What is the difference between custom assembled & pre-assembled golf clubs?
Custom assembled clubs are built from scratch according your specifications. Pre-assembled clubs are pre-built and do not allow for any customization. For example, you can choose between hundreds of different shaft and grip options with custom assembled clubs. With pre-assembled clubs, you have no option to choose the shaft and grip. They are already pre-built into the club.
What are golf components?
Every golf club is made up of golf components. Golf components are simply the separate pieces that make up a golf club, generally referring to the clubhead, the shaft, and the grip. Yes, when you buy a pre-assembled, or "off-the-rack" club, that club is made of components. When a golf club is built based around options and specifications that you choose, that club is considered a custom assembled golf club.
What is golf clubmaking?
Clubmaking simply refers to the process of building the golf club from the components. Anybody with sufficient basic tools can learn to build a golf club.
What is golf clubfitting?
Every golfer is different: different swing, different build, different height, different strength, and so on. Clubfitting is the process of properly fitting a golfer for custom clubs. The better you can understand the golfer's needs, the better you can determine the components and specifications of the golf club, resulting in a golf club that performs optimally for the golfer.
How can I learn about clubmaking and clubfitting?
Hireko has many resources to teach you everything you need to know about golf clubmaking and clubfitting.
- Learn clubmaking from A to Z in the latest edition of the Modern Guide to Clubmaking
- Learn clubfitting from A to Z in the latest edition of the Total Clubfitting in the 21st Century
- Read free technical articles at the Hireko Cubmaking Library
- Learn about the latest news at the Hireko Blog
- View free online videos at the Hireko YouTube Channel
- Discuss topics with Hireko's Technical Director and fellow clubmakers at the Hireko Clubmaking Forum
- Our free Technical Support line can be reached at 800-942-5872 (USA only)
Can you recommend a clubmaker in my area?
Just call 800-367-8912 and speak to a sales associate for a Hireko Clubmaker in your area.
Golf Club FAQ’s
by Jeff Summitt, Hireko Technical Director
According to The Rules of Golf, we are allowed to carry up to a maximum of 14 clubs in the bag during a round of golf, although there is no rule that pertains to using fewer clubs. The purpose of having multiple clubs has to do with the distance each are hit from as each club has a different loft or angle to the face to provide a higher or lower trajectory. In addition each club is made at various lengths which also has an influence on the overall distance you can hit the ball. On a regulation sized golf course there will be times that you are going to need all of the clubs in your bag in order to effectively hit the ball from all the possible lies and positions you may encounter that day. However, some days you may use only half of them.
What Is A Golf Club Driver? (Normal 1 In Your Bag)
This is also referred to as a tee club because this is the one club that is designed to be hit with the ball elevated off the ground with a tee. This club is designed to hit the ball the longest as the driver has the lowest loft and longest in length. Drivers range in loft from 7.5° to 15°. The average lofts for men range from 10° – 12°, ladies 12 – 15°, while touring professionals and long drive competitors below 10°. The driver is a single club, no more than one is needed.
What Is A Golf Fairway Wood? (Normal 2-4 In Your Bag)
These clubs are designed to be hit from long distances away on approach shots for par 4 and 5′s. These can be played off a tee too, but normally they will be played off of the fairway or out of the rough. Most golfers carry at least 2 fairway woods, usually the #3 and 5-woods, but higher lofted versions are available to replace irons to be hit from a much shorter distance, especially for lady and senior male golfers who enjoy the addition of #7 and 9-woods.
What Are Golf Club Irons? (Normal 3-7 In Your Bag)
Irons are the thin, elongated clubs in the bag. These are used to hit from the intermediate lengths between that of fairway woods and wedges. These are designed to be hit off the ground and have varied loft angles to hit the ball different lengths. The lower lofted or lower numbered clubs like the #3 and 4-irons will hit the ball the furthest of the irons, but may be more difficult to get the ball airborne and hit toward your target. The mid-lofted irons are the #5, 6, and 7-irons, while scoring irons or the shortest hitting of the irons, #8 and 9, are the easiest to hit. It used to be customary that all golfers would carry the 3 through 9 irons, but with the advent of hybrids (see below), that is not the case anymore.
What Are Golf Club Hybrids? (Normal 0-3 In Your Bag)
Alternatives to irons, these clubs look like a cross between irons and mini metal woods. These are designed to replace often hard-to-hit irons in the bag. As a beginner, consider not even getting a 3, 4 or even 5-iron and look at adding a hybrid or two.
What Are Golf Club Wedges? (Normal 2-4 In Your Bag)
If you are starting out, you are bound to miss a lot of greens on approach shots and require you to get the ball close to the hole from around the green. Wedges are the highest lofted and highest hitting clubs in the bag and designed to go the shortest distance to have the ability to stop rolling and land close to the hole. Wedges are sometimes hit as full shots, but many times as less than full finesse shots as a way to land the ball softly. One particular model, the sand wedge, was designed specifically to hit the sand trap, but you will find this club useful on a number of other shots such as from the deep rough around the green. The other wedges, a PW or pitching wedge is the club that comes right after the 9-iron and is an important addition to any bag. There is also a GW or gap wedge which bridges the gap in distance from the PW to the SW. A LW or lob wedge has the highest loft and goes the shortest distance on full shots of any club in the bag. This particular club will be more beneficial to higher skill level golfers as many beginners will end up hitting the ball short of their target with this club.
What Are Golf Putters? (Normal 1 In Your Bag)
Approximately 40% of all your shots during a round will be encountered on the green, so the putter is considered the single-most important club in the bag and only one is truly necessary to carry. Putters come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to be specifically on the short grass of the green.
What Is A Golf Chipper? (Normal 0-1 In Your Bag)
This is a club designed to be hit short distances around the green and can be considered a lofted putter as the stroke that is used is similar to it. This is not a club that you will find in many golfers bag, but is listed as some golfers might find this to be useful utility-type club. Over time, golfers will accumulate a collection of clubs in their garage or basement that they do not use anymore for a variety of reasons. Starting out playing can be intimidating with all the different choices available. To purchase some sets, you may be forced to buy the full compliment of clubs instead of picking or choosing like you can on Hireko’s website. But once you start playing more often you will get a feel of what type of clubs you hit better than others. Some golfers will find wider soled fairway woods to their liking more so than irons. You may end up trying a friend?s or fellow player driver, hybrid, putter, etc and find it better than the clubs in your bag. Regardless, finding the right clubs for you will become an evolving process.
Clubhead Material Differences
Golfers have many options available to them regarding club head materials.
To a newcomer to the game this can also be confusing on why one would select
one material over another. So, let us explain the difference in the materials
and why they might be used for the various golf clubs.
The use of titanium for golf clubs came from the technology used in the aerospace industry. The first golf clubs made from titanium date back to the early 1990?s and quickly became the material of choice for driver heads due to the high strength-to-weight ratio. Titanium is lighter than stainless steel and allows the designer to manufacturer a much larger club head that meets the weight specifications of a normal driver. The strength of the material has increased durability for even the strongest golfers in the world.
There are many different titanium alloys (materials added to the raw titanium) to change both the weight and strengths requirements. With driver heads reaching the maximum volume of 460 cubic centimeters, the most common alloy is 6/4 Titanium, by which 90% of the material is titanium, 6% is aluminum and 4% is vanadium. There are many other alloys or grades of titanium (sometimes called Beta Titanium) such as 15-3-3-3, SP700, 10-2-3, etc. available to the club designer. If the higher grade of titanium is used, then it is normally for the face material only and not the entire head.
The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A) ? the two governing bodies in golf ? established rules for how fast a ball can come off of the club face of a driver. Most manufacturers make drivers that go to this limit without exceeding it, so there really is no advantage of one material over another. Typically, smaller drivers (under 400cc) would utilize the higher cost beta titanium to increase how fast the ball comes off the face. But with clubs in the 460cc range, standard 6/4 titanium will besufficient material for the maximum allowable ball speed.
Titanium can also be used in other clubs, but normally you do not see it much for a couple of reasons. First, titanium is much more expensive than stainless steel used in fairway woods, hybrids and irons. Second, the reason for titanium is for the strength and lightweight nature. If a fairway wood was made with titanium, it would normally be made much larger in size to achieve a normal weight. By doing so, the head becomes much taller and makes it effectively harder to hit off of the fairway. The same can be said for titanium irons. However, you will see some irons with a titanium insert as a way of increasing the ball speed at impact verses an all stainless steel clubhead.
Stainless steel is the most used material in golf. The material is generally inexpensive and easy to cast into all the shapes that you see golf clubs made plus durable enough for everyday play.There are two main types of stainless steel used in golf club heads. One is 17-4 stainless steel (comprising of no more than 0.07% carbon, between 15 an 17% chromium, 4% nickel, 2.75% copper, and 75% iron and trace elements). 17-4 used primarily for metal woods, hybrids and some irons. The other type of stainless steel is 431 (comprising of no more than 20% carbon, 15-17% chromium, 1.25 ? 2.5% nickel, and the remainder being iron and a few trace elements). This grade of stainless steel is used for irons and putters.
The majority of fairway woods today are manufactured from 17-4 stainless steel. Drivers can also be made of 17-4, but due to the high density of the material, the limit on size is approximately 250cc without the risk of cracking during normal play. Because golfers prefer larger, easier-to-hit drivers, few drivers today are even manufactured from stainless steel. Investment cast irons can be made from either 431 or 17-4 grades. The 17-4 is slightly harder of the two. This allows the 431 to be adjusted for loft or lie a little more easily, but other than that, there is no one greater advantage of one verses the other.
Specialty Stainless Steel (Maraging Steel)
Another more recent addition to the number of materials used in golf club head manufacturing is maraging steel, which is an alloy or family of steel with unique properties. Typically maraging steels are harder than non-maraging steels like 431 or 17-4 and used primarily for face inserts rather than the whole head. A driver head can be produced wholly from maraging steel, but there is still a limit on the size of the head (roughly in the low-300cc range). Plus the cost of the head would not be that much less expensive than one made from titanium.
Since the maraging steels are harder, the face insert can be made thinner than the normal stainless steel graded used in golf. As a result, the ball coming off the face will have a slightly high ball velocity upon impact. Maraging steels are more expensive to produce, therefore would be more in the premium price range, which is the trade-off for the higher performance.
Aluminum is a much lighter material than stainless steel. Early metal woods made from aluminum back in 1970?s and 80?s were not very strong or durable. This caused these low cost club heads to gain a bad reputation for easily scratching and denting that still carries over today. However, the aluminum alloys today are much better than those used in the past and the head sized can be made to the maximum size for drivers (460cc) under the Rules of Golf.
Heads manufactured from aluminum are much lower in cost than even stainless steel, which makes these clubs more affordable and ideal in woods of starter sets or junior sets. The only downside to the aluminum is that the walls have to be made thicker as not to crack or cave in. Therefore the ball speed coming off the face would be less than a comparable titanium driver.
Carbon graphite is an extremely lightweight material and can be used to create a wood (usually with some sort of metallic soleplate for durability and additional weight). Few clubs today are produced primarily from carbon graphite; however there are a number that incorporate the carbon graphite material in the design.
Carbon graphite is less dense than any other material used in golf and a perfect choice to replace the top shell (or crown or top of the head). The weight savings from incorporating the carbon graphite in the crown, allows additional weight to be repositioned elsewhere in the heads in order to improve the design. Heads made from or partially from carbon graphite demand a premium price and can be found, not only in drivers, but fairway woods and hybrids as well.
Some of which are intentionally un-chromed to rust through normal use. The idea behind the unplated carbon steel wedges is softer feel and supposable greater spin. Irons, wedges and putters produced from carbon steel will be more expensive than stainless steel.
Heads produced from zinc are the least expensive of all the materials. Used mostly for irons, wedges and putters in both starter sets and junior sets, zinc heads are less durable than their stainless steel counterparts. Zinc heads can be identified by their non-magnetic properties and their larger-than-normal hosel diameters.
Wooden woods are rarely found as a club head material option anymore as it has lost favor amongst golfers to titanium drivers and stainless fairway woods.