This section of the 2nd Swing Fitting blog defines and explains each of the golf club components found in the standard golf club.
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.
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.
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 great example of a vibration-dampening insert. Sometimes irons are hollowed out as well.
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.
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.
Golf Club Components: Clubhead Sole
The area at the bottom of the clubhead that interacts with the turf.
Golf Club Components: Clubhead Heel
The heel is the area of the face nearest to the shaft and hosel of the clubhead.
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.
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.