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MarvChamp

Playing Golf With Fewer Clubs?

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 I carry a full set when I play, but honestly, only use 6 or 7 of them in any given round.  I play in a group every Tuesday; the last Tuesday of the month is "fun Tuesday" and we play some "silly" games.  One is a "putter plus three other clubs" game played from forward tees (about a 20-25 yard difference from the regular tees on par 4/5's, same on par 3's/short par 4's on our course).   I carry driver, 6 hybrid, 8 irion, gap wedge and I normally end up scorimg very close to what I normally shoot (high 70s/low 80s).   Left with distances where I don't have the club I'd normally play, I have to choke up on some clubs sometimes, or maybe be a little more agressive on the swings. Playing this game has made me a better, more creative golfer as you must make adjustments throughout the round.    For example, there's a long par three, with an elevated green on our course.  Always been a tough hole;  One "fun" Tuesday, I pulled out my driver (the hole being too long for the 6 hybrid), chocked up and sort of "punched" it.  Boom....on the green, 12 feet from the hole.  I kept practicing this shot from the regular tees when I played and it kept working pretty well.  I now do this routinely and what often used to be a bogey has become a par more often than not.  Probably never would have tried it if I'd been using a full set.

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When I am playing at my home course I could probably lose my 4 or 5 iron, maybe even my 6 iron if we were playing the middle tees. The rest of my clubs I will most likely hit at some point.

I could pull out every other club and try to manufacture shots, which I have done in the past because it is great practice, but I wouldn't want to do it in a money game. I see no need to play with fewer clubs, seems counter productive to me. 

On a similiar note, we used to play a game years back where after the drive you could tell your opponent one club for each shot they could not use. Obviously, you had to know your friends distances fairly well so you could take away the club they wanted to use.

Edited by NM Golf

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I often dont play with a driver on one of my local course's but generally i only have 12 clubs in the bag as it is so i suppose you could say i already do play with fewr clubs.

I can probably drop the 60* wedge, 5 iron along with the driver and have the same fun (plus a lighter bag).

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I have done this on occasion. A few years ago, I made up a junkyard bag and walked almost exclusively. It is a fun way to play. These days though I go the full bag route. If I walked, I would use fewer clubs.

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I carry 14 clubs and, playing from my usual tees, normally use most if not all of them. I will tinker with the setup a bit if the course is wetter or dryer than usual. Often I enjoy walking 9 in the evening.  I will carry a Sunday bag with 5 clubs - 3w, 6i, 8i, PW, P.  Doesn’t seem to make much difference in my score, but there is more thinking involved. 🤔 

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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 into my old age; to enjoy the best life long sport. This year I decided to play from tees appropriate to my driver distance and to experiment with walking and carrying a short set of clubs, so I could avoid hurting my back moving the push cart in and out of the car.  Set consisted of driver (vrarious clubs 9.5* G20 to 16* Mini) , putter and 4hyb,6i,8i, pw,sw. With this setup I walked 9,18 or 27 holes on varrous courses around Ottawa Ontario. I scored about same  walking with short set  as with riding with a full set. About me: 80 years old, golfed off and on for 65 years, never better than 10 handicap: never had a fitting as I am constantly working on developing a better swing;  I consider myself an bogie golfer as I play about that level with 14 or 7 clubs, walking or riding on 9 or 18 hole courses. 

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Like many golfers I have a bag of 14. When I play a normal round of 18 all of them come with me. I will say that I'm constantly tweaking the line up of clubs. I actually have 18 clubs from which to select said 14. Sometimes a 3 wood, sometimes a mini-driver, sometimes this driver, sometimes that one, sometimes the 4-iron, sometimes the driving iron, sometimes the hybrid, sometimes one of 2 different gap wedges. PW through 9 are always the same, and have been for 10 years. My sand wedge and LW are always the same and so is my putter. 

Having said all of that. I like getting out for a quick 9 after work and in doing so I'll carry 7-8 clubs. I take the evens one day the odds the next. Plus sometimes the LW sometimes the SW sometimes no driver, sometimes no 3 wood. What ever. I helps my brain think it's way around the golf course. It also builds my confidence in clubs that perhaps I wouldn't use all the time. I learn to hit different shots. Lastly it's just plain lighter to carry. 

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Fewer clubs make the game more fun because you have to be creative with the ones you have.  Sometimes I'll play with 14, and other times just driver, 4h, 7i, SW, and putter.

Remember that when Francis Ouimet won the U.S. Open in 1913, he had about seven clubs in his bag. 

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On 8/22/2018 at 8:13 PM, easyjay39402 said:

Often I enjoy walking 9 in the evening.  I will carry a Sunday bag with 5 clubs - 3w, 6i, 8i, PW, P.

This is something I am getting ready to do, now that stronger after year-long physical problems. Best, -Marv

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I played in Colorado in September and used a cheap set my in laws bought me. I actually like the set a lot, but it only has 9 clubs. Driver, 3 Wood, Hybrid (which I assume is about a 4H), and then 6-PW and Putter. It was fun having to make club selections that I normally wouldn't make or create short game shots that I normally wouldn't try but was forced to. 

For example: I had a few instances where I had I needed to hit my 5 Iron distance into a green. Some of those times it made sense to grab the hybrid, and other times it was in my best interest to pick a spot short of the green that was safe and hit a six iron. Also, with only using a PW I had to hit a lot more short game shots that ran more than they flew. Really honed in the Bump and Run game while I was there. It was fun trying to figure out how t pitch a PW from s short sided lie in the rough and still give myself a reasonable chance at par. 

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The season is coming to an end so I'm thinking of playing this weekend using 3 clubs - especially if my partner bails again. I'm curious how much worse my score would be.

Maybe we should do an online challenge. Not sure if playing with fewer clubs is an advantage or disadvantage for higher cappers vs better players relative to their index. I'd assume better players would stay much closer.

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14 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

The season is coming to an end so I'm thinking of playing this weekend using 3 clubs - especially if my partner bails again. I'm curious how much worse my score would be.

Maybe we should do an online challenge. Not sure if playing with fewer clubs is an advantage or disadvantage for higher cappers vs better players relative to their index. I'd assume better players would stay much closer.

It is fun to do this late in the season. I usually go with 4; Driver, 4 iron or hybrid, 7 iron and 54 wedge. I can putt with my irons or wedge.

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8 hours ago, boogielicious said:

It is fun to do this late in the season. I usually go with 4; Driver, 4 iron or hybrid, 7 iron and 54 wedge. I can putt with my irons or wedge.

Sounds like it would be interesting. I'm thinking 4h, 9i, the putter (because I don't think I'd putt well with the hybrid), and one of my wedges. I'm most confident with my gap wedge, but I think the sand wedge would be more versatile. I need to learn to use that club for chips and pitches anyway to better control roll on the green.

I feel pretty good about getting partial distances with the both the 9i and 4h. If I play from 5100 yards, the hybrid will allow me to reach everything in regulation. (The skill needed on the other hand.... not so much.) 

I have no idea how this will go, but I'm challenging myself to keep the score within 5 strokes of my average.

If I end up doing this on Sunday, I'll record the round with GameGolf and post it - even if it's slightly ugly. If the round turns out to be really ugly, it never happened :whistle:

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21 minutes ago, JonMA1 said:

Sounds like it would be interesting. I'm thinking 4h, 9i, the putter (because I don't think I'd putt well with the hybrid), and one of my wedges. I'm most confident with my gap wedge, but I think the sand wedge would be more versatile. I need to learn to use that club for chips and pitches anyway to better control roll on the green.

I feel pretty good about getting partial distances with the both the 9i and 4h. If I play from 5100 yards, the hybrid will allow me to reach everything in regulation. (The skill needed on the other hand.... not so much.) 

I have no idea how this will go, but I'm challenging myself to keep the score within 5 strokes of my average.

If I end up doing this on Sunday, I'll record the round with GameGolf and post it - even if it's slightly ugly. If the round turns out to be really ugly, it never happened :whistle:

Next time you are on the practice green, putt with your sand wedge. Just blade the ball at its equator. It’s easier than you think. 

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Haven't done it in a while, but last time I played 3-club.....3 iron, 7, and 52.....I shot 84, which is actually a pretty good round for me regardless....putted with the 3 iron.....it was fun......in a typical round with a full bag of 14, usually have 2 or 3 that are spotless/unused at the end of the round.  

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I play with ten clubs and shoot in the mid to high 70's. 3 wood or 5 wood off of the tee. 5 wood to the green on long par fours or as a second shot on a par five to get me to my wedges. My irons are only the Calloway Rogue X irons which I only need a 6, 7,8,9, PW and AW. Then my Cleveland RTX 56 degree wedge and Cleveland Collection Series putter takes me home. I must emphasize. Drivers compared to a good 3 wood technology are a useless club. The 3 and 5 wood guarantees that I am in the fairways every time. No penalty shots off of the tee, ever. The 15 to 20 yard difference in length is picked up on my second shot. I can hit my 5 wood as far as a 4 or 5 iron, so those are not needed and I hit my 5 wood straighter than a longer iron.  Trust me. This system works and works well. You ought to try it.

 

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I’ve gone minimalistic...

I’m working on 3 different distances with each club... 

Driver, 3i,5i,7i,9i,gapwedge,putter

7 clubs

Just like putting I can get the right distance by using more or less energy...

”Oh what a relief it is”!

...

 

 

 

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