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Should Rule 4.4 (Maximum of 14 clubs) be altered?  

post #1 of 146
Thread Starter 

Before I begin, I have written this article as a conversation piece and if someday they do change this rule, I am not looking for any remuneration. Its definitely not Spam.

 

This new rule from the manufacturer's perspective.

Lets double how many clubs we may carry. We could stick 3 drivers in the bag; one with extra draw; another with more loft and another just for show. We could have 3 fairway woods, 3 hybrids and a driving iron. Add to this all the irons from 1 thru to 9 and then 5 wedges - 48°, 52°, 56°, 60° & 64°. That leaves enough room for a couple of chipping irons and three putters. Callaway, TaylorMade et al would be licking their chops and I bet plenty of golfers would go for it.

Would golfers play better with double the choice?   Noooo!    I find that the opposite is closer to the truth.

 

For the good of the game.

Lets leave the present rule alone for the pros. They have put in the hours and can float a 9 iron consistently to 140 and an 8 to 150 and so on. I know very few normal golfers who do this with any consistency.

I personally play with 7 clubs in my bag and I can shoot around par with them. When i go out with 14 clubs I normally play worse because I often choose the wrong club. I have a driver for my tee shots; 5 wood for 170 plus tee shots and longer fairway shots; 5 hybrid 26° for all shots 150-170; 7 iron for 130-150; 9 iron for all shots from off the green to 130; 56° wedge for sand and when I have to go high and finally my putter. With this selection I rarely choose the wrong club.

I would change the rule for amateurs. I am not a lover of the handicap system but I know its there and its probably there to stay. It does however make this new rule easier to apply. It goes like this...

Class (1)  Handicap 4.4 or lower may use up to 9 clubs.

Class (2)  Handicap 4.5 to 11.4 may use up to 8 clubs.

Class (3)  Handicap 11.5 to 18.4 may use up to 7 clubs.

Class (4)  Handicap 18.5 to 25.4 may use up to 6 clubs.

Class (5)  Handicap 25.5 or higher may use up to 5 clubs.

I do this with many of my students and they get to class 1, 2 and 3 very quickly. When I play with class 4 and 5, I restrict myself to one club, my 9 iron and usually play bogey golf with it (and yes I do putt out with it). It lets them see just how easy bogey golf is. I can guide most of my students to bogey golf with 5 clubs but when they go out with more it all goes sideways.

I tell them that we don't have a putter for 10 ft and another for 20ft, we use a thing called touch. I chip anything from 5 to 40 yds with my 9 iron using the same skill, and can use this skill to vary the distance with any of my 7 clubs.

Want to get down to a lower handicap, then get to know 5 clubs inside out before you pop another one in the bag. 

P.S. I love playing with only my 9 iron and it gives me plenty of challenge to play bogey golf. It also improves my creative skills which add a new dimension to my game.

post #2 of 146

In a word, no. I think 14 is fine.

 

Most golfers don't have established handicaps and don't play by the strict rules anyway. And it ignores the reality that golf clubs are sold as a set - people aren't going to buy three irons because they can only use five clubs "legally" and then when they get better buy another iron. And then another. And then another. :P

 

I think if you do this as training, that's one thing (and I'll often play rounds with three or five clubs only, for the fun of it and because it's good practice), but changing the Rules of Golf to mandate this is silly.

post #3 of 146

It wasn't quite as strict for me but the way I started was:

 

- Bought a putter and a set of irons.

- Used the PW, 8i, 6i, 4i for a while.

- Added the other irons into the mix.

- Got to a point where I kept needing a gap wedge and could never get enough height on my wedge shots. Bought wedges.

- Got to a point where I wanted more distance off the tee than my 3i and got a 4h (didn't realise at the time they'd be reasonably similar)

- Got to a point where I wanted more distance off the tee. Got a 3W.

- Realised I had a large gap between 4H and 3W so swapped out 4H for a 3H.

- Got to a point where I wanted more distance off the tee. Got a Driver.

 

Not saying it's the right or wrong way to do it but it's the way I went and I seem to be doing quite well for 2.5 years playing golf.

post #4 of 146

That is insane.  I think you may be right for the long clubs, but learning from the go to hit short game shots with "up to" 5 clubs?  You'll learn all sorts of bad habits, like helping the ball in the air with your hands because you simply don't have enough loft.

 

 

 

Quote:
I restrict myself to one club, my 9 iron and usually play bogey golf with it (and yes I do putt out with it). 

 

I don't believe you.  This would be impossible at my course, with two 200 yard forced carries over water off the tee, but even assuming you could do it, i think the *best* you could hope for would be bogey golf.  Do the math - it just doesn't make sense unless you are playing 4,900 yard courses OR putting like a PGA pro (with your 9 iron).  Unless you are about to tell us you hit your 9 iron 200 yards dead straight I don't think you play bogey golf with just a 9 iron on a regulation course.

post #5 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnclayton1982 

 

 

I don't believe you.  This would be impossible at my course, with two 200 yard forced carries over water off the tee, but even assuming you could do it, i think the *best* you could hope for would be bogey golf.  Do the math - it just doesn't make sense unless you are playing 4,900 yard courses OR putting like a PGA pro (with your 9 iron).  Unless you are about to tell us you hit your 9 iron 200 yards dead straight I don't think you play bogey golf with just a 9 iron on a regulation course.

 

He/she/it may be confusing yards with meters, or a regulation course with an executive one. Maybe he should just use his putter for the full round and play double bogey golf.
 

 

post #6 of 146
Thread Starter 

Hi johnclayton,

 

Too many people on the happy pills on this forum. This is my last post.

 

 

Quote:
You said
 
I don't believe you.

 

I hit my 9 iron on average 110-130 metres, if you bothered to read my post, you would have seen that. My course is 9 hole, 3300 yds and the water hazards are mainly lateral with the longest frontal carry being 125 from the tee. I teach beginners and find little need to carry a bag of clubs onto the course with them. My nine iron does a good job. BTW putting with a nine iron helps iron out all flaws for a solid pedulum stroke.

 

Come out to Austria, you give me 8 shots for 18 holes with your full set and I'll whip your ass with my 9#.

 

Sincerely yours

 

Patrick

 

P.S. I don't lie, people just fill in the gaps.

 

Hey I just noticed this:

Quote:
He/she/it may be confusing yards with meters, or a regulation course with an executive one. Maybe he should just use his putter for the full round and play double bogey golf.

I rest my happy pills case!

post #7 of 146

I completely disagree. For beginners, distance control is very hard to develop on full shots and it's one of the last aspects of the game for someone to perfect. Having the distance control is hard to learn, and having fewer clubs only places a greater demand for a skill most amateurs just don't have. How often is the 20 handicapper pin high, even with a full set? And you want to force them to change their swing, which they barely have the hang of as it is, to add or subtract about 20 yards of distance per club? 

 

Simplifying the game is a worthy goal, but course management should be learned quickly and having close to a full set of clubs is necessary for scoring well. Teaching someone really advanced shotmaking and creativity is nice too, but they'd better have a pretty good game already. Being able to score bogeys with a 9 iron takes consistency, a decent short game, and the ability to blade it to putt. Hitting fairways with a driver is a bigger challenge, and more beneficial to anyone's game, than hitting a 9 iron off the tee. You don't get any work on your trouble play, you completely miss the point of the course architecture, and it's not a lot of fun for most people.

post #8 of 146
Thread Starter 

Hi LuciusWooding,

 

the main reason, not only high handicappers but, amateur golfers in general are rarely pin high, is two reasons...

 

1) they rarely use the right club

 

2) and when they do they rarely hit it properly

 

I have been playing low 70's golf for many years and I only carry 7 clubs (the nine iron thing is only with beginners). When I have 14 clubs in my bag, I do play worse because I make bad club selections. With my 7 club set, I almost never make bad club selections. My students understand this logic because I advise them to try it and they do, very successfully.

 

Sincerely yours

 

Patrick

 

P.S.

 

Quote:
You said,
 
having fewer clubs only places a greater demand for a skill most amateurs just don't have

 

 That skill is called touch and we are all born with it. Golfers with 14 clubs don't get the chance to use it.

post #9 of 146

a 142yd/130 meter shot wouldn't even reach the fairway on 9/14 holes at my home course.  From that far back you'd be hitting a lot of blind shots, severely uphill shots, sidehill shots, and anything else you wouldn't want a beginner to be learning.  All in all on a championship sized course, a 9 iron wouldn't get you close to bogey golf unless you were perfect. 

 

 

Anyway, your whole line of thinking is just ridiculous sounding, to me.  Because a golfer has 14 clubs, he or she doesn't use touch?  If you're struggling with wrong club choices then that isn't a problem of having too many clubs, its a problem of not knowing your game.  Part of the game is knowing which club to use..simplifying it doesn't make you better, it means you need more practice.

 

post #10 of 146

OP brings up good points, I don't understand why everyone is jumping down your throat. Playing with less clubs forces you to get creative, and create shots. Not just make the same full swing every time you stand over the ball. That's not to say one doesn't use touch when the play with 14 clubs, but be honest with yourself, how often have you tried to chase a 5 iron from 140 rather than have a full swing with your 8 iron? How many clubs do junior beginner sets come with, 6 clubs, 8? I started the game only playing with 6 clubs for 6 months, and I didn't have a complete set until a year later.

 

Now I don't play often with less than 14, but when I have it's an enjoyable experience and good practice.

 

In short, I agree with the fact that many people, especially beginners, would benefit from playing with less clubs. However changing the rules of golf is unnecessary.

 

On a related but slightly tangental note, this guy makes a good case for using less clubs:

 

 

Skip to 2:20 if you want to hear him talk about playing with less clubs.

post #11 of 146

NO!

post #12 of 146

The reason I don't buy the 9 iron / bogey golf thing is because you will face shots you simply cannot hit reliably.  If you end up in a greenside bunker within 20 feet, its a double.  If you have a putt over 30 feet, its a three-putt for sure (and maybe worse), unless you are taking divots in the putting green.  The most you could, by your own admission, hit in two shots is 284 yards, which means you are trying to get up and down on almost every par 4 and most par 5s.  With a 3300 yard course by your own admission, that averages 366 yards per hole.  Lag putting will be ridiculously hard (I've tried it before).  I saw a scratch shoot 88 using a 3 hybrid and a pitching wedge once, which is much easier (the 3 hybrid is actually a decent putter and tee club).  However without gimmie putts it is really, really hard (most of his shots were putts.  Making it from 5 feet without a putter is very difficult).

 

3300 yard course, 142 yard 9 iron, putting with it too? I just don't buy it.  I could buy a 9 iron and a putter, maybe, but blading the putts?  No way.

 

 

 

Quote:
Come out to Austria, you give me 8 shots for 18 holes with your full set and I'll whip your ass with my 9#.

 

That seems harsh for an internet discussion forum.  Why did you list your handicap as a 12?  Where did you get 8 shots from?  I said I didn't believe you could play bogey golf on a 3300 yard course with nothing but a 9 iron, not any comparison of my game to yours.

post #13 of 146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick57 View Post

Hi LuciusWooding,

 

the main reason, not only high handicappers but, amateur golfers in general are rarely pin high, is two reasons...

 

1) they rarely use the right club

 

2) and when they do they rarely hit it properly

 

I have been playing low 70's golf for many years and I only carry 7 clubs (the nine iron thing is only with beginners). When I have 14 clubs in my bag, I do play worse because I make bad club selections. With my 7 club set, I almost never make bad club selections. My students understand this logic because I advise them to try it and they do, very successfully.

 

 

 That skill is called touch and we are all born with it. Golfers with 14 clubs don't get the chance to use it.

 

Ask someone to hit the 7 iron to the back of the green, the center, and the front from the same position and they probably won't be able to unless they're uncommonly good, even if you let them start from an ideal yardage. For many players, hitting the green all 3 times would be acceptable. 

 

I've been playing golf for about a year now, and I still rarely make poor club selections. Course management is the first thing I learned, the easiest to teach, and is critical to scoring well. Having fewer clubs doesn't make your choices bad or good, it just gives you fewer choices. The reason I'm not that good is inconsistency, poor ballstriking, and very poor putting, which I've all been working on over the winter. It's not because I choose an 8 iron instead of a 7 and land in a bunker on every hole. To say I "rarely" use the proper club, or to say it about most amateurs, is easy to claim after they hit a bad shot. No one chooses a club that they don't visualize a good shot with, except if they feel they have no alternative. They might not hit it properly, but that's where the instructors should be focusing, on the full swing. 

 

I can't see how having 14 clubs ruins your touch. By that logic, we'd all be better motorists by using a unicycle. If a club doesn't help you, by all means replace it or leave it home. But for most golfers, there's a use for every club in the bag, and many have a lot of uses. You can make an argument that 2 or 3 wedges are enough, but as the clubs get longer distance control is harder and more clubs are needed unless you like sand shots and 30 foot putts.

 

Also, explain to me how a golfer with a 12.2 index shoots in the low 70s? Is it a par 60 course? That's not far off from bogey golf as it is, just saying.

post #14 of 146

Vanpooten,

 

Why would you hit your 5 iron from 140 if your 8 iron is your 140yd club?  Whats the point in hitting a shot "just to hit it"?  Thats like saying..well I know I can hit this chip shot with my 60 and be just fine but heck..why don't I use my 3 wood and see how that works?   If only I made "the same full swing" every time I hit a shot....wouldn't golf be such a simple game.

 

I might hit one 8 iron full, I might choke down a little on the next one, I might take a shorter backswing on the next one.  A little later I might open the face a little or hit a really hard draw/hook with it.  No two shots are the same and I'd like to meet the golfer who just uses the same full swing every time he hits the ball.

post #15 of 146
Thread Starter 

I didn't realise that all the golfers on this forum were such brilliant golfers. They play the hardest golf courses in the world and never make bad club selection decisions. I play scratch golf with my bag of 7 clubs and I play worse with 14 clubs because I seem to choose the wrong club when I have more clubs in my bag.

 

I have been playing for over 40 years and laugh my head off when I see a 20 handicapper with 4 wedges in his bag. Does he select teh correct wedge for the correct shot - very rarely.

 

Can I repeat, the nine iron game is only when I play with beginners. I two putt most greens, I reach every par 3 easily with two shots, par 4's with three and par 5's with 4. I rarely hit a bad nine iron. What's the big deal?

 

If my course had 200 yd frontal water hazards, I would have to carry two clubs with the beginners. Calm down everyone.

 

Sincerely yours

 

Patrick

post #16 of 146

Sure, I wish they'd let us carry 16 & I'd add a couple specialty clubs - I'd love a high angle lob wedge and would like to carry a low lofted iron to get out from under trees optimally.     14 makes you compromise, which is a good thing (I guess) ...

post #17 of 146

I like 14 clubs, i think its works well...

post #18 of 146
Thread Starter 

Hi inthehole,

 

In my opinion you are compromising your playing ability. With my 40 years of experience, I learned to compromise correctly. I am surprised that there not at least half of the posters agreeing with my idea.

 

Sincerely yours

 

Patrick 

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