Beginners should be careful with woods, which feature large club heads meant to propel the ball low and far, most often from a tee. Relatively flat striking surfaces give you little room for error.

Beginners should be careful with woods, which feature large club heads meant to propel the ball low and far, most often from a tee. Relatively flat striking surfaces give you little room for error.

You'll score best by mastering irons, built to gain yardage from non-ideal situations. Sets range from 1-10, though it's said that not even God can hit a 1 iron. Higher numbers hit balls shorter and higher.

Wedges are built for what's known as the "short game," approaching the green from within 100 yards. Club heads are angled to propel the ball up over short distances, with a lot of spin.

The putter is the finesse instrument that guides your ball across the green and into the cup. It has a flat head and, on most newer models, guidelines to help with accuracy.