Golf clubs are essential tools used in the game of golf. Along with the golf ball, they comprise two of the most important aspects of the game. This lesson brought to us by top discount golf retailer Rockbottomgolf gives insight on the history of golf clubs and how they evolved to being the golf clubs of today.
As avid golfers, it is important for you to know how this most loved sport and its equipment evolved throughout the years, which gives you a better understanding of the game. Here’s a short history of golf clubs from Rockbottomgolf.
First Golf Clubs
In the early days of golf, golf clubs were constructed out of wood. It was only in the late century where the wooden shaft was replaced by other types of materials. In the earliest years of the game, players used to carve their own clubs from wood. Then skilled craftsmen eventually carved wooden clubs.
Shafts were usually made from American hickory, or European woods ash or hazel. Harder persimmon, beech, holly, pear, and apple were utilized for the club heads. Scottish club-maker Robert Forgan imported hickory from the United States. Hickory proved to be more durable than any other wood and became the standard material for shafts until the advent of steel shafts in the 1920s.
As for the clubface, leather and other materials were initially used by club-makers in order to increase compression and increase distance. As early as the 1750s, there were also attempts to implant metal and bone fragments onto the clubface. This was done to prevent the shattering of the clubface.
Iron clubs were forged by blacksmiths until the late 1800s. However, they were used sparingly in the course. The earliest irons were quite wieldy and heavy, very difficult to control. The advent of the mass production of iron heads around 1870 was the result of the availability of drop forging. The result of this is better iron clubs that are mass-produced in factories. Because golf clubs are readily available in the market, golf rose in popularity.
These days, the numbering system is used to identify different varieties of clubs. However, until the 1920s, golf clubs were referred to by different names. Driving clubs were called longnoses, while bulger was the term used for woods. Clubs that were used for mid-range shots were called fairway clubs, while spoons are the clubs that were used for short range shots. Wedge-like clubs are called niblicks, while putting clubs are called cleeks. Eventually, the lofts of the clubs and their shaft lengths also became standardized, employing the numbering system as well.
Innovation in Club Design
There were many innovations in golf club design at the turn of the 20th century, particularly between the periods of 1900 to 1930. Some of the innovative designs worked, while many didn’t. Some of those that didn’t really work were the hollow-faced irons and giant niblicks that have a club face that measured 6 inches. Some designs that worked and were improved upon over the years were the iron with extended flange, a club that could be adjusted into different lofts, and a variety of alloy experiments.
The most significant design innovation during this time was the advent of the grooves in the irons. Before 1908, clubfaces were smooth, but designers realized that grooved clubs are much better because it could get more backspin on a ball.
In 1925, steel shafts were introduced. Steel shafts became a standard in the game because they did not break like hickory shafts and could be produced and duplicated uniformly.
Golf Clubs Today
In 1939, the 14-club rule was imposed in the game of golf. The numbering system was used in full measure.
Club development spawned modern research methods, and it resulted in the discovery of synthetic and composite materials that could be used in golf clubs. In 1963, the technology of casting club heads was introduced, which led to the club’s affordability.
In 1973, the graphite shaft was introduced to the market. However, amateur golfers still use steel shafts because they are considerably cheaper than graphite.
The sets of woods and irons today are developed using computer-aided technology. Technology has proven to be valuable in the design and manufacture of golf clubs because it has enabled the clubs to be durable, have equal weight distribution, accurate hits, and reliable hitting distance. Advanced materials are used such as titanium, zirconia, and graphite.
In 1991, the golf community received the best news when the Callaway introduced the Big Bertha stainless-steel headed driver. This made club heads made from persimmon a thing of the past. The Big Bertha went on to become such as phenomenon that it is dubbed as the most successful club in history. In 2013, TaylorMade introduced a new driver that could be adjusted to 12 different lofts and seven different face angles.
The latest trend in golf clubs is the very expensive titanium head and graphite shaft.
Knowing the rich history of golf clubs, it is no wonder that a set of clubs is carefully chosen, even custom-fitted for each player. The process of selecting and buying the best golf club could be quite tedious and expensive. If you are an avid golfer who is on a budget or you are just a beginner, it is best to get the best brands at discounted prices. Rockbottomgolf is able to provide this service. Visit the website of Rockbottomgolf and check out some of the best golf clubs sold at low prices.