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A revelation of sorts

LyleG

gear head
Aug 10, 2006
6,388
28
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Canada Canada
With winter fast approaching and our course set to close in less than 2 weeks I havent been playing as much lately. Our club storage has shut down for the year so I am forced to lug my bag to and from every evening when i go and play 9. In an effort to make this as easy as possible I have been playing a limited bag set up. I have been carrying a driver, a 5 wood, 4-6-8-pw, a 60* and a putter, for a grand total of 8 clubs. Add 6-10 balls and a few tees and the bag is feather light, and so easy to carry. The thing that has surprised me however was how much I dont miss the other clubs. I have played 6 nines now with this set up and my worst score is a 39, and 3 nines have been under par. I may stick with this set up for all of next year. The part I found most interesting was my iron play. I always grab the longer club and swing easy with this set up. Its amazing how easy it is to adapt to less clubs.

The added bonus is I can set up a second bag as a travel set. Just grab another driver, use my 16* hybrid, the 3-5-7-9-SW and a another putter.

So this leads me to an interesting question. Are 14 club sets really necessary or are they simply overkill for the average player who isnt that precise anyways?
 

ualtim

Carrollton, TX
Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2005
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I think the average golfer needs more irons/clubs. A more accomplished player can hit the same iron different distances with some consistancy and can work around large gaps in the bag. A new golfer on a starter set (similar make up taking out half the irons) learning how to play the game does not have enough consistancy to play the additional clubs and distance control is not as important as learning to hit the ball solid.

The full set is an advantage to an average player who works on trying to find one consistant swing and then use the clubs selection to determine distance.
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
The best golf I played all last year was when I carried a 4-hybrid, 6-iron, 8-iron, PW, SW, putter, and played all par 4's to get on in 3.

I may actually go to a similar setup for a while. I'm thinking:

Driver, 4-hybrid, 6-iron, 7-iron, 8-iron, PW, SW, putter.
 
OP
LyleG

LyleG

gear head
Aug 10, 2006
6,388
28
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Canada Canada
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
I think the average golfer needs more irons/clubs. A more accomplished player can hit the same iron different distances with some consistancy and can work around large gaps in the bag. A new golfer on a starter set (similar make up taking out half the irons) learning how to play the game does not have enough consistancy to play the additional clubs and distance control is not as important as learning to hit the ball solid.

The full set is an advantage to an average player who works on trying to find one consistant swing and then use the clubs selection to determine distance.


Most newcomers and high HDCP players have a bad habit of under clubbing all the time. I see at least a 10-1 ratio of short to long with people on the course. Dont you think that this would force players to take the longer club in most situations thus helping them eliminate 1 big problem with their games?
 

wirehair

Life's too short to drink cheap wine.
Apr 29, 2005
2,489
3
On the rare occasions that I walk, I set up an old cheap (but very light) bag with a Driver, hybrid, 5, 7, 9, GW and a putter. The whole bag is very easy to carry, but I miss the 8 and PW most since they're my 125 and 100 yard clubs. It does hurt if I'm having a bad chipping day, but on those days my short irons are usually poor anyway.
 

ualtim

Carrollton, TX
Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2005
7,705
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Most newcomers and high HDCP players have a bad habit of under clubbing all the time. I see at least a 10-1 ratio of short to long with people on the course. Dont you think that this would force players to take the longer club in most situations thus helping them eliminate 1 big problem with their games?

I would agree and thus said that newcomers should go out with a starter set with half the irons taken out. A high handicapper would probably also be advised to take some irons out as well.

To me, the average golfer is a person that shoots +/-5 stokes to 100 on a Par 72. Someone who has played the game enough to develop a swing, but not proficient enough to score well (probably due to short game skills.) A fairly consistant swing with consistant contact so underclubbing should be less of a factor. Underclubbing for the average golfer is more of a game management issue.

As far as underclubbing, I still am not totally convinced that it is completely club selection. While I do understand that there is the machoistic factor in underclubbing so that you can say you "took out the PW from 150 yards and just missed the green", I beleive mis-hits and off center contact probably cause more shots to come up short than poor club selection. Overclubbing will help, but when you do hit one pure your going to pay a price. As most courses that cater to average golfers are set up to be a bit more forgiving if you come up short than if you go long, I rather have the right club in my hand and come up short on a mishit than go long if I overclub.

Personally, most of my misses are left or right unless I under/over estimate the affects of the lie and wind conditions or just simply mis hit the ball.

Yes, I agree that there is a golfer population that truely underclubs themselves on a regular basis. Most of those folks I would not characterize as average golfers. They are most likely periodic golfers taking some hacks in a scramble or out with friends, someone playing the game to promote an image or for business purposes, or someone that truely does not have any course management skills.
 

Skiddlydiddly

Well-Known Member
Jul 17, 2007
308
0
Both Lyle and Tim raise good points here.

Speaking for myself, as a high handicapper, my inconsistency is a much greater problem than my poor club selection.

While I do underclub alot, and clubbing up and swinging easier more often might improve my consistency, limiting the clubs that I carry might have me choosing, for example between a hard 7-iron or an easy 6-iron, rather than just picking a club.

Since I only have enough parctice/play time to learn how to mess up one swing, I'll take as many clubs as I'm allowed.

Though I think Lyle's idea would work well for the beginner who has alot of practice time or is taking lessons. He'd learn how to work the clubs more, I think.
 

SilverUberXeno

El Tigre Blanco
Jul 26, 2005
4,620
26
If you sissy-swing a 6 iron to hit it 7-iron distance, you're not stopping that baby anywhere on te green.

It's entirely possible to hit a 4-iron every distance between 10 yards and 180 yards. But more clubs allows to make the same swing and hit the ball differnt distances. With less clubs, you're doing something that is actually more difficult; you need more, different swings. More clubs = less swings/less variables.

That's why we carry more than one wedge, generally. I prefer a full swing for 80 yards versus a half-swing. It's more repeatable.
 
OP
LyleG

LyleG

gear head
Aug 10, 2006
6,388
28
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Canada Canada
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  • Thread starter
  • #11
If you sissy-swing a 6 iron to hit it 7-iron distance, you're not stopping that baby anywhere on te green.

Not true. With a good ball its as easy as ever to stop a ball on the green. No one is talking about using a 4 iron to get a PW wedge distance. But hitting a smooth 6 instead of a 7 will produce a more controlled flight and more controlled spin. This is a far easier than many people think. Give it a try, go out with only odd or even numbered sticks and see for yourself. The results might surprise even the most diehard of skeptics.
 

ezra76

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2006
12,412
16
Sounds like it would work for me. I get issues with inconsistant distance. I might hit a full 8i just over 160 but if I miss it it might only go 145.
 

Eracer

No more triple bogies!!
Oct 31, 2005
12,405
8
I think the main benefit to using fewer clubs is that it forces you to learn how to hit 3/4 shots properly (which is not really that easy - especially if you want to spin the ball and control trajectory.)

It improves feel. And focus.

It improves course management.
 

Fourputt

Littleton, Colorado
Sep 5, 2006
973
0
With winter fast approaching and our course set to close in less than 2 weeks I havent been playing as much lately. Our club storage has shut down for the year so I am forced to lug my bag to and from every evening when i go and play 9. In an effort to make this as easy as possible I have been playing a limited bag set up. I have been carrying a driver, a 5 wood, 4-6-8-pw, a 60* and a putter, for a grand total of 8 clubs. Add 6-10 balls and a few tees and the bag is feather light, and so easy to carry. The thing that has surprised me however was how much I dont miss the other clubs. I have played 6 nines now with this set up and my worst score is a 39, and 3 nines have been under par. I may stick with this set up for all of next year. The part I found most interesting was my iron play. I always grab the longer club and swing easy with this set up. Its amazing how easy it is to adapt to less clubs.

The added bonus is I can set up a second bag as a travel set. Just grab another driver, use my 16* hybrid, the 3-5-7-9-SW and a another putter.

So this leads me to an interesting question. Are 14 club sets really necessary or are they simply overkill for the average player who isnt that precise anyways?

I did the same thing last fall, and then again this spring so that I could carry my bag during the cooler weather. I find that my scores don't vary that much from when I have a full bag, and I learn how to make some shots that I actually need even when I have all 14. Playing a 160 yard shot with my 185 yard club teaches me something about changing trajectories, and that can come in handy when I need to play that 160 yard shot from under a tree where I can't play my normal high flying iron.

Then too, as the course gets faster in the off season, the typical 10 yard spread between clubs isn't as critical either. And I can hit more tee shots with a 3W or 4W, eliminating the need for a driver. In fact the driver can just be trouble because you can't control the roll.... getting into lots of bad places just because of the unpredictability of it.
 

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