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Golf Qusetion

1. What is a wood/iron?
2. What does the number on the club mean?
3. What makes a "set" of clubs?
4. What are the types of Golf Balls?
5. What is Compression of a golf ball?
6. What are the types of Irons?
7. What are the types of Woods?
8. What are the types of shafts?
9. What are the types of Grips?
10. What are the Scoring/Handicapping Systems?
11. What is a push/pull fade/draw hook/slice?
12. What clubs should I buy?
13. How do I build my own clubs?
14. What Etiquette Tips should we follow?
15. What dress code guide do you recommend?
16. What are the hitting in Regulations?

1. What is a WOOD/IRON?

The wood

Historically the "wood" was made of wood (hence the name), but they now come in a variety materials. They are also generally "bigger", in terms of size, than other clubs. "Woods" are typically long distance clubs meant to be used when distance is more important than accuracy. A driver is usually a '1' wood with somewhere between 8 and 12 degrees of loft.

The iron

Irons were originally made using "iron", but are now generally made from steel. "Irons" are smaller than "woods", and are considered to be "finesse" clubs, meant to be used when accuracy is needed rather than distance.

2. What does the number on the club mean?

For the most part, the number "represents" the loft of a club. The lower the number, the lower the loft and the longer the club. The lower loft and longer club will result in greater distance this also equates to lower numbered clubs being more difficult to hit.

3. What makes a "set" of clubs?

A "set" of golf clubs is restricted to no more than 14 clubs. What constitutes this "set" depends on your preferences.

In general, a "set" will include the following clubs:

          • Irons:
             3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW & SW

          • Woods:
             1, 3, 5

          • and a putter

This is not to say you have to carry all of these clubs. For example, you may carry a Driver (1 wood) or 3 wood, a 3, 5, 7, and 9 iron, as well as a putter.

4. What are the types of Golf Balls?

There are many different types of golf balls available today, generally balls are split into two categories:

          Soft Ball

          1. Softer cover
          2. Better spin
          3. Scuffs and cuts more easily
          4. "Works" the ball better because of spin (Draw, fade, backspin)
          5. Usually three-piece ball (Liquid-filled core, wound rubber, and cover)
          6. More expensive:

          Harder Ball

          1. Harder cover
          2. Not as much spin
          3. More durable
          4. More distance
          5. Usually two-piece ball (Solid core and cover)
          6. Less expensive

5. What is Compression of a golf ball?

Compression of a golf ball is designed to match the "feel" of the ball to the golfer's preference. Typical compression ratings are between 80 and 100, with most players using a 90 compression ball as a compromise. Many above average golfers tend to agree that hitting a 100 compression ball feels like "hitting a rock". Contrary to golfing myth, there is no correlation between compression and distance.

6. What are the types of Irons?

Investment Cast:

A "positive" or master model of the clubhead is made, usually made of aluminum, which contains all engraved markings, scoring lines, and even the hosel hole. Wax is injected into the master, which yields a positive "wax" clubhead. The clubhead is then dipped into ceramic several times to produce the negative mold. The wax is then melted, and stainless steel poured into the ceramic mold. When the ceramic casting is removed, you have the clubhead ready to be painted.


Forging a club is very similar to what the village blacksmith used to do. Dies are "sunk" or cut, by milling the desired impression, and forging is accomplished with a "drop hammer". The manufacturer is then presented with a raw forging, which is a close approximation of the clubhead desired. The clubhead must then be finished by milling, grinding and drilling.


A Muscleback iron, also known as a "blade", has generally been associated as a "forged" iron. While the manufacturing process isn't really important, the design of the clubhead is. The muscleback iron
distributes the weight evenly throughout the entire head, producing a small "sweet spot" in the center of the head. This is to say that a shot hit in the center of the face will produce a longer, straighter
flight trajectory. Shots which aren't hit pure (off-center) will produce a shorter, unpredictable flight trajectory.

Cavity Back:

A cavity back iron, also known as perimeter weighted, has generally been associated as an investment cast iron. Again while the manufacturing process isn't really important, the design of the clubhead is. The cavity back iron distributes the weight around the perimeter of the head, producing a large "sweet spot". This makes the off-center shots more forgiving, flying longer and straighter, than an
off-center shot with a muscleback iron.

Summary and quick comparison:

          • Investment cast:

                  • Usually a Cavity back
                  • Peripheral weighting, if cavity back
                  • More forgiving, due to cavity back
                  • Stainless steel

          • Forged:

                  • Usually a Blade or Muscleback
                  • Central weighting, if a blade or muscleback
                  • Better "feel", due to muscleback design
                  • Carbon steel & chrome

7. What are the types of Woods?


There are basically two types of wood used, persimmon and maple.

          • Solid heads are usually persimmon.
          • Laminated ("plywood") heads are usually maple.

Persimmon heads are made by using a sophisticated turning machine. The process is much like making a duplicate key for a lock. The second, and most commonly used, wood is laminated maple. Generally, 1/16-inch veneers of maple are laminated together much like a sheet of plywood.Then the veneers are heated and pressurized, and finally turned like the persimmon heads. While many golfers indicate that they have a more solid feel at impact with persimmon heads, studies show no support of this. Other golfers prefer the laminated maple, reasoning that they last longer.


Investment cast metal heads have gained popularity, mainly because of the added control of peripheral weighting (which was not a true design goal, but a product of the casting process to achieve proper weight). The stainless steel heads are cast hollow to restrict excessive weight, and usually filled with polyurethane to muffle impact noise. Metal "wood" heads have also been noted as adding distance to center and off-center shots.


The same material that is used for shafts is also used to make graphite heads. There are two subtle variances in manufacturing techniques. In one case, the graphite prepreg is mixed with an ABS plastic, and is injection molded into a head. In the second version the prepreg is given an epoxy base and the mixture is compression molded. Graphite heads are manufactured with the same weight as the wood and metal heads, but are generally much larger than conventional heads. This increases the size of the "Sweet spot". No tests yet have proven graphite heads to be more forgiving or longer than other materials.


The general consensus is that "oversized" heads, generally made of stainless steel or graphite, create a larger "sweet spot". This produces a longer and straighter flight trajectory on off-center hits. When using stainless steel, the walls of the head must be made thinner to keep the overall weight "normal" (191-205 grams for a 1 wood). This has caused some metal "wood" faces to "crush" or dent. For this reason, some manufacturers are bringing "Mid-sized" metal woods to market, which allows the "sweet spot" to stay large, yet keeps the walls of the head thick to prevent denting.

Metal with Composite Face:

In conjunction with "oversized" clubheads, manufacturers are starting to use "face inserts" (normally plastic, graphite or lightweight metals). This allows them to produced the larger sized heads without
worrying about the face crushing or denting. This also allows them to keep the overall weight of the head down. Face inserts, in metal "woods", is a fairly new design, and tests regarding their playability and forgiveness have not been published.

Summary note:

Now what you really want to know: The type of "wood" you should use can only be determined by what "feels right". While metal and graphite heads can offer forgiveness on off-center shots, some argue that you lose the feel you receive from true "wood" heads. Like the irons, you should try several before buying.

8. What are the types of shafts?

The shaft is the most complex piece of a golf club, and probably the most important.With varying degrees of flex, flex locations, weight, length, materials, torque, etc., an article devoted entirely to the shaft is needed, but not available.


Steel shafts are generally made from carbon steel or occasionally from stainless steel. For the most part, the manufacturing process between the two are similar. A steel strip is rolled into a tube, and is drawn over a mandrel until the diameter and wall thickness are reduced to their exact specifications. At this point the step pattern is formed on the shaft. Then the walls are made thinner at the grip and thicker at the tip to give the shaft its flex characteristics. Then it is hardened, tempered, straightened and stress relieved. The final step is to polish and chrome plate the shaft. One of the best features of the steel shaft is the ability to have the same "feel" throughout the entire set. This means that the stiffness in the 3 iron will will be the same as the 9 iron. Other features are its durability and price.


Graphite shafts are made from a graphite tape. The tape, which has an epoxy binder, is wrapped around a steel mandrel. The wrapped shaft is then temperature cured and the mandrel removed. The raw shaft is then sanded and cut to proper length, at which point it receives a clear or colored paint coating. Its most talked about feature is its light weight. It also helps dampen the vibration caused by clubhead impact with the ground. A few of the drawbacks are the "feel" of the shaft (some people complain that a stiff graphite shaft does not feel like a stiff steel shaft), the stiffness may not be consistent throughout a set, and its price tag. A new manufacturing process called "filament winding" can produce a set with more consistency, but at a higher price.


We have very little information regarding the titanium shaft and its manufacturing process. Among some of its features are its weight (lighter than steel), and its vibration dampening. Some complaints are that the shafts are too stiff, and it carries a big price.


The stiffness, flex, or deflection of a shaft defines the bending characteristics of the tube, when a load is applied to the shaft. The most common shaft flexes are designated as X (extra-stiff), S (stiff),
R (regular), A (man's flexible), or L (ladies'). For people with high swing speeds, it's desirable to have a stiffer shaft to keep the club head from lagging behind. For people with slower swing speeds, the more flexible shafts offer an extra "kick" at the bottom of the downswing to help propel the ball.


Generally torque is a rating applied to a graphite shaft. It specifies the "twisting" characteristics of the shaft. The normal torque rating of a steel shaft for woods is about 2.5 degrees, and 1.7 for the irons.
The general range of torque ratings found on graphite shafts are from 3.5 to 5.5 degrees, although it is possible to get shafts with lower or higher ratings. The higher the torque rating, the more the shaft twists for a given twisting force. The torque rating also seems to be tied to the stiffness of a shaft. The lower the torque rating, the stiffer the shaft.


The kickpoint, bendpoint, or flexpoint defines where the shaft will bend. It affects the trajectory of the shot; the higher the kickpoint, the lower the trajectory. The effect in trajectory is small but measurable. For someone that generally hits the ball with a high shot trajectory, a High kickpoint is desirable in a shaft. For someone with a low shot trajectory, a Low kickpoint helps get the ball airborne and on a higher flight path. The kickpoint also affects the "feel" of the shaft. A golfer who can feel the difference finds the high bend point makes the shaft feel like "one piece", while with the low bend point, the shaft feels as though the tip whips the clubhead through the ball.

Summary notes:

Now what you really want to know: The type of shaft a person should use is one of the most often asked questions. It is also one of the most unanswered questions. Choosing the material, flex, and kickpoint of a shaft will depend entirely on what "feels" right when you swing the club. Someone with a high swing speed may choose a steel shaft with a flex rating of X and a low kickpoint, while someone with the same swing speed may choose a graphite shaft with a flex rating of R and a high kickpoint. The general consensus is see your local Pro and see what he/she recommends. Make your decision from there. For more information please refer to Dave Tutelman's "Designing golf clubs" articles.

9. What are the types of Grips?


Rubber grips are made by adding granulated cork, as well as other materials in the liquid rubber. The "cork" serves to displace the rubber, and is the reason many grips are called "composition" grips. It
also makes the overall weight of the grip lighter. The rubber/cork blend is checked to assure the proper viscosity, and is then molded in a high pressure molding machine. After molding, the grips are sanded and painted. Some of the features of rubber grips are: easy installation, "reminder ribs" for hand placement, and they are less expensive.


Most of the "stars" over forty use leather, while the younger players use various rubber molded grips. The reason has very little to do with the quality or playability of the grip, but simply a difference in what each generation has been accustomed to. One of the features of leather grips (generally made of cowhide or calfskin) is that they have a nice soft, pliable, tacky feel. A few of the drawbacks are its difficulty to install, and its price.


Most of the more popular rubber models come in an optional "cord" grip, in which strands of fabric thread are embedded in the rubber grip. This makes for a better non-slip contact with hand or glove, especially when wet with rain or sweat. However, it does wear out gloves faster than non-cord grips. (Hands, too. :-)

Many of the "cord" models also come as "half-cord", in which the top of the grip (where your thumbs are) are smooth rubber and the bottom (where your fingers wrap around the club) are cord.

Quick Comparison:

          • Rubber Grips:

                  • Slip-on design
                  • Easy to install
                  • Less expensive
                  • Rough when corded

          • Leather Grips:

                  • Usually wrapped spiral design
                  • Harder to install
                  • More expensive
                  • Natural soft, tacky feel


Grips come in a standard size, but can be padded to a larger diameter with tape on the shaft under the grip. It is also possible to get larger and smaller diameter grips. A few of the pros and cons:

          • Oversized

                  • For larger hands
                  • Minimize arthritis pain
                  • Decreases hand action, promoting a slice

          • Undersized

                  • For smaller hands (most women)
                  • Increases hand action, promoting a hook

Summary notes:

Now what you really want to know: The type of grips a person uses will be based on "feel". Some people like the natural soft feel of the leather grips, while others refuse to use anything but corded composite grips. Try going to a local golf shop and seeing which grips "feel" right - and you can afford.

10. What are the Scoring/Handicapping Systems?

A handicap is a measure of standard of golf that typically represents the number of strokes per round a player takes more than that which a "scratch" (zero handicapped) golfer is considered likely to score(*). For gents, there is a maximum handicap of 28. For Ladies, the maximum is 36.

Scoring Systems:

          • Stroke Play

                     Also called Medal Play.

          • Low gross

                     No adjustment for handicap.

          • Low net

                     Subtract your handicap, low score wins.

          • Match Play

                     Two players play head to head. Total strokes are not important. The winner is based
                     on who wins the most holes. The match is over when one player is ahead by more
                     holes than the number of holes remaining.

          • Stableford

                     Points are allocated based on the net score of each hole. Handicaps are allocated
                     based on the index of each hole.

                     You deduct the allocated handicap per hole from the score on the hole and the points
                     are allocated against the equivalent net score for the hole.

                     The exact points which are allocated seem to vary.

          • Best-Ball

                     This refers to a team event which may comprise 2, 3 or 4 players. Each player will
                     have his/her stroke allowance and the lowest net score would be recorded at each
                     hole.The total for the complete round would be the teams best-ball score.

          • Scramble

                     Normally a team of 4. Each player tees off at each hole and then the team selects the
                     ball which is in the best position and ALL play from that spot. This repeats for all shots
                     until the hole is finished.

          • Foursomes

                     This is where 2 players play one ball hitting alternative shots. One player will tee off at
                     all the odd numbered holes and the other at the even numbered holes, no matter who
                     was the last player to play on the previous hole.

          • Par

                     Similar to stableford as far as the allocated shots are concerned but you either win,
                     halve or lose the hole (+ 0 -). Its a little tougher, as anything worse than a net par is
                     a loss. At the end you add up your wins against your losses.

11. What is a push/pull fade/draw hook/slice?


A ball whose flight path is straight, with negligible sidespin, that ends up right of the target. The incidence angle of the clubface is x degrees to the right of the target , and where the PATH of the clubface is also x degrees to the right of the target (inside to outside path).


The opposite of push: A ball whose flight path is straight that ends up left of the target. The incidence angle of the clubface is x degrees to the left of the target, and where the PATH of the clubface is also x degrees to the left of the target (outside to inside path).


A straight shot with some sidespin, such that there is slight but noticible left to right travel by the ball at the end of its flight. The key words are slight sidespin. Since the forward energy force must be much greater than that of the sidespin, such that as the ball slows down at the end of its flight, using up the forward direction energy, the sidespin takes over and gives the ball its left to right 'fading action'. The club face is generally open a few degrees at impact, but the club path is straight along the intended path (directly at the target).


A curving shot from left to right whereby severe sidespin has been imparted to the ball such that this spin is of a great enough rate to govern its direction in a more Left to Right mode than straight. The clubface is open several degrees relative to the club path.


The opposite type of shot than a fade. A straight shot with a minimum of sidespin, such that there is slight but noticible right to left travel by the golf ball. at the end of its flight. The key phrase is slight sidespin. Since the forward energy force must be much greater than that of the sidespin, such that as the ball slows down at the end of its flight, using up the forward direction energy, the sidespin takes over and gives the ball its right to left 'drawing action'. The club face is generally closed a few degrees at impact, but the club path is straight along the intended path (directly at the target).


The opposite of a slice. The clubface is closed more than a few degrees relative to the club path.

For more info, see: "The Search For The Perfect Swing" by Alistair Cochran and John Stobbs.

12. What clubs should I buy?

Well, you could start by sitting down and reading through this document. By honestly judging your abilities, you may be able to decide if you need peripherally weighted or muscleback clubs.

The next logical step is deciding on how much money you want to or are willing to spend for new clubs. Keep this number in mind when you're shopping for new clubs, if you don't you could wind up spending much more than you planned on.

Once you have an idea of what type of clubs you want and how much you plan on spending, go down to you're local golf shop or club and try to hit a few clubs. If your allowed, try to play a round or two with demo sets. By actually using the clubs in a "golf round" situation, you may be able to decide if the clubs look, feel, and play the way you would like them to. If you feel uncomfortable with the clubs don't buy them - just because your golfing buddy swears by XYZ, doesn't mean you should too.

If after doing the above, you still can't decide for yourself, go see a local professional or clubmaker and ask for some help.

13. How do I build my own clubs?

Start off by ordering some catalogs from some of the component vendors (an annotated list is available in the Component Suppliers List). While you are waiting for the catalogs to arrive, get some of the articles regarding club design and assembly ( Club Design Articles, Look-a-like List, Clone FAQ) which are available in the archives as well.

You'll probably want to start off slowly. Start by building yourself a putter. This will give you a chance to build a club, without having to have too much concern regarding shaft length and flex.

If you're happy with you putter, move on to an iron. This will give you a chance to try different shaft lengths and flexes to see which suits you best.

Once you feel comfortable, you may want to try your hand at an entire set of irons, or possibly a wood.

Don't forget to let us know how your clubs turn out!

14. What Etiquette Tips to you recommend?

Etiquette guide:

          • Arrive on the tee 10 minutes before "Tee-off"

          • Use of a mobile phone is not permitted on the course

          • Do not leave your ball in the hole when you make a putt/chip. Golfers are a superstitious lot
             and many think that their ball will not fit in the hole if there is already another one in there.

          • If you putt/chip your ball near the hole and do not plan to putt out, mark your ball with a
             coin or ball-marker. Aside from being a distraction, other players will incur a 2 stroke
             penalty if they play a putt from the green and their ball hits yours.

          • As much as it may interest you, do not stand directly behind another player's intended target
             line. This is a violation of the rules if the player is your partner and otherwise distracting
             because the player can usually see you out of the corner of his/her eye.

          • When playing for the first time with someone, be conservative at first about complimenting
             or critiquing a shot. Follow the lead of his friends, pay attention to his comments, and wait
             until you have a good understanding of what is a good and bad shot for a particular player.
             Don't assume that everyone's standards are the same as yours.

          • Invite faster groups to play through.

          • Slow Play:

                  • Be ready to play when it is your turn. Proceed to your ball as soon as it is safe and
                     begin preparing for your shot. On the green, survey the contours and grain while
                     other players are putting if you can do so without being distracting.

                  • Do not write your scores on the scorecard until you reach the next tee.

                  • When playing from a cart, drop one player off at his/her ball with several clubs and, if
                     it is safe, drive the cart to the second players ball. This way, the two players sharing
                     the cart can both prepare for their shots at the same time.

                  • If you take a cart and you are not allowed to leave the cart path, drive the cart until it
                     is roughly even with your ball and take several clubs (maybe the one you think you
                     will need and one above and one below) with you to your ball. If you really have no
                     idea what club you will need, pull your bag off the cart and take the whole thing with
                     you to your ball.

          • Important note:

                  • If attending a pro tournament, never say "You're the man!" after a drive. If you do,
                     and are publicly identified as such, your privileges will be revoked for a
                     period of not less than 2 years per incident.

15. What dress code guide do you recommend?

Dress code guide:

          • Footwear:

             Appropriate golf shoes to be worn on the golf course at all times – no trainers to be worn.

          • Trousers:

             Smart tailored trousers to be worn, no combat style jeans or denim to be worn.

          • Shorts & Socks:

             During the summer months shorts must be tailored; short white sport or knee length socks
             must be worn with tailored shorts. (subject to golf venue policy)

          • Shirts:

             Shirts with collars are permitted and must be tucked into trousers / shorts - only recognised
             golf shirts to be worn. Shirts with large advertisement logos must not be worn.

          • Headgear:

             Headgear must be worn in the fashion it is designed for (i.e. peaks at the front).

16. What is hitting in regulation


Hitting a fairway is exactly that, your ball comes to rest off the tee (except par 3's) in the fairway cut of grass.


Hitting a green in regulation means that your ball will be on the putting surface in 1 shot on a par 3, 2 shots (or less) on a par 4 and 3 shots (or less) on a par 5.Just subtracting 2 putts from the par gives you the "Regulation" number of strokes to reach the green.

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