This section of the 2nd Swing Fitting blog defines and explains each of the golf club components found in the standard golf club.

The topline is at the top of this TaylorMade SpeedBlade Iron. It stares back up at you on all irons and wedges at address.

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Topline

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Topline

The topline is the area on irons just above the face. It’s most pronounced at address. The thickness of the topline is widely considered a good indication of whether the club is designed for forgiveness or for workability, the latter of which is more popular with low-handicap players. The thickness is way for golf club engineers to place additional weight around the clubface perimeter, supposedly creating greater moment of inertia (MOI) or less twisting at impact with the ball for more centered shots.

The topline on TaylorMade's SpeedBlade Irons is one of the most pronounced in golf since it's about half the size of the sole on the bottom side.

The topline on TaylorMade’s Muscleback SpeedBlade Irons is one of the most pronounced in golf since it’s about half the size of the sole on the bottom side.

Clubhead Muscleback

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Muscleback

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Muscleback

An iron with the full back of the clubhead in place, unlike a cavity back. These are preferred by low-handicap players with the skill for more precision shots and better feel for the ball. Musclebacks are not known for being as forgiving, obviously, at least for the most part.

Clearly, Mizuno is not holding back on the iron it puts into its "dual" muscleback irons.

Clearly, Mizuno is not holding back on the iron it puts into its “dual” muscleback irons.

 

Miura cavity back hand-forged irons. Nice.

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Cavity Back/Pad/Insert

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Cavity Back/Pad/Insert

Depending on whether the iron is designed as a blade or a cavity back, the portion of the clubhead directly behind the face will contain a hollowed out area — possibly filled in with a cavity badge or vibration-dampening polymer — or solid metal, often referred to as an insert today. That’s the pad essentially. The hollowed out area is a cavity back, which are known for being much more forgiving, and low-handicap players say less precise, than a blade or muscleback iron clubhead. Inserts and cavity backs are supposed to be especially helpful in lessening the damage done by a miss-hit. 

Here's a clear difference between a blade and a hollowed out cavity back iron.

Here’s a clear difference between a blade and a hollowed out cavity back iron.

Here’s a great example of a vibration-dampening insert. Sometimes irons are hollowed out as well. 

This insert made of a polymer of some kind is meant to reduce vibration and make strikes more forgiving, particularly miss-hits.

This insert made of a polymer of some kind is meant to reduce vibration and make strikes more forgiving, particularly miss-hits.

Clubhead Ferrule

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Ferrule

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Ferrule

The ferrule is an optional piece of the clubhead that covers the connection between hosel and shaft. The hosel is tapered to blend the shaft and hosel into a more seamless look at address. They are often glued together and then the ferrule encircles that connection. It’s usually made of black plastic or hard rubber. 

Even golf club ferrules can come in customized colors today. (As an aside, ferrules are used in many industries, such as plumbing and electrical, to cover, protect and hold together joined piping.)

Even golf club ferrules can come in customized colors today. (As an aside, ferrules are used in many industries, such as plumbing and electrical, to cover, protect and hold together joined piping.)

 

Clubhead Hosel

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Hosel

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Hosel

The club’s hosel is the cylindrical portion that connects the rest of the clubhead with the shaft. The hosel is typically hollow, allowing the tip section of the shaft to fit inside. The hosel can be thought of as the socket that the shaft tip goes into and where the two of the three main golf club sections, the clubhead and shaft, are glued together.

This gauge actually measures the length from the sole (bottom) to the hosel.

This gauge actually measures the length from the sole (bottom) to the hosel (where the clubhead ends in hollow steel).

 

Clubhead Sole

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Sole

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Sole

The area at the bottom of the clubhead that interacts with the turf.

The sole of golf (clubs).

The sole of golf (clubs).

Clubhead Heel

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Heel

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Heel

The heel is the area of the face nearest to the shaft and hosel of the clubhead.

An excellent dead-on look at the heel of a driver.

An excellent dead-on look at the heel of a driver.

Clubhead Toe

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Toe

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Toe

A golf club’s toe is the area of the face farthest from the shaft and hosel of the clubhead. Or the toe is simply the front end of a clubhead. 

Follow the arrow to the clubhead toe. Right on the end.

Follow the arrow to the clubhead toe. Right on the end.

clubhead face

Golf Club Components: Clubhead Face

Golf Club Components: Face

The face, or clubface, is the area of the clubhead that is intended to strike the ball. For irons, the face includes grooves, or small channels within the face that impart spin on the ball. For irons, the face includes grooves, or small channels within the face that impart spin on the ball.

 

Any typical driver or other metalwood face (fairway woods, hybrids) appears like this Adams Speedline Driver.

Any typical driver or other metalwood face (fairway woods, hybrids) appears like this Adams Speedline Driver.