UNDERSTANDING GOLF TERMS
Golf Club Iron Terms:
303 Stainless Steel Stainless Steel used in iron and wedge heads. This alloy contains a minimum of 17% Chromium, 15% Sulphur and 8% Nickel with the balance being Iron. A more malleable stainless steel alloy used in iron and wedge heads allowing for more custom bending of the head than the standard 431 Stainless Steel. More malleable than 304 Stainless Steel but not quite as corrosion resistant. Grade 303 represents the optimum in machinability among the austenitic stainless steels. It is primarily used when production involves extensive machining (CNC milling of grooves or cavity features).
304 Stainless steel Stainless Steel used in iron and wedge heads. This alloy contains a minimum of 18% Chromium, 8% Nickel with the balance being Iron. A more malleable stainless steel alloy used in iron and wedge heads allowing for more custom bending of the head than the standard 431 Stainless Steel. More corrosion resistant malleable than 304 Stainless Steel but not quite as malleable.
431 Stainless steel Stainless Steel used in iron and wedge heads. This alloy contains a minimum of 15% Chromium, 1.25% Nickel with the balance being Iron. This heat treatable martensitic, nickel-bearing grade has the best corrosion resistance properties of all the martensitic grades. It has excellent tensile and torque strength, and good toughness, making it ideally suited to iron heads. It can be hardened to approximately 40HRC. Because of its high yield strength, this grade is not readily cold worked and is therefore not recommended for bending more than a couple of degrees.
432 Stainless steel Stainless Steel used in iron and wedge heads. This alloy contains a minimum of 16% Chromium with the balance being Iron. This Stainless Steel is very similar to 431 Grade only slightly more bendable.
Beryllium Copper (BeCu) An alloy used to produce heads for some irons. More dense than stainless and some players claim it has a softer feel. Beryllium heads are easily identified by their copper coloration.
Blade Style Head (Blades) Also known as muscle-back irons due to a possible concentration of weight directly behind the center of the club face. Predominately used by very experienced golfers as they are very unforgiving, but allow a very experienced player to work or shape his shot.
Bounce Usually referred to when discussing wedge specifications, bounce is the description of one type of sole angle where the back edge of the sole is lower than the front edge. A bounce angle on the sole is what keeps wedges from digging too deep in the sand or getting stopped by tall grass. Measured in degrees, typical bounce angles range from 6 to 15.
Cavity Undercut (Undercut Cavity) A cavity in a cavity back iron where the cavity has been extended down into the sole of the iron, there by moving the center of gravity farther behind the face of the iron producing a more forgiving club head.
Die Cast Injection of material into a pre-formed die to form club heads. This process is generally used on lower-priced heads such as zinc alloy irons and aluminum alloy woods. It is also commonly used on putters made from brass and zinc.
Forging Producing a golf club head from a series of forging dies stamping the head to final shape. Forged heads are made of softer metals than cast heads and require hand finishing and chrome plating.
Flow Weighting Head design where weight positioning shifts from one club to the next. For example, a #1 iron may have more weight concentrated on its toe, a #2 iron slightly less, and so on. Also called Progressive Weighting.
Flat (Flat Lie) A relatively shallow or more horizontal lie angle. Shorter players or players with relatively long arms usually need flatter irons. Their is no industry standard on lie angles so a standard lie for one company might be the same as a 2° Flat from another or 2° Upright from another.
Heel-Toe Weighting (Perimeter Weighting) A type of club head design with weight positioned toward the heel and toe of the clubhead, resulting in stabilizing the clubhead (and produce straighter shots) on off-center impacts.
Hosel I. D. (Hosel Bore Diameter) The inside diameter of the hosel. Measured in thousandths of an inch. (0.335", 0.350", 0.410", 0.370").
Hosel O. D. The outside diameter of the hosel. Measured in millimeters. (32mm)
Hybrid Club (Hybrid Iron, Hybrid Wood) A club that combines playing characteristics of both woods and irons; one valid method for differentiating between hybrid irons and hybrid woods is whether the face is flat (like irons) or has horizontal bulge and vertical roll (a curved face, like woods). These clubs take the place of the long irons, they are much easier to play and give a player added control on long approach shots. Hybrid Woods will give a higher shot than the Hybrid Irons but not as much control.
Lie (Lie angle) The angle, measured in degrees, of the club's shaft when the club is set in the address position as measured from the shaft to the sole of the clubhead. Iron sets typically range from 57° to 64° with the long irons having a more shallow or lower angle.
Loft The angle, measured in degrees, of the clubhead's face when the club is soled properly. Irons range from 18° to 65° with the long irons having the lest loft and a variety of wedges having the most.
Mid Irons These irons make up the middle of a set, numbered 5, 6, and 7. These iron usually range in loft from 25° to 38° and are designed for distance and accuracy on your approach shot onto the green.
Muscle Back A style of iron head with a thick amount of metal on the lower half or two-thirds of its back side (thicker than a traditional blade iron and almost the opposite of "cavity-back" or "perimeter-weighted" designs).
Offset The distance from the forward most point of the hosel to the leading edge of the blade. Offset will help a player to align the club face with the target, reducing a slice, and may produce higher ball flight.
Perimeter Weighting The Center of Gravity of the club head is centered in the middle although the weight is positioned around the perimeter of the head, thus increasing the sweet spot (an area of the club that when hit gives you the most distance).
Short Irons These irons make up the highest lofted irons in a set, numbered 8, 9, and Wedges. These iron usually have a loft of 39° or higher and are designed for maximum accuracy on your approach shot onto the green.
Sole Width The measure of a sole from the leading edge to the trailing edge. A narrow sole is better from firmer ground where as wider soles are helpful in getting the ball airborne from softer ground.
Square (Box, "U") Grooves Face lines or grooves pressed, cut, or cast into a rectangular or U shape. This geometry gives the ball more spin when struck if there is no material (grass, dirt....) between the ball and club face and the ball is struck with a precise down stroke. All Cast club heads produced by the investment or injection mold process have, to one degree or another, U shaped grooves.
Third Wedge (Utility Wedge) Manufacturer-dependent and varied, 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.
U (Box, Square) Grooves
Face lines or grooves pressed, cut, or cast into a rectangular or U
shape. This geometry gives the ball more spin when struck if there is
no material (grass, dirt....) between the ball and club face and the
ball is struck with a precise down stroke. All Cast club heads produced
by the investment or injection mold process have, to one degree or
another, U shaped grooves.
Up-right Lie (Up-right) A relatively steep or more vertical lie angle. Taller players or players with relatively short arms usually need irons with a more up-right lie. Their is no industry standard on lie angles so a standard lie for one company might be the same as a 2° Flat from another or 2° Up-right from another.
Utility Wedge (Third Wedge) Manufacturer-dependent and varied, 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.
Wedge (Pitching Wedge, Sand Wedge, Lob Wedge, Third Wedge, Utility Wedge, and so on) A 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 47° and 52° to a lob wedge that can range from 58° up to 65°). Wedges come in a huge variety of styles, shapes and names, depending on their purpose and manufacturer.