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Playing Golf With Fewer Clubs?


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16 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

but think about it...a 450 yd hole is three smooth 7-iron shots for most guys.  

How many of these players can put together three consecutive 7-iron shots without something going wrong?  Most double-digit handicappers can't.  That's why when someone is 250 yards out, we suggest a 3-wood if they can keep it in play than hitting a short iron and laying up to a full swing. 

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Practice off and on with alternating what you carry this will make you proficient in using them all. Also I very learned to hit different types of shots  - half shot, 3/4, full.   Hope this

Summary: Number of clubs and mode of transportation have little effect on score for average golfer.  My golals for playing golf: to keep my bones from getting any weaker; to continue to play bogie int

I get what y'all are saying.  My point about hitting three 7-iron shots for example was to show that there are non-traditional ways of playing a hole, and that using 3 or 4 clubs will force you to thi

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I carry 3 metal woods right now. I played 9 holes earlier today, and due to wet playing conditions, probably 85-90%  of my shots to get on the green were using those three clubs. My 7W received a real work out. My irons basically took the day off.

 I used 6 different clubs today, which includes my putter. 

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2 hours ago, Shindig said:

How many of these players can put together three consecutive 7-iron shots without something going wrong?  Most double-digit handicappers can't.  That's why when someone is 250 yards out, we suggest a 3-wood if they can keep it in play than hitting a short iron and laying up to a full swing. 

 

Perhaps, but I think that's the point of these sort of rounds though - some can, some can't.  Some people just can't hit woods. 

Maybe I'm the exception rather than the rule, but I have found through experimentation that there are some holes where I'm significantly less likely to make a bad error with 3 full iron shots than 2 longer shots. That said , I'd never break down in that sort of even way - I'd generally take on a bit more from the tee, and give myself a bit less for approach (say 5/7/9) if I was going for a hole in 3. 

 

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I carry 13 in my bag but very rarely, if ever, use all of them in the same game.  Most used are my driver, 5W, 6i, 8i, PW and putter.  I almost never use my hybrids or 52* wedge and have only used my 58* wedge a handful of times to hit out of bunkers.  I usually pick the 5W over the 3W because I seem to be able to hit it better.  I could probably get by with 7 or 8 clubs, but even for a rookie it's nice to have options.

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On 7/10/2018 at 1:08 PM, Shindig said:

How many of these players can put together three consecutive 7-iron shots without something going wrong?  Most double-digit handicappers can't.  That's why when someone is 250 yards out, we suggest a 3-wood if they can keep it in play than hitting a short iron and laying up to a full swing. 

A mid to high handicapper has a better chance of hitting three decent 7-iron shots than ripping a 250 yd 3-wood to the green.  And if something does go wrong with one of the 7-iron shots, chances are they won't be in as much trouble as they would if the 3-wood goes bad.

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11 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

A mid to high handicapper has a better chance of hitting three decent 7-iron shots than ripping a 250 yd 3-wood to the green.  And if something does go wrong with one of the 7-iron shots, chances are they won't be in as much trouble as they would if the 3-wood goes bad.

I didn't say they should hit a 250 yard 3-wood into the green.  I said they should hit the 3-wood if they can keep it in play.  And I'll add this to clarify:  even if they don't hit their 3-wood 250 yards.  Even if they hit their 3-wood 180 yards.  Even if it's likely to end up in the rough.  In other words, if they can hit the 3-wood in such a way that it won't be in a hazard or lost, they'll likely do better with 3-wood + next shot than with two 7-iron shots, in terms of where they'd end up hitting that follow-up from.  

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@Shindig and @1badbadger, interesting discussion. I think the thing to remember is that neither way is a sure thing when you're a poorer player. 

As one, I try to choose driver, 5w over driver, long iron, wedge when it makes sense. At the same time, there are greens and even a couple layups I simply won't go after with anything longer than a mid iron. On par 4's, the distance or position of my drive often determines whether I'm playing the hole as a 4 or 5. On quite a few of the par 4's of the short course I play, it only makes sense to use an iron off the tee because either the length of the dog leg or the distance at which the fairway narrows dictates that to be the right club.

Choosing the right club(s) depends on the hole layout as well as the player. Not all high cappers have the same strengths and weaknesses.

My point is, even high cappers should use some level of decision mapping to pick the right club or strategy. It shouldn't always be the longer club, nor should it always be the safer option.

Sorry... that was long-winded and off-topic.

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6 hours ago, Shindig said:

I didn't say they should hit a 250 yard 3-wood into the green.  I said they should hit the 3-wood if they can keep it in play.  And I'll add this to clarify:  even if they don't hit their 3-wood 250 yards.  Even if they hit their 3-wood 180 yards.  Even if it's likely to end up in the rough.  In other words, if they can hit the 3-wood in such a way that it won't be in a hazard or lost, they'll likely do better with 3-wood + next shot than with two 7-iron shots, in terms of where they'd end up hitting that follow-up from.  

 

5 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

@Shindig and @1badbadger, interesting discussion. I think the thing to remember is that neither way is a sure thing when you're a poorer player. 

As one, I try to choose driver, 5w over driver, long iron, wedge when it makes sense. At the same time, there are greens and even a couple layups I simply won't go after with anything longer than a mid iron. On par 4's, the distance or position of my drive often determines whether I'm playing the hole as a 4 or 5. On quite a few of the par 4's of the short course I play, it only makes sense to use an iron off the tee because either the length of the dog leg or the distance at which the fairway narrows dictates that to be the right club.

Choosing the right club(s) depends on the hole layout as well as the player. Not all high cappers have the same strengths and weaknesses.

My point is, even high cappers should use some level of decision mapping to pick the right club or strategy. It shouldn't always be the longer club, nor should it always be the safer option.

Sorry... that was long-winded and off-topic.

I get what y'all are saying.  My point about hitting three 7-iron shots for example was to show that there are non-traditional ways of playing a hole, and that using 3 or 4 clubs will force you to think "outside of the box".  It's not normal to tee off on a long par 4 with a 7-iron, but there are some players who are more comfortable hitting a 7-iron than a driver, but it probably never occurred to them to try. That's where playing with only a handful of clubs can help your creativity.  It was just one example. 

 

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7 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

I get what y'all are saying.  My point about hitting three 7-iron shots for example was to show that there are non-traditional ways of playing a hole, and that using 3 or 4 clubs will force you to think "outside of the box".  It's not normal to tee off on a long par 4 with a 7-iron, but there are some players who are more comfortable hitting a 7-iron than a driver, but it probably never occurred to them to try. That's where playing with only a handful of clubs can help your creativity.  It was just one example. 

One needs to assess the risk of hitting the 3W 250 yards over the risk of two potentially non ideal 7 iron shots. If your shot zone is 50 yards wide with a 3W and your 7i is 20 yards wide on a 40 yard wide fairway, the 7i shots make more sense, but if you are on a 60 yard wide fairway the 3W makes more sense.

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7 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

My point about hitting three 7-iron shots for example was to show that there are non-traditional ways of playing a hole, and that using 3 or 4 clubs will force you to think "outside of the box".

I agree with this. There is a creative side to this game which can make it a bit more interesting, and probably help towards overall improvement.

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8 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

I get what y'all are saying.  My point about hitting three 7-iron shots for example was to show that there are non-traditional ways of playing a hole, and that using 3 or 4 clubs will force you to think "outside of the box".  It's not normal to tee off on a long par 4 with a 7-iron, but there are some players who are more comfortable hitting a 7-iron than a driver, but it probably never occurred to them to try. That's where playing with only a handful of clubs can help your creativity.  It was just one example. 

Good point, and trying something different isn't a terrible thing.  I always avoided hitting an iron off the tee on any hole when I was learning because I was such a short hitter, even my misses didn't get me in big trouble.  And now, in tomorrow's (14-club) tournament, I'll be hitting an iron (not a 7-iron) off the tee on one of the par-4s, now that I've looked at shot zones, trouble, and scoring tendencies there. 

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On 09. julij 2018 at 8:20 PM, Shindig said:

I'd understand teeing off with a 3-wood if we were playing in a 5-club competition, but you (and anyone else) who leaves the driver in the bag for just about every hole is needlessly costing themselves shots.  I don't mean "if you play tomorrow, use driver."  I mean that unless your course is super narrow or has Oakmont-level rough or Pine Valley bunkers everywhere, you should learn to hit driver as a priority.

Have you looked at this thread? 

 

 

 

I'm not the shortest hitter out there. A 3 wood will get me somewhere between 200-220 yards of carry. A driver about 240-260. My "safe" club off the tee is a 5 iron. The thing is that I know that not using the driver efficiently is not helping my scoring, but currently I can't hit the driver on the local driving range and I just can't practice it enough. Most 250 yard shots that travel off line on the courses I play will get you in severe trouble. Lost balls, OB etc. If you are lucky, you're only in a water hazard...Anything wide open I'm smacking a driver. But on my favorite course that's 1 hole...

 

But every now and again I play a 6600 yard course. And I'd really need a great driver for that one. It sucks when you hit 2 "perfect" 3 woods on a par 4 and still end up short of the green. 

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I've organized several 4-club tournaments. Scoring was Modified Stableford, plus a few non-USGA approved rules.  I recall one tournament where I was 1 over par on the first 3 par-5's, and my longest club was a 4-hybrid.  I've had a number of players come up to me saying their scores weren't that much different from what they'd usually shoot. 

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My club has an event every year where we play with 7 clubs, and at the first tee your opponent can strike 1 club from your bag.  The scores aren't really much different than if we carried full bags.

Last year they added a twist where you can only use 3 clubs on any given hole.  The main thing that happened there, is that if you got in trouble on a hole you probably wouldn't have a putter available.  So you had to putt with a hybrid or wedge or something.

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  • 1 month later...

There’s a whole #minimalistgolfmovement going on at the moment, and it’s not just say a 3 club fun knock - some serious questions about 14 clubs, some great discussions about shot shaping. Retro attitude not for everyone, but original guys had a spoon, a niblick and a mashie niblick and that was it. Pros and equipment these days making courses shorter, Ian Woosnam recently suggested digging up a few courses at St Andrews and making one super long course that held The Open every year. That would be a shame, spectacular, but a shame. I think for the sake of the game we need to invoke fewer clubs, maybe even regulations on lofts, let’s see pros skill, no matter how cool it is to see Rory blast 400 yards.

I carry 7 clubs in a pencil bag, my body is grateful. But it makes me think and navigate around the course, where I hit it is way more important than scoring, Geoff Cunningham of The Golfers Journal “I cant remember when I last kept a scorecard” I’m afraid that’s an ethos I share. 

Original question by HJJ003 - pick 7 clubs thoughtfully, what you hit where on the Colorado course, get a Ping Moonlite bag and when you play them, just think whether or not that setup would be good on your home course.

Ditch the weight, ditch the cart and enjoy.

 Just my thoughts, appreciate the other side of the coin too. Golfs hard enough right?

 

Love all round

Drakey

 

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On 7/8/2018 at 11:28 PM, MarvChamp said:

A friend plays driver, 5 wood, 4 hybrid, 5, 7 & 9 irons, SW and putter. He says he can be more proficient with fewer clubs than he can with the full bag. Has anyone else tried this? What was your experience? Thanks, -Marv

I have Marv, it’s liberating!

I have Driver, 3/4 hybrid, 6, 8, 48, 60 and putter - 7 sticks. 

Makes you think hard about every shot, get to where you want to be.

Love it, try it.

Cheers 

Drakey

 

On 7/9/2018 at 3:27 PM, RWC said:

I tend to play with 7-9 clubs depending on the course (typically based on par 3 lengths). Makes it easier to carry and walk - important at my age. Also with a fairly slow swing speed (75-80 mph) 3-4 deg gaps don't really translate into big difference in distance. 

A lot of us out there epitomised in this post, spot on. Love the setup too. Happy days RWC 👍🏌️

Drakey 

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