We all carry that one club in our bag that if all the planets align and we are in a moment of Zen the ball will fly directly at the hole. The other 99.9% of the time, this club produces a shot of twenty feet in bounds if we are lucky. Who knows what this club is for you: sand wedge, driver, 6 iron? The truth is we all have one or two or half our bag. The question is why do you bring it on the course if you can’t hit it?
Some clubs are for special occasions like a lofty wedge or long-range wood. How often do you practice with these clubs or do you keep that 3 iron in the bag for Par 5s when you are 230 yards from the green to try for eagle? What is the percentage of success for that shot? Not trying to dwell on the negative but if you are depend on miracles each time you step up to the ball, you are asking a lot of yourself.
How many is too many?
There is no rule that says every slot in your bag must be filled. I have developed a playing style that drives my dad nuts. From 75 to 200 yards, I use my hybrids: 3, 4, and 5. That means I am using a chipping style swing from 100 yards out with my 5 hybrid instead of using my PW. I still have my wedges for my short game. I have shed my irons 5 – 8. I keep my 4 iron in my bag for punch shots from under trees because I am there from time to time. I also practice this shot every time I am on the range so I know the power needed for this glorified chip shot.
My first round of golf this year I decided to walk since it was cart path only and cold (walking would keep me warm). I shed my Momentus trainer due its shear weight. I also left my 8 and 9 irons since I would use my 6 hybrid instead. I also dropped off a new 60 degree sand wedge since I had not had a chance to play with it yet. I kept my 7 iron for possible bump and run play. They will stay in my trunk for the rest of the season.
How do you like these odds?
By removing a faulty club form your bag, you remove the temptation of using it in extreme situation. Given the choice of the following what would you if you find yourself 220 yards from Par 5 with your second shot at hand:
- Hit your 3 wood 200 with the hope that it rolls the rest of the way. You hit the club 50% of the time well.
- Hit your 7 iron 150 yards to the 70 yard marker for a nice chip to the green. You can hit your 7 iron with you eyes shut.
With the odds laid out like that, the 7 iron is the easy choice because it has the higher odds of setting up the best two shots. The 3 wood MAY work and you will feel great if it does. Most like likely you will crank the backswing like John Daily and flub the shot.
These difficult to hit clubs can be cured. Just give me a bottle of rum and a chicken. OR you can put in the time in to practice with them. On your next trip to the driving range, take 10 shots with these clubs each time you get a basket of balls. Concentrate on finding a sweet swing for the club. If you get better at them, put them back in your bag. No rush because there is no pressure.
Legally the maximum number of clubs allowed in a bag is 14. There is no minimum. Take only what you can hit and hit well.
If you find a course that allows walking, shedding clubs also makes it easier to walk.
What clubs should you leave in your car trunk?