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Curious what others do when they are between clubs as I know that there are several methods to do this.  I know that most of time you are better off just taking a club and accepting being short or long versus the hole, but there are times when I want to try to be more exact and I don't think I do this as well as I should.  Two examples from yesterday's round.

  1. Pin is a 9i distance but just beyond a hazard.  So I want to hit 8i but being 10 yards long leaves a treacherous 30 foot downhill putt.  Would love to take 5 yards off the 8i.
  2. Pin is on back of a green that has a severe drop from the top shelf to the bottom shelf.  In this case an 8i wasn't going to make it to the top shelf and would end up 30-45 down a steep slope from the hole for a difficult two putt.  But I was concerned that there wasn't enough room for a 7i beyond the flag to stay on the green.

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1.  You're a 7-handicap.  Do you know how to take 5 yards off the 8i?  I don't.  I already don't hit full 8-iron shots anyway.  But I'd rather be on the green with the 30-footer coming down the hill than in that hazard.  After all, two shots later, I know I'm more likely to be close to the cup (or even in) if I land on the green, even with a 30-footer down hill coming up, than I will if I find the hazard.

Also, my distances aren't consistent enough -- I'll still aim the 8i to hit the green, knowing full well that a thin shot can happen and I end up closer to the pin than intended.  

2.  Same case.  I'm far more likely to get down in 2 from the green than from off.  You could also grip down on your 7-iron (if you don't already do it) I suppose.  Do you flight your short irons?

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In between clubs the best choice is Uber.

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+/- 5 or 10 yards is certainly a normal variance for any of my clubs. If I am worried about being long then I choke up about 1/2 to 1 inch and then try and put a normal swing. Key is to swing normal and not decelerate as means of hitting shorter. Never have been able to "stand on" the shorter iron to get more distance - almost always get the pull shot or fat shot. 

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11 hours ago, gbogey said:
  1. Pin is a 9i distance but just beyond a hazard.  So I want to hit 8i but being 10 yards long leaves a treacherous 30 foot downhill putt.  Would love to take 5 yards off the 8i.
  2. Pin is on back of a green that has a severe drop from the top shelf to the bottom shelf.  In this case an 8i wasn't going to make it to the top shelf and would end up 30-45 down a steep slope from the hole for a difficult two putt.  But I was concerned that there wasn't enough room for a 7i beyond the flag to stay on the green.

1 - What is the hazard? If it's a sand trap and If the pin is 9 iron distance (let's assume there's no wind.) then I hit 9 iron. I have a ton of confidence in my greenside bunker game.

          If the hazard is H20, (again, assuming no wind) then it would depend. How am I hitting irons that day? Is it early or late in the round? Do I really need a birdie? I've been spending time working on flighting my scoring clubs, so there's an option to flight the 8 iron. Having said that, the pin IS 9 iron distance so it's not really "between clubs". So, most likely hit the 9 iron. Stick it close. Tap it in. 

         PW, 9 iron and 8 iron are called scoring clubs for a reason. 

2 - If the 8 iron is going to leave you 10-15 yards short, hit 7 iron. No brainer. 

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11 hours ago, Shindig said:

1.  You're a 7-handicap.  Do you know how to take 5 yards off the 8i?  I don't.  I already don't hit full 8-iron shots anyway.  But I'd rather be on the green with the 30-footer coming down the hill than in that hazard.  After all, two shots later, I know I'm more likely to be close to the cup (or even in) if I land on the green, even with a 30-footer down hill coming up, than I will if I find the hazard.

Yes I am and yes I know several methods to take off 5 yards, I don't just think I do it well and would like to get better at it (or maybe its above my skill level). My preferred method right now to cut down on distance is to club up, say take an 8i when between an 9i and 8i, and hit sort of a 3/4 punch shot.  It will almost always go further at least a 9i distance and usually a little further.  Problem is it sometimes is less carry and more roll, which doesn't work in some situations.

11 hours ago, Shindig said:

Also, my distances aren't consistent enough -- I'll still aim the 8i to hit the green, knowing full well that a thin shot can happen and I end up closer to the pin than intended.  

I have enough confidences in my distances that in some situations, where it is safe, I would like to dial back better.

11 hours ago, Shindig said:

2.  Same case.  I'm far more likely to get down in 2 from the green than from off.  You could also grip down on your 7-iron (if you don't already do it) I suppose.  Do you flight your short irons?

Don't disagree, but I'm always looking for ways to make pars more routine and maybe have better birdie looks.

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17 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

          If the hazard is H20, (again, assuming no wind) then it would depend. How am I hitting irons that day?

H20 - distance was near top of 9i distance, so that wasn't the safe play.  Better dry with a long putt than wet.

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The easiest way to take distance off a club is to grip a little further down the shaft.  I find that is the easiest thing for me to do.

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13 hours ago, gbogey said:

Curious what others do when they are between clubs as I know that there are several methods to do this.  I know that most of time you are better off just taking a club and accepting being short or long versus the hole, but there are times when I want to try to be more exact and I don't think I do this as well as I should.  Two examples from yesterday's round.

  1. Pin is a 9i distance but just beyond a hazard.  So I want to hit 8i but being 10 yards long leaves a treacherous 30 foot downhill putt.  Would love to take 5 yards off the 8i.
  2. Pin is on back of a green that has a severe drop from the top shelf to the bottom shelf.  In this case an 8i wasn't going to make it to the top shelf and would end up 30-45 down a steep slope from the hole for a difficult two putt.  But I was concerned that there wasn't enough room for a 7i beyond the flag to stay on the green.

have you seen the second mickelson episode on feherty? he goes into a lot of detail about what things influence his distances/shot selection, including how every inch he grips down or each degree he opens up the face will take three yards off of his "reference" shot.

specifically, if he wants to hit his 145y 9-iron 142y, he can grip down on the club an inch, it will come in a little bit lower/flatter and release. or he can open it up a degree and hit a bit of a cut that flies 142y but will back up a bit. and if he wants to take six yards off he could just grip down two inches or open up the face two degrees.

for your scenarios -- without knowing more about the layout of the green or wind, etc. -- it appears hitting a little cut could be a safe play to take off five yards.

2 hours ago, RWC said:

Never have been able to "stand on" the shorter iron to get more distance - almost always get the pull shot or fat shot. 

standing on a wedge is a good way to spin the ball right off of the green anyway 😉

Edited by hoselpalooza
a word

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Okay so I had this same question last week as I struggle with it as well. One thing I have found to immensely help me is to think of your swing as a clock, where your hands are pointing in the backswing should reflect where they finish. So a 50% swing would be 9 to 3. then you have 10 to 2 and 11 to 1. Find your distances for each club at each of these intervals. I believe rick sheils has a few videos on it as well. 

I also struggle with acceleration during partial swings, not trusting the myself and just unleashing it, causing bad misses as well. If you struggle with this I would look into tempo drills, which I am still trying to work on. But hopefully the clock analogy helps you as it did me.

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Don´t complicate things guys... a tour player with a wedge in his hands miss short or long by 7..8 yards (thats a gap of 15 yards). More with longer clubs, imagine how much bigger are our short and long misses.  

In case 1, don´t bother about the pin. Just pick the club that in 90% of the times you will carry the water. In this case it seeams it´s your 8 iron. If you hit it poorly it will land close to the ping. If you hit it ok it will land in the back of the green. If you flushed it will fly over the green. All of that outcomes are better than hitting it into the drink.

In case 2, you don´t whant to be long so.. hit the club that even with flushing it you are not going over the green. In this case your 8 iron. If you hit it poorly you will be in the front of the green, if you hit it ok it will be in the middle of the green, and if you flush it it will be close to the ping. All of that shots are better than being long of the green. 

Moreover, it´s not only about the distance, you have to sum up weather, wind, slope, altitud, lie, etc. 

What i do is this.. I calculate all of the factors and end up with a desired number i want to carry the ball. Let say 171, i leave the wind for last. 
I hit my 6 Iron 175 and my 5 iron 182. Let´s say i´m against the wind. I think to myself, this wind it´s hard enough to take 11 yards out of my shot or just 4? If i think 11 fit better then i hit a 5 iron, if 4 is a better fit then I hit a 6 Iron. No room for "In between clubs". There´s no way you can predict exactly that this shot is going to take 7 yards out of your shot.  

Wind can change after you pick the club and nobody can predict exactly how much it going to affect the ball, so for me taking 2..3.. 5 yards off a club is unnecesary and put in play hitting the ball without our stock shot. 

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1 hour ago, hoselpalooza said:

have you seen the second mickelson episode on feherty? he goes into a lot of detail about what things influence his distances/shot selection, including how every inch he grips down or each degree he opens up the face will take three yards off of his "reference" shot.

Way too complicated for my tastes, although I have occasionally tried to hit a fade to take some distance off and that's what I did on situation #2, but it was also partly to avoid trees on the right and get closer to a right side pin.

1 hour ago, Skruske said:

Okay so I had this same question last week as I struggle with it as well. One thing I have found to immensely help me is to think of your swing as a clock, where your hands are pointing in the backswing should reflect where they finish. So a 50% swing would be 9 to 3. then you have 10 to 2 and 11 to 1. Find your distances for each club at each of these intervals. I believe rick sheils has a few videos on it as well. 

I don't know about others but I find the clock method better for wedges than for irons.

27 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

Don´t complicate things guys... a tour player with a wedge in his hands miss short or long by 7..8 yards (thats a gap of 15 yards). More with longer clubs, imagine how much bigger are our short and long misses.  In case 1, don´t bother about the pin. Just pick the club that in 90% of the times you will carry the water. In this case it seeams it´s your 8 iron. If you hit it poorly it will land close to the ping. If you hit it ok it will land in the back of the green. If you flushed it will fly over the green. All of that outcomes are better than hitting it into the drink.

I don't disagree with your statement, but in this case I was so confident that an 8i would go well beyond safety I wanted to try something less.

3 hours ago, gbogey said:

My preferred method right now to cut down on distance is to club up, say take an 8i when between an 9i and 8i, and hit sort of a 3/4 punch shot.  It will almost always go further at least a 9i distance and usually a little further.  Problem is it sometimes is less carry and more roll, which doesn't work in some situations.

I read through the thread on "how to flight your wedges and short irons." I think my problem is that sometimes when I do this I flight the ball and sometimes I knock it down and I should probably spend some range time working between the two.

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1 hour ago, p1n9183 said:

In case 2, you don´t whant to be long so.. hit the club that even with flushing it you are not going over the green. In this case your 8 iron. If you hit it poorly you will be in the front of the green, if you hit it ok it will be in the middle of the green, and if you flush it it will be close to the ping. All of that shots are better than being long of the green. 

I disagree here. 

The OP says his 8-iron is 15 yards too short. The OP also says the pin is AT 7-iron distance. Hit the 7iron. Worst case it's a bit short as well. Still not likely to be as short as a club which is already 15 yards short. Best case its all over the flag. Unless you have a "flyer" lie, you aren't likely to be long. 

Worst case 7-iron = Short sided, near the flag.                                                            Best case 7-iron = tap in birdie or maybe (granted not likely) eagle.

Worst case 8-iron = Long ass chip shot, possibly even a short pitch shot.                  Best case 9-iron = 30-45 foot uphill putt. 

I don't even think this one is debatable. Unless long is literally out of bounds, take enough club to get to the hole. Most misses are short, not long. 

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16 hours ago, gbogey said:

But I was concerned that there wasn't enough room for a 7i beyond the flag to stay on the green.

 

4 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I disagree here. 

He clearly said that a normal 7 Iron could be long of the green, that´s the reason he wants to hit it 5 yards shorter. A good shot or flyer will be long, you avoid both scenarios with and 8 Iron. And with a flyer or good shot with the 8 Iron your ball will land close to the ping.

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1 hour ago, gbogey said:

I have occasionally tried to hit a fade to take some distance off and that's what I did on situation #2, but it was also partly to avoid trees on the right and get closer to a right side pin.

and what was the result?

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2 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

 

He clearly said that a normal 7 Iron could be long of the green, that´s the reason he wants to hit it 5 yards shorter. A good shot or flyer will be long, you avoid both scenarios with and 8 Iron. And with a flyer or good shot with the 8 Iron your ball will land close to the ping.

You are right, he did say that. My bad.

I'd still hit 7 iron. (Unless I think I have a flyer lie.) If I look at my Arcoss stats with my 7 iron I am only long with the 7-iron 8.5% of the time. I'm short 17.4% of the time. Short is twice as common of a miss for me. 

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1 hour ago, gbogey said:

I don't know about others but I find the clock method better for wedges than for irons.

How about flighting?  I [re-]learned this recently and have had some success with it.

 

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11 minutes ago, Shindig said:

How about flighting?  I [re-]learned this recently and have had some success with it.

 

Way to go Shindig! 

This is IMO one of the most helpful threads on this entire forum. I got a lot out of it anyway.

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