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Playing With A Half Set


83tobeat
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When I first started playing golf when I was a kid I couldn't afford a full set so played with a half set and got my hdc down to 14 after 3 years play,when I could afford it I bought a full set but scored pretty much the same as I did with the half set.I was thinking about making the game more simple and for the last 2 months have been playing a half set and again am able to maintain the same scoring as I used to.My bag consists of Driver,4 wood,4,6,8,pw,sw putter.Ive found that with using a half set that you become more creative with your play and learn how to adapt each club to a given distance and my game seems to be actually improving,any of you guys playing a half set and seeing the benefits?

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1 hour ago, 83tobeat said:

When I first started playing golf when I was a kid I couldn't afford a full set so played with a half set and got my hdc down to 14 after 3 years play,when I could afford it I bought a full set but scored pretty much the same as I did with the half set.I was thinking about making the game more simple and for the last 2 months have been playing a half set and again am able to maintain the same scoring as I used to.My bag consists of Driver,4 wood,4,6,8,pw,sw putter.Ive found that with using a half set that you become more creative with your play and learn how to adapt each club to a given distance and my game seems to be actually improving,any of you guys playing a half set and seeing the benefits?

Not having the right club for a job or distance is hurting your game, whether you think it is or not. This is a fun thing to do, similar to taking out a set of clubs you haven't used in 15 years and playing a round with them, but it almost certainly doesn't improve the score of that round. It might help you improve the manipulation of the club, which is valuable, but your scores will be higher when you play rounds like this.

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A couple years back I started playing a lot of 9 hole practice rounds carrying only 8 clubs. I would choose a different 8 clubs each time out (well, I always carried the putter). I think it can help your game a lot. Of course if I'm playing a tournament or a match that I actually want to shoot my best score I carry all 14.  

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24 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Not having the right club for a job or distance is hurting your game, whether you think it is or not. This is a fun thing to do, similar to taking out a set of clubs you haven't used in 15 years and playing a round with them, but it almost certainly doesn't improve the score of that round. It might help you improve the manipulation of the club, which is valuable, but your scores will be higher when you play rounds like this.

Can't agree,ive always got the right club in my hand but it a case of manufacturing a shot with that club which start's to give you more feel for the game and my score's are comparative to playing with a full set,with a half set you've always got a club that will cover any needed distance you wish to manufacture,the hickory guys in days of old would carry just 5 clubs and if you check out British Open scores at the turn of the last century they are pretty impressive considering how bad the balls were!.

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I trolley a full, 14 club bag. I usually only use 1/2 or less of them during a round of golf. 

I have this opinion that a lot of amateur golfers would play just as well, if not better, using fewer clubs. Playing in 3 Club Tournaments have shown me this. 

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I can't remember the last time I had a full 14 clubs in the bag. Right now I have 12, but I could easily take a couple out and not miss them. I started playing a set of irons my uncle game me. The starter set 3,5,7,9, and 1,3,5 woods. Thus you always had to hit half and 3/4 shots when between clubs. I still do that often during a round and it is a fun thing to do when it is working for me. 

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Just now, shanksalot said:

I can't remember the last time I had a full 14 clubs in the bag. Right now I have 12, but I could easily take a couple out and not miss them. I started playing a set of irons my uncle game me. The starter set 3,5,7,9, and 1,3,5 woods. Thus you always had to hit half and 3/4 shots when between clubs. I still do that often during a round and it is a fun thing to do when it is working for me. 

I totally agree, but wouldn't it be nice to have a full, 3/4 and half shot with all of the short irons, even numbers included? I get that playing without them can generate the drive to learn the shots, but that doesn't have to be done on the course, and is even more versatile with a full bag learned on the range. Lately I have been playing 8-9 where I would normally be playing a 9-PW and just taking a bit off, enjoying the feel of a different type of shot and generally getting better control because of a slower swing speed. I believe there was a "flighting irons" topic about this very thing which was interesting.

Back on topic, besides the challenge, is there any other draw to this? Do those who do this keep and handicap and include their rounds with less clubs in that, or write it off as a practice round? If you do put it into your handicap, is that a form of sandbagging because you are purposefully are limiting your game? I think the last 2 questions are pretty important. Look forward to hearing from people that keep a HDCP and use this technique.

9 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

A couple years back I started playing a lot of 9 hole practice rounds carrying only 8 clubs. I would choose a different 8 clubs each time out (well, I always carried the putter). I think it can help your game a lot. Of course if I'm playing a tournament or a match that I actually want to shoot my best score I carry all 14.  

Did you log a score for handicap on these rounds? Did it in inflate your cap if so?

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38 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

I totally agree, but wouldn't it be nice to have a full, 3/4 and half shot with all of the short irons, even numbers included? I get that playing without them can generate the drive to learn the shots, but that doesn't have to be done on the course, and is even more versatile with a full bag learned on the range. Lately I have been playing 8-9 where I would normally be playing a 9-PW and just taking a bit off, enjoying the feel of a different type of shot and generally getting better control because of a slower swing speed. I believe there was a "flighting irons" topic about this very thing which was interesting.

Back on topic, besides the challenge, is there any other draw to this? Do those who do this keep and handicap and include their rounds with less clubs in that, or write it off as a practice round? If you do put it into your handicap, is that a form of sandbagging because you are purposefully are limiting your game? I think the last 2 questions are pretty important. Look forward to hearing from people that keep a HDCP and use this technique.

Did you log a score for handicap on these rounds? Did it in inflate your cap if so?

Ive been playing in my local monthly medals  that log handicap for these rounds with the half set and maintaining my handicap and if the last one's to go by I could see a reduction.I thought this may be easier to do this on your own course as you pretty much instictively know the distances so ive been playing on other courses and the principle is pretty much the same,its just all about working the distances and the results are the same.

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5 minutes ago, 83tobeat said:

Ive been playing in my local monthly medals  that log handicap for these rounds with the half set and maintaining my handicap and if the last one's to go by I could see a reduction.I thought this may be easier to do this on your own course as you pretty much instictively know the distances so ive been playing on other courses and the principle is pretty much the same,its just all about working the distances and the results are the same.

It is amazing that you see such good results. Maybe Tiger and Rory could benefit from this method.

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29 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

It is amazing that you see such good results. Maybe Tiger and Rory could benefit from this method.

That would come down to sponsorship and club sales 😉,be interesting to see how they play with a half set though.

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22 minutes ago, 83tobeat said:

That would come down to sponsorship and club sales 😉,be interesting to see how they play with a half set though.

The clubs and sponsors they have wouldn't dictate how they play a shot. If you saw Tiger playing a round and on 3 consecutive par fours he played a 8, 6 and 7 iron into the green, do you default to "he could have just played them all with a 7 iron and saved his caddie some weight? I would hope not.

Is your 12 hdcp with a full set, half set, or both?

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22 minutes ago, 83tobeat said:

That would come down to sponsorship and club sales 😉,be interesting to see how they play with a half set though.

At their talent level they could probably play 3 clubs and still break par.  Reminds me of a story a friend told me.  He was at some pro tournament and managed to watch them practicing at the range.  Lucky to get to talk to one of them and asked him something like what his 150 yard club was (probably a PW for him).  The pro pulled three clubs at random (something like 3, 6 and 9), dropped three balls and hit them to within a yard of each other.  Then he turns to my friend and says, I don't look at distance.  I look at the type of shot I need to hit and then pull a club accordingly 😲

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18 minutes ago, pganapathy said:

At their talent level they could probably play 3 clubs and still break par.  Reminds me of a story a friend told me.  He was at some pro tournament and managed to watch them practicing at the range.  Lucky to get to talk to one of them and asked him something like what his 150 yard club was (probably a PW for him).  The pro pulled three clubs at random (something like 3, 6 and 9), dropped three balls and hit them to within a yard of each other.  Then he turns to my friend and says, I don't look at distance.  I look at the type of shot I need to hit and then pull a club accordingly 😲

Seve was the master at this and could play a 3 iron out of a bunker 😯.

18 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

The clubs and sponsors they have wouldn't dictate how they play a shot. If you saw Tiger playing a round and on 3 consecutive par fours he played a 8, 6 and 7 iron into the green, do you default to "he could have just played them all with a 7 iron and saved his caddie some weight? I would hope not.

Is your 12 hdcp with a full set, half set, or both?

Last 2 medal rounds with the half set and still playing to 12 and improved with last round,hope to start getting my handicap down with the half set.

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19 minutes ago, 83tobeat said:

Seve was the master at this and could play a 3 iron out of a bunker 😯.

This is an exception though.  It is simply because as a kid he had a 3 iron only, and had to figure out how to play all shots with it.  I guess some of the modern pro's can do that, but very few indeed.

Reminds me of a story I read.  Seve was a young pro and was in the practice green area playing bunker shots.  Think Jack or maybe Arnie was in the same tournament and practicing.  He bet the guy that he could hit his 3 iron out of the bunker closer than the pro hitting his SW.  He happily took the bet and hit first.  A couple of feet.  Was happy with the result.  Seve proceeds to hit closer with the 3 iron.  Then asked him if he wanted to go double or quits.  I think Jack/Arnie just said hell no and paid up and never bet him on bunker shots again 😁

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7 minutes ago, pganapathy said:

This is an exception though.  It is simply because as a kid he had a 3 iron only, and had to figure out how to play all shots with it.  I guess some of the modern pro's can do that, but very few indeed.

Reminds me of a story I read.  Seve was a young pro and was in the practice green area playing bunker shots.  Think Jack or maybe Arnie was in the same tournament and practicing.  He bet the guy that he could hit his 3 iron out of the bunker closer than the pro hitting his SW.  He happily took the bet and hit first.  A couple of feet.  Was happy with the result.  Seve proceeds to hit closer with the 3 iron.  Then asked him if he wanted to go double or quits.  I think Jack/Arnie just said hell no and paid up and never bet him on bunker shots again 😁

It just goes to show that a club within reason can be adapted to manufacture any shot 👍.

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  • 4 months later...
On 10/3/2019 at 4:41 PM, 83tobeat said:

When I first started playing golf when I was a kid I couldn't afford a full set so played with a half set and got my hdc down to 14 after 3 years play,when I could afford it I bought a full set but scored pretty much the same as I did with the half set.I was thinking about making the game more simple and for the last 2 months have been playing a half set and again am able to maintain the same scoring as I used to.My bag consists of Driver,4 wood,4,6,8,pw,sw putter.Ive found that with using a half set that you become more creative with your play and learn how to adapt each club to a given distance and my game seems to be actually improving,any of you guys playing a half set and seeing the benefits?

Yes, starting like you with a mini set 3 wood 5,7,9, putter when young, btw it was quite hot to go out of a bunker with a 9 iron ...now last I went in holiday and play with only half set and play 3 over ! I’m 7, so I stay with the half set, the pros of half set is : faster decision on club selection, way cheaper to buy, lighter to carry, creative play more fun, fast game 

cons : difficult when playing  on “target golf course” when the flag is just behind a bunker in front of the green ! , Hability needed for half shots or strong shots !  not everyone can do that. Not every pro shop sale clubs by clubs ! Finally playing with half set is ok on links course or easy course not at Augusta looking course ...

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I played hickories for a number of years and generally had 9-10 clubs in my bag. Switching back to modern clubs, I found that with age and stronger lofts, it took about 6 - 8 degrees of loft change to get a 10-15 yard differential. As a result 8-9 modern clubs seems to cover my spectrum of distances without creating any big distance gap. Also makes for a lighter bag when I walk. 😀

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