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Is the 4 wood the new way to go?

IrishGolfer

Fac ut gaudeam
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Sep 1, 2004
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In my heyday I carried a 4 wood, but it seems to have got lost these days to a minority. I guess hybrids and additional wedges have made it slightly redundant. But I've been thinking.

All golfas will carry a Big Dog, putter and SW. And these days they will carry either 3-PW or Hybrids 3 + 4 and then 5-PW. So on average, the main elements of a bag may look like:

1W, 3-PW, SW,+ putter - so that's 11 clubs, leaving room for 3 more given that the governing bodies have limited the selection to 14.

(stay with me on this one, OK?)

These days most playas will carry 2 additional wedges to the PW and SW, ie GW (53) and LW (60). So add those in and you have 13 clubs, leaving room for one more.

3 wood? Bit of a gap between 3 wood and 3 iron.
Hybrid? Struggling for distance off the deck.
3 wood and hybrid - take out the 3 iron - probably the best option
Only 3 wedges - PW, 54 and 58 - that seems to be a growing trend, leaving room for an additional long iron / wood.

But how about a 4 wood instead of a 3 wood, which bridges the gap bewteen distance and versility, still leaving room for the 4 wedge option. May lose 10 - 15 yards off a 3 wood, but can still take it down to 180-190 and work it both ways.

Thoughts?
 

ualtim

Carrollton, TX
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Aug 20, 2005
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I have recently gone to the 4-Wood, but they are a bit hard to find and you do not have the options that you would have if looking for an odd numbered wood.

While I love my 3-wood, my set up was forcing me to either drop a hybrid or the 60* wedge and I wanted to keep both in the bag. Enter the 4-wood. I dropped my 3-Wood and 18* Hybrid for a 17* 4-Wood and it is working out a whole lot better than dropping the hybrid or the wedge. There is only one hole that I play fairly regulary that I really need my 3-Wood on, and when I play that course I just adjust my set make up. I keep my alternate driver, 3-wood, and a 58* wedge in my trunk so that I can alter my set depending on the course I am playing.
 
OP
IrishGolfer

IrishGolfer

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This is exactly my point. It's a 14 club dilemma. The 4 wood route may be my solution...
 

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast

Deep in thought
Sep 6, 2005
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I've been considering this idea, replacing the 3-wood/5-wood or hybrid clubs with a 4-wood. Then adding in a 50 degree wedge, so I'll have pitching wedge-gap gap wedge-gap wedge-sand wedge-lob wedge.

5 wedges, take that, Dave Pelz!

The lofts of the wedges would then go 47-50-53-56-60.
 

Bravo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
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IG:

I think golfers who play the same course over and over tend to set up their clubs according to their course. I know I do.

I cannot consistently hit a 60 degree lob wedge...so I chunked mine several years ago. I have a 48 degree PW that matches my Titleist irons, a 54 degree low bounce Cleveland 900 and a high bounce 60* Wilson that I use almost exclusively from the sand. (We have fluffy sand here and half-buried lies from deep bunkers are common, so I need a SW with all of the lift and power I can get).

On the other hand, we have some reachable par 5's - so I tend to go with four woods and terminate my irons at 4. I chunked the 3 iron several years ago too.

I still love my new r7 and love my Sonartec 14* SS-03. I also like my TM Rescue mid 22 with the Aldila shaft.

My current dilemma is whether to switch out my Sonartec 19* for a 16* TM Rescue Mid. I could get more height and holding power out of the hybrid from a distance of about 225. Additionally, we have one par 3 which is uphill 225 when played from the tips. Although I don't play back often, when I do, this would be the ideal club for this shot.

I have learned to play a variety of shots with my Cleveland 54 and don't feel compromised by not having the 4th wedge in the bag. I too think this is a trend as the hybrids are so versatile in so many situations...
 

HighTopFade

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Sep 1, 2006
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When I first started, I carried 4 wood and a 7 wood. Saved me a bundle not carrying a 3, 5, and a 7.
 

Rockford35

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This thread is just insane.

I was thinking this very thing this morning in the shower. A 4 wood....hmm.

BUT, I got the same logic as what Bravo touched on. Am I setting up for the tracks that I usually hack away on? Am I going to visit anything that I'm going to need that 3 wood for that extra 15 yards to carry?

It's a hard sell, but I think i'm going to do it. Driver, 4 wood, 7 wood. No 3 irons, 4-PW with a 53* and 60* lob.

Perfect.

R35
 
OP
IrishGolfer

IrishGolfer

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This thread is just insane.

I was thinking this very thing this morning in the shower. A 4 wood....hmm.

BUT, I got the same logic as what Bravo touched on. Am I setting up for the tracks that I usually hack away on? Am I going to visit anything that I'm going to need that 3 wood for that extra 15 yards to carry?

It's a hard sell, but I think i'm going to do it. Driver, 4 wood, 7 wood. No 3 irons, 4-PW with a 53* and 60* lob.

Perfect.

R35

Is that 13 clubs (including flatstick)?
 
OP
IrishGolfer

IrishGolfer

Fac ut gaudeam
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Sep 1, 2004
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IG:

I think golfers who play the same course over and over tend to set up their clubs according to their course. I know I do.

I cannot consistently hit a 60 degree lob wedge...so I chunked mine several years ago. I have a 48 degree PW that matches my Titleist irons, a 54 degree low bounce Cleveland 900 and a high bounce 60* Wilson that I use almost exclusively from the sand. (We have fluffy sand here and half-buried lies from deep bunkers are common, so I need a SW with all of the lift and power I can get).

On the other hand, we have some reachable par 5's - so I tend to go with four woods and terminate my irons at 4. I chunked the 3 iron several years ago too.

I still love my new r7 and love my Sonartec 14* SS-03. I also like my TM Rescue mid 22 with the Aldila shaft.

My current dilemma is whether to switch out my Sonartec 19* for a 16* TM Rescue Mid. I could get more height and holding power out of the hybrid from a distance of about 225. Additionally, we have one par 3 which is uphill 225 when played from the tips. Although I don't play back often, when I do, this would be the ideal club for this shot.

I have learned to play a variety of shots with my Cleveland 54 and don't feel compromised by not having the 4th wedge in the bag. I too think this is a trend as the hybrids are so versatile in so many situations...

Bravo

Playing Links golf means that the couse is rarely set up the same way twice. Sure there are holes when you will hit certain clubs but not to specific yardages, just for placement. I don't have a hole that requires a 7 wood shot, as one day it may be a 6 iron, the next a driver!!
 

jc@bg

Style guru
Sep 10, 2004
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I tried the 5 wedge setup a couple of months ago but decided it wasn't quite worth the sacrifice elsewhere in my bag. My first step toward wedge dieting was to put in a 57 or 58 degree "bottom wedge" that works nearly as well for close-range flop shots as the 60 degree and is more reliable for full shots from the fairway. Then I started practicing the blade-wide-open flop shot with lower-lofted, lower-bounce wedges such as a 51 degree gap wedge, and even a 47 degree pitching wedge.

At present, with the courses playing pretty soft and long (fewer full wedge approach shots to greens), I've gone to a 57 degree high bounce wedge as my sand wedge and 75-yard full shot club, then a 51 degree gap wedge that is good for up to 100 yards but also will lay flat to the ground for a high, soft cut, then my PW. A total of 3 wedges! This arrangement leaves me some larger gaps between the wedges, but with soft conditions prevailing, I don't have as many wedge shots in the first place, and when I have an in-between yardage, even a lower punch shot to take a little off one of my wedges still holds greens quite well. This allows me to beef up the upper yardage clubs, so that I'm carrying driver, weak 3 wood, 5 wood, 7 wood, 4 hybrid, etc. With three par 3s that play around 200 yards each, I'm more comfortable having a precise yardage with the longer clubs and taking a little off one of my wedges if I face an in-between yardage. This may be counter to current consensus, but I don't find it hard to hit a 100 yard club 90 yards, but very hard to hit a 210 yard club 195 or 200.

I've been considering this idea, replacing the 3-wood/5-wood or hybrid clubs with a 4-wood. Then adding in a 50 degree wedge, so I'll have pitching wedge-gap gap wedge-gap wedge-sand wedge-lob wedge.

5 wedges, take that, Dave Pelz!

The lofts of the wedges would then go 47-50-53-56-60.
 

golfer1

Well-Known Member
Aug 1, 2005
90
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The latest tip in Golf Digest this months states that by shorting the club length by gripping down on it 1" reduces the loft and carry by 1 club length. So you could just just choke down on your 3 wood to make it a 4 wood. The next time you watch the pro's, notice that they do this quite often, especially Tiger.

My point is that your going to miss having that 3 wood on Par 5 holes, unless your a big hitter off the tee. And even if your are a big hitter, that occasional pull or slice off the tee will make that Par 5 that much longer.
 

Davebud

Crackhead Zebra
Oct 31, 2005
1,723
0
This thread is just insane.

I was thinking this very thing this morning in the shower. A 4 wood....hmm.

BUT, I got the same logic as what Bravo touched on. Am I setting up for the tracks that I usually hack away on? Am I going to visit anything that I'm going to need that 3 wood for that extra 15 yards to carry?

It's a hard sell, but I think i'm going to do it. Driver, 4 wood, 7 wood. No 3 irons, 4-PW with a 53* and 60* lob.

Perfect.

R35

Once the Crackhead Zebra set is complete the only difference between your bag and mine loft/# wise will be my 58* vs your 60*, and that is just a different comprimise I made.
 

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