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inthehole

Well, I've Decided to Bag a Dedicated Punch-Out Club

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First, let me say all I play is heavily wooded mountain courses where tree trouble exists on either side of the fairway on nearly every tee shot.    I've gotten pretty good out of necessity at hitting low liner recovery shots with a 4 iron but I have to play the ball BEHIND my rear foot - works good when it works good, but it's a bit unorthodox and not 100% reliable.  I bet I'm forced to play this shot at least 4-5X on average per round on the courses I play.

So, my mad scientist brain got to thinking ... I need a dedicated club that is capable of chucking low line drives under trees, RELIABLY.   So, I came up with this (you may want to grab a chair if you're of weak constitution) ...

I bought an old Ping 1 iron, and cut it down to the length of a 5 iron to make it easy to hit.   Beauty is I don't have to play it behind my rear foot anymore to hit a screaming low liner.  Went to the range & gave it a workout today ... I play it a bit inside the rear foot and BANG, it manufactures one after the other low line drives running out well over 150 yds - it already seems so much more reliable than playing a 4 iron behind the rear foot.     For my lackluster game and the courses I play, I think this might be my get out of jail free club ...  lets have your thoughts, am I onto something ??

 

 

Edited by inthehole

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I've read something like this before. Maybe here, maybe somewhere else. In that case the guy took an old muscle back blade 2 iron, cut it down to 6 iron length and re-gripped it. Said he could hit those low screamers with ease, and could curve them right or left as he wanted. 

Thought I might be able to do the same thing with my 2 hybrid, but no go. One of the advantages of hybrids is getting the ball up in the air. Unless I do everything perfectly, I'll hit it too high. I think it's a great idea.

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What club did you have to remove to make room for that? If it's one you never used then it would make sense, but otherwise it doesn't make much sense to ditch a more versatile club for one that is good for only one specific scenario. 

If you had to have the 4 iron back behind your rear foot to hit low line drives with it, odds are you're either playing with some SGI-style irons that are designed to launch the ball very high or your swing isn't letting your hands stay in front of the clubhead very well when you're trying to hit a low screamer of a shot. With proper technique you should be able to keep a 4 iron or 3 iron no more than head high at its apex, and with enough practice you ought to be able to hit a real kneecapper with it.

I personally carry up to a 3 iron (Mizuno MP4's, so hitting a low screamer is as easy as catching it slightly thin if I'm not careful), which isn't something I'd recommend for most golfers admittedly, but got good at hitting low shots of all shapes with a 4 iron as I was working my handicap down to the level it was at its best (I, too, found myself in the trees all too often). It was just a fun type of thing to practice and after a little working at it I was able to get good results with my PING Eye 2's, and later my S55's. 

That said, if time for practice is at a premium this isn't a bad band-aid. I just don't necessarily think it's a full solution.

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44 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

What club did you have to remove to make room for that? If it's one you never used then it would make sense, but otherwise it doesn't make much sense to ditch a more versatile club for one that is good for only one specific scenario. 

If you had to have the 4 iron back behind your rear foot to hit low line drives with it, odds are you're either playing with some SGI-style irons that are designed to launch the ball very high or your swing isn't letting your hands stay in front of the clubhead very well when you're trying to hit a low screamer of a shot. With proper technique you should be able to keep a 4 iron or 3 iron no more than head high at its apex, and with enough practice you ought to be able to hit a real kneecapper with it.

I personally carry up to a 3 iron (Mizuno MP4's, so hitting a low screamer is as easy as catching it slightly thin if I'm not careful), which isn't something I'd recommend for most golfers admittedly, but got good at hitting low shots of all shapes with a 4 iron as I was working my handicap down to the level it was at its best (I, too, found myself in the trees all too often). It was just a fun type of thing to practice and after a little working at it I was able to get good results with my PING Eye 2's, and later my S55's. 

That said, if time for practice is at a premium this isn't a bad band-aid. I just don't necessarily think it's a full solution.

I took out the 4i (mostly only carried it for punch out shots anyways) - I can lean on the 5h if necessary to get close to 4i distance.   I've tried using excessive club head lag with a more conventional ball position setup with the 4 iron to keep it low & it really feels odd & didn't work for me as well as just moving the ball way back with a slightly abbreviated backswing (I do use Mizuno JPX825 cavity back irons, which launch high).   I'm keeping an open mind - I'm hopeful I'm going to like this option as I don't have to change my swing & the shot seems to come up often enough to justify the whole project (only downside I can see is that it will surely not work from the deep rough, which is pretty much jail for me even if I'm not under a tree).    

Edited by inthehole

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My goto punch club, when conditions are really tight, is my 7W.

If I am playing bag full of irons it's my 4 Ironwood. 

A good, long punch shot is a good shot to have in one's bag.

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I play punch shots with my 5 iron.  The course I play most often has a number of holes that requires one to keep the ball under over-hanging tree branches...in particular, large pines.  My playing partner uses a 2 iron.  Whatever works eh?

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11 hours ago, inthehole said:

For my lackluster game and the courses I play, I think this might be my get out of jail free club ...  lets have your thoughts, am I onto something ??

I think it kind of depends on where your game is at and if you're looking to improve or just play at your current rate.

If you have the room in your bag to dedicate to it and it works for you I'm sure it's fine, but if you're looking for longterm improvement you're better off learning how to vary trajectories with different clubs.

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@inthehole, If you have room in your bag and it works for you. Do what makes you feel confident. Confident golf is way better than scared golf. 

Perhaps your struggles to hit those low shots with your current 4 iron has something to do with the type of club you play. Some of those super game improvement irons are designed to prevent you from hitting it low. It can sometimes be a delicate balance to find a GI iron that gives you the right amount of help, but still allows you to control the flight. 

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12 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Thought I might be able to do the same thing with my 2 hybrid, but no go. One of the advantages of hybrids is getting the ball up in the air. Unless I do everything perfectly, I'll hit it too high. I think it's a great idea.

 

I actually find it easy to keep the hybrid low - I just don't hit it as hard ,and it never really gets up, but still pops off the face fast enough to make some progress. 

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Good for you if that's a situation you get into frequently.

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With my 4 iron i can do the same shots. hands foward, ball in the middle of the stance. Far draw it´s easy they naturally goes pretty low ball fligth. With fade hands foward make the trick. In both cases i grip down almost where the grip ends.
1 club just for punch out will gave me a lot of trouble picking a club to take out of the bag.

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I would be hesitant to put any club into my bag that serves such a specialized purpose. You only get 14 clubs after all.

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I just choke up on my MP32 3i and set it up 3 balls back and hope for the best. Love watching that low boring flight, but not so much when I hit something, like a neighboring golf cart full of little old ladies 🙈

At least 50% go about 100 to 150 yards then kind of roll towards the green. The other half usually roll into a bunker or rough or hit “things” 🤪

 

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YMMV, but one thing I learned from playing a lot of low shots this past season is, and this is kind of Captain Obvious - you don't have to swing too hard, whatever club you use. The thing that complicates these punch shots is also since you're in the woods, you're in all those wacky weird lies, which can make things chaotic.

 

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I used to bag my grandfather's old Ping Eye irons (not Eye2), 1-PW with a G5 5w and driver. After I retired the iron set to 'man cave trophy' status, I kept the 1-iron in my bag just for punching out low...and setting up the old Lee Trevino joke.

"If you find yourself on a golf course in a thunderstorm hold up a 1-iron...not even God can hit a 1-iron." ~ Lee Trevino

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