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The Wrong Fairway

Using 8 clubs this year

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I've found a few discussions online about using half sets or minimalist golf setups but I can't find anything current. I'd like to hear from anyone still going down this route. 

I always walk and carry when I play and I've always been intrigued by playing far less clubs than the 14 allowed. Now I don't hold a handicap. My scores can vary between finishing a round 4 over par on a good day and 10/12 over is the norm. I've decided for this year I will only carry 8 clubs. 4 clubs in my bag will always stay the same and they are putter, sand wedge, driver (much more accurate for me than a fairway wood and fairway wood from the deck was one of the reasons that got me started on the golf bag diet). Last club that will always stay is my Titleist 913hd 2 hybrid because quite simply I think it is one of the best clubs ever made, can't get across how much I love this club, never lets me down. The following 4 clubs will be 4,6,8 irons and PW or 5,7,9 and 50 degree gap wedge probably alternate between them every couple of weeks and see over time if the is a particular club that I miss or any clubs I don't think are worth bagging. 

Interested to hear from others on this topic. I'm someone that can suffer from paralysis from analysis so a simplified golf bag I think will allow me/ force me to just get out there and play the game I love. 

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I play a full bag, but as a kid I played all even-numbered irons (because my uncle split an old set into two to spread the wealth). Your yardage gaps are larger of course, but playing this way will teach you to "take a little off" certain shots. 

More recently, I've played a number of 3-4 clubs and a putter, and even one club, challenge rounds. It is remarkable how well you can get around the course with less than 14 clubs. You're handicapping yourself, to be sure, but if enjoyment is your primary motivation on the course... why not go lighter?

There's no need to over think it. Just take every other club (plus any you just don't want to leave behind) and see how that goes. If you play one course routinely, you may find that you need a certain distance more often, but you can always adjust.

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1 hour ago, The Wrong Fairway said:

I've found a few discussions online about using half sets or minimalist golf setups but I can't find anything current. I'd like to hear from anyone still going down this route. 

I always walk and carry when I play and I've always been intrigued by playing far less clubs than the 14 allowed. Now I don't hold a handicap. My scores can vary between finishing a round 4 over par on a good day and 10/12 over is the norm. I've decided for this year I will only carry 8 clubs. 4 clubs in my bag will always stay the same and they are putter, sand wedge, driver (much more accurate for me than a fairway wood and fairway wood from the deck was one of the reasons that got me started on the golf bag diet). Last club that will always stay is my Titleist 913hd 2 hybrid because quite simply I think it is one of the best clubs ever made, can't get across how much I love this club, never lets me down. The following 4 clubs will be 4,6,8 irons and PW or 5,7,9 and 50 degree gap wedge probably alternate between them every couple of weeks and see over time if the is a particular club that I miss or any clubs I don't think are worth bagging. 

Interested to hear from others on this topic. I'm someone that can suffer from paralysis from analysis so a simplified golf bag I think will allow me/ force me to just get out there and play the game I love. 

I do this at times in the spring and fall when the courses aren't full. It's fun to do. I usually go with driver, 3H, 6, 8, PW, 54w and putter. The 1/2 and 3/4 shots cover the gaps with the 8-54. It's fun and folks should try it. One key is picking the right combo for the par 3s on the course. If you've got long par 3s, pick the clubs for those holes for your set.

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I tend to play different courses each week. I've played them all before so I know the layouts of the courses. Think the first couple of months will be an experiment to see which combos work for me. I can have a think about the course I'm going to play and set my bag out accordingly. I know there are people out there that will think it's stupid not to have all 14 clubs but for me this has actually got me really looking forward to get out on the course again. I really like the idea of choke down, knock down, punch in golf playing. This all started with getting rid of fairway woods and playing my sand wedge as my only wedge. I then realised whilst playing in wind that the really stupid high ball flight I get was killing me so started to club up and choke down and found I'm pretty good at using 1 club for different yardages. 

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I play hickories pretty much all the time and its typical to play with less than 14 clubs. My normal set is a Brassie (2W), Cleek (4W), Jigger (4i) Mid-Mashie (5i), Mashie (7i), Mashie Niblick (9i), Niblick (SW) and Putter. Depending on the course I may also add either a Mid Iron (3i) or Spade Mashie (8i).

The loft gaps seem manageable and sure make walking and carrying my bag a lot easier. My Index (14.3) using hickory is a few shots higher than with modern clubs, but I attribute that more to the challenge of hickory shafts and pure blades as opposed to number of clubs in the bag.

 

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Playing with a smaller set makes the game more creative and more fun. My eight-club set is: Driver, 5-wood, 4h, 6i, 8i, PW, SW, putter. That seems pretty standard for a shorter set.

There was a time when manufacturers sold half sets of clubs so beginners could get into the game inexpensively: Driver, 3w, 3i, 5i, 7i, 9i, putter.

 

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36 minutes ago, The Recreational Golfer said:

Playing with a smaller set makes the game more creative and more fun. My eight-club set is: Driver, 5-wood, 4h, 6i, 8i, PW, SW, putter. That seems pretty standard for a shorter set.

There was a time when manufacturers sold half sets of clubs so beginners could get into the game inexpensively: Driver, 3w, 3i, 5i, 7i, 9i, putter.

 

Way back in the 1900s when I started playing my first set of clubs was a half set of 7 clubs. Today I still enjoy going out and playing with an older set of 7 clubs on occasion - Persimmon Driver, persimmon 5 wood, 4 iron, 6 iron, 8 iron, PW, putter. It really helps in learning how to hit 'shots', as opposed to just gripping & ripping and trying to bomb everything.

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That sounds like great fun using old hickory shafts. I'm really struggling to find any down sides to 8 clubs ( I know some will say not having a 7 iron etc but it's not that hard to choke down on a 6 iron and in my case I get a lower ball flight from it). The bag is sooooo light now it will be a breeze when I walk 18. I'm really looking forward to having to create shots and hopefully getting deadly with one wedge. I'm putting my 4 iron back in to hopefully be a bit more workable and to force me to use it ( 4 iron has been benched for a while in favour of a hybrid).

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6 hours ago, The Wrong Fairway said:

 I know there are people out there that will think it's stupid not to have all 14 clubs but for me this has actually got me really looking forward to get out on the course again. I really like the idea of choke down, knock down, punch in golf playing.  

Don't listen to those people, your thinking on this is exactly right.

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I think it's pretty helpful to have consecutive mid and short irons, but the long clubs and wedges can be minimalized.  I think I could go Driver, hybrid, 5 - PW, SW with nary a hit to my scoring.  But even fewer clubs could be a fun challenge, sure.

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9 hours ago, The Wrong Fairway said:

I've found a few discussions online about using half sets or minimalist golf setups but I can't find anything current. I'd like to hear from anyone still going down this route. 

I always walk and carry when I play and I've always been intrigued by playing far less clubs than the 14 allowed. Now I don't hold a handicap. My scores can vary between finishing a round 4 over par on a good day and 10/12 over is the norm. I've decided for this year I will only carry 8 clubs. 4 clubs in my bag will always stay the same and they are putter, sand wedge, driver (much more accurate for me than a fairway wood and fairway wood from the deck was one of the reasons that got me started on the golf bag diet). Last club that will always stay is my Titleist 913hd 2 hybrid because quite simply I think it is one of the best clubs ever made, can't get across how much I love this club, never lets me down. The following 4 clubs will be 4,6,8 irons and PW or 5,7,9 and 50 degree gap wedge probably alternate between them every couple of weeks and see over time if the is a particular club that I miss or any clubs I don't think are worth bagging. 

Interested to hear from others on this topic. I'm someone that can suffer from paralysis from analysis so a simplified golf bag I think will allow me/ force me to just get out there and play the game I love. 

2 clubs I almost never use without some manipulation of what is the right club are the 4 and 5 irons. I rarely use my 6i and possibly could push my 7i a bit. Don't use my 56 and GW all that much either. So, I think a bag of 9 clubs would be pretty easy for me to get down to. I'd have to think about the other club?

That would leave me with 60, PW, 9i, 8i, 7i, hybrid, 3W, driver and putter.

9 is pretty easy.

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Geez, I just don't understand this kind of thinking. I guess in off season, non postable, or practice rounds, fine. But come on, it reeks to me of trying to be "to cool for school". You're allowed 14. They're not THAT heavy. I think it's an easy way out, sort of an excuse for mediocrity when the season starts.... "yeah, they all beat me by 10, but everyone was asking me why I had half a tool box! I SO got noticed!!!

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I used to carry a smaller set; back when I walked more.  A couple clubs to get inside 150, a couple clubs to get home from there, and a putter.  I enjoyed doing it and it didn't effect my scores one way or the other.  One benefit, aside from the simplicity, is that it requires a bit more creativity.

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19 hours ago, GrandStranded said:

Geez, I just don't understand this kind of thinking. I guess in off season, non postable, or practice rounds, fine. But come on, it reeks to me of trying to be "to cool for school". You're allowed 14. They're not THAT heavy. I think it's an easy way out, sort of an excuse for mediocrity when the season starts.... "yeah, they all beat me by 10, but everyone was asking me why I had half a tool box! I SO got noticed!!!

I don't play in comps and 90% of the time im on the course on my own so not sure who exactly I'm trying to get noticed by. It makes the game more fun for me, I like the challenge as well. I get it it's not for you, you don't have to do it but I want to and I'm interested to hear from others that do. Funny thing is you say it's an easy way out but I'm still yet to find someone who has had there scores get worse from carrying less clubs. 

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I said it's fine in a round by yourself. If you enjoy it, more power to you. As far as not finding someone who's scores get worse using less clubs? I find that a bit of a stretch... That said, it's a game, after all. Enjoy yourself, if it makes you happy, good for you..

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I carry a full bag of 14 clubs. I have seldom used all 14 of them in one round. In fact, I think it's been years since I used all of them during the same round.

My reasoning for carrying 14 clubs? My bag has 14 slots. Another reason is what to do with those clubs I wouldn't carry.

Recently,  after carrying 4 wedges for forever, I took two out. Didn't miss them at all. However, there were always these two empty slots in my bag. I put the wedges back in. 

Nothing wrong with carrying a short set of clubs. I can see where it could make one's game easier, and easier relates to more fun. 

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Years ago, beginner sets were sold with 1w, 3w, 5,7,9,pw, and putter. Maybe a sw. Why did we move on? We wanted to get better. I understand (I think) the whole retro thing... Guys playing hickory shafts, persimmon woods, which they never hit well, and their half full bags. But in my mind there is a caricature of that person. Faded everything, from the bucket cap to the cardigan and khakis. They love to tell you about every club in their bag, which barrel they picked it out of, how little it cost, and how they would gladly replace them, if they could only find something they hit better. This won't happen, because their swing speed is under 70mph. They were all "way better ball strikers" when they were young, yet they are the only former scratch players turned 20+caps most will ever meet. They never buy balls, they "find all they'll ever need in the woods, lol, nod, wink". I could go on and on... 

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