learn all the golf terms the pros and experts use


Abrade: To roughen the surface of a golf shaft so the epoxy will adhere better to the head. The process of removing the chrome finish from a steel shaft or the layer of paint from a graphite shaft prior to installation of the shaft into the head. Abrading may be done through the use of sandpaper, a belt sander, a file, a knife, etc.

Accelerated Tip Response: Golf shaft technology, pioneered by UST, in which the tip of the shaft is more flexible than the rest of the shaft, creating a softer feel and potentially higher trajectory. Also referred to as a tip weak shaft.

Acetone: Chemical used to bring ferrules to a high luster as a final step in assembly. Acetone is rubbed onto the ferrule with a rag or towel in order to obtain the luster. Acetone actually melts plastic.

Aermet: Patented high strength steel made by Carpenter Steel; used primarily as a face material for large-volume stainless steel drivers.

Air Hammer: Mechanical device, typically run by an air compressor that forces a shaft into a head using impact hammering. Air hammers are typically used in production line settings in which the manufacturer also crimps the shafts prior to installation to create a tighter shaft fit. See “Crimp.”

Allen Screw: Threaded screw used in weight ports. May also be known a hex screw or set screw.

Allen Wrench: Type of wrench used to install or remove Allen screws. Also known as a hex wrench because it has five sides.

Alloys: A metal that is made up of two or more different metals. Alloys may contain aluminum, steel, beryllium, nickel, copper, titanium, or any number of other metals in varying combinations.

Aluminum Bronze: Head material used for wedges and putters that is a softer metal than stainless steel; identified by a bronze color but not to be confused with beryllium copper.

Aluminum Oxide: Media used in sandblasting applications of metal wood heads and iron faces. Also known as aluminum oxide sand.

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Aluminum Shafts: Golf shafts formed from aluminum tubing, used primarily in the 1960’s and early 70’s. They did not gain lasting popularity due to their feel (as a result of their thicker walls as compared to steel shafts which changed the bending properties) and due to them being less durable than steel shafts.

Aluminum Wood Head: A type of metal wood head constructed primarily from aluminum alloys through a die casting process. Aluminum woods are generally utilized by beginning players due to their lower price. They typically are not as durable as stainless steel woods and do not possess high coefficient of restitution (spring face) properties. They may also be known as aluminum alloy heads.

Anti-Shank: General term given to older hickory shafted golf clubs that had large bends or offsets in their hosels to eliminate shanked shots. More modern clubs that were anti-shank were sold by the Jerry Barber company in the 70’s and even more recently by Cleveland Golf in their VAS models of irons in the 90’s.

Appendix II (Design of Clubs): United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.) Rule Book section dealing specifically with regulations for the design of golf clubs.

Ascending Weight Technology: The concept of utilizing lighter shafts in the long irons of a set for added club head speed and distance, while using heavier shafts in the shorter irons to promote control. This is the opposite of how normal clubs today are made.

Attihedral: Pattern of dimples on a ball comprised of four straight rows of dimples around the middle of the ball, with four around each pole. Small triangular arrays of dimples fill the remaining area on the ball. This creates 8 triangular groupings of dimples on the ball. This pattern was the predominant pattern prior to the 1970’s. The pattern may also be called octahedral.

Autoclave: A pressurized heating device used for shaft construction. The autoclave is a heat treating chamber which applies pressure and high temperature to a material in order to cure it. Autoclaves are also used in the investment casting process to melt the wax out of the ceramic shell before the molten metal is poured in to create a golf clubhead.


Back Screw: Steel pin or screw used to help secure a steel shaft to a wooden wood head. The back screw is located on the back of the heel approximately 3/4" from the sole of the club.

Back Spin: The backward rotation of a golf ball in flight around a horizontal axis as caused by the club hitting the ball. Typically the more loft on a club, the more back spin will be imparted to the ball.

Back Weight: A weight, usually brass or aluminum, attached to the back of a wooden, graphite or titanium wood head. PowerBilt popularized the use of back weights on their woods in the 1960’s and 70’s. The back weight is designed to move the center of gravity rearward to assist in getting the ball airborne.

Bakspin: Term given to hickory shafted iron clubs which contained large grooves in their faces. These grooves were much deeper and wider than grooves on modern clubs and are illegal by U.S.G.A. rules. This type groove was also called “waterfall” grooves. Other names from other manufacturers given to this type club were Bacspin, and Dedstop.

Balance Point: The point at which a shaft achieves equilibrium; the point at which a shaft’s weight is evenly distributed in both directions when rested on a single fulcrum point.

Balata: Natural rubber compound used as a cover material for balls. Characterized by a soft feel and high spin rate. Generally preferred by better players in the past. Less durable than other types of ball covers such as Surlyn.

Ball Balancing: Any method which can determine if a golf ball is out of balance. This refers to the ball’s center of gravity either being exactly in the center of the ball or slightly off-center. An off-center ball can cause a putt to be missed or a ball to fly erratically.

Ball Size: The size of a U.S.G.A. conforming ball must not be greater than 1.680" (42.67mm.). The old “English” ball size was 1.62" but is no longer legal for tournaments.

Ball Weight: The weight of a U.S.G.A. conforming ball must not be greater than 1.620 ounces avoirdupois (45.93 grams.)

Belly Putter: Type of putter in which the butt of the grip is positioned against the player’s stomach in order to create a pendulum effect. Most belly putters are 40" to 42" in length. Popularized by Vijay Singh and Paul Azinger among others on the PGA Tour. Putter head weights usually range from 360 grams to 400 grams for belly putters.

Belt Sander (1" X 42"): Type of sander using a long (42"), thin (1") belt to abrade shafts and finish ferrules. The preferred type of sander in most shops, the 1" X 42" belt sander runs at 1725 rpm.

Belt Sander (1" X 30"): Type of belt sander using a 1" wide by 30" long belt to abrade shaft tips and to turn ferrules. Acceptable for shaft work, but too fast for ferrule work. This sander runs at 3450 rpm.

Beltronics (Beltronics Swingmate): Computerized device (approximately 4" X 6") for measuring swing speed. Placed on the ground behind the club, the Beltronics may be used for either indoor or outdoor fitting.

Bench Grinder: Table-mounted machine often used to cut shafts prior to assembly. Used with two attachments; one commonly is a cut-off wheel and the other is a grinding or buffing wheel.

Bend Point: The point of maximum bending on a shaft as measured by a compression test of the shaft on both the tip and butt ends. Bend point terminology usually refers to a shaft as tip soft, tip stiff, tip medium, butt soft or butt stiff.

Beryllium Copper (BeCu): An alloy used to produce club heads, typically irons. The alloy is denser than stainless and is claimed to provide a softer feel by some players. Beryllium heads are easily identified by their copper coloration. Mostly used in wedges.

Beryllium Nickel (BeNi): An alloy comprised of beryllium and nickel used to produce iron heads. This alloy is considered softer than stainless steel and is identified by a bronzetype of coloration.

Beta-Titanium: An alloy of Titanium that is harder and heavier than typical cast titanium.

Big Butt Grip Installation Tool: An expandable plastic insert tool that helps to start the grip onto the butt of a large butt shaft. Grip installation on such shafts is very difficult without this tool.

Big Butt Shaft: Any shaft with a butt size over .620" is considered to be a big butt shaft. Example: .700" butt diameter.

Bi-Matrix Shaft: Patented by True Temper, the Bi-Matrix is a shaft that employs a graphite and steel section in the same shaft. Bi-Matrix wood shafts have a steel tip section, with the remainder being made of graphite. Such a design combines light weight for distance and tip firmness for control. Bi- Matrix irons have a graphite tip for feel, with the remainder of the shaft being steel for control.

Bi-Metal: A clubhead constructed from two different materials. A common example is a stainless steel club head with a brass sole insert or brass sole rails.

Black Ice™: A proprietary face coating applied to the face of a club in order to increase spin. Primarily used on wedges, but can be applied to woods, irons and putters also.

Blade Height: The measurement of an iron head at the center of the face from the ground line to the top line. Toe height and heel height are better measurements for the clubhead designer to use.

Blade Length: The horizontal iron head length measured from a point where the hosel centerline intersects the ground line to the farthest point out on the toe.

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Blade Style Head: Blades are identified by their smooth back shape and classic forged look. Blade style irons are somewhat popular among better players due to the perception of increased feel and feedback. Blades are also known as muscleback irons due to a possible concentration of weight directly behind the center of the club face.

Blind Bore: A hosel bore in which the installed shaft does not go all the way through the sole of the clubhead. A hosel bore which goes all the way through the clubhead is referred to as a through bore.

Bluing (Gun Bluing): Process of applying a liquid metal stain type finish to un-plated carbon steel putters. The resulting finish is a deep blue color and helps somewhat to resist rust.

Bore-Through: A hosel type in which the shaft penetrates through the sole of the club. Callaway™ clubs are the best examples of bore-through heads.

Bore Type: The term used to describe how far a shaft penetrates into a club’s hosel. The two basic types are “Blind Bore” and “Through Bore”.

Boring (Hosel Boring): The process, using a drill or drill press, of enlarging the hosel bore of a wood, iron or putter.

Boron: A high strength element added to some graphite shafts to increase tip strength. It is a very expensive material, thus shafts containing boron tend to be more expensive.

Bounce: The angle of the sole of the club as measured from the leading edge to the trailing edge. Bounce that is positive has the leading edge higher than the trailing edge. Bounce that is negative (also called “dig”) is when the leading edge is lower than the trailing edge. Avoid this at all costs. Wedges typically have the most bounce in a set of clubs. Bounce helps these clubs go through sand and high grass easily by helping to prevent the sole from digging into the ground (“fat” shots).

Bounce Sole Iron: An iron in which the trailing edge is lower than the leading edge. Visually, it may appear that the leading edge is off the ground at address in this type of iron.

Boxed Set: Popular method of packaging beginner or junior sets found at larger retail stores. Boxed sets typically consist of 8 irons, 3 woods, a putter and a bag for one low price.

Bramble: Type of ball, popular in the 1890’s, which usually featured a gutta-percha cover with raised dimples vs. the recessed dimples of today.

Brassie: Term given to a club, typically a wooden shafted model that is equivalent of a modern day #2 wood.

Brazing: The proprietary bonding technology used by some companies in the golf industry to secure the club face to the head. Brazing, done under high heat and pressure, is designed to eliminate any voids typically found on standard welded club heads.

Bubble™ Grip: The specialized type of grip that must be used on a Bubble shaft.

Bubble™ Shaft: A composite shaft, proprietary to Taylor- Made that is designed to stabilize the club head at impact. It features a recessed section just below the grip. It is also unique in that the butt diameter of the shaft is .800", requiring a special grip.

Build-Up Tape: Masking tape applied to the butt end of the shaft to increase grip size. A single layer of masking tape (.005" thick) will increase grip size approximately 1/64".

Bulge: The curvature of the face of a wood or metal wood from heel to toe. Bulge aids in imparting corrective spin to shots hit on the toe or heel of the wood face.

Bulger: A term describing a semi-long nose club made in the late 1800’s that was the first club to have bulge on its face. All other woods up until that time had flat faces.

Bushing Ferrule: A type of ferrule that is used to reduce the size of a metal wood hosel to .335" from a larger diameter or to reduce an iron hosel to .370" from a larger diameter or to reduce an iron hosel from .370" to .355". The bushing ferrule is epoxied into the hosel and then the shaft is installed as in a normal shafting operation.

Butt (Shaft Butt): The large end of the shaft onto which the grip is installed.

Butt Cap: The end of the grip of a golf club. Also the plastic or rubber cap used in certain leather and Winn wrap grip applications. See also “End Cap.”

Butt Diameter: The measure of the diameter of the larger end of a shaft, typically expressed in thousandths of an inch. (i.e., .600" or .580".)

Butt Heavy: A type of shaft construction in which the butt section of the shaft is heavier than an equal length of the tip section. Most graphite and parallel tip shafts are considered to be butt heavy shafts.

Butt Section: The parallel portion of the shaft in the butt measured from the end of the butt down to the first step beginning in the butt section (on steel shafts.)

Butt Size: Same as butt diameter; the measure of the diameter of the larger end of a shaft, typically expressed in thousandths of an inch. (i.e., .600" or .580".)

Butt Trim: Term applied when cutting a shaft from its butt end to achieve the desired club length.

Butt Weight: The process of adding weight to the butt end of the shaft, either by wrapping it with lead tape or by installing a lead plug into the shaft butt.


Calipers: Measuring device commonly used to measure the diameters of grips and shafts. Calipers may be used to accurately measure other specifications of clubs as well.

Camber: The radius measurement of the sole of a club. A sole can be cambered from toe to heel or from front to back, or both.

Carpenter Steel: An alloy of steel produced by the Carpenter Company that is used to produce golf club heads. Carpenter Steel has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than most stainless steels allowing heads to be made larger in volume while still maintaining structural integrity.

Casting: See “Lost Wax Investment Casting”.

Cavity Back: The design of an iron head in which the weight is distributed around the perimeter of the head. Cavity backs are easily identified as having a recessed area on the back of the head. Cavity back irons are sometimes referred to as “perimeter weighted” irons.

Center of Gravity (CG): The point in a club head at which all of the points of balance intersect. CG is often referred to as the “sweet spot” although this is not technically correct. However, for practical purposes it is all right to use “sweet spot”. Usually, the lower the CG of a club, the higher the ball flight and the easier the club is to hit solid. Higher CG club’s produce lower ball flights and are usually harder to hit.

Center-Shafted: A type of hosel configuration, common in putters, in which the shaft enters the head toward the center. Bullseye-type putters are the best known examples of center-shafted type putters.

Ceramic Fiber: A series of man-made ceramic materials that may be used in shaft or head manufacture. Ceramic is a mid-modulus material that has better compression properties than graphite, but not as good as boron.

Chamfer: Generic term used to describe the process of using a special tool to “countersink”, “radius” or “cone” the inside of a hosel. This helps to prevent untimely shaft wear and breakage from the sharp metal edges rubbing into the graphite shaft material.

Channel Back: Also known as “undercut”, a club design in which a channel or cavity is created through the addition of weight along the back cavity of a club. These club designs tend to move the CG of the club rearward, making it easier to get the ball airborne. This is not the only way to achieve this, but it does work.

Chop Saw: A motorized saw used in larger shops to cut numerous shafts at one time.

Chrome Plated Finish: Type of finish electro-statically applied to forged irons and also some cast irons. It is usually identified by its high lustrous shiny appearance, although it can be applied in a duller satin type finish also.

Clean and Dip: Process of using steel wool or light sandpaper on a wooden wood head followed by the application of a coat of polyurethane in order to bring the club back to a “shiny” finish.

Cleek: Older name given to the #4 wood

Cleek Mark: The mark on the back of a hickory shafted iron club that helps to identify the maker of the club.

CNC Milling (Computer Numerically Controlled): A milling machine controlled by a computer that performs more sophisticated and automated functions than a manual milling machine. CNC is used in many different ways in the manufacture of golf club tooling and the golf clubs themselves.

Coefficient of Restitution (COR): The efficiency percentage of a collision. For example: If a golf ball is fired into the face of a driver at 100 MPH and the ball rebounds off the driver face at 84 MPH the driver is said to have a COR of .84 or the collision was 84% efficient. The U.S.G.A. now uses a different method to calculate COR, but the results mean the same as was explained above.

Component: Any of the parts used to assemble golf clubs, including heads, shafts or grips.

Component Matching: Selecting components for a set by uniformity such as size, weight, flex, etc. Applies mostly to shafts, grips and heads. The purpose is to obtain a more matched set of clubs.

Compression: The deflection a ball undergoes under a compressive load. Loosely defined as the hardness of a ball. Identified by a number. A higher number indicates a ball that requires more force to compress it. Lower compression balls will flatten or compress more when struck.

Compression Molded: A manufacturing method for graphite heads and face inserts in which layers of graphite are placed upon one another and heat cured under pressure to create the clubhead or insert.

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Cone: Generic term used to describe the process of using a special tool to “countersink” or “radius” the inside of a hosel in order to help prevent chafing and eventually the breaking of a graphite shaft.

Conforming Ball: Any golf ball that is permitted for tournament use under the U.S.G.A. Rules of Golf as detailed in Rule Book Appendix III.

Conforming Club: A golf club whose construction and design permits it to be used in events sanctioned by the U.S.G.A. A legal golf club for play.

Constant Weight: A shafting concept in which all of the shafts in a given set weigh the same. The idea is to promote consistent feel from club to club using this concept.

Core (Ball): Any one of various materials used inside the golf ball. A solid core ball utilizes a hard molded material inside the cover; a wound core ball typically has a softer inner core covered by a series of windings under the cover.

Core (Grip): The inside diameter measurement of a grip. Typically core sizes match shaft butt sizes. For example, an M60 grip core will match with a .600" shaft butt size to produce a standard size grip.

Counter Balance: The process of adding weight in the butt end of a shaft to achieve a specific swingweight and/or feel. Counter balancing will increase the overall weight of the club and is not a widely recommended procedure because it takes twice as much weight in the butt end of the club to affect the same swingweight change as it does in the clubhead end of the club.

Countersink: The process of using a special tool to radius the inside of a hosel for the protection of a graphite shaft. Typically heads are countersunk at a 20 degree angle. The term “countersink” may also be used to describe the tool used (in a hand drill or drill press) to create the countersink to recess a screw such as a soleplate screw in an actual wooden head wood club.

Cover: Outside surface of a golf ball. The cover may be one of any number of materials; Surlyn™ and balata are two examples.

CPM: See “Cycles Per Minute”.

Crimp: The mechanical process of “punching” two or more places on a shaft tip in order to make it fit more securely into a hosel. Crimping is done in high volume production lines and is mostly used (in conjunction with an air hammer) for steel shaft applications.

Crimper: The tool, typically run from an air compressor, used to crimp shafts.

Crown: The upper curved portion of the head of a wood or metal wood. It is the portion of the head most visible to the player at address.

Cryogenics: Branch of science dealing with the freezing of an object to alter its physical properties. Used to treat club heads, cryogenics aligns the molecules in the head material for a harder, more durable product.

CT: Refers to “Characteristic Time” used by the U.S.G.A. to place a limit on “spring face effect” mostly for drivers. This measurement was originally done using a COR (coefficient of restitution) measurement.

CTU: Cast Thermoset Technology used by Callaway Golf in the development of their line of balls.

Cubic Centimeters (cc’s): The units used to measure the volume of a wood head. The measurement is generally made as a water displacement test whereby a wood head is immersed in water and the amount of water displaced is the head’s volume.

Curved or Bent Shaft: A shaft, usually steel or aluminum, designed for use in no-hosel putters that features one or more bends in the tip area. The curved shaft tends to create offset and face balancing on putters with no hosels, if desired.

Cushion Shaft: Designed and used by Ping as a vibration dampening piece in their Cushion shafts. The Cushion consists of a rubbery material encasing three ball bearings. It is inserted inside the shaft below the grip.

Cutting Oil: Lubricating oil used to reduce heat during the boring of steel hosels. Also called “Drilling Oil.”

Cycles Per Minute (CPM): The common measurement units when discussing the frequency of a shaft. CPM indicates a shaft flex feel


Darrell Survey: Organization that counts and publishes equipment usage on professional golf tours. The Survey counts club and ball type and brand, type of clothing and shoes used, etc. The information is published and is made available to equipment companies and golfers by subscription only.

Deburr: Process of removing any rough edges or surfaces from the inside of a hosel or from the inside of a shaft prior to installing a shaft into a head.

Deep Bore: A model of wood or iron whose hosel bore depth exceeds normal depth.

Deep Face: A club face that measures higher than average from the sole of the club to the crown of a metal wood or a wooden wood. This is a relative measure; no specific measurement dimension is applied to the term “deep face”. Deep face clubs tend to have a higher center of gravity and thus will launch the ball on a lower trajectory. Teeing the ball higher on the club face is recommended.

Deflection: The comparative measure of the relative stiffness of a golf shaft as measured by securing a 7 pound weight toward the tip of the shaft and relating this to a known stiffness scale.

Deltahedral: Dimple pattern on a ball characterized by 24 triangular rows of dimples.

Determinator: A patented device invented by True Temper to measure how a player “loads” a shaft. The readings from the Determinator are then used in recommending a True Temper Shaft.

Diamond Face: Popularized by the Purespin™Golf Company, a face coating utilizing fine diamond crystals to produce more back spin and a longer wearing face surface.

Die Cast: Process of club head production (primarily used with zinc or aluminum) in which heads are formed through the injection of material into a pre-formed die. This process is generally used on lower-priced heads.

Dimple: Depressions on the cover of a ball providing aerodynamic qualities.

Dimple Pattern: Arrangement of dimples on a ball. Various dimple patterns provide added lift, accuracy and/or distance. Patterns vary greatly from one manufacturer to another.

Dimpler: Machine used to dimple a shaft. See “Crimper.”

Dimpling a Shaft: The mechanical process of “punching” two or more places on a shaft tip in order to make it fit more securely into a hosel. See “Crimp.”

Discrete Flex: A shaft having a specific flex designation. For example, True Temper’s Dynamic Gold™ S300 is a discrete flex shaft; while the company’s parallel tipped Dynamic™ shaft is not.

Distance Standard: An additional U.S.G.A. parameter for balls that conform to the rules in all normal and accepted ways. This parameter limits their overall carry and roll in controlled hitting tests so no normal conforming ball can “slip” under the radar.

DMC: Proprietary grip compound, characterized by its soft feel, developed by the Lamkin Grip Corporation. Dodecahedral: Dimple pattern that arranges the dimples into 12 pentagonal arrays.

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Dot Punch: A series of circular indentations or dots on the face of an iron head in place of lines. Dot Punch patterns may be arranged much like lines or may be in a more circular pattern. They are most common on wedges.

Double-Cover Ball: A ball with a large central core surrounded by two thinner materials, one of them being the cover. The purpose of the additional cover according to the manufacturer is to add spin on shorter shots for control and to reduce spin on longer shots for distance.

Double Sided Tape: Also known as “two-way tape” or “grip tape”, special tape (3/4" or 2" wide) that has adhesive on both sides. Applied to the shaft, one side holds the tape to the shaft; the other, when activated with solvent, secures the grip to the shaft.

Dowel: Wooden rod used to add length to a golf shaft. A dowel is inserted into the butt of the shaft, epoxied in place, and cut to a desired length to increase the overall length of a club. The recommended maximum is 11/2" .

Drag: Mostly created by wind resistance as a golf ball flies. Some drag is created by the low pressure area on top of the golf ball which is referred to as lift.

Draw Bias: A supposed weighting technique (more weight moved toward the heel area) that helps the golfer draw the ball. This is not the way to accomplish a draw and is mostly an advertising gimmick. Purposely putting weight in the heel area to shift the horizontal center of gravity toward the heel and away from face center makes any club less playable.

Drilling Oil: Lubricating fluid (also known as cutting oil) used to reduce heat when boring steel hosels.

Driver: Term given to the club that is typically used to hit the ball from a tee.It is the longest hitting club in the set.

Driving Iron: General term given to an iron club with little loft; typically the name for a #1 iron.

Driving Plug: Steel rod, with a recessed section, slightly smaller than a shaft butt, placed into the shaft butt and then struck with a hammer in order to seat the shaft to the bottom of the hosel when assembling a club.

Dry Box: Enclosed container usually made of wood that contains a light bulb or other source of heat. Used to accelerate the curing time of finishes and epoxies.

Dynamic Face Angle: The actual face position at impact. This takes other variables into account such as shaft bending, horizontal center of gravity location and any golfer induced face angle changes.

Dynamic Fitting: The preferred method of fitting in which the golfer undertakes a series of fitting tests while actually hitting balls.

Dynamic Lie Angle: The actual lie angle at impact. This takes other variables into account which affect lie angle such as shaft bending, center of gravity location, distance from the shaft axis and any golfer induced lie angle changes.

Dynamic Loft: The actual loft of the club at impact. This takes many variables into account such as shaft bending, vertical center of gravity location, face angle sometimes, impact location of ball vertically on the face and any golfer induced loft changes.


Easy Out: Threaded steel rod inserted into a shaft broken off at the hosel. The threads lock onto the shaft, making it removable after the application of heat. See also “Shaft Extractor.”

Effective Bounce: The actual playing bounce. Determined by 4 variables: the designed-in bounce angle, the sole width, the sole radius front to back and the leading edge radius.

Effective Loft: The actual loft angle at impact created through the relationship of loft and face angle. For example, if a driver has a measured loft of 8 degrees and has a two-degree open face, its effective (real) loft will be 6 degrees.

Effective Sole Weight: A measurement from the leading edge of the face to where the sole touches (tangent) the ground. Mostly measured at the face centerline. Some gauges will measure this from the intersection of the face plane with the ground line to where the sole touches the ground. Both work well; the key is to be consistent for comparison purposes. 18-8 Stainless Steel: A type of stainless steel sometimes used in the manufacture of iron and putter heads. Its composition is no more than 0.08% carbon, 18-20% chromium, 8-11% nickel, with the remainder being iron and a few trace elements.

Elastomer™: Material used in the formation of golf balls, particularly by Titleist™. Also, a variety of material used in the manufacture of Winn™ grips.

Elastomer™ Ring: A piece of polymer material used to surround the inner cavity of certain models of irons. Originally used in Lynx Black Cat™ models. The ring is used for cosmetic and acoustic purposes and is still occasionally used in today’s irons.

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Electronic Spin Balancing: A small, relatively inexpensive battery powered device that spins a golf ball to a high RPM thus allowing the ball to position itself in a manner to determine its heaviest side. Basically the device is showing if a golf ball is out of balance. It will not, however, indicate how much the ball is out of balance.

Electric Screw Extractor: A tool with two electrically charged electrodes that, when placed in contact with a soleplate or face insert screw, makes the screw easier to remove due to its heat melting the epoxy (glue) holding the screw in place.

Emery Cake: Type of compound used, along with an unstitched or stitched buffing wheel, to remove deep nicks and scratches from a steel surface. It is considered to have heavy cutting action.

End Cap: The end of the grip of a golf club. Also the plastic or rubber cap used in certain leather and Winn wrap grip applications. The same as “Butt Cap.”

Epoxy: Two-part adhesive used to secure golf shafts to heads, among other clubmaking operations. See also “24-Hour Cure Epoxy”, “Quick-Set Epoxy” and “Five-Minute Epoxy.”

E.R.C.: The most famous of the earlier non-conforming spring-face drivers. Manufactured by Callaway Golf, E.R.C. is the initials of the company’s founder, Ely Reese Callaway.

Extending Shafts: The process of using a piece of material inserted into the shaft to make the club longer. The portion of the extender inside the shaft is held in place with epoxy, while the portion sticking out of the shaft butt will extend the club longer, up to 11/2" . The extension may be made of wood, steel, aluminum or graphite.


Face Angle: The position of the club face relative to the intended line of ball flight. A square face angle aligns directly at the target; an open face aligns to the right, while a closed face aligns left. (Assuming right handed golfers.)

Face Balanced: A putter that, when balanced on its shaft horizontally, will exhibit the property of the putter face being parallel to the ground line. Some teachers say that face balanced putters tend to be favored by players who employ a straight back-straight through putting stroke.

Face Centerline: An imaginary line in the exact center of a club face.

Face Insert: The center hitting portion of the face on a wooden, composite (and some older metal woods) typically constructed from epoxy, graphite, plastic or some type of fibrous material. Effective with a 1992 U.S.G.A. ruling, all types of woods, irons and putters may have face inserts.

Face Progression: The measurement from a shaft’s centerline to the front of the club face. Note: Offset differs in that it is from the front of the hosel to the front of the club face.

Face Radius Gauge: A gauge used to measure the bulge and roll of a club face. Each side of the gauge has a particular radius, for example, 9", 11", etc. When the side of the gauge exactly matches the radius of the face, the bulge or roll is accurately determined.

Face Screw: Aluminum, brass or steel screw(s) used to help secure face inserts into wooden or graphite wood heads.

Fairway Metal: Generic term applied to any metal wood used from the fairway.

Fancy Face: Generic term given to antique wooden woods whose faces featured unusual and complicated artistic designs, usually constructed from different materials (dowels, pins, molded parts, etc.)

Fat Shaft™: A shaft, designed by Wilson, that utilizes an oversize tip, over-hosel design in an attempt to provide head/shaft stabilization on off-center hits.

Feathery: A 19th century ball constructed by filling a top hat with feathers. This amount of feathers was then pushed into a partially sewn leather sphere that was finally sewn shut. Featheries were easily damaged and gave way to gutta-percha balls prior to the turn of the 20th century. They were also quite expensive and only the wealthy could afford them.

Ferrule: The decorative trim ring, usually black (It may have additional trim colors), that is found directly on top of the hosel on many woods and irons.

Ferrule Depth Setting Tool: Tool (often shaped like an aluminum block) used to help a clubmaker properly locate (set) the ferrule in the proper place on the shaft prior to assembly.

Ferrule Turning Belt: Used in conjunction with a belt sander, a belt made of linen fibers used to finish ferrules on woods and irons. May also be called a “Linen Belt.” Mostly available for 1" x 42" belt sanders.

Fiber (Fibre): A material usually comprised of laminated layers of paper (early clubs) or phenolic (later clubs) used to make inserts for wooden woods.

15-5 Stainless: A stronger lighter alloy of stainless as compared to 17-4 stainless. 15-5 is commonly used in 250cc+ driver heads. It is composed of 5% nickel and 15% chromium.

15-3-3-3: Common titanium alloy used in high strength ti wood faces. The numbers indicate 15% vanadium, 3% chromium, 3% tin, 3% aluminum and 76% titanium.

Filament Winding: A method of composite shaft manufacture in which a continuous strand of material (typically graphite fiber) is wrapped around a mandrel to create a shaft. Filament wound shafts are often a bit more consistent than sheet wrapped (pre peg) models.

Fire Forged: Term given to the forging of a titanium wood head (particularly its face) under extremely high temperatures.

First Step: The step on a steel shaft closest to the tip of the shaft.

Fit Chip: Computerized device attached to the shaft of a club that establishes the proper frequency of shaft for a given player. Used along with a computer during clubmaker shaft fitting.

Fitting Cart: Generic term applied to any number of club demo programs that include some type of cart allowing clubs to be easily carried to and displayed on the range during a fitting.

Five-Minute Epoxy: Type of epoxy designed to cure very rapidly, in a time of approximately five minutes. Not recommended for shafting applications.

Flange: The part of the clubhead protruding rearward from the head. Mainly a term used when discussing putters, a “flange” is the part of the putter from behind the face to the very back of the head. This term is also applied to some wedge designs i.e. a wide flange or a narrow flange.

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Flare™ Tip Shaft: A composite shaft characterized by a tip diameter of .440" at the point it enters the hosel. Originally designed by Unifiber for the Lynx Black Cat™ golf club, the design theory behind this shaft is head stabilization at impact.

Flat Lie: The term given to an iron or a wood having a lie flatter than specification. For example, if the spec is 60 degrees, a 2 degree flat club would have a lie angle of 58 degrees.

Flat Line Frequency: A method of frequency matching in which all of the woods or irons in the set maintain the same frequency. When plotted on a graph, the frequencies appear as a straight line.

Flat Line Oscillation: Process of making all of the shafts in a set of clubs the same frequency, either in raw or assembled form.

Flex: The common term given to the relative bending properties of a golf club shaft. Flex is usually identified by a letter: L for Ladies, A for Flexible, R for Regular, S for Stiff and X for Extra Stiff.

Flexible Face: The face of a golf club, typically constructed of some type of forged titanium, that is designed to “flex” upon ball impact, thus potentially propelling the ball a longer distance than if the face did not flex. See also “Spring-Face Effect.”

FLO: Flat Line Oscillation. Process of making all of the shafts in a set of clubs the same frequency, either in raw or assembled form.

Flow Weighting: A method of head design in which the positioning of the weight in the head moves across the head 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.

Forged Face: Typical of titanium woods, the process of forging a specific material for use in the face. The material may be an alloy of titanium such as 15-3-3-3 or SP700, to name two.

Form Forged: Iron production process in which a head is first cast and is then forged to create its final shape. The forging aligns the grain structure of the head; the initial casting makes the process more cost effective.

48" Drill Bit: Special long drill bit used to cut through the backscrew during the removal of a steel shaft from a wooden or graphite-headed wood.

48" Ruler: Aluminum ruler used to measure raw length of shafts and total length of golf clubs when they are held in their playing position. May also be used for various other shop measurements.

Forged Titanium: A method of wood head manufacture in which the body and sole of the head is formed (forged) from titanium. The face and hosels of such woods are usually cast from 6-4 ti (although some are machined). Forged titanium woods are usually less costly than cast due to their ease of forming as well as their lower raw material cost. There are no playability advantages in either the casting method or the forging method of making titanium heads if done correctly.

Forging: The process of producing a golf club iron in which the head is made from a series of forging dies used to stamp the head to final shape. Forged heads are usually made of softer metals than are cast heads and require laborious hand finishing, machine engraving of artwork and face lines and chrome plating in order to produce a finished product.

Four Piece Ball: A golf ball constructed from four specific materials or layers. There will be a central core surrounded by windings covered by a harder secondary cover (for distance) and a softer outer cover (for spin and feel.)

431 Stainless Steel: A type of stainless steel used in iron and putter head construction. In composition, it is not more than 20% carbon, 15-17% chromium, and 1.25-2.5% nickel, with the remainder being iron and a few trace elements.

Four Way Radius: The sole design of an iron (or rarely in a wood) in which there is a measurable radius of the sole both from heel to toe direction and from the trailing edge to the leading edge direction.

Frequency: The number of oscillations of a golf shaft in a given time when the tip is pulled down and the shaft vibrates in a specialized machine. Frequency is measured in cycles per minute (cpm.) Regarding the finished golf club, the variables that determine frequency are basically the club’s length, the head weight and the shaft stiffness.

Frequency Analyzer: Specialized machine used to measure the frequencies of golf clubs and shafts. Used in the frequency matching process. May also be known as a frequency machine.

Frequency Matching: The process of ensuring that all of the clubs in a given set are matched by their shaft frequency. Frequency matched clubs are said to be more consistent in both feel and performance.

Frequency Slope: The straight and slanted graph line formed when plotting the frequencies of the shafts in a set of clubs. A well-matched set will have a consistent slope; a mismatched set will show shafts that vary several cycles from their expected range.


Gear Effect: The effect, caused by face bulge, that tends to cause a ball hit toward the toe or heel side of face center to curve back to the intended target line.

Glanz Wach (Wax): Compound used along with a buffing wheel to create a high luster finish on a polyurethane coated wood or metal wood.

Golf Club Name Terminology:

Note: The names on older irons could vary somewhat at the whim of the manufacturer. Pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges and 60º or lob wedges came along later and therefore do not have older names.

Gooseneck: General term given to a putter (or iron) that has an extremely offset hosel.

Graphite: A synthetic material used for shaft and head production. It is produced through a series of heating steps to make soft, black carbon graphite filaments. Graphite fibers may differ greatly in strength and modulus.

Graphite Shaft Remover (Extractor): Generic term given to any one of a number of tools designed to remove a graphite shaft from a steel or titanium head without damaging either head or shaft.

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Grip Collar: Plastic collar used to secure and blend the bottom of a leather or Winn grip in place on the shaft.

Grip Core: The internal diameter of a grip as measured in thousandths of an inch. For example, a grip with a .600" core is called an M60 grip.

Grip Gauge: A gauge used to determine the actual installed size of the grip on the shaft. The gauge can be used to determine the left hand grip size (2" down from the top of the grip) or the grip size under the right hand which is 5" down from the top of the grip.

Grip Mouth: The opening at the small end of the grip. The mouth will have a code molded into it (i.e., M60) indicating the size of the grip (men’s grip that will install to standard size on a .600" butt shaft.)

Grip Rip: Tool used to quickly remove a grip. The grip to be removed is pulled through the Grip Rip for fast and efficient removal.

Grip Tape: Also known as “two-way tape” or “double-sided tape”, special tape that is adhesive on both sides. Applied to the shaft, one side holds the tape to the shaft; the other, when activated with solvent, secures the grip to the shaft. May be 3/4" or 2" wide.

Grit Edge Blade: Type of blade installed in a hacksaw that is used to cut graphite shafts without splintering them because it has no teeth.

Ground Line: The term given to any flat surface on which a clubhead is placed to measure its specifications.

Gun Bluing: Process of applying finish to unplated carbon steel putters. The resulting finish is a deep blue color and somewhat resists rust.

Gunmetal: Dark, almost black finish applied to the surface of iron heads for either cosmetic reasons or to prevent rusting of a carbon steel head.

Gutta-Percha (Guttie): Type of ball, introduced circa 1850, made of a rubber-like material (gutta-percha). The ball replaced the feathery due to its longer life, greater distance and less cost.


Haskell Ball: Introduced in 1898 by inventor Coburn Haskell, this rubber core ball consisted of a solid rubber center around which was wound elastic rubber thread under tension. The cover was made from gutta-percha. This ball, also called the rubber-core ball, is considered to have revolutionized the game.

Heat Gun: Electrical device producing a flow of heated air that is used to break the epoxy bond between a graphite shaft and a club head. The heat gun is usually used in conjunction with some type of specialized shaft removal device, such as a shaft puller. (See “Shaft Puller.”)

Heating (Hot) Rod: Steel rod, usually with a wooden handle, that is heated and then inserted into a club’s hosel in order to break the epoxy bond between the head and shaft.

Heel Area: The part on the face of the clubhead nearer to the hosel. Regarding the sole of the club, the heel area is the part that rests on the ground at address.

Heel-Weighted: A golf club, typically an iron, features a high concentration of weight toward its heel placing the clubhead’s center of gravity toward the hosel area and away from the center of the face.

Heel-Toe Weighting: A type of clubhead design in which weight is positioned toward the heel and toe of the clubhead in an attempt to stabilize the clubhead (and produce straighter shots) on off-center impacts. This type of weighting will generally produce a clubhead with a higher moment of inertia vs. a muscle back or center weighted iron.

High COR (HI-COR): A driver that has a Coefficient of Restitution (COR) approaching or exceeding the U.S.G.A. conforming limit of .83.

High Launch: A shaft that is designed with a more flexible tip to assist a player in getting the ball into the air. Also a term used for balls that are designed for a high, initial launch trajectory.

High-Modulus Graphite: A shaft material stiffer than standard graphite. The higher the modulus of graphite, the lower its compression strength.

High Polish Finish: Shiny (mirror) finish applied to stainless steel iron heads through a series of polishing belt and buffing wheel operations.

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High Spin Ball: Any one of a number of golf balls designed for maximum spin and control. High spin balls are generally softer feeling and are preferred by some better players.

HIP Steel: Hot Isostatic Process. Proprietary stainless steel characterized by soft feel and high tensile strength used by Orlimar.

Hollow Iron: An iron head design that is made in two or more pieces. A hollow iron is usually more bulbous in shape; the design concept is to move the CG away from the face (more rearward) to help get the ball airborne. Hollow irons have perimeter weighting.

Hook Face: A wood that has a face angle that is closed. Hook face woods may help players who slice to hit the ball straight.

Horizontal Flow Weighting: A manner of distributing weight from club to club in a set of irons in which the highest concentration of weight moves from the toe of the longer irons to the heel of the shorter irons.

Hosel: The attachment point for the golf shaft on any golf club.

Hosel Adapter: Generic term applied to any type of bushing that fits inside a hosel of a wood or an iron. The hosel adapter reduces the size of the hosel opening so that a smaller diameter shaft can be installed. Special hosel adapters can also take the place of the Thermoplastic hosel of Ping drivers when reshafting them.

Hosel Boring: The process of enlarging a hosel bore (wood, iron or putter) through drilling.

Hosel Rivet: Aluminum or steel rivet (pin) used in certain models of irons (most notably irons produced prior to 1985) to help secure the shaft in place. A hole was drilled through the hosel and shaft and the rivet peened into place and filed smooth.

Hump Shaft™: Developed by Apollo Golf to move the balance point of the shaft toward the tip. This shaft is identified by a noticeably enlarged area directly above the hosel, extending approximately 5" up the shaft. The shaft is available in both steel and graphite.

Hybrid: Any one of a number of golf clubs that maintain certain characteristics of both a wood and an iron. Such clubs are often used in place of long irons in a player’s set or to supplement the fairway metals a golfer carries.


Icosahedral: Introduced in the early 1970’s, this is the most popular type of dimple pattern in use today. The pattern arranges the dimples into 20 triangular groups.

Injection Molding: A method of manufacture (typically involving wood heads and face inserts) in which the material (ABS and other forms of plastic) etc. is heated to a liquid state and injected under pressure into a mold.

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Investment Casting: See “Lost Wax Investment Casting”.

Iron Byron: The name for a mechanical golfer hitting machine that simulates the swing of golfer Byron Nelson and is used by the U.S.G.A. and major equipment companies for the testing of clubs and balls.


Kevlar: A synthetic fiber manufactured by DuPont™ used in shaft and head production. It is known for its high energy absorbing characteristics, but is a lower modulus material and has limited compression properties.

Kick Point: See “Bend Point”.

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Knurling: Decorative engraving or stamping around the hosel of an iron club. Knurling may consist of a series of lines or “X’s” near the top of the hosel and is strictly a cosmetic addition to an iron. Most often found on older style forgings, but some retro clubs are featuring this today.


Lag (Shaft Lag): Situation in which the club head lags behind the shaft coming into impact as a result of an excessively flexible shaft for that particular golfer. The resultant ball flight would usually be to the right of the target.

Laird Shaft: Rare type of steel shaft seen in Spalding clubs produced around 1915 to 1918. It is a solid shaft having a series of milled grooves longitudinally and with numerous holes drilled in it throughout its length to reduce weight. Clubs with such shafts are highly prized by collectors and are quite rare.

Laminated Wood: A type of wooden wood head manufactured by gluing and compressing thin pieces of maple together and forming them into the shape of the head.

Lancewood: A dark wood with a tight grain used as a premium shaft material in the late 1800’s.

Large Butt Shaft: Any shaft with a butt diameter of over .620".

Launch Angle: The angle of a ball’s flight immediately after it leaves the club face.

Launch Monitor: Computerized fitting unit used to determine the optimum driver specifications for a given player through a series of hitting tests.

Lead Powder: Material used to swingweight steel-shafted clubs after shaft installation, but prior to grip installation. The powder is poured into the hosel until the desired weight is achieved and then is held in place by a cork or other form of packing material.

Lead Tip Weight (Tip Pin): A short piece of lead that is epoxied into a shaft from the tip end prior to shaft installation. Tip pins are a means of swingweighting both steel and graphiteshafted clubs, but are more commonly used with graphite shafts.

Leading Edge: The forward most point of the club face.

Leading Edge Height: The vertical distance from the ground line (sole touching ground) to the middle of the leading edge radius with the club face square.

Lemonheart: Yellowish wood used for shafts in the late 19th century.

Lie: The angle formed between the shaft (or hosel) and the clubhead.

Lift: Upward force created by the low pressure area above a golf ball as it spins.

Lightweight Shaft: A weight classification of shaft that falls within 3.80-4.24 ounces in steel or alloy shafts and within 3.20- 3.60 ounces related to composite shafts.

Linen Belt: Used in conjunction with a belt sander, a belt made of linen fibers used to finish ferrules on woods and irons. May also be called a “ferrule turning belt”. Usually available in a 1" x 42" belt size.

Line Scoring (Scoring Lines): On the face of an iron or wood club, the pattern of lines or grooves on the face. Typically the lines are parallel to the ground line, but may be positioned in a variety of ways dependent upon the design of the club.

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Liquid Center: Term generically given to three-piece (wound) balls as many have a center filled with some type of liquid.

Liquidmetal™: A proprietary combination of metals designed by the Liquidmetal™ Golf Company. The special alloy is designed to feel soft, yet have a high coefficient of restitution according to the manufacturer.

Lithium: Element added to the golf ball cover material said to promote feel and/or increased durability. The covers of these balls may be labeled as “lithium Surlyn” or “lithium Balata.”

Loading (Shaft Loading): The point of maximum energy buildup in a shaft as it is swung.

Locktite Shaft Holder: Type of shaft holder, made of aluminum, used to tightly secure a club in a vise, usually for steel reshaft procedures. It holds a shaft very securely, but may damage the shaft due to the high pressure at which it is designed to work. Not for use with graphite shafts.

Loft: The angle measured from the club face surface in relation to the hosel bore. More simply, it is the angle of the club face as related to the shaft position. Since loft is measured differently on irons and metal woods, a more precise and thorough definition would be found in Section 3.

Long Nose Clubs: The shape of a wooden club made in the 19th century. Long nose clubs typically are longer than 4" when measured from heel to toe and quite narrow front to back. They included drivers, fairways and putters although they had different names back then.

Lorythmic Swingweight Scale: A type of swingweight scale that measures swingweight using a 14" fulcrum point or balance point as measured from the butt end of the grip cap and displays those measurements in letter/number designations (D-1, D-2, etc.)

Lost Wax Investment Casting: The investment casting process is one method used to produce irons, putters, and metal woods that initially involves making a master model of the clubhead. Next, a mold is then made from this master head. Wax is injected into the mold forming a duplicate of the clubhead. The wax is dipped repeatedly into a ceramic material giving it a hard shell. The ceramic material is heated after air hardening causing the wax to melt and pour out. Molten metal is then poured into the now empty ceramic pieces to form the actual investment cast clubhead.

Low Balance Point (LBP): A shaft that has a high percentage of its weight toward the tip. Such shafts are designed to assist in positioning more mass toward or behind the hitting area of the club. LBP shafts will tend to create clubs that will usually increase the swingweight.

Low Launch: Shaft designed with a stiffer tip section to produce lower trajectory shots. Also a term used to describe golf balls designed for a low initial launch trajectory.

Low Profile Head: An iron or wood head that is shallower from the top of the club to the sole of the club. Also said to be a shallower designed head.

Low Spin Ball: Any of a variety of balls designed for less spin. Reduced spin generally is said to yield more distance. Low spin balls may sometimes feel harder but are preferred by players in search of maximum distance.


Mallet: A type of putter head identified by its broad appearance from front to back when positioned at address. The Ram Zebra™was one of the first super popular mallet style putters. Others were Ray Cook models and Otey Chrisman putters.

Mandrel: A tapered steel rod around which composite materials are wrapped when making a shaft. Also, the bar that is removed from a molded golf grip to determine the core size of the grip.

Maraging Steel: An alloy or family of steels with unique properties. Typically maraging steels are harder than are non-maraging steels such as 17-4 and 15-5. Maraging steel is commonly used in club face applications, rather than in entire club heads.

Mashie: Antique club identification equal to a modern #5 iron.

Mashie Iron: Antique club identification equal to a modern #4 iron.

Mashie Niblick: Antique club identification given to modern #7 iron.

Master Model: The exact replica (typically made from brass or aluminum) of a wood, iron or putter head from which all heads will be duplicated.

Maxwell Hosel: Hosel design of antique wooden shafted clubs in which the hosel has holes drilled in it to reduce weight.

Medallion: Any number of Mylar and urethane type stickers and badges which are commonly affixed in the cavities of woods, irons and putters. They are designed mostly for cosmetic purposes, enhancing the attractiveness of the clubheads.

Melonite™: Plating applied to heads that is designed to prevent corrosion. The plating gives the heads a black appearance.

Mesh: Type of turn-of-the-century ball made from guttapercha characterized by a pattern of intersecting lines on the cover.

Metal Matrix Composite (MMC): Any of a number of alloys used to produce either a golf clubhead or a shaft.

Micro Cavity: Design feature from Cleveland Golf in which weight is removed from the top line of the cavity of an iron. This weight is then redistributed to another location in the head.

Micro Fine Steel (MFS): Stainless steel driver face material that allows the face to achieve a very high Rockwell Hardness approaching HRC50. MFS also has comparatively high yield and tensile strengths.

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Mid Launch: Type of shaft design which yields a ball flight in the “middle” trajectory range. Also a ball design term.

Mid Mashie: Antique club identification given to modern #3 iron.

Milled Face: A club face, usually on a putter, that has its face milled to within .001" for flatness. The concept that a flatter face will promote smoother roll is embraced by a majority of golfers and is proven fact.

Mirror Finish: See “High Polish Finish”.

Modulus: The measure of a fiber’s stiffness or resistance to bending. The higher the modulus, the stiffer the material.

Moisture Cure Polyurethane: Type of polyurethane that relies on moisture in the air for its curing properties. Considered difficult to use because of this, moisture cure polyurethane is characterized by its clear, high-gloss appearance after application. Used mostly on wooden woods.

Moment of Inertia (MOI): The resistance to twisting of any golf clubhead when the golf ball is impacted off-center or not on the center of gravity location horizontally.

Momentus: A brand name for a weighted golf swing training aid popularized by PGA Tour players, among them David Duval.

Monel: An alloy of rustless metal used for clubheads in the early part of the 20th century.

Mortite: Putty formed in a rope-like material used to form a dam around the face insert of a wooden wood prior to using pour in place insert epoxy.

Multi-Layer Ball: Design of a ball in which a large core comprises most of the ball. The core is then surrounded by one or two outer layers of material, with one of those being the cover.

Multi-Material Shaft: Usually refers to a shaft that is comprised of a graphite (composite) portion as well as a steel portion. Such a two-piece shaft establishes unique bending properties when compared to a typical one material shaft.

Multi-Metal: Generic term given to any golf club that has two or more materials in its composition. For example, a stainless steel iron with brass sole weights is considered to be a multi-metal iron

Muscleback Iron: See “Blade Style Head”.


Niblick: Antique club identification equivalent to modern #8 or #9 iron.

Nick: Type of shaft, developed by Rapport Composites, which utilizes a filament, wound longer (main body) portion and a sheet wrapped tip section to tightly control bend and flex point.

Nickel-Cobalt: Strong face material often used along with stainless steel metal woods. It is lighter and stronger than typical 17-4 stainless steel.

Non-Conforming Ball: Any ball that does not meet the requirements as set forth in Appendix III of the U.S.G.A. Rules of Golf.

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Non-Conforming Club: A club whose construction does not allow it to be played in any event (professional, amateur or club-level) as sanctioned by U.S.G.A. Rules. This includes any round of golf that will be used when establishing or maintaining a U.S.G.A. handicap.

Non-Conforming Club (Driver) List: A comprehensive listing of clubs (particularly drivers) that do not meet the U.S.G.A. equipment requirements for one reason or another. The list, updated regularly, is available at

Nylon Deburring Wheel: Attachment (approximately 51/2" in diameter) to a bench grinder or similar machine that is used to remove small amounts of metal from a golf clubhead or shaft tip. Commonly used to remove any sharp edges from steel shafts during through-bore reshafting procedures.


Octohedral: Pattern of dimples on a ball comprised of four straight rows of dimples around the middle of the ball, with four around each pole. Small triangular arrays of dimples fill the remaining area on the ball. This creates 8 triangular groupings of dimples on the ball. This pattern was the predominant pattern prior to the 1970’s. The pattern may also be called Attihedral.

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer): A golf club company dedicated to designing and building golf clubs for sale to the public.

Official Swingweight Scale: A type of swingweight scale that uses a 12" fulcrum as its measuring point, providing swinging balance in ounces and total weight in ounces or grams. Not typically used in many shops. The 14" fulcrum scale is the modern standard.

Offset: The distance from the forward most point of the hosel to the leading edge of the club face. Offset can help to get the player’s hands more in front of the ball helping to hit more down and through the shot. Offset may also have the effect of producing a slightly higher ball flight but this depends on a number of other factors.

Oil Modified Polyurethane: Type of polyurethane used by many clubmakers. It cures from the bottom layer of finish to the top. Characterized by its slight amber color, it requires no special humidity-controlled conditions. The most famous of these products from the past is Mira-Dip.

Onset (Negative Offset): The design of a head in which the leading edge of the blade or face is forward of the leading edge of the hosel.

Overall Weight: Also known as total weight or static weight, total weight is the weight of the entire assembled club as expressed in ounces or grams.

Over-Hosel: Type of shaft-to-head assembly in which the shaft fits over a male post protruding from the head. Not nearly as common as in-hosel assemblies, over-hosel applications are used on irons and putters only. Wilson still uses this form of shaft attachment on its very successful Fat Shaft iron designs.

Oversize Iron Head: The generic name given to any number of iron heads larger than standard.

Oversize Shaft Tip: An iron shaft with a tip larger than .370" or a wood with a tip larger than .335". Certain manufacturers claim that larger tip diameter shafts will assist in the stabilization of clubheads, especially on off-center impacts.

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Old Names For Golf Clubs:

Note: The names on older irons could vary somewhat at the whim of the manufacturer. Pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges and 60º or lob wedges came along later and therefore do not have older names.


Parallel Tip Section: Section of shaft that exhibits one constant diameter up from the tip to the first step.

Parallel Tip Shaft: The type of shaft construction in which the shaft has one constant diameter in its tip section. .370" is a common tip size for parallel tip iron shafts, while .335" is common for wood shafts. Parallel tip shafts can often be used in any club in the set; the same shaft can be used to assemble a #1 iron or an SW simply by trimming the shaft tip to the proper length. Parallel tip shafts are favored by clubmakers, although a number of OEM’s use them as well. They help to reduce inventory levels in shops.

Pebax (Shore D Pebax): Proprietary insert material for putters developed by TaylorMade.

Perimeter Weighting: The design concept of redistributing the weight of the clubhead to the heel, toe and sole to make the club more forgiving on off-center hits and also more solid more of the time.

Persimmon: A material used to manufacture wooden woods. Woods made from persimmon are made from one solid block of wood. Persimmon woods, while once very popular in the 1960’s and even into the 70’s and some 80’s have finally lost out to higher technology metal woods of today. Persimmon woods are considered to be the “best” type of wooden woods produced and demand a premium price as a result. Persimmon is still being manufactured on a limited basis today, most notably by Louisville Golf in Louisville, Kentucky.

Phillips Head Screw: Type of screw, as identified by its two crossing lines head pattern, used on certain soleplates and wooden wood face insert screws.

Playability Factor (MPF): Also called the Maltby Playability Factor. A method to determine the playability category an iron club fits into by measuring and quantifying certain mass and dimensional properties of the head itself. The clubhead’s center of gravity location is very important in the calculation. The clubhead’s moment of inertia is also used.

Plumb Bobbing: A method of hanging the putter vertical by holding the grip end well above eye level and lightly between the fingers. The golfer then sights from the vertically hanging shaft to the green’s surface trying to see if any break (green’s sloping angle) is evident. For this to have any chance of working, the putter shaft must be perfectly vertical and even then this method is suspect.

Pole: The upper and lower areas of the ball, much like the poles on the globe. The seam on a golf ball would be the same as the equator when referring to earth.

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Pour In Place Insert: Two part epoxy-based mixtures used to replace broken or missing inserts in wooden woods. This is a cast in place material that requires a 24-hour curing time and is available in many colors.

Progressive Flexibility: A shafting concept in which longer irons are fitted with more flexible shafts to promote feel and aid in getting the ball airborne and shorter irons utilize stiffer shafts for added control.

Progressive Offset: Iron head design feature in which longer irons have more offset and shorter irons have less. The offset progresses in somewhat uniform increments through the set. More offset is featured in long irons as offset tends to reduce slicing, promote hitting down and through the ball and also helps to get the ball more easily airborne, qualities that help most players hit the ball straighter and more solid.

Progressive Torque: A set of shafts which exhibit a changing of torque from one shaft to another through the set. Typically the torque will be greater in the longer irons and less in the shorter shafts. Increased torque makes a shaft more forgiving on off-center hits. It also can reduce directional control.

Propane Torch: Hand-held torch, fueled by propane, used to heat metal hosels in order to break the epoxy bond between head and shaft.

Proprietary: Any feature of a golf club that is unique to a particular manufacturer. For example, each manufacturer’s head or shaft designs are proprietary to that manufacturer. Proprietary designs, logos, etc. are often patented or trademarked by the company developing them in order to secure their exclusive use for a given time period.

Prorhythmic Swingweight Scale: A type of swingweight scale once made by the Kenneth Smith Golf Club Company that bases its swingweight measurements (D-0, D-1, E-0, etc.) on a 14" fulcrum system. Additionally this scale also measures a golf club’s total weight in ounces or grams.

Pry Bar: Tool used that provides for the most economic method of graphite shaft removal. The pry bar applies force to the clubhead as the shaft is held in a vise by a vinyl shaft clamp. Pressure from the bar forces the head from the club when the epoxy bond breaks from the application of heat. A heat gun is usually used for this.

Pured: A shaft that has been spine-aligned with a patented process. A shaft that is “pured” will be placed in a club in its neutral position.

Puring: The process of aligning a shaft so that it is in its neutral position when installed in a clubhead.


QC: Quality Control. The process of ensuring any component of a club is with specified tolerances. The process of ensuring that a given golf club meets quality standards.

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Rails: Found on the soles of some metal woods, rails function to lower the center of gravity of the club and to provide less resistance as the club travels through the turf.

Rake Iron: General term given to wooden shafted irons whose heads have slots cut through them. The concept was to reduce drag when hitting the ball, usually from standing water. So named due to their resemblance to a garden rake.

Ram Rod: A 48" long steel rod from 1/4" to 3/8" diameter used to force a cork down a steel shaft when using lead powder as a swingweight material.

Raw: Generic term applied to an unplated carbon steel iron or wedge head. Raw heads are most common related to wedges; the head will rust over time.

Raylor: Fairway metal club of approximately 19 degrees of loft made popular by TaylorMade.

Reamer: Similar to a drill bit but used to enlarge a hosel to one uniform parallel tip diameter. Reamers also were required when hosels were designed to accept tapered tip shafts

Reed and Prince Screw: Type of screw, as identified by its head pattern, used on certain soleplates and wooden wood face insert screws. Reed and Prince screws are identified by their more squared screw pattern edges vs. a similar looking Phillips type screw which is more rounded.

Refinish: The process of applying a completely new finish to a wooden or metal wood. The refinish involves removing the old finish prior to applying the new finish. Also applies to stripping and chrome plating irons, putters and wedges.

Relative Stiffness: The stiffness of one shaft when compared to another shaft’s stiffness.

Regrip: The process of installing a new grip onto a club. Reset Insert, Soleplate or Backweight, etc.: The process of removing and re-epoxying (and perhaps re-installing screws) any loose part of a wooden head.

Reshaft: The process of installing a new shaft into a clubhead.

“Rescue”: A generic name given to any number of clubs that combine features of a wood and an iron. Most “Rescue” type clubs are designed to take the place of difficult-to-hit long irons. “Rescue” is also the trademarked name of this type of club from TaylorMade that began the trend toward these clubs. See also “Hybrid.”

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Ribbed Grip or Reminder Grip: A grip that has a raised section along the vertical length of the back of the grip. Certain players believe a ribbed grip will help them maintain uniform hand position on all clubs in the set. Tour players generally do not prefer ribbed grips.

Rifle™ Shaft: Manufactured by Royal Precision Golf, the Rifle™ shaft is a steel shaft that is characterized by its lack of steps. Brunswick claims the shaft combines the consistency of steel with the dampening properties of graphite.

Rocker Sole: See “Camber Sole”.

Roll or Vertical Roll: The measure of face curvature from crown to sole in a vertical direction on woods.

Roll Face™ Putter: Patented by Teardrop™ Golf. Roll Face™ putters feature a uniformly curving face from top to sole. Such a face, according to the company, promotes a smoother roll of the ball on the green.

Rouge: Compound used in conjunction with a stitched buffing wheel to polish marks from a stainless head. Available in white and red (finer) compounds, rouge is typically used to create a high luster on a club head.

Round Grip: A grip that tapers uniformly the entire distance along its length and has no discernible ribs. Most low handicappers and tour players prefer round grips.

RSSR (Recommended Swing Speed Rating): Shaft fitting system developed by Golfsmith International as a guide to identify a shaft well-suited to a player’s swing.

Rubber-Core Ball: Introduced in 1898, the rubber core ball consisted of a solid rubber center around which was wound elastic rubber thread under tension. The cover was made from gutta-percha. This ball, also called the Haskell, as it was invented by Coburn Haskell, is considered to have revolutionized the game.

Rusty: Generic term applied to an unplated carbon steel iron or wedge head. Rusty heads are most commonly related to wedges; the head will rust over time. These heads are promoted to offer a softer feel and more ball control.


Sandblast: Finish applied to the faces and cavities of certain irons. Metal wood heads may also have sandblasted finishes. Characterized by a light gray color, these finishes are applied through the use of an air compressor and special sandblast gun. The common media used for sandblasting is aluminum oxide sand or glass beads. “Sandblast” is also the term given to the process of applying a sandblast finish.

Sandblasting Cabinet: Box-like cabinet with a “window” and “arm-holes” used for sandblasting. The purpose of the cabinet is to eliminate flying sand and to allow the club to be easily held and manipulated during the sandblasting process.

Sanding Belts: Long, thin belts of various grits (#120, 240, etc.) used in conjunction with 1" X 42" or 1" X 30" belt sanders. Other sizes are available depending on the machine type.

Sanding Cone (Drum): Attachment for a motor on a specialized sanding machine. Cone or cylindrically (drum) shaped and covered with sandpaper held in place by two-way tape; used to remove finishes from wood heads.

Satin Finish: Type of finish applied to stainless steel iron heads and metal wood soles through a series of finishing belts. Appears as a brushed aluminum type of finish.

Scared Neck: Wooden shafted club construction in which the shaft and head are scared (cut on a bias) and then joined by glue with a whipping over the top of it. Gives the appearance of the club being one-piece.

Schenectady: Type of antique wooden shaft putter identified by its mallet shape and center shaft installation. Originally made in Schenectady, NY.

Scoop (Dig) Sole: An iron whose leading edge is lower than its trailing edge is determined to have a scoop sole. This is also called a “digger” sole.

Scoring: Any marking on a club face, primarily for decorative or alignment purposes. Examples include, but are not limited to, lines, dots, circles and/or triangles.

Scotchbrite Wheel: Type of wheel mounted on a bench grinder or similar setup. Used mostly to clean up worn or older iron heads by applying a satin type finish. Also typically used on metal wood soleplates.

Scriber: Tool (approximately 6" long) with wooden or plastic handle and sharp metallic point used to clean out screw holes, engravings, etc.

Segmented Flex Technology: From Aldila, the concept of producing a shaft (the Aldila One) with a tip section significantly smaller that the body of the shaft. The technology is used to control launch angles in the various designs of shafts.

Sensicore™: A vibration dampening core, developed by True Temper™, and inserted into the shaft to reduce vibration. Sensicore™ is used inside both wood and iron shafts in both steel and graphite constructions.

Sensicore Gold: A line of shafts from True Temper in which the size of the Sensicore shaft insert varies through the set. The Sensicore inserts are larger in the longer irons and shorter in the wedges in a set of Sensicore Gold shafts.

17-4 Stainless Steel: A type of stainless steel used in iron head and all metal wood head construction. In composition, 17-4 is no more than 0.07% carbon, between 15 and 17% chromium, 4% nickel, 2.75% copper, and 75% iron and trace elements.

Shaft Cutting Board: Wooden or metal board, usually attached to a chop saw that measures and cuts a number of shafts at one time. Usually found in higher volume shops.

Shaft Extension: A piece of material inserted into the shaft butt that is used to make the club longer. The portion of the extender inside the shaft holds it in place (with epoxy), while the portion sticking out of the shaft butt will make the club longer, up to 11/2". The extension may be made of wood, steel, aluminum or graphite.

Shaft Extractor: Threaded steel rod inserted into a shaft broken off at the hosel. The threads lock onto the shaft, making it removable after the application of heat. May also be called an “Easy Out.”

Shaft Identification (ID) Gauge: Rectangular aluminum gauge (approximately 3" X 5") used to measure shaft tip sizes and step patterns. Helpful in identifying shaft types and tip diameters.

Shaft Lab: Computerized system of shaft fitting developed by True Temper that places a high emphasis on how a player “loads” a shaft during the swing. Shaft lab provides computer readouts and graphics as part of its fitting system.

Shaft Lag: Situation in which the clubhead lags behind the shaft coming into impact as a result of a shaft which is far too flexible for the golfer. An example would be a strong male golfer hitting a weak ladies shafted driver.

Shaft Pattern: The design of a particular shaft, indicating the distribution of flexibility about the shaft. Pattern is also the term used to designate a particular model of shaft, e.g., Dynamic™, TT Lite™, FCM™, etc.

Shaft Puller: Specialized tool used in the removal of graphite shafts from steel or titanium clubheads. The puller is designed to force the head from the shaft at the precise moment the epoxy bond is broken by heating from a heat gun. The concept of a shaft puller is to reduce the number of damaged graphite shafts as they are removed.

Shafting Beads: Small nylon (or other non-abrasive material) beads, that are mixed with the epoxy to help center the shaft in the hosel bore.

Shallow Face: Any wood or iron having a face height less than the norm. Shallow face clubs typically have lower centers of gravity, thus making them easier to get airborne.

Shanked Ferrule: Ferrule, with a raised lip at its top, used in conjunction with wooden woods. The “shank” or lip, helps clubmakers begin to wind the whipping string without it slipping up the shaft.

Shear Strength: Resistance of material (i.e., epoxy) to being broken or pulled apart.

Sheet Wrapping: The process of making a graphite shaft in which sheets of graphite and epoxy resin are wrapped around a mandrel to produce a shaft. The process is quite labor intensive. It may also be known as “Table Rolling.”

Shim: Thin metallic or paper strip used to center a shaft in a hosel or better fit the shaft into the hosel.

Short-Shafting: The process of installing a shaft short of the bottom of the hosel bore. In effect this makes the shaft play softer than it was designed to play. Most common in deep bore metal heads.

Shot Peen Finish: Type of finish applied to stainless steel iron heads that leaves the appearance of a “silvery, semi-rough” surface.

Silkscreen: A method of identification found on most shafts. On steel shafts, it typically encircles the shaft approximately 1/4 of the distance from the shaft tip, and is usually black in color. On graphite shafts, it is typically located anywhere along the shaft and is much more colorful and noticeable.

6-4 Titanium: A grade of titanium used in wood head manufacture. Its technical formula is 6AL-4V, indicating that its composition is 90% titanium, 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium. Its high strength to weight ratio allows it to be used to manufacture larger size heads.

Skiving: The thin edges on the underside of a leather or other wrap-on grip, making the grip easier to wrap in place by allowing it to slightly overlap itself as it is wound around the shaft.

Slope Frequency or Frequency Slope: The graph line formed when plotting the frequencies of the shafts in an assembled set of clubs. A well-matched set will have a consistent slope; a mismatched set will show shafts that vary several cycles from their expected range.

Sofftie: General term given to a one-piece grip composed of a very soft compound. First developed by the Eaton Corporation and marketed under the Golf Pride name.

Soft-Stepping: A process of assembly in which a shaft with a longer tip section is put into a club that would normally require a shorter tip section in order that the club play to a softer flex. Installing a #2 iron shaft into a #3 iron to gain more flexibility is an example of this process.

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Sole: The bottom underside portion of any type of golf club. It is the area where the club rests on the ground in playing position.

Sole Weighted Iron: The design of an iron head in which the majority of its weight is concentrated toward the sole of the club. This produces a lower center of gravity making it easier to get the ball airborne.

Sole Width: The measure of a sole from the leading edge to the trailing edge.

SP700: A type of beta titanium face used on high-end titanium drivers. SP700 allows the face to be made stronger and thinner, potentially increasing its COR.

Spade Mashie: Antique club identification equivalent to modern #6 iron.

Specification Gauge or Loft and Lie Machine: A specialized piece of equipment used to measure a club’s loft, lie, face angle, offset and face progression.

Spherical Symmetry: U.S.G.A. rule parameter that states a ball must have flight patterns of a spherically symmetrical ball. In other words, regardless of how a ball is positioned at address or struck at impact, the ball must perform the same in respect to ball flight versus ball orientation.

Spine Alignment: Process of locating a shaft’s spine and positioning it either toward or away from the target in a club in accordance with U.S.G.A. Rules.

Spine or Spinning: A term used to define one or more longitudinal locations on a shaft that have different stiffness characteristics. This identified spine on a shaft can be positioned in a club during assembly so as to obtain the desired flex characteristics whether referring to relative stiffness or flex consistency for each individual swing.

Spinner Shaft: Rifle-type wedge shaft made by Royal Precision that is softer than a typical wedge shaft. The company claims this allows for more feel and control on wedge shots.

Spin Rate: The amount of spin on a golf ball. A high-spin ball will carry longer and roll less than a low spin ball. High spin balls will also react to side spin more than do low spin balls, and are said to be easier to draw or fade as a result. Low spin balls will fly lower and roll farther; their overall distance may be greater but this depends on course conditions.

Spine: The point of a shaft in which it exhibits uniform bending properties in relation to the target.

Splice Neck: See “Scared Neck”.

Spoon: Antique wooden club identification equal to modern #3 wood.

Spring Face or Spring Face Effect: A term that applies to any golf club face that deflects or deforms at impact and thus increases the coefficient of restitution of the shot. Differing materials, heat treatments and face welding processes are a few of the factors which affect spring face. The U.S.G.A. has a maximum spring face driver specification (COR) of .83.

Square Grooves: Also called “box”, “U”, and “Combination grooves. Face lines (or grooves) pressed, machined or cast into a three sided shape vs. a two sided “V” groove shape.

Standard Weight Shaft: A steel shaft weight classification that falls within the range of 4.25-4.62 ounces.

Static Fitting: The process of fitting a golfer without actually watching him or her hit balls. Examples of static fitting include mailed in fitting forms, email fitting forms and telephone fitting.

Static Weight: Also known as a golf club’s overall weight or total weight. Total weight is the weight of the entire assembled club as expressed in ounces or grams.

Steel Center: Term given to three-piece balls having a small center made of steel.

Step: Location on a steel shaft where the diameter of the shaft “steps up” noticeably to a larger diameter. The average steel shaft has numerous steps arranged in a pattern unique to that shaft’s specific model allowing clubmakers to distinguish one unmarked shaft from another.

Step Drilling: A method of enlarging the bore of a hosel through the use of a series of drill bits. The process is begun with the smallest bit, then progresses to a medium sized bit, followed by a larger sized bit. Step drilling makes the process of enlarging a hosel bore easier and less time-consuming.

Stepless: Term describing a steel shaft that contains no steps. This type shaft simply uses a smooth taper from the tip to the larger butt end diameter.

Stepping: Can also be referred to as “soft stepping” or “hard stepping” to respectively soften the shaft flex feel or stiffen the shaft flex feel. Applies to tip taper shafts that come in specific lengths for each iron. The raw shaft lengths can be interchanged. Procedure: to “soft step” put the next longer raw length shaft in the club. To “hard step” put the next shortest raw length shaft in the club.

Stitched Buffing Wheel: Type of buffing wheel mounted on a bench grinder or buffing machine. It is used with different grit compounds that are applied to the buffing wheel to give it various cutting actions on any metal. Emery Cake, Tripoli, Rouge and White compounds are four of the favorites. This type buffing wheel is identified by having its cotton fibers stitched tightly together in a circular pattern.

Strong Loft: The loft of any club, particularly an iron that is less than the standard specification for that club. Stronger lofted clubs will tend to hit the ball lower and longer than standard lofts but are generally harder to hit and especially so if they have higher centers of gravity or lower playability ratings.

Stronomic™: Proprietary face insert material from Odyssey™ Golf that helped to first popularize face insert putter designs.

Studio Design: Trademarked name given to a line of milled putters made by Scotty Cameron for Titleist.

Sub Flex: In the True Temper stiff Dynamic Gold series each individual flex. S200, S300 & S400 are all sub flexes of stiff as an example.

Super-Steel: A term given to any number of alloys of steel that are stronger and often lighter than the 17-4 type or 431 type of stainless steels used commonly in metal woods and irons.

Surebrite Wheel: Type of wheel used on a bench grinder or similar setup used to return a club’s finish to satin. Typically used on metal wood soleplates or satin-finished irons to restore their finish to near-new. See also “Scotchbrite Wheel.”

Surlyn™: A thermoplastic resin (ionomer) cover, invented by DuPont in the late 1970’s. Surlyn™ is a very common material used today in durable cover balls.

Swaging: A machine hammering method used in shaft manufacture in which the tip of the shaft is reduced in size.

Sweet Spot: The position on the club face at which maximum energy and feel will be transferred to the ball. This is actually the center of gravity location. It is also said that the sweet spot encompasses a dimensional range on the face of any club that still provides a decent shot. This range, of course, relies on the individual design characteristics of the head itself as to whether it is broad or narrow.

Swing Analyzer: See “Swing Computer”.

Swing Computer: Device used in club fitting to accurately define swing characteristics such as swing path, swing speed, tempo, face angle, loft, clubhead path, etc. Typically used indoors only, swing computers may cost several thousand dollars and will graphically display a golfer’s swing, aiding in the fitting process.

Swingweight: A club’s weight distribution around a fixed fulcrum point. The fulcrum point is typically 14" from the butt of the club. Swingweight is commonly referred to as the weight distribution of the grip, the shaft and the head through a given club length. It is measured in alpha-numeric units such as D- 1, D-2, and so on with higher letter-number units indicating more weight in the head end relative to the grip end.

Swingweight Scale: A measuring scale specific to golf clubs that utilizes a balance system (fulcrum) to determine the swingweight and possibly the total weight of a golf club.


Taper Tip Shaft: One of a number of shafts manufactured with a tip section that varies in length and diameter below the first step. This type of shaft requires that a specific length, known as a discreet length shaft be made for each club in a set. Taper tip shafts are still available today and are used by some manufacturers although their greatest popularity was prior to 1990.

Tempo Trainer: Computerized device, sometimes used in fitting that determines the pace of a player’s swing. This information is then transferred by the fitter into a shaft/head recommendation for the player.

Tensile Strength: Measuring method to measure the resistance of a material to being stretched or elongated.

1030 Carbon Steel: A softer form of carbon steel typically used in iron forgings. It is more malleable than stainless steels which are also used in forging irons thus making it easier to forge. It is also easier to machine the engravings and face lines.

Teryllium™: Proprietary insert material used by Titleist™ in many of their Scotty Cameron putters. The material is a mix of many alloys producing a softer feeling insert for putters.

Tetrahedral: Dimple pattern on a ball consisting of four large triangles.

Thermoplastic Hosel: The hosel of a golf club produced from some type of thermoplastic material, allowing it to be constructed to produce specific lie and face angles. Ping developed this type of hosel for proprietary use in its titanium drivers.

Thermoset: An epoxy based material that, once formed, cannot be re-shaped or re-formed.

304 Stainless Steel (304SS): A softer variety of stainless steel most often used in putter production.

Three-Piece: Generic term given to a ball with a center core, rubber windings and a cover. This is a wound ball construction. A three-piece ball may also have a center and two “cover” materials, eliminating the windings. This type would be a solid ball construction.

Through-Bore (Thru-Bore) Plug: Plastic or wooden plug inserted into the shaft tip in through-bore shaft applications to cosmetically finish the shaft tip.

Ti-Alloy: A metallic alloy used for wood heads that contains some titanium. Typically ti-alloy heads are comprised mostly of aluminum and are considered to be of lesser quality than other head materials.

Tip Diameter: The outside diameter of a shaft tip measured at the very tip end of the shaft. Some examples would be .370" and .355" tip diameters of iron shafts.

Tip Flexible: A shaft whose tip is specifically designed to be softer than the body of the shaft. Tip flexible shafts usually yield higher trajectories for most golfers and are considered easier to hit.

Tip Heavy: A shaft whose tip section is generally heavier than a similar length section of shaft butt.

Tip Pin or Tip Slug: A short piece of lead (2-8 grams) that is inserted into a shaft from the tip end prior to shaft installation. Tip pins are a means of swingweighting both steel and graphite-shafted clubs. They can be made of brass, aluminum, leaded rubber, lead or tungsten.

Tipping (or Tip Trimming): The process of trimming a shaft from the tip to increase its stiffness.

Tip Size: The outside diameter of a shaft tip measured at the very tip of the shaft. See also “Tip Diameter”.

Tip Stiff: A shaft whose tip is more measurably stiff as compared to other sections of the shaft. Tip stiff shafts are generally designed with harder swinging players in mind. A tip stiff shaft is generally a lower torque shaft and produces straighter shots for higher swing speed golfers.

Tip To First Step: Measurement used by certain companies to assist in shaft trimming. The “Tip To First Step” measurement is simply the distance from the shaft tip to the first step location.

Tip Trim: Term given to the process of cutting a shaft from the tip end.

Tip Weight: Same as “Tip Pin or Tip Slug”, a short piece of lead (2-8 grams) that is inserted into a shaft from the tip end prior to shaft installation. Tip weights are a means of swingweighting both steel and graphite-shafted clubs.

Titanium: Clubhead material utilized primarily for woods and irons, it has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than most steel alloys. See also “Beta-Titanium”, “Forged Titanium” and “6-4 Titanium”.

Titanium Ball: The general term given to a ball that has either a titanium based core or that contains titanium as part of its cover material.

Titan-Steel: Term given to a club that is made from an alloy of titanium and steel; term applied to a club with a titanium component as well as a steel component.

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Toe: The area of the golf club that is the farthest from the shaft or hosel.

Toe Weighted: Design concept of placing a high concentration of weight toward the toe of a club.

Top line: The uppermost part of an iron head, running from heel to toe. It is the part of the iron head that a player typically looks down upon when addressing the ball. Top line thickness is an important measurement to consider in every iron head design.

Torque: The resistance of a shaft to twisting is its torque. Lower torque shafts twist less than do higher torque shafts and, as a result, may be recommended for stronger players.

Total Weight: Also known as overall weight, dead weight or static weight. Total weight is the weight of the entire assembled club as expressed in ounces or grams.

Tour Weighted: The somewhat generic term applied to composite shafts that weigh approximately the same as standard weight steel shafts.

Trajectory: The shape and height of a shot.

Trailing Edge: The most rearward part of a club’s sole.

Trampoline Effect: See “Spring Face Effect”.

Tri-Metal: A clubhead comprised of three separate materials. Popularized by Orlimar™. A tri-metal type head may contain a 17-4 stainless steel body, a maraging steel face and a copper alloy in the sole rails.

Trim Ring: Small colored plastic ring(s) found at the top of certain ferrules. Trim rings, decorative in nature, may be any number of colors. Most clubmakers do not use trim rings a great deal due to their lack of durability over time and also the stocking requirements to have all the proper sizes and colors always on hand.

Tripoli: Compound used in conjunction with a stitched buffing wheel to polish marks from a stainless head. Medium cutting action.

Trouble Club: A category of clubs that is utilized to extricate the ball from a difficult lie. Trouble clubs often have a unique sole construction - perhaps rails or imbedded heavy weights - that lowers the center of gravity of the club, making them easy to hit from less desirable positions on the course such as rough or very tight lies. The club may be an iron, a wood or a hybrid club.

True Measure: Club length measuring device, generally placed on a bench that takes into account the lie of a club when measuring its length. A very accurate way to measure club length.

Tubing (Shaft) Cutter: Hand operated tool used to cut steel shaft tips and butts. Using the tool is very labor-intensive; it is used strictly for small-volume shops.

Tumble Finish: Type of finish applied to iron and metal wood heads via a specialized tumbling machine containing various tumbling media. Finish is characterized by its dull, durable look. Ping is the most recognized as having a vibratory or tumbled finish look.

Tumbler: Device used to create a tumble or vibratory finish on a clubhead. The tumbler or actually a vibratory works by vibrating heads among various media for a specified time in order to create the desired finish. Ping uses this type of finish.

Tuned Weight Cartridge: Developed by TaylorMade for use in the 500 Series titanium drivers, a weighting system that is claimed to position the center of gravity of the club to match a given player. Visible by looking at the back of the driver head.

Tungsten: A heavy metallic compound used to add weight to a clubhead, either as a swingweighting material in the shaft or as a defined weight attached somewhere in/on the head. Tungsten is a heavier material than lead.

24-Hour Cure Epoxy: Type of epoxy with a high shear strength used to secure shafts to heads for the strongest, longest-lasting type of bond.

Two-Piece: Type of ball characterized by a center core surrounded by a cover, usually made of a durable material. The first two piece ball was the Top Flite introduced in 1972 by Spalding.

Two-Way Tape: Also known as “double-sided tape” or “grip tape”. A special tape that has adhesive on both sides. Applied to the shaft, one side holds the tape to the shaft; the other, when activated with solvent, secures the grip to the shaft. Two-Way Tape is most popular in 3/4" or 2" widths.

TX-90: Developed by True Temper, a specialized steel alloy allowing the shaft to be made under the 100-gram weight range.


U-Groove: See “Square Groove.”

Ultralight Shaft: A class of composite shafts that weigh less than 2.00 ounces or 65 grams.

Underlisting: The rubber, felt or paper material onto which a leather grip is wrapped.

Unitized: A shaft in which one model can be used to build one entire set of irons or woods through successive trimming of the shaft tip section.

Unloading (Shaft Unloading): The point of maximum energy release as a shaft is swung.

Unplated: Term given to a club made from carbon steel that has not been plated. Unplated carbon steel clubs will rust. Common wedge feature such as Cobra Golf ’s “rusty” models introduced a number of years ago are unplated.

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Unstitched Buffing Wheel: Type of wheel used along with a bench grinder or buffing machine. Usually used with a coating of Glanz Wach applied to it. This compound adds a high luster to polyurethane-coated clubheads.

Upright Lie: A club’s lie that is more upright than the standard specification for that particular head. For example, a 62 degree measured head would be 2 degrees upright if the stated specification was originally 60 degrees.

Urethane: A synthetic cover material of a golf ball that is durable, yet produces a soft feel. Urethane cover balls are typically among the more expensive balls on the market and are gaining popularity among professional golfers due to their playability.


Variable Face: A golf club face (either in a wood or an iron) that exhibits a different face thickness on one or more areas of the face. Typically, variable face irons have thicker faces toward the sole, while variable face woods usually have thinner face perimeters and thicker centers.

Variable Face Technology: Design concept utilizing various face thickness in a club. See “Variable Face”.

Variable Speed: Term given to a machine, such as a drill or drill press that can be run at more than one speed. Slow speeds are better for cutting metals, while faster speeds drill wood more efficiently.

Vernier Caliper: A precision measuring device. The easiest to use models have a direct reading dial. They measure in either inches or in millimeters. Great for measuring shaft butt diameters and grip diameters to three decimal places.

Vertical Gear Effect: Mostly applies to drivers. The upward movement of the club face when in frictional contact with the golf ball tries to put forward spin on the ball but succeeds in only slightly reducing the back spin. A somewhat minor effect, but it does exist.

Very Lightweight Shaft: A weight classification of shafts that falls within 3.40-3.79 ounce weight range for steel or alloy shafts and 2.00-3.19 ounces for composite shafts.

VFT: Generic term applied to Variable Face Thickness. See “Spring Face Effect” and “Trampoline Effect”. Also the name given to a line of Callaway woods and irons.

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“V” Grooves: Face lines (or grooves) pressed, machined or cast into a triangular (or “V”) shape during club manufacture.

Velocity: The speed of a golf ball. Also known as initial velocity, the U.S.G.A. limits conforming balls to initial velocities of no more than 250 feet per second (76.2m/s) as measured on U.S.G.A. test equipment. A 2% tolerance is allowed at a test temperature of 23 degrees Celsius ±1.

Vertical Flow Weighting: The method of flow weighting in which the weight moves vertically from a concentration of weight toward the sole of long irons (lower center of gravity) to more traditional weighting (normal center of gravity) on short irons.

Vinyl Shaft Clamp: Type of clamp used to hold a club in a vise. The clamp attaches around a shaft and when clamped into the vise prevents the shaft from being marred. The clamp is usually made of vinyl or rubber.

Viscoelastic Material: A proprietary material used by the Cleveland Golf Company to assist in providing vibration absorption in their patented VAS™ clubs.

Vise Pad(s): Typically made of wood covered by thick felt, vise pads are used to secure a clubhead in a vise without damaging it while working on it. May also be made of hard rubber, medium hardness rubber or solid vinyl.

Volume: A numerical designation given to the size of a wood head as measured by liquid displacement. Usually measured in cc’s or cubic centimeters. Example: A driver head size of 460cc’s.


Warbird™ Sole: Bi-concave sole designed and patented by Callaway™ Golf for use on their Big Bertha™ line of woods.

Weight-Sorted: Club components that are weighed prior to assembly in an attempt to ensure consistent and/or incremental specifications of every club in the set.

Whipping: Black, thread-like covering applied over the neck of wooden clubs to prevent the neck from splitting during play. Modern whipping is usually made of nylon and the older whippings were made of linen or waxed linen and still older versions of pitched linen.

Whipping Cover: Plastic cover installed over the string whipping on wooden woods. Common on Wilson woods of the 1960’s and 70’s.

Whisper: Soft two-piece type of grip produced by Golf Pride in response to the popularity of softer grips.

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Windings: The elastic rubber material tightly wrapped around the core of some three-piece balls. Typically 35 yards of material will be stretched to over 250 yards in a single ball.

Winn-Type Grip: A type of grip that is generally considered to be softer than typical. Winn produced the first of today’s popular soft grip designs, but also manufactures grips of varying firmness and material.

Wooden Cleek: Antique wooden shafted wood equivalent to modern #4 wood.

Wound Ball: Type of ball characterized by a cover over a matrix of rubber windings that cover a central core. Wound balls often have a softer feel and higher spin rate than other ball types. They may also be called three-piece balls. Wound balls are basically extinct today.

Wry Neck: Scottish name for an offset or gooseneck putter.


X-out: General term given to less than perfect balls. Usually top grade balls with a slight cosmetic or manufacturing defect, X-outs are identified by a row of “X’s” somewhere on the cover (usually over the name). X-outs are substantially less costly than first-quality balls.

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Zinc Iron Heads: Iron heads die cast from an alloy of zinc. These heads typically are considered less expensive and less durable than their stainless counterparts and thus are designated primarily for beginner sets. Zinc heads can be identified by their non-magnetic properties as well as by their typically larger diameter than normal hosels. Note also that some less expensive stainless steels are not magnetic.

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Zirconium: Element used as a face coating or material for wedges, adding to increased spin due to the surface roughness provided by the zirconium.

Zylin: A proprietary golf ball cover material that was developed by Spalding that is claimed to produce increased feel and durability.