Why Do Golf Clubs Have Numbers and What Do They Mean?

What do golf club numbers mean

Golf can seem a little complicated to newcomers and first timers, and understandably so. There are so many golf rules and regulations, and learning to play golf is difficult. Though not the first question new golfers will ask, many amateur golfers will eventually ask what the numbers on golf clubs mean. Golf club number meanings are important so Deer Creek Golf Club has created this quick guide for first time golfers.  

More Golf Tips for Beginners at The Deer Creek Golf Club Articles Page

Before delving into golf club number meanings, remember to check out some of our other guides for beginner golfers.

  1. Everything You Need to Know About Golf Handicaps
  2. Golf Stance Tips from the Pros
  3. 5 Pro Tips to Start Golfing on The Right Foot
  4. Golf Course Dress Code and Golf Style

Club Types – Guide for First Time Golfers

Traditionally, there are three types of golf clubs in every golfer’s bag. These days, some golfers will carry a hybrid golf club that is a mixture of an iron and wood, but that’s not important when discussing what golf club numbers represent. The three golf club types are wood, iron and putter.

Woods – Also known as a wood, these are the long-range clubs used at the beginning of every hole. This is called Teeing off. For longer courses, they are also used on the second swing. Woods have large, circular club heads with a flat front where the golf ball is struck.

Iron – Irons are used after teeing off and can be recognized by the extreme angle club heads. Every golfer has more irons than any other golf club in their bag!

Putter – Putters have short shafts and smaller club heads. You may recognize this club from the last time you played mini golf but, hopefully, your putter is much better than those!

As a guide for first time golfers, a standard, beginner golf club set would look like this:

Woods – 3 & 5

Irons- 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and a pitching wedge.

Putter – only 1 needed.

Golf Club Numbers Explained

Golf club numbers correspond to loft which in turn corresponds to the angle of the golf club face. Adjust the loft and you change the height or distance the golf ball will travel when struck.

The lower the golf club number, the lower the loft, the less intense the angle on the golf club face; this means the golf ball will travel more distance and less height.

The higher the golf club number, the higher the loft, the more intense the angle on the golf club face; these means the golf ball will travel higher and less distance.

If that all sounds like more science and physics than you wanted to learn today, we understand. Test your knowledge by reading the examples bellow.

Test Your Understanding of Golf Club Number Meanings

2 Iron – The golf ball will travel far, not as high.

9 Iron – The golf ball will travel very high but not very far.

3 Wood – The golf ball will travel farther.

5 Wood – The golf ball will travel higher.

Still need help? Make an appointment at a dedicated South Florida golf school in Deer Creek Golf Club! Happy golfing!