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Can You Survive the 3 Golf Clubs Challenge

The USGA rule 4.1(a) deems that a golf bag may have no more than 14 golf clubs in it. Do you need all those clubs? Do you hit all your clubs during a round of golf? How many golf clubs do you really need? I took this crazy idea and made a challenge for myself: how would I do if I played 18 holes of golf with just 3 golf clubs?

Choose Your Golf Clubs Wisely

Before I hit the course, I needed to determine what clubs should be carried. A few months ago, I posted this query to Twitter (@CGUtd18)and got some good responses. From this input, I decided to carry my driver, 6 hybrid, and pitching wedge.

3 Golf Clubs and What Else?

You can’t play golf with just golf clubs so I needed to prepare myself as if I was heading on a golfing expedition with limited supplies and no chance for resupply. I dug into my trusty golf bag and picked my required supplies and discarded what was not truly necessary.

  • Golf bag: I left the my golf bag in the car trunk. 3 golf clubs are easy to carry and the bag would be too cumbersome at such a light weight.
  • Golf balls: Since the golf bag was left behind, I would need to carry enough golf balls for the entire round. I average 3 lost golf balls per round so I hedged my bet and stuck 5 golf balls in my pocket. (it got close)
  • Tees: Again with no golf bag for resupply, I stuck 3 golf tees in my pocket.
  • Golf towel: I played first thing in the morning so the ground was wet with dew. I needed to place my clubs on the towel to keep the dew off the grips. Also, it was nice to clean the clubs off after shots.

Playing with 3 Golf Clubs

So I hit Bacon Park at 730 Sunday morning and strode to the first tee holding my 3 clubs in my left hand. It felt funny but relaxed since I was not lugging a golf bag on my shoulders. I played from the blue tees as I normally do at Bacon Park. Using a driver off the tees was normal except for the hook I developed for no reason. I don’t mean a lazy hook that drops the ball on the left side of the fairway but an angry, low flying hook sapping my self esteem and leaving a lot of tricky approaches shots or lost golf balls. If my driver behaved off the tees better, the day would have been smoother and more enjoyable. But that defines every round of golf.

Approach shots with my 6 hybrid were easy since that is my style of play. I can hit my hybrids like wedges and can attack a green from 100 to 180 yards. Through solid striking, I even hit a 200 yard shot with the 6 hybrid surprising myself.

Putting was the biggest challenge with the driver. I developed a technique of grasping the driver a third of the way down from the grip.  I would have the shaft of the driver along my left hip and swung with a pendulum backswing but follow thru with my hands.  The key to a sweet swing was making sure that I did not ground the driver prior to striking the ball. I sunk a few medium length putts to save bogey. My putter was missed and I considered very few putts as gimmes.

Results of 3 Golf Club Round

Despite the presence of Captain Hook ruling my tee shots, I shot a 102 with 4 lost golf balls. I was sweating the 18th hole and the water guarding the left side (hook hook hook hook) and a creek cutting across the fairway. My putting was poor but not terrible with 39 putts scored against my average of 35.5 per round. Like a normal round, the key to good putting was getting close to the pin on approach or chipping to avoid 3 putts.

I will try this challenge again for fun once my tee shots are behaving. I challenge you to try this but with the understanding it should be done only at a course you know quite well and a little on the easy side. Might be a fun outing with the gang and throw a few bucks in the pot for the winner.

What golf clubs would you carry to complete the 3 golf club challenge?

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