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dave s

Played an interesting format last night ... ONE CLUB only. What a hoot!

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My match was 2nd to finish at our league course last night.  After we finished our 9-hole match it was early and we decided to play a few 'extra holes.'  The game offered up by one guy in our 4-some was to play a single-club, low stakes game.

You can choose ONE club from tee to hole out.  Next hole you can choose another.  We played 3 holes and boy it was exciting, challenging and at times, fall on the ground funny!

The guy who chose the game is a 2.8 hdcp and obviously played this format a bunch of times before and probably for big money.  Small stakes here.  Here's what we did:

Hole 10 - 340 straight away with a bunker guarded green.  I chose a 7-iron.  Hit two good 7-irons, chipped on and 2-putted (with the 7-iron) for bogey.  Tied the 2.8 guy gave us each a stroke per hole.  The two other guys 3-putted from close-range and lost out.  If you haven't tried putting with a 6- or 7-iron you haven't played golf!  A couple 20 footers came up 15 feet short!  Lucky I was last to putt on the first hole and went to school on the other guys' misfortune.

Next hole was a short par 5 due to the blue tees being moved up about 60 yards from our usual spot.  2.8 guy chooses a 4-iron.  He hits 4-iron, 4-iron to about 20 feet and has an eagle putt.  He gave us TWO strokes on this hole.  My league partner chooses a #3 hybrid.  Eventually he ends up in a green side bunker.  Hole over after he 3-whacked getting out of said bunker with a hybrid.  I chose a 6-iron and had a 100 yard pitch with the 6 onto the green and a birdie putt.  2.8 guy makes birdie, I THREE PUTT from 25 feet to tie again.  4th guy in the group just couldn't get the concept.  He was at least +3 on both holes.

Next hole was a par 3 and a no-brainer:  Hit the club that gets you to the green.  Hole plays 170 to pin over a ravine.  Of course, 2.8 guy hits green but has a 50' putt.  The rest of us didn't hit the green and had long irons or hybrid (me) from the junk.

We quickly conceded, squared up with 2.8 guy and laughed our way back to the clubhouse to meet up with the rest of the guys.

If you haven't tried this single club per hole format, give it a try some time.  It was a lot of fun, requires some strategy and thinking ahead not to mention being schooled putting with an iron or hybrid!

My takeaway was choose a club you know you can hit solid, a predictable distance, straight AND one you can chip with as well.  Worked out ok for me as I only lost one hole to Mr. 2.8.  The other 2 guys lost all 3!

dave

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Always fun, and a great way to learn to play a variety of shots. Most often we'll play either 2 or 3 club. Pick any 2 or 3 clubs and use only those 2 or 3 for the entire 9 or 18 holes. Makes for a fun emergency 9. Decent players will tend to score within a couple of strokes of their norm more often than not with 3 clubs.

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Never a one club match, but we have played a 2 club game once in awhile. I would usually grab a 2 or 3 iron and 9 iron for those.

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I coached high school junior varsity golf for 12 years. I was always looking for different ways for the guys to challenge themselves, so every year I would have a one club tournament, where the players would choose one club and then play 9 holes. (Full disclosure: I also made them use a putter only when on the green. I didn't want the club members where we played see the guys putting with an iron on the greens, just in case they might take a divot. :-)

The most interesting part of this event is that one or two of the guys would shoot 41 or 42 using one club and the putter, then the next day in a match, they would shoot 45 or 46 with all 14 clubs. Frustrating.

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Me and my buddies play this all the time. After we play for real we play hole 1 & 2 again this way. I think this is when we really get serious.  We all grab a club and play. We have done it where you can't switch club even if its a par 3 (it gets tricky). I think its funny because I can par or bogey 1 & 2 most of the time doing this but when I play for real I some time struggle just to make bogey. We call it the Estaban Challenge. We have been trying to come up with t-shirt or a trophy idea for it so we can start a tournament between the guys that play.

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To me, it's surprisingly easy to putt with iron.  For that reason alone, I would not have picked an hybrid for any holes.  I will probably go with 5i and pray that I don't put my ball into green side bunker.

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Yea I usually play with a 5i. I putt the ball like Happy Gilmore. I got pretty good at the bump and run with the 5i away from the green.

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I have played an entire 9 holes with a 7-iron. Tried to copy Tin Cup. Actually did better with just a 7-iron, then I did with my other clubs. Goes to show you, this game is about consistency, and shot placement, not necessarily distance.

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Haven't tried it yet, but one of the local clubs does a "5-iron only" tournament every year and I'm playing in it next month with a couple friends.  I'm looking forward to the challenge, but am going to do my best to avoid bunkers because I imagine greenside bunker shots with a 5-iron could be....interesting.

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