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What Is Offset on a Golf Club?

By Steve Silverman

An offset golf club is one of the best clubs a high-handicap or inexperienced golfer can use to learn the game. An offset club is one where the hitting surface is set back about an inch or an inch and a half from the shaft. The offset nature of the club emphasizes the fundamentals of the swing and ensures that a golfer gets his body into the ball and swings smoothly and slowly.


Most golfers start off by getting a few pointers from a more experienced player if they don't take a formal lesson. One of the key pointers that is emphasized to the new golfers is not to rush the swing; it's more than just your arms and how to get your body into the swing. Most golfers who are serious about learning the game take this advice to heart and try to swing smoothly rather than overpower the ball. However, when facing a moment where they need a big drive or a long fairway shot to the green, they invariably turn up the pressure and try to swing harder in order to get more distance. An offset club prevents a golfer from doing that. Swinging an offset club hard will almost certainly result in a mis-hit, and golfers tend to slow down their swing with this club.


The offset club is very similar to a standard club, but there is one signficant difference. The shaft of the offset club is approximately 41 to 42 inches, the same as a standard club. However, instead of connecting the head directly to the shaft, the head is set back an inch or more as the shaft is turned back. This cause the head of the golf club to reach the ball a split second after the shaft has passed through the hitting zone.


The offset clubs helps the golfer learn how to hit the ball with consistency. The golfer realizes that trying to hit the ball harder and swinging faster will throw his swing out of alignment. He learns that it is all about turning your hips and hitting the ball with the proper timing. This is a lesson that will help the golfer throughout his career.


Golfers who use offset clubs will notice that they are able to get the ball higher in the air than they can with standard clubs and that the ball reaches maximum height quickly. This is because the hitting surface is slightly behind the shaft, and by the time the club head reaches the ball, it is hitting it squarely and just beginning its upswing. This is a factor that makes the game much more enjoyable for inexperienced players.


While the offset club is great for beginners or high-handicap players, there will come a point for most golfers when they want to "graduate" and hit the ball with a standard shaft. Those shafts will allow the golfer to get more distance and hit the ball with more power from time to time. There is nothing wrong with sticking with the offset shaft, but a standard shaft gives a golfer a chance for even greater development.

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