As a golfer reading this, you are likely aware that the rules of golf permit each player to carry no-more than 14 clubs in their bag for any given round. Having a limit on the number of clubs allows golfers to use strategic planning to determine which combination of clubs they will carry in their bag. Some of the important things to consider when determining which 14 clubs you have in your bag are: your playing ability; (2) the course layout/condition; and (3) confidence.
If you’re unsure whether you are carrying the right clubs in your bag, we have a quick guide here to provide a quick reference to help you decide.
The Common 12 Clubs
Most amateur golfers carry the same standard 12 clubs in their bag which are:
- (1) driver;
- (2) 3-wood
- (3) 5-wood
- (4-11) 3-iron through 9-iron
- (12) putter
The final two clubs are generally a combo of pitching wedges with differing lofts. Just because that’s the common combination, doesn’t mean that you need to follow it. You may want to consider the following three items when determining how to customize your 14-club combination.
The Three Wedge System
If you’re blessed with power off the tee and/or with your irons, it should allow you a little more freedom in deciding which clubs you carry. For example, players that can crush their drivers do not often have to carry a 5-wood, so they’d rather keep three different wedges (i.e., 46-degree, 52-degree and 58-degree). This is sometimes referred to as a “three wedge system.” The reason is that on most amateur courses, a big hitter off the tee will hit the majority of their shots from within 150 yards on their second shot on par 4’s.
Even if you’re not the biggest hitter off the tee, if you know you’re playing on a shorter course with many shots within 150 yards, consider the three-wedge system.
The Hybrid v. Iron Conundrum
For many amateur golfers, having to hit a 3-iron or 4-iron is a terrifying experience. If that resonates with you, don’t worry. The lower lofted irons are commonly known as the hardest clubs to hit for the majority of golfers (even the pros). If you struggle with these clubs, consider switching over to hybrids and carry multiple hybrids that you hit relatively the same distance as your 3 and 4-irons. The hybrids are typically easier to hit for amateur golfers and thus will give you more confidence in those longer distance iron type shots.
The last item to consider are those specialty clubs that you sometimes see in commercials or your local pro shops. One of the most popular specialty clubs is “the chipper.” Essentially the chipper is a very low lofted wedge that looks more like a putter. The chipper is designed to produce a natural bump and run shot, while allowing the player to make a simple putting stroke.
Whatever combination you decide on, just make sure it instills confidence in your game. Good luck!
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