Angle
The angle formed by the plane of leading and trailing edges and the ground plane. Expressed in degrees. Typical bounce angles range from 6 to 15 degrees.
read more about bounce …

 

Brassie
Older name of the #2 wood.

 

Box Grooves see U Grooves

 

Build-Up Tape
Masking tape applied to the butt end of the shaft under the grip to increase the grip size. A single layer of masking tape (.003-.004″ thick) will increase grip size approximately 1/128″.
see the picture …

 

Bulge
The curvature of the face of a driver or fairway wood from heel to toe. Bulge helps give corrective sidespin to shots hit on the toe or heel of the wood face (Magnus effect).
see the picture…

 

Butt
The grip (the thickest) end of the shaft.
see the picture …

 

Butt Cap see Grip Cap

 

Butt Diameter
The outside diameter of the larger end of a shaft where the grip is to be installed. Typically expressed in thousandths of an inch (i.e. .600″ or .580″).
see the picture …

 

Butt Size see Butt Diameter

 

Butt Trimming
The process of preparing the butt end of the shaft by cutting it at the desired point for correct length and swingweight. Butt trimming allows to shorten a shaft without substantially changing the its effective flex.

 

Butt Weight
A plug (usually lead) that is placed into the butt end of a shaft.

 

Butt Weighting see Counter Balance

 

Camber
The curvature of the sole of a club. A sole can be cambered (rounded) side to side (from toe to heel), or front to back (from leading edge to trailing edge), or both.
see the picture…

 

Cavity Back
A design of an iron head with a portion of the back of the head is hollowed out and the weight is distributed toward the perimeter of the head. Cavity back irons are easily identified by their recessed area on the back of the head. The cavity-back irons are far more forgiving than blades² or muscle back models.
see the picture …

 

Center of Gravity (CG)
The point in a club, a shaft, or a club head where all of the points of balance intersect. Other name: Center of Mass.
see the picture …

 

Center of Mass see Center of Gravity

 

Chipper (Chipping Iron)
An iron used to chip the ball onto the green. Usually with the loft of 28 to 43 degrees. Mostly used by beginner to intermediate golfers.

 

Cleek
Older name of the #4 wood.

 

Club
The tool designed to strike the golf ball. A club has three main components: the head, the shaft and the grip. There are few categories of clubs: woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters.
read more about golf club …

 

Club Fitting
The adjustments made to a golf club to take into account a golfers height, swing speed and swing characteristics.

 

Club Face (Clubface) see Face

 

Club Head (Clubhead) see Head

 

Club Length see Length

 

Club Lie see Lie

 

Club Loft see Loft

 

Coefficient of Restitution (COR)
The amount of rebound provided by a club face. A COR of 1.00 would mean that the ball would rebound at the same speed it impacted the club face. The USGA has limited the amount of COR a club face can have to .83.

 

Component
Any part used to assemble a golf club. The three primary components of a golf club are the head, shaft and grip. Other components include ferrule, labels, tape, and epoxy.
see the picture …

 

Core
Inside diameter of a grip as measured at its mouth.

 

Core Size
Size of a grip’s core. Usually labeled inside the mouth of the grip. For example, M60R indicates a men’s grip of .600” core size that produces a standard size grip when installed on a .600” shaft butt.
see the picture…

 

Counter Balance
The process of adding weight in the butt end of a shaft to reduce swingweight or achieve a specific feel. It increases the total weight of the club and shifts the center of gravity of the club closer to the grip.

 

Crown
The top of a head of a driver, fairway wood or hybrid wood. It is part of a head the golfer sees at address.
see the picture…

 

Cut Shaft
The trimmed shaft that is ready for installation into the club.

 

Deep Bore
A hosel bore in which the depth exceeds average depth.
see the picture …

 

Deep Face
A club head with a face height greater than average. This is a relative measure and no specific dimension is applied to this term, but it usually means a higher center of gravity that makes it easier to hit the ball on a lower trajectory.

 

Digger Sole see Scoop Sole

 

Double Sided Tape see Grip Tape

 

Dowel see Shaft Extension

 

Driver
The longest club designed to hit the ball the farthest distance usually for the first shot from a tee on a par 4 or par 5 hole. Drivers commonly have lofts between 7 and 12 degrees.
see the picture …

 

Driving Iron
The iron club with little loft, usually the #1 iron.

 

Dual Wedge (DW) see Approach Wedge

 

Dynamic Lie see Effective Lie

 

Dynamic Loft see Effective Loft

 

Effective Bounce
The actual bounce angle at impact. Determined by the designed (nominal) bounce angle and the angle of attack.
read more about bounce …

 

Effective Lie
The actual lie angle at impact. Determined by the designed (nominal) lie angle, dynamic shaft bending and lie angle changes induced by golfer.

 

Effective Loft
The actual loft angle at impact. Determined by the designed (nominal) loft angle, the face angle, the lie and the position of the hands relative to the ball at impact (angle of attack).

 

End Cap see Grip Cap

 

Epoxy
The adhesive used to connect the shaft to the head.

 

Extension see Shaft Extension

 

Face
The part of the club head which strikes (comes into direct contact) the golf ball. Other names: Club Face, Clubface.
see the picture …

 

Face Angle
The orientation of the club face relative to the intended line of ball flight. For right-handed golfer a square face angle aligns directly at the target, an open face aligns to the right, a closed face aligns left.

 

Face Height
The distance from the sole to the crown at mid face (Hitting Area).
see the picture …

 

Face Length see Face Width

 

Face Width
The distance from the heel to the toe on the club face which comes into direct contact with the ball. Other names: Face Length, Hitting Area.
see the picture …

 

Ferrule
Decorative trim ring, directly on top of the hosel that covers the connection between the head and the shaft. Originally just cosmetic but can also work to protect graphite shafts and club integrity.
read more about clubs …

 

Flange
The part of a putter head that protrudes out from its back, which extends along the ground from the leading edge to the rear of the head.
see the picture…

 

Flat Lie
A relatively shallow or more horizontal lie angle, flatter than specification.
read more about lie …

 

Flatstick
A slang term for the putter.

 

Flatter
A club with a flat lie.
see the picture…

 

Flex
The relative bending properties (stiffness) of a golf club shaft as forces are applied to it during the golf swing. Usually identified by a letter.
read more about flex …

 

Flex Point see Kick Point

 

Forgiveness
An abstract feature of a club which describes how well a club reduces effects of an off-center hit. The more forgiving club offers the bigger ability to keep the intended trajectory of the ball after a poor contact.

 

Frequency Matching
Process of adjusting the stiffness of the shafts of a set of clubs to match a golfer’s swing speed.

 

Front Edge see Leading Edge

 

Gap Wedge (GW) see Approach Wedge

 

Gear Effect
The effect caused by the convex face of a driver or wood that influences on sidespin imparted to the ball. It tends to cause a ball hit toward the toe or heel side of face center to curve back to the intended target line.

 

Golfclub see Club

 

Gooseneck
A club (putter or iron) that has an extremely big offset.

 

Grind
The special shape of the sole of some wedges that allows to adjust effective bounce and loft by grinding it. Different grind shapes are designed for different purposes. For instance a grind can allow to open the face of the wedge without the leading edge coming off the ground which provides more lofted pitch shots without increasing the club’s bounce.

 

Grip
The top part of the golf club where player places his hands.
read more about grip …

 

Grip Cap
The plastic or rubber cap at the butt end of the grip. Other names: End Cap, Butt Cap.
see the picture…

 

Grip Diameter
Diameter of the grip, that is installed on the shaft, measured at 2 inches down from the edge of the grip cap.
read more about grip …

 

Grip Size see Grip Diameter

 

Grip Tape
Tape applied to the shaft to secure the grip to the shaft. It has adhesive on both sides of the tape and may be activated with a solvent or water. Grip tape is available in 2” wide rolls, grip tape strips, or 3/4” wide rolls. Other names: Two-Sided Tape, Double Sided Tape.
see the picture …

 

Grooves
The horizontal indentations cut into the club face which impart backspin to a ball. The grooves grab the ball and impart spin upon it when it is struck with an iron. Grooves on drivers and fairway woods are normally cosmetic. Grooves used to be V-shaped but they changed to U-shaped (square grooves).
see the picture…

 

Head
The most massive part of the club at the bottom end (opposite the grip) of the shaft that actually strikes the ball and transfers all the energy of the swing is to the golf ball.
read more about head …

 

Heel
The side of the head closest to the hosel, where the club head is attached to the shaft.
see the picture…

 

Heel-Toe Weighted
A head design in which weight is distributed toward the heel and toe. It increases the MOI of a head and reduces the effect of mishits.

 

Hitting Area see Face Width

 

Hosel
The part of the head that connects to the shaft. It goes all the way from the heel up to the ferrule. Other name: Neck
see the picture …

 

Hosel Bore
The hollow for the shaft in the hosel part of a club head.
see the picture …

 

Hosel Depth
The distance from the hosel top to the bottom of the hosel bore. Other name: Hosel Bore Depth, Insertion Depth.
see the picture …

 

Hosel Inside Diameter (Hosel ID)
The inside diameter of the hosel. Measured in thousandths of an inch. (0.335″, 0.350″, 0.410″, 0.370″). Other name: Hosel Bore Diameter.
see the picture …

 

Hosel Length
The distance from the hosel top to the point where the shaft would meets the ground, when the club is in the address position.
see the picture …

 

Hybrid, Hybrid Club
A club that combines features of both woods and irons. Hybrid clubs are typically the same length as the long iron they are meant to replace but the head design uses features from woods including wide soles and lower centers of gravity. Hybrid are used instead of the long irons, they are much easier to play and give a player added control on long shots. The hybrid irons have flat face (like irons) while the hybrid woods has face with horizontal bulge and vertical roll¹ (a curved face, like woods). Other names: Rescue, Utility Club, Hybrid Iron, Hybrid Wood.
see the picture …

 

Hybrid Iron see Hybrid Club

 

Hybrid Wood see Hybrid Club

 

Insertion Depth see Hosel Depth

 

Iron
A golf club with a head made of metal and a relatively narrow sole. Usually with the loft between 16 and 44 degrees.  Various lofts allow to hit the golf ball controlled distances.
see the picture …

 

Keel Sole
The sole of a wood that is “V” shaped and designed to lower the club’s center of gravity.

 

Kick Point
The place in the shaft where the most flexing occurs. Lower flex points (closer to the head) tend to make the ball fly higher. Other names: Flex Point, Bend Point.

 

Launch Angle
The vertical angle of the golf ball’s movement relative to the horizon after separation from the club face.

 

Lead
Heavy metal powder or element used as a swingweighting material attached in the shaft or in/on the club head.

 

Leading Edge
The front edge of the face where it meets the sole. Usually set perpendicular to the target when setting up to shot.
see the picture…

 

Length
The distance from one end of the club to the other measured as the distance from the butt to the point where the shaft would meets the ground, when the club is in the address position.
read more about length …

 

Lie
The angle from the shaft to the ground line when the club is in normal playing position. Measured in degrees. Other name: Lie Angle, Club Lie.
read more about lie …

 

Lob Wedge (LW)
A very highly lofted wedge, usually between 59 and 60 degrees (sometimes more), designed for playing high, soft shots from short distances.

 

Loft
The angle of the face relative to a perpendicular line up from the ground at address, when the club is soled flat on the ground. Measured in degrees. More loft creates a higher, shorter shot with more backspin imparted to the ball. Other names: Loft Angle, Club Loft.
read more about loft …

 

Long Irons
The least lofted irons in a set of golf clubs, numbered #2, #3, and #4. Usually with less than 25 degree loft.

 

Low Profile see Shallow Face

 

Mallet
A design of a of putter with the large head and particularly wide from the face to the back of the head.
see the picture…

 

Mashie
Older name of the #5 iron.

 

Mashie Iron
Older name of the #4 iron.

 

Mashie Niblick
Older name of the #7 iron.

 

Masking Tape see Build-up Tape

 

Mid Iron¹
Older name of the #2 iron.

 

Mid Irons²
Today’s irons make up the middle of a set, numbered #5, #6, and #7. Usually range in loft from 25 to 38 degrees. Designed for distance and accuracy on an approach shot onto the green.

 

Mid Mashie
Older name of the #3 iron.

 

Moment of Inertia (MOI)
A measurement of resistance of any object to being put in motion around a defined axis of rotation. Indicates the stability of an object. The higher the MOI of an object, the more force will have to be applied to set that object in a rotational motion.

 

MOI of the Head
Moment of Inertia of the club head around its center of gravity. The head design property that has a bearing on the amount of forgiveness the head offers at impact. The higher the MOI of the head, the less the head will twist in response to an off-center hit, and the less distance will be lost.

 

MOI of the Club
Moment of Inertia of the golf club around its butt. Used in the club set matching process to make all the clubs the same in terms of the amount of force (effort) required by the golfer to swing each club and hit the shot. The right MOI must be identified and custom fit for each golfer.
read more about “Whole club MOI” …

 

Mouth
The opening in the small end of the grip that fits over the shaft during installation. The core size designation can be found imprinted inside of the mouth.
see the picture…

 

Muscle Back
A design of an iron head with a weight strategically placed on the lower half of the head or/and behind the centre of gravity. Used by advanced golfers due to superior feel and workability of the ball and less forgiveness. Muscle back irons are thicker than a blade² irons and almost the opposite of cavity back or perimeter weighted designs.
see the picture…

 

Natural Bending Position (NBP)
The direction of least stiffness of the shaft when rotating a shaft through 360 degrees, due to the directional variation of stiffness of a club shaft.

 

Neck see Hosel

 

Niblick
Older name of the #8 or #9 iron, roughly comparable to today’s wedge.

 

Offset
The distance from the forward side of the hosel to the leading edge. Offset helps a player to align the club face with the target, allows a little extra time for the golfer to square the face and reduce the amount of slice sidespin applied to the ball.
see the picture…

 

Onset (Negative Offset)
The design of a head in which the leading edge of the face is positioned in front of the forward side of the hosel.
see the picture…

 

Overall Weight see Total Weight

 

Oversize Iron
An iron with a face height greater than 43mm and a face width greater than 75 mm.

 

Perimeter Weighted Iron
A design of an iron with the center of gravity of the head centered in the middle although the weight is positioned around the perimeter of the head, thus increasing the sweet spot.
see the picture…

 

Pitching Wedge (PW)
The lowest lofted wedge usually between 44 and 49 degrees. Used to hit a high shot onto the green.

 

Progressive Offset Irons
An iron set with longer irons having more offset and shorter irons having less.

 

Pureing see Spine Alignment

 

Putter
The club used to putt the ball on the green and cause the ball to roll along the ground until it falls into a hole¹.
see the picture…

 

Radius
The gradual curve of the leading edge as you look down at the head in the address position.

 

Raw Shaft
An uncut shaft in its manufactured form, that has not been trimmed nor installed in a clubhead. Other name: Blank Shaft

 

Rescue Club see Hybrid Club

 

Rocker Sole
A cambered sole of club head.

 

Roll¹
The curvature of the face of a driver or fairway wood from sole to crown. Roll helps impart spin to the ball that helps it go straighter.
see the picture…

 

Sand Wedge (SW)
The wedge with the middle most loft, usually between 52 and 56 degrees. This wedge usually has the most bounce so that it can be used out of the sand and deep rough.

 

Scoop Sole
A sole in which leading edge is lower than its trailing edge. Other name: Digger Sole.

 

Scoring
Marking on a club face, designed for decorative or alignment purposes. Usually there are lines, dots, circles and triangles.

 

Shaft
The long, tubular (round in cross section) golf club component that connects the grip and the head. Most golf club shafts are made out of steel or graphite.
read more about clubs …

 

Shaft Butt see Butt

 

Shaft Extension
A piece of hard material (e. g. steel, aluminum, hard plastic) inserted into the shaft butt to make the shaft/club longer.
see the picture …

 

Shaft Spinning see Spine Alignment

 

Shaft Tip see Tip

 

Shallow Face
A club head with a face height less than average. This is a relative measure, no specific dimension is applied to this term, but it usually means a lower center of gravity that makes it easier to hit the ball on a high trajectory.

 

Short Irons
The irons make up the highest lofted irons in a set, numbered #8 and #9. Usually have a loft of 39 degrees or higher. Designed for maximum accuracy on your approach shot onto the green.

 

Sole
The bottom or underside of the club head that rests on the ground in address position.
see the picture…

 

Sole Camber see Camber

 

Sole Weighted Iron
A design of an iron with the majority of the head weight concentrated near the sole of the club, producing a lower center of gravity and therefore a higher shot.

 

Sole Width
The measure of a sole from the leading edge to the trailing edge. A narrow sole is better from firmer ground; wide soles are helpful in getting the ball airborne from softer ground.
see the picture…

 

Spade Mashie
Older name of the #6 iron.

 

Spine
The direction of greatest stiffness of the shaft when rotating a shaft through 360 degrees, due to the directional variation of stiffness of a club shaft.

 

Spine Alignment
The process of locating the spine and NBP on the shaft and then aligning the shaft in the hosel so that the shaft will bend straight forward during the swing. There is a number of alignment methods, but the most popular is to orient the NBP plane towards the target line. Other names: Shaft Spinning, Pureing

 

Spoon
Older name of the #3 wood.

 

Static Weight see Total Weight

 

Square Grooves see U Grooves

 

Sweet Spot
The spot in the club face that delivers the most energy to the ball thus producing the most distance and accuracy. Hitting the ball elsewhere on the face causes a loss of distance and change in direction.
see the picture…

 

Swingweight
The expression of a club’s weight distribution around a fixed fulcrum point. It is not a function of total weight but rather specifies how heavy the club feels to a golfer swinging it. Other names: Swing Weight, Swinging Weight.
read more about swingweight …

 

Third Wedge
A lofted wedge that differs from a pitching wedge or a sand wedge in loft and/or sole characteristics. Could be Approach, Attack, Dual, Lob or other named Wedge.

 

Tip
The head (the thinnest) end of the shaft.
see the picture…

 

Tip Diameter
The outside diameter of a tip end of the shaft. Typically expressed in thousandths of an inch (i.e. .370″ and .355″).

 

Tip Pin see Tip Weight

 

Tipping see Tip Trimming

 

Tip Size see Tip Diameter

 

Tip Stiff
A shaft with a tip stiffer than the rest of the shaft.

 

Tip Trimming
The process of preparing the tip end of a shaft for installation by cutting it at the desired point for correct flex. The cutting point is usually defined by the shaft manufacturer. Other name: Tipping.

 

Tip Weight
A short piece of heavy material (usually lead) that is placed into the tip end of a shaft prior to shaft installation. It increases the swingweight and the total weight of the club. Other name: Tip Pin.

 

Toe
The side of the head farthest from the hosel and shaft.
see the picture…

 

Toe Height
The distance from the sole to the top edge or crown at toe.
see the picture…

 

Top Edge
The edge of the head, running from heel to toe, visible at the top of the club face when golfers looks down at the club at address. Other name: Topline.
see the picture…

 

Torque
Measure of a shaft’s resistance to twisting. More torque means more tendency to twist. Low torque shafts twist less and are designed for stronger players.

 

Total Weight
The weight of the entire assembled club, expressed in ounces or grams.

 

Trailing Edge
The back edge of the sole, where it meets the back side of the club head.
see the picture…

 

Trimming
The process of preparing a raw shaft for installation by tip trimming and/or  butt trimming.

 

Tungsten
Heavy metal powder or element used as a swingweighting material attached in the shaft or in/on the club head.

 

Two-Sided Tape see Grip Tape

 

U Grooves
Face grooves pressed, cut, or cast into a rectangular or U shape. More pronounced than V Grooves. Other names: Box Grooves, Square Grooves.
see the picture…

 

Upright Lie
A relatively steep or more vertical lie angle, more upright than the standard specification for that particular head.
read more about lie …

 

Upright
A club with a upright lie.
read more about lie …

 

Utility Club see Hybrid Club

 

Utility Wedge see Third Wedge

 

Wedge
A club similar to short iron with significant loft mainly for playing shorter, more lofted shots. The amount of loft can vary widely, from a pitching wedge that ranges somewhere between 44 and 49 degrees to a lob wedge that can range from 58 up to 65 degrees. Wedges come in a huge variety of styles, shapes and names (Approach, Attack, Pitching, Sand, Lob, Third, Utility, Gap and other named Wedge), depending on their purpose and manufacturer.
see the picture …

 

Weight see Total Weight

 

Wood
A club with bulbous club head that are used to hit the longest shots.
see the picture…

 

Workability
An abstract feature of a club which describes how well a club allows a player to intentionally manipulate the trajectory of the hit ball (e. g. draw or fade).

 

Wrist to Floor
The distance from a golfer’s wrist to the floor, used in static fit for a club length.
read more about length fitting …

 

Vent Hole
A hole in the grip cap center that allows air to be released during a grip installation.
see the picture…

 

V Grooves
Face grooves pressed, cut, or cast into a V shape.
see the picture…

 

Volume
A numerical indication of the size of a wood head as measured by liquid displacement. Expressed in cubic centimeters (cc).

 

 

 

 

back to: Clubs

update: February 2021