A Listing of Golf Equipment Industry Terms
|AUTOCLAVE - A heat-treating chamber which applies pressure and heat to a
material during the curing process of graphite shafts.
BALATA - A resilient substance derived from a balata tree (or bully tree) used
to make ball covers.
BORON - A premium lightweight man-made fiber that is five times as strong
and twice as stiff as steel. Boron has the highest compression strength of any
composite material. It also has high modulus.
BOUNCE - The amount of the trailing edge of the club which is below the
BULGE - The amount of curvature in the face of a wood club; some metalwood models also have bulge.
CALAMITY JANE - Nickname of the hickory-shafted blade putter used by
CIRCUMFLEX POINT - The point along the shaft where the degree of
bending is greatest. It influences ball trajectory.
CLUBHEADS - This is quickly becoming a non-issue since almost the entire
market now consist of investment cast, perimeter-weighted, cavity back
designs. Forged irons have virtually disappeared from the market place.
COMPRESSION - The amount of resilience in a ball, or how much it compresses at impact. The higher the compression, the greater the required force to fully compress the ball. It is a misconception that a ball with higher compression (100) will travel further than a ball with less compression (80 or 90). The
distances are virtually the same. A greater difference is in the area of feel. A
higher compression ball will feel harder than a ball with less compression.
DROOPING - a downward bending of the shaft during the swing which creates
shots off the toe of the club.
ELASTOMER - a polymer which has the elastic properties of rubber. Used
predominantly in the covers of balls or for inserts in putters.
- The surface of the clubhead that strikes the ball.
- 2, 3, 4, 5, and sometimes higher-numbered woods designed to be used when
the ball is in play after the tee shot.
FILAMENT WINDING - Sheets of
prepreg (see below) graphite or boron are
layered and rolled onto a mandrel, then cured to make a shaft.
FLAG-WRAPPING - A carbon fiber shaft construction method, also known as
tube rolling, in which each piece (flag) is uniformly cut and arranged in layers at
desired angles around a mandrel, then cured in an oven.
FORGED IRONS - They are made of softer steel and impart greater feel and
feedback for accomplished players. The process consists of hammering and
shaping the clubhead, then cooling, grounding and polishing it into its final
shape. Most of the forgings on the market today are cavity back models which
feature many of the perimeter-weighting advantages of investment cast. If
you're not a top player, nobody will even try to sell you forgings anymore.
- The 14 clubs which are allowed for playing a round. A full set usually consists of three or four wooden clubs or metal woods, nine or ten irons and a putter.
GRAPHITE - A synthetic material that is heat-induced to make soft, black
carbon/graphite filaments. Graphite fibers are available in different strengths
and modulus values. Graphite is an excellent substitute for steel in shafts for
several reasons. It is lighter (but just as strong) so it can be swung faster to
create more clubhead velocity and, in turn, greater distance. It also has
dampening qualities which make it a better choice for seniors and others with
hand, wrist, arm and shoulder ailments.
GRIPS - The size of a grip can influence the shape of a shot and its distance.
A grip that is too large can restrict hand action during the swing and leave the
clubface open at impact. A grip that is too small can result in the opposite
action and shots that wind up to the left of the target.
GROOVE - The (scoring) lines on the face of a club
- The part of the clubhead beneath the end of the shaft.
HEEL-TOE WEIGHTING - A redistribution of the weight from a central
sweetspot to the heel and toe areas of the club to expand the effective hitting
HOSEL - The neck of a club into which the shaft fits.
INVESTMENT CAST - A manufacturing process which effectively expands the
sweep spot by perimeter-weighting the clubhead. The clubs are cast in a mold.
Cast clubs first appeared in large numbers in the late 1960s. The trade-off is
diminished feel and ability to maneuver a golf ball, two things that seldom
concern the high-handicap golfer.
IRON - Irons are metal-headed clubs used for most shots between tee and green. Sometimes you can use them from the tee at holes where accuracy is more important than distance. The sand and pitching wedges are also irons.
KEVLAR - A synthetic aramid fiber developed and sold by DuPont that has
good energy absorption properties. Kevlar has low modulus and poor
KICK POINT - also, Flex Point. The point in the shaft where the degree of
bending is greatest. It determines the ball's launch angle. A lower flex point
creates more loft because the "kick" is nearer the clubhead. Better players
need less help from the shaft. They create their own clubhead speed and kick
and generally use shafts with higher flex points. Mid-to-high handicappers,
seniors and women need more help getting the ball airborne so a lower flex
point is to their advantage. Flexpoint has a direct bearing on trajectory and as
a result determines how easy a club is to hit, or at least the golfer's perception
of the ease or difficulty factor. Also, better players with smooth, flowing
swings may benefit from softer shafts with lower flex points. Physically strong
players who swing very hard, even if they aren't low handicappers, are
probably better off with stronger shafts. As a general rule, most golfers use
shafts that are too stiff.
LIE - Angle formed by a club's shaft and the bottom of the clubhead.
LOFT - The measurement, in degrees, of a club's angle. Short irons have more
loft than long irons.
MANDREL - A tapered steel rod around which composite materials are
wrapped to make a shaft.
MODULUS - A measure of stiffness. It refers to a material's ability to resist
bending or stretching. The higher the modulus, the stiffer the fiber.
OFFSET - The relationship between the clubhead and the shaft in which the
clubhead is set off the line - or slightly behind the shaft. Offset clubs promote
getting the hands through the impact zone ahead of the club. A
game-improvement feature in club design.
PITCHING WEDGE - A short iron with a large degree of loft, used for pitching high but short shots
onto the green
PREPREG - Or, pre-impregnated. Graphite or boron filaments are impregnated
with epoxy resin to form rolls of tape which are used by shaft manufacturers
SOLE - Bottom of the
SURLYN - A synthetic material which has replaced balata as the ball cover of
choice for most golfers because of its durability; first introduced by Spalding in
its Top-Flite model balls. composite shafts.
TENSILE STRENGTH - Resistance to breaking to stretching or pulling forces.
TITANIUM - A titanium alloy with high strength-to-weight ratio, plus ability to
withstand fatigue which provides great consistency.
TORQUE - A force that produces, or tends to produce, torsion or rotation. A
relative measure of how much twist there is in a club.