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.

Tapered Shaft Tip

Golf Club Specs: Tapered Shaft Tip

Golf Club Specs: Tapered Shaft Tip

This is a configuration where the outside diameter of a shaft through the insertion area decreases. Unfortunately, tapered shafts cannot be shortened as easily as parallel shafts since they and require adjustable attachments to connect shaft, hosel and clubhead after a cut. Otherwise, the resulting bottom outside diameter would not fit all the way down into the hosel.

A graphic artist’s rendering of a tapered shaft end.

A graphic artist’s rendering of a tapered shaft end.

Parallel Shaft Tip

Golf Club Specs: Parallel Shaft Tip

Golf Club Specs: Parallel Shaft Tip

The configuration of the bottom-end of a shaft is where the outside diameter does not change throughout the insertion area. A benefit of parallel tip shafts in irons is that manufacturing can use blanks to both tip and butt cut to achieve the desired length and flex for each club in a set (This does not produce a set of constant weight shafts.).

Here's a clear-cut diagram example of a taper versus parallel golf club shaft tip.

Here’s a clear-cut diagram example of a taper versus parallel golf club shaft tip.

Shaft Tipping

Golf Club Specs: Shaft Tipping

Golf Club Specs: Shaft Tipping

This is the removal of any particular length from the tip-end of a shaft. Tipping has the effect of making the shaft play stiffer — generally a third to a half flex for every 1/2 inch removed. Tipping can only be accomplished with parallel or unitized or tapered shafts.

These are the shaft tips, near the hosel -- where the ferrule and shaft connect -- and clubhead, where sections of shafts are removed or greater stiffness.

These are the shaft tips, near the hosel — where the ferrule and shaft connect — and clubhead, where sections of shafts are removed or greater stiffness.