What Are All The Golf Club Names? And Their Fun Nicknames =)

golf club names

Here’s an overview of the various golf club categories and their individual names, shedding light on their uses and characteristics. Also, get to know the nicknames commonly used on the golf course to improve your understanding. Or to use them whenever you like.

1. Woods

Woods are designed for long-distance shots, typically used off the tee or for long shots from the fairway. Despite their name, most modern woods are made of metal, which is why they’re sometimes called “metal woods.”

Driver (1-Wood)

The driver has the lowest loft among woods, making it ideal for maximum distance. It’s most commonly used for the tee shot on par-4 and par-5 holes.


These include the 3-wood and 5-wood, which have higher lofts than a driver. They are versatile, used for long shots from the fairway, rough, or off the tee when precision is favored over distance.

Nicknames for Driver

  • The Big Stick: This nickname is used due to the driver’s size and the distance it can achieve. It’s the largest club in a golfer’s bag, both in head size and length. Thus, making it the “big stick” you pull out for the longest shots.
  • The Big Dog: Similar to “The Big Stick,” this nickname emphasizes the driver’s power and dominance on the tee. It’s the club you use when you need to “let the big dog eat,” or hit the ball as far as possible.

Nicknames for Woods

  • Spoon (3-Wood): Historically, the 3-wood has been referred to as a “spoon.” A term that dates back to when club heads were made of wood and had a spoon-like shape. The 3-wood, offering a balance between distance and loft. Which is ideal for shots off the fairway or tee that required precision.
  • Brassie (2-Wood): Though less common in modern golf, the 2-wood was traditionally known as a “brassie.” This name comes from the brass plate that was often used on the sole of the wood club heads to protect them from damage. The brassie was used for long-distance fairway shots. But it has largely been replaced by hybrid clubs and high-lofted woods in today’s game.
  • Baffy (4-Wood or 5-Wood): The term “baffy” is an old nickname that was used for clubs with more loft than a brassie but less than a spoon. Typically equivalent to what we might now call a 4-wood or 5-wood. The name suggests a club that could be used to “baffle” or navigate tricky shots, providing a mix of distance and loft.

2. Irons

Irons range from 1 (lowest loft) to 9 (highest loft), with their primary use being for shots approaching the green or for shorter distances than woods. They can be subdivided into long irons (2, 3, 4), mid irons (5, 6, 7), and short irons (8, 9).

Long Irons

Known for their difficulty, these clubs are used for long shots, typically from the fairway or rough, requiring precision.

Mid Irons

These offer a balance between distance and control, useful for a variety of situations on the course.

Short Irons

With their high lofts, short irons are ideal for approach shots. Allowing the ball to ascend quickly and land softly on the green.

Nicknames for Long Irons

  • Butter Knife: This nickname, often used for the 1-iron and sometimes extended to other long irons. Because it reflects the narrow blade-like appearance of the clubhead and the perceived difficulty in using it effectively. However, the 1-iron is notoriously hard to hit for average golfers. Akin to trying to hit the ball with a “butter knife.”
  • Driving Iron: The 2-iron, sometimes the 3-iron, is occasionally referred to as a “driving iron.” Because they are used off the tee for a controlled, lower trajectory shot. This term has become more common with the advent of utility or driving irons. Which are designed to offer an alternative to drivers and fairway woods for players seeking more control and less distance off the tee.

For Mid Irons

  • Mashie: A historical term, “mashie” is an old Scottish nickname that was traditionally associated with the 5-iron. In the days of hickory shafts, golf clubs were often given quaint names. And the mashie was known for its versatility on the course, suitable for a wide range of mid-distance shots.

for Short Irons

  • Mashie-Niblick: The “mashie-niblick” was a term used for the 7-iron. But it can also refer to clubs in the short iron category. This club was a bridge between the mashie (mid irons) and the niblick (wedges), offering precision and control for shorter approaches.
  • Niblick: The niblick traditionally referred to the 9-iron. Although it could also denote various high-lofted clubs, including what we now consider wedges. The term comes from an old Scottish word for a small pickaxe, a nod to the club’s ability to “pick” the ball out of difficult lies.
  • Scoring Irons: Refers to the clubs that are typically used for approach shots to the green. Where precision and control are paramount to set up a birdie opportunity or save par. These clubs usually include the mid to high irons, specifically the 7, 8, and 9 irons. And sometimes include the pitching wedge (PW).

3. Hybrids

Hybrids are a cross between woods and irons, combining the best features of both. They are often used to replace long irons, as they’re easier to hit and offer more forgiveness.

Hybrid Clubs

Typically numbered like irons (e.g., 3-hybrid, 4-hybrid), they provide the distance of a long iron with the ease of use of a wood.

Nicknames for Hybrids

  • Rescue: Perhaps the most common nickname for hybrids is “Rescue.” Originated as a brand name for a line of hybrid clubs produced by TaylorMade. However, its effectiveness in “rescuing” players from difficult lies and situations on the course led to the term being used more broadly to describe any hybrid club, regardless of the manufacturer. Hybrids are known for their ability to get the ball airborne more easily than long irons. And especially from the rough or bad lies, making them invaluable for “rescuing” a player from tricky situations.
  • Utility: This term is used interchangeably with hybrid and emphasizes the club’s versatility. Hybrids can be used in a variety of situations. Including tee shots, long approaches, and shots from the rough. Thus making them a “utility” tool in the golfer’s bag.

4. Wedges

Wedges have the highest loft of any club and are designed for short-distance shots. Usually to get the ball onto the green or out of hazards.

Pitching Wedge (PW)

Used for a variety of shots, including high shots onto the green, with a moderate distance.

Gap Wedge (GW)

Bridges the gap between the pitching wedge and sand wedge, used for specific distances.

Sand Wedge (SW)

Designed for escaping sand bunkers, with a wide sole that helps the club “bounce” through the sand.

Lob Wedge (LW)

Has the highest loft, used for short shots that need to get up quickly and land softly.

Nicknames for Wedges

  • Clubs with lofts higher than the typical lob wedge, often referred to by their loft angle. For example you would call your 60 degree wedge, “Sixty-Degree.

5. Putters

The putter is a specialized club used on the green to roll the ball into the hole. Putters come in various head shapes, including blade, mallet, and others, with the choice often based on personal preference.

Nicknames for Putter

  • Flat Stick: This is perhaps the most common nickname for a putter. Emphasizing the club’s flat face, which is distinct from the angled faces of irons and woods. The term highlights the putter’s purpose for rolling the ball along the ground with precision.
  • Money Club: Another nickname for a putter is the “money club”. Because making putts can mean the difference between winning and losing a match or tournament. Successful putts can feel like “money” in the bank in terms of scoring.
  • Wand: For those who are particularly adept or feel a special connection with their putter. Therefore called a “wand,” implying a magical quality to make balls disappear into the hole.
  • Butter Knife: While more commonly associated with the 1-iron for its thin blade. This nickname can also humorously apply to a putter when a golfer is struggling with putting. As if trying to spread butter with a tool not quite up to the task.
  • Broom: Used less frequently, this nickname can refer to putters with longer shafts (such as broomstick putters). These types of putter require a sweeping motion to putt the ball.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.