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MyWay

Playing with Irons Only

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On ‎11‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 9:24 AM, MyWay said:

Ok thanks Vinsk, I definitely do think negatively about using a driver it has become a mystical club for me. I have a lesson tomorrow and will discuss all of this doubt then. I suppose the way I play currently is fun for me because there is less risk. My 2 lowest ever scores have been with a 2i or 5 wood as my longest club. My most recent best score was with no more than a 3i. The real danger is ending up playing with less & less clubs.

Thanks again iacas. I feel sufficiently challenged now. Gonna unchain my driver and wheel it down the practice field like Hannibal Lecter and set it free. It's not gonna be pretty...!

Yeah I totally understand this, although I do carry a driver I'm not always consistent with it, I'm usually aware from the 1st tee whether it should stay in the bag or not. When I'm unsure I'll revert to my 5 wood or 3i, and that's because I have confidence in my swing with them. Unlike the Driver I don't have to run through pre-flight checks on the tee before I attempt to launch them both, I just let them fly. And yes I know it's all in my mind that I should be able to hit my driver just as well but some days it just doesn't happen, so it stays in the bag. I never feel like I given shots away because I didn't play my driver on those days. 

My local UK course has 3 par fives where in all honesty a long drive is not a requisite but being a tree lined parkland course keeping it on the fairway is. So if the OP is happy just to play irons and minimise the risk he gets my vote and I may add any club I hit long and straight always gives me a buzz, not just the driver.

Cheers

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1 hour ago, Intruder1800 said:

So if the OP is happy just to play irons and minimise the risk 

Enjoying playing this way is of course just fine. Power to him. What is being said is that most people are in pursuit of improving and shooting lower scores as this leads to even more enjoyment. And that method isn’t the best way to do so. Now if one chooses to not learn to hit driver that is the rate limiting factor, not the driver itself. As an instructor I doubt @iacas would ever recommend to anyone that they simply can’t use a driver when they clearly can crack a 2i as well as @MyWay says he can. Just my opinion. Overall if he’s content with his golf game then that’s awesome, enjoy. But I don’t think trying to justify the unimportance of hitting a longer tee shot is the right way to look at it. 

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Thanks Intruder1800 I appreciate your experience, you perhaps verbalised my thoughts better than I did.

I've had an interesting lesson today with a (new to me) pro at my course. Interestingly he thinks achieving single figures with irons only is the way for me to play.

What I've learnt today is that I'm too passive in the legs, have a classic over swing and drift back with the backswing, I also have a habit of scooping the ball not taking a divot and have an upright shaft at address (it's amazing I contact the ball at all), we are working on a left leg biased swing with fuller turn and taking a divot after the ball. It is so very different to my previous 15 lessons.

I do apparently have a perfect on plane backswing so there is some good in there. For me it shows how important it is to shop around with pros as much as any other aspect. Me previous pro had a paper over the cracks approach, where as the new guy is very much spot on technically and teaches many good armatures as well as other pros. So I know what to work on now, and it won't be my driver for the next few sessions, there is much to improve and I am excited to try. I will try my driver also :)

All the comments here have been most helpful and thank you to everyone, it's important to be challenged in your thinking and to keep trying.

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30 minutes ago, MyWay said:

Interestingly he thinks achieving single figures with irons only is the way for me to play.

Did you happen to ask why? I’m not an instructor and my knowledge pales greatly compared to @iacas but I am curious.

 

33 minutes ago, MyWay said:

I'm too passive in the legs, have a classic over swing and drift back with the backswing, I also have a habit of scooping the ball not taking a divot and have an upright shaft at address (it's amazing I contact the ball at all),

And considering this I’m quite envious of your iron play. And with the plane ‘being perfect’ I can’t imagine getting your driver worked out will be that difficult.

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5 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Did you happen to ask why? I’m not an instructor and my knowledge pales greatly compared to @iacas but I am curious.

I asked if with irons only on my particular course, he thought getting to single figures was possible, and he said yes most definitely. My course has OB on 11 holes and as is only 6060 yards from the white T's, a lot of the greens are very small and there is water that can effect 6 holes. Accuracy is paramount. With just irons only 2 long par 4's are tricky to reach in 2 shots but I get a shot on both.

I think with my current swing a driver is more risk than I need to take and I do enjoy striking long irons, Im also surprised at how there is often very little distance difference between my 1i and friends Drivers. I am known as along hitter being 6'2" & 200lbs and have weight trained for 25 years. That said little Rory would slay me I know, so now its time to improve as many faults as possible.

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My current bag make up is a 3 metal wood, 12 irons, and my putter. I shoot scores in the mid, to low 80s. 

At my home course which 6600 yards, I can card a 78-79 using a 12 iron make up. 

Occassionally I will mix it up for longer than 6600 yard courses. I will take some irons out and go with my driver, 3,5,&7 metalwoods just have a chance to break 90. 

I don't hit my driver much farther than my 3W, but every little bit helps when totaling up the score for those longer courses.

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1 hour ago, Patch said:

My current bag make up is a 3 metal wood, 12 irons, and my putter. I shoot scores in the mid, to low 80s. 

At my home course which 6600 yards, I can card a 78-79 using a 12 iron make up. 

Occassionally I will mix it up for longer than 6600 yard courses. I will take some irons out and go with my driver, 3,5,&7 metalwoods just have a chance to break 90. 

I don't hit my driver much farther than my 3W, but every little bit helps when totaling up the score for those longer courses.

My target for next year is to break 80, there are always 5+ shots a round that on any other day...

12 irons I guess 3+ of those are wedges?

I used a 3W a few years back instead of a driver, but I shot my lowest round with just a 2i as my longest club and so started the irons only idea.

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2 hours ago, MyWay said:

My target for next year is to break 80, there are always 5+ shots a round that on any other day...

12 irons I guess 3+ of those are wedges?

I used a 3W a few years back instead of a driver, but I shot my lowest round with just a 2i as my longest club and so started the irons only idea.

4 wedges. Rest are 2-9 irons. It is just the bag make up I am using right now. I change it several times through out the year, while adding my metal woods. (D-7W). 

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I have often considered putting the 1 and 2 irons and the 64° wedge in the bag and playing an all blades round sometime, just for the hell of it. Maybe move up to a closer tee box to compensate for losing some distance off the tee. I also struggle with driver pretty severely at times and feel much more confident in my irons, in general.

 

I’m very stubborn though and I want to get better with my driver, so I always end up playing it. All the work I put into my irons this year has finally paid off in the end. Next year I’ll have to turn a similar focus to the big stick.

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4 hours ago, FrivolouslyWasted said:

I’m very stubborn though and I want to get better with my driver, so I always end up playing it. All the work I put into my irons this year has finally paid off in the end. Next year I’ll have to turn a similar focus to the big stick.

I'm also very stubborn but not as stubborn as my driver. I think I've hit a wall generally with improvement. I'm fairly certain I was making the best of a bad swing, although I was having regular lessons I was scoring worse.

I know when you change things it takes time to adapt, but I'd been seeing my previous pro for close to 3 months with a weekly lesson.

Im happier with the change of pro this week and have practiced each day taking a divot etc... as previously posted. It's a good time of year to change things hopefully ready for spring.

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5 hours ago, MyWay said:

I'm also very stubborn but not as stubborn as my driver. I think I've hit a wall generally with improvement. I'm fairly certain I was making the best of a bad swing, although I was having regular lessons I was scoring worse.

I know when you change things it takes time to adapt, but I'd been seeing my previous pro for close to 3 months with a weekly lesson.

Im happier with the change of pro this week and have practiced each day taking a divot etc... as previously posted. It's a good time of year to change things hopefully ready for spring.

I do believe in your case especially it would be beneficial for you to get fitted for a driver. Just good to know you're taking advantage of every technology available out there.

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Completely agree with the assertion that learning to hit a driver is probably the best long-term tactic. But it's hard to ignore this kind of thing .... 

bm

 

 

 

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Thanks badgermat it seems irons only can work fascinating video! Having never shot as low as 5 over I'm mighty jealous!!

9 hours ago, Vinsk said:

I do believe in your case especially it would be beneficial for you to get fitted for a driver. Just good to know you're taking advantage of every technology available out there.

Vinsk I was fitted for a driver earlier this year and had a driver specific lesson, the day after on the course I used it 6 times and stayed in play, on the 18th hole it bounced back into play having hit some conifers. I then bounced it back into play from the same conifers on 5 separate occasions. After 5 lots of luck I left it at home. I think a variable swing with the hardest club is not a good combination :)

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3 hours ago, MyWay said:

Thanks badgermat it seems irons only can work fascinating video! Having never shot as low as 5 over I'm mighty jealous!!

I feel as though you keep giving a ton of weight to anything that supports your take and downplaying the mountain of evidence that tells you that you're giving up shots. Human nature to some extent, but… c'mon man. This video is actually evidence of the opposite: that by playing with fewer clubs you will shoot a higher score.

+5 for that guy is well off his normal pace.

Tiger Woods would undoubtedly beat you with just a 6-iron. Doesn't mean that's the best way to play golf.

3 hours ago, MyWay said:

Vinsk I was fitted for a driver earlier this year and had a driver specific lesson, the day after on the course I used it 6 times and stayed in play, on the 18th hole it bounced back into play having hit some conifers. I then bounced it back into play from the same conifers on 5 separate occasions. After 5 lots of luck I left it at home. I think a variable swing with the hardest club is not a good combination 🙂

What does "a variable swing" mean?

 

P.S. "He was also off of the junior tees…"

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34 minutes ago, iacas said:

I feel as though you keep giving a ton of weight to anything that supports your take and downplaying the mountain of evidence that tells you that you're giving up shots. Human nature to some extent, but… c'mon man. This video is actually evidence of the opposite: that by playing with fewer clubs you will shoot a higher score.

+5 for that guy is well off his normal pace.

Tiger Woods would undoubtedly beat you with just a 6-iron. Doesn't mean that's the best way to play golf.

What does "a variable swing" mean?

I don't agree iacas, the mountain of evidence is that good players competent with all clubs will give up shots. Im not saying Im a good player Im an enthusiastic amateur who may never develop a text book swing. Im looking at breaking 80, and the best way my particular skill set might achieve this.

Interestingly i played a 3 handicapper in a competition a few years back and beat him by Teeing off with no more than a 6 iron, he conceded on our 19th hole. Thats the handicap system working and me playing a little wiser and marginally better than my handicap. It made it virtually impossible for him to beat me.

You wouldn't start off a budding racing driver in a McLaren F1 (driver) you'd start in a Caterham 1300 and learn the skill set wouldn't you?

Variable swing... c'mon man, less consistent than ideal, needs improvement.

I appreciate being challenged on my thinking iacas, but why must every golfer learn to use the longest shafted flattest faced club that is the only club that requires different swing/set up characteristics? Lots of folk mention that they have dropped their drivers and played more consistently.

I wonder if its an age thing, if I use woods, hybrids etc... I quickly loose confidence and ability with my longer irons. So tour players practice everyday for hours, Im trying to practice a little each day, I came to the game late (35) and I always feel like Im playing catch up. I embraced the 'drive for show putt for dough' mantra and practiced chipping and putting more than driving. I firmly believe finishing a hole well beats starting it well, every time. Im  pragmatic, realist and committed to being brutally honest with myself hence the irons are best for me current situation.

There must be loads in there you can rip into iacas 🙂

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5 minutes ago, MyWay said:

I don't agree iacas, the mountain of evidence is that good players competent with all clubs will give up shots.

Huh?

You're losing shots by not using all of the tools available to you. That's what the mountain of evidence says.

Rick - from the junior tees - shot much worse than he would have with a full set of clubs.

5 minutes ago, MyWay said:

Im not saying Im a good player Im an enthusiastic amateur who may never develop a text book swing. Im looking at breaking 80, and the best way my particular skill set might achieve this.🙂

Learn to hit driver. That's the best way.

5 minutes ago, MyWay said:

You wouldn't start off a budding racing driver in a McLaren F1 (driver) you'd start in a Caterham 1300 and learn the skill set wouldn't you?

Completely different situation. Does not apply here at all.

5 minutes ago, MyWay said:

Variable swing... c'mon man, less consistent than ideal, needs improvement.🙂

Read the topic, dude.

5 minutes ago, MyWay said:

I appreciate being challenged on my thinking iacas, but why must every golfer learn to use the longest shafted flattest faced club that is the only club that requires different swing/set up characteristics?

The setup and swing aren't that different. And heck, you could play a 2-wood or a 3-wood off the ground, but you choose not to, despite bi-weekly lessons for four years.

Again, to be clear, I'm not telling you that you must do this. I'm saying that you're giving up shots by choosing to do this. Ultimately I don't care how you play golf; I'm talking about this as a theoretical, as if you wanted to shoot the lowest scores possible.

5 minutes ago, MyWay said:

I embraced the 'drive for show putt for dough' mantra and practiced chipping and putting more than driving.

You do know that saying is complete bollocks, right? It's essentially completely backward. Driving and approach shots are where good players shoot good scores. It's not even close.

5 minutes ago, MyWay said:

I firmly believe finishing a hole well beats starting it well, every time. Im pragmatic

Those two sentences conflict with each other slightly.

Finishing a hole by making a 10-footer for bogey does not beat putt yourself on the green 25 feet away for birdie.

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I learned to hit my irons better by focusing on hitting my driver.  Weird huh. I used to practice starting PW and working my way to the driver. Not getting any better I reversed the order.  And now what my instructor was telling me makes sense.  Dont give up on the driver.  I played four rounds with my buddies in florida last week and the driver helped knock 12 shots per round off my scores from last year.  

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7 hours ago, iacas said:

Read the topic, dude.

Back at ya, fella.

7 hours ago, iacas said:

Completely different situation. Does not apply here at all.

Yes it does its an analogy its descriptive and pertinent to the post.

 

7 hours ago, iacas said:

Learn to hit driver. That's the best way.

 

But there are other options aren't there.

4 hours ago, gjunkie57 said:

I learned to hit my irons better by focusing on hitting my driver.  Weird huh. I used to practice starting PW and working my way to the driver. Not getting any better I reversed the order.  And now what my instructor was telling me makes sense.  Dont give up on the driver.  I played four rounds with my buddies in florida last week and the driver helped knock 12 shots per round off my scores from last year.  

 

I like the sound of saving 12 shots.

7 hours ago, iacas said:

You do know that saying is complete bollocks, right? It's essentially completely backward. Driving and approach shots are where good players shoot good scores. It's not even close.

Bollocks to you may be, Ive heard it quoted many times as playing partners have wang'd their drive OB.

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