For those new to golf, it can seem ridiculous to need 14 different clubs just to smack a ball enough times to get it to the end of the course. However, as you play the game more and more you will begin to see that all of the different types of golf clubs will almost certainly come in handy quite often. Here I will outline some of the most important key things that you need to understand about golf clubs. After you understand these, you can start to perfect you own ability to choose the best club to use at any point in the game. This, along with a powerful and accurate swing, is how you can begin to win more and more games.
The first type of golf club is a wood. To the contrary of what the name suggests, the heads are not made out of wood. Usually woods are made out of hollow metal, usually steel or titanium. They are designed to allow for the greatest distance with each stroke. Out of the 14 clubs in a standard set, the woods make up less than half. They are usually used on the long and straight portions of the golf course, since they allow for the greatest distance with semi-decent accuracy. The accuracy is certainly not the strong point of the woods, and usually it takes plenty of practice to be able to keep the ball on a straight course. Woods are also the longest clubs in the set.
Irons come next, and they are used most frequently throughout the game. They are very versatile compared to the other two types of clubs, and therefore make up a larger amount of the clubs in your bag. They can still achieve fairly large distances, though not quite as far as the woods can. Depending on which particular iron you use, you can have a much higher level of accuracy and get the ball a lot closer to where you want it to be. There are many different kinds of irons that have very specific uses, such as those that are meant to get you out of the sand traps or pop the ball up over an obstacle.
The final type of golf club is the putter, and a standard golf bag usually only contains one of these. These are used on the putting green at the end of the course, or in other parts of the course that require delicate accuracy. They are meant to be the clubs with the shortest distance and the highest accuracy, usually only going a few yards to the target. Balls hit with putters are not meant to fly up in the air. Rather, they are just pushed lightly along the ground where they will roll gently to the target. Putting is arguably the most important part of the game, so it is a good idea to get a nice putter and practice a bunch with it.
These 3 types of clubs are the basis for the game of golf. When you begin to start recognizing when you should use a wood or an iron, that is when you are beginning to get a hang for the game. Until then, you will just have to practice all you can with the golf clubs that you have.