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Tailgater

I Removed All My Even-Numbered Golf Clubs

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I read an article several months ago geared towards golfers that are trying to break 100. Unfortunately, I was and still am in that demographic. The article advised that I should remove all of my even-numbered clubs*. The reasoning was that a beginning golfer would have better success hitting fewer clubs, in terms of ball striking, swing plane, decision making, and confidence. So, I followed suit and removed my 4, 6, and 8 irons from my bag. While my scores have improved only slightly, my ball striking and confidence have improved significantly. My questions: (1) has anyone heard of or tried this theory?; (2) am I doing myself a disservice or making my game worse in the long run?; and (3) what are your general thoughts on this philosophy? Thanks and I will hang up and listen. * The article might have said you could remove even or odd. I chose even because I hit my 7 iron the best.
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By the same reasoning, why not just play with your 7-iron? The lofts and slight variation in shaft length from club to club allow you to use the same swing to vary the distance the ball travels. That results in more consistency, not less. Trying to manufacture a shot that's "between clubs" is a challenge for experienced, skilled players. Intentionally increasing the gaps between your clubs so that you have more of those shots is NOT something that I'd recommend. I would recommend spending a LOT of your practice time around the green though.....and while I'm at it, put a chipper in the bag and learn to hit a deadly little chip and run. You'll take strokes off your game faster than just about anything else you can do in the short term. :-)
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I would recommend spending a LOT of your practice time around the green though.....and while I'm at it, put a chipper in the bag and learn to hit a deadly little chip and run. You'll take strokes off your game faster than just about anything

I would continue to improve on your ball striking. While short game is a nice thing to have, it doesn't improve the game as much as hitting greens. Your more likely to two putt a green than you are to get up and down, and the odds that you always have a simple chip and run isn't that much, you'll have lob shots, bunkers, pitch, punches, ect.. So lets say you even two putt only 80% of the time, and you get up and down at pro average 60% of the time, your still gaining 20% better scoring from hitting the green.

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I would continue to improve on your ball striking. While short game is a nice thing to have, it doesn't improve the game as much as hitting greens. Your more likely to two putt a green than you are to get up and down, and the odds that you always have a simple chip and run isn't that much, you'll have lob shots, bunkers, pitch, punches, ect.. So lets say you even two putt only 80% of the time, and you get up and down at pro average 60% of the time, your still gaining 20% better scoring from hitting the green.

Short term.... A 30 handicap is not going to begin hitting many greens in the near term no matter HOW hard he "works" on ball striking. Regardless though....back on topic. Keep all those irons in the bag and your game will be better for it. Near term and long term.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

I would continue to improve on your ball striking. While short game is a nice thing to have, it doesn't improve the game as much as hitting greens. Your more likely to two putt a green than you are to get up and down, and the odds that you always have a simple chip and run isn't that much, you'll have lob shots, bunkers, pitch, punches, ect.. So lets say you even two putt only 80% of the time, and you get up and down at pro average 60% of the time, your still gaining 20% better scoring from hitting the green.

I agree with this. Short game doesn't mean much if you're duffing the ball to the hole 40 yards at a time.

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I agree with this. Short game doesn't mean much if you're duffing the ball to the hole 40 yards at a time.

And you think that removing the even irons in your bag will help and working on his short game won't help? Ok......:-\

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No the idea is that it means your going to have to learn to control your shots. If your inbetween clubs, club up and swing slower, or hit different types of shots. Seve could hit a sand shot with a 3 iron, would he ever do that, no, but trust trying it teaches you to be innovative and develop feel for working the clubface.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

No the idea is that it means your going to have to learn to control your shots. If your inbetween clubs, club up and swing slower, or hit different types of shots. Seve could hit a sand shot with a 3 iron, would he ever do that, no, but trust trying it teaches you to be innovative and develop feel for working the clubface.

That is a great idea and I do recommend it, but you need to learn how to swing the club first before you can do that.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

By the same reasoning, why not just play with your 7-iron?

The lofts and slight variation in shaft length from club to club allow you to use the same swing to vary the distance the ball travels. That results in more consistency, not less. Trying to manufacture a shot that's "between clubs" is a challenge for experienced, skilled players. Intentionally increasing the gaps between your clubs so that you have more of those shots is NOT something that I'd recommend.

I would recommend spending a LOT of your practice time around the green though.....and while I'm at it, put a chipper in the bag and learn to hit a deadly little chip and run. You'll take strokes off your game faster than just about anything else you can do in the short term.

Well the second best score I ever shoot was with only my 7 iron and putter

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Originally Posted by David in FL

Short term....

A 30 handicap is not going to begin hitting many greens in the near term no matter HOW hard he "works" on ball striking.

Regardless though....back on topic. Keep all those irons in the bag and your game will be better for it. Near term and long term.

I agree that a tour pro or top amateur can justify carrying a bagful of irons but to attempt to convince Tailgater, a self confessed 100+ player, that he should attempt to play the same game as the more accomplished player is just plain ludicrous. I would advise all players who shoot 80+ to consider what the OP suggests.

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Originally Posted by ShortOffTheTee

I agree that a tour pro or top amateur can justify carrying a bagful of irons but to attempt to convince Tailgater, a self confessed 100+ player, that he should attempt to play the same game as the more accomplished player is just plain ludicrous. I would advise all players who shoot 80+ to consider what the OP suggests.

I assume then, that as a 12 hcp who likely struggles to break 85 consistently, that you don't carry a full bag?

Interesting.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

I assume then, that as a 12 hcp who likely struggles to break 85 consistently, that you don't carry a full bag?

Interesting.

Hi Dave,

there's a big difference between a 30 and 12 handicapper but FYI, I have mostly carried no more than 9 clubs in all, 5 irons, 3 woods and a putter. I used  to play off 2, so I am familiar with sub 80 rounds, but the years have caught up on me and as my name suggests I don't get the ball out there as far as I did in the past

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Originally Posted by David in FL

By the same reasoning, why not just play with your 7-iron?

The lofts and slight variation in shaft length from club to club allow you to use the same swing to vary the distance the ball travels. That results in more consistency, not less. Trying to manufacture a shot that's "between clubs" is a challenge for experienced, skilled players. Intentionally increasing the gaps between your clubs so that you have more of those shots is NOT something that I'd recommend.

I would recommend spending a LOT of your practice time around the green though.....and while I'm at it, put a chipper in the bag and learn to hit a deadly little chip and run. You'll take strokes off your game faster than just about anything else you can do in the short term.

While I don't disagree with you here David (except the part about the chipper ) I think that in the case of a beginner, the idea has merit.  I play with a couple guys who rarely break 100 who have been playing forever, and in their cases, having too many clubs is not whats hurting them.

But for beginners, the amount of clubs in a bag can be overwhelming.  And at that level they don't have a very repeatable swing, and thus don't really have any distance gaps that they are aware of yet.  When I go out with my wife, she asks me on every single shot "What should I use here?"  At this point in her game it's basically driver off the tee, then 6 hybrid or 7 iron until she gets close to the green and then pitching wedge after that.  That's pretty much it.  Sometimes the 3 wood too.  But the 5 wood, 4 hybrid, 5 hybrid, and 8 and 9 irons never get used.  If she carried only those 4 or 5 clubs and a putter, her game would not suffer.  (And as a bonus, the bag would be lighter)

So to the OP, I would say go for it.  As you play, and you start realizing that this club will go too far and that one won't go far enough for a particular shot, then it's probably time to start re-introducing those clubs into your bag.

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Taking clubs out of my bag makes me sad. I still miss my lob wedge eventhough that rotten B__ch hates my guts.

But lately on the course I've taken what I think is 1 club too much and I've had more success hitting greens that way. Sometimes I should've taken two depending on the lie. But whatever works for us high handicappers.

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IMO the only club in the bag that that most of us tend to use correctly is the putter. Using something that is referred to as touch, we adjust the swing length to the corresponding length of putt. I think golfers should apply 'touch' to every club in the bag and for most players that would probably mean carrying less clubs.

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What about keeping just the prime numbered clubs??

My wife beginner set from Adams had every other club similar to what the OP is suggesting.  It worked for a while for her.  But once she began getting consistent distance, she did better with the other clubs added.

Consistent distance is the key for me.  I like to use the same swing for my iron shots and use my club's loft to get the distance.  I do use knock down shots on windy days.  But for me it is more of a 3/4 swing with a lower lofted club and it is a little less predictable.

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Originally Posted by VegasRenegade

Well the second best score I ever shoot was with only my 7 iron and putter

My regular playing partner and I have, a couple of times, played a "Tin Cup" match (7 iron, no putter) at our local 9 hole course.  I do surpisingly well with just a 7 iron . .very similar to the scores I shoot with a full bag.

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Originally Posted by ShortOffTheTee

IMO the only club in the bag that that most of us tend to use correctly is the putter. Using something that is referred to as touch, we adjust the swing length to the corresponding length of putt. I think golfers should apply 'touch' to every club in the bag and for most players that would probably mean carrying less clubs.

Gotta disagree with that sweeping generalisation. What do you mean by 'use correctly' Patrick?

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