Golf equipment encompasses the various items that are used to play the sport of golf. Types of equipment include the golf ball itself, implements designed for striking the golf ball, devices that aid in the process of playing a stroke, and items that in some way enrich the playing experience.
The minimum allowed diameter of a golf ball is 42.67 mm and its mass may not exceed 45.93 g. The first type of golf ball was the featherie, made out of leather and feathers. Modern golf balls have a two-, three-, or four-layer design constructed from various synthetic materials. The surface usually has a pattern of 300-450 dimples designed to improve the ball's aerodynamics. The method of construction and materials used greatly affect the ball's playing characteristics such as distance, trajectory, spin and feel. Harder materials, such as Surlyn, usually result in the ball's traveling longer distances, while softer covers, such as Urethane, tend to generate higher spin, more "feel" and greater stopping potential. Golf balls are separated into three groups depending on their construction: two-, three-, or four-piece covers. Generally four-piece golf balls tend to be the most expensive, though price is no assurance of quality. As of 2006 there are golf balls that utilize RFID technology, which allow golfers to locate errant shots easily using a handheld homing device. RFID transponders are also used in certain computerized driving ranges to calculate distance and accuracy of shots.
A player usually carries several clubs during the game (but no more than fourteen, the limit defined by the rules). There are three major types of clubs, known as woods, irons, and putters. Wedges are irons used to play shorter shots. Woods are played for long shots from the tee or fairway, and occasionally rough, while irons are for precision shots from fairways as well as from the rough. A new type of wood known as a "hybrid" combines the straight-hitting characteristics of irons with the easy-to-hit-in-the-air characteristics of higher-lofted woods. A "hybrid" is often used for long shots from difficult rough. Hybrids are also used by players who have a difficult time getting the ball airborne with long irons. Wedges are played from difficult ground such as sand or the rough and for approach shots to the green. Putters are mostly played on the green, but can also be useful when playing from bunkers or for some approach shots. The putter has minimal loft, forcing the ball to stay on the putting surface while struck.
Golf shafts are used between the grip and the club head. The profile of the golf shaft is circular in shape and is usually thicker at the grip end than at the club head end. Any strong and light material may be used to make the golf shaft. Almost all shafts today are made of either graphite or tempered steel, although other materials either have been used (the first shafts were made from hickory wood) or have been tried (like titanium and aluminum). The tapering of the shaft is important to some players - the shaft can be smoothly tapered or it can be tapered in steps.
The rules of golf allow the shaft of the putter to be bent in some specific ways, but all the other club shafts must be straight.
A tee is an object (wooden or plastic) that is pushed into or placed on the ground to rest a ball on top of for an easier shot; however, this is only allowed for the first stroke (tee shot or drive) of each hole. Ordinary golf tees resemble nails with a small cup on the head and are usually made of wood or plastic. They are generally very inexpensive and quite disposable; a player may damage or break many of these tees during the course of a round. The length of tees varies according to the club intended to be used and by personal preference; longer tees (3-3.5") allow the player to position the ball higher off the ground while remaining stable when planted, and are generally used for modern drivers. They can be planted deeper for use with other clubs. Shorter tees (2-2.5") are suitable for most other clubs and are more easily removed than a deeply-driven long tee.
Many variations of golf tees have been designed and tried. The "step tee" is similar to the standard spike tee, but with a sharp increase in shaft thickness at a predetermined point below the top, and is designed to be inserted up to this step for more consistent ball height on tee shots. A recent development is the "brush tee", which positions the ball off the ground using a circular arrangement of flexible bristles (similar to that of a toothbrush, only longer) rather than a rigid spike. The bristles bend easily, so they inflict a minimum of interference on the swinging club or the ball at impact. They also are more durable, and the wide base in which the bristles are set provides a constant height similar to a step tee.
Alternately, the rules allow for a mound of sand to be used for the same function, also only on the first shot. Before the invention of the wooden spike tee, using sand was the only accepted method of lifting the ball for the initial shot. This is rarely done in modern times, as a tee is easier to place, hit from, and recover, but some courses prohibit the use of tees either for traditional reasons, or because a swing that hits the tee will drive it into or rip it out of the ground, resulting in damage to the turf of the tee-box. Tees also create litter if discarded by golfers when broken.
Research and Markets Offers Report: "Global Golf Equipment Manufacturing Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit and Forecast Analysis"
Nov 29, 2012; Wireless News 11-29-2012 Research and Markets Offers Report: "Global Golf Equipment Manufacturing Industry 2012-2017: Trend,...
Research and Markets Adds Report: "Global Golf Equipment Manufacturing Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit and Forecast Analysis"
Nov 27, 2012; Research and Markets announced the addition of the "Global Golf Equipment Manufacturing Industry 2012-2017: Trend, Profit and...