Both forged and cast clubs are most often made of quality stainless steel. It is straightforward to manufacture and offers durability and playability. They range from reasonable quality to some of the best in production, and will always be rewarding to play with when you find the set to suit you. Clubs are often finished with chrome plating to increase consistency and make them look more attractive.
At the cheaper end of the market are the alloys. These materials are often of poorer quality and lack the durability of the steel heads, often marking and chipping easily.
You often see ‘complete sets’ of clubs on sale, including the irons, woods, bag, putter and trolley; check whether they are alloy. Often these prove more expensive in the longer run.
Beryllium, Copper & Nickel
These are used to give an even softer ‘feel’ to the club, increasing the feedback to the player. Clubs using these materials are usually of a high quality and therefore expensive. Follow the guidelines for forged clubs. Generally, they will not benefit the higher handicap player in the least.
Titanium is the new space age material that is sought by many golfers today. It is sixty per cent lighter than steel and forty per cent harder. These qualities made it very attractive to the club manufacturers. Titanium is used for both irons and woods although it is particularly beneficial to the latter.
In IRONS, titanium, owing to its light weight, allows the manufacturer to increase the size of the club head and therefore the sweetspot, making them more forgiving. Because the metal is so light it has to be offset with heavier weights. Usually these will be either tungsten or brass. These weights can be strategically positioned in the heel and especially in the toe to reduce twist and deflection. They will also be positioned to lower the centre of gravity allowing easier hitting, and sometimes placed in the form of a muscle-back to enhance the power and flight of shots.
In WOODS titanium has not only made possible the large clubhead sizes on the market today but also enabled players to hit the ball further. Titanium is so strong that manufacturers can thin the club-face wall to the extent where the so-called trampoline effect becomes possible. This is a sprung effect that increases significantly the speed the ball leaves the club-face.. This accounts for these increases in driving distances. Weight placements are used as in the irons.