Fewer Clubs, More Creativity
Is your game stuck in a rut? Are you playing the same course and hitting the same shots time and again? If so, here’s a simple solution: try a round with a minimalist set. Below I’ll lay out a few different approaches and some of the benefits you’ll get from carrying fewer clubs.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You want to improve your shotmaking
You want to see your home course in a new way
You want to carry a lighter golf bag
Minimalist Set Options
There are countless ways to approach a minimalist set, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
Evens or Odds
Play only the even or odd numbered irons in your set.
One of Each
Pick one wood, one iron, one wedge, and your putter.
Pick any seven clubs. Thinking about your seven most important clubs is a good way to evaluate your game and your set make-up. Are you carrying clubs you never hit?
The Roy McAvoy
Head to the course with only your 7I. “Anybody want to bet me I can’t par in with a 7 iron?”
Benefits of a Minimalist Set
Improved Shotmaking and Creativity
The biggest benefit to your game will be an increased ability to create shots. Most of us play fairly robotic golf – “It’s 150 yards. I’ll hit my 8I.” If your 8I is gone, you’ll be forced to hit a hard 9I or a soft 7I. You’ll learn the value of choking up on the club to take some distance off, swinging a little harder or softer, and trying to add or remove a bit of loft. You can also find out how much distance you gain or lose by hitting cuts and draws.
Seeing an Old Course in a New Light
If you have a regular track, you can probably recite from memory how each hole goes. That 400 yard, straightaway par 4 is almost always driver-8I, but when you step to the tee with a 3W and a 6I, you’ll see things in the hole you never noticed before, and it will be an entirely new experience.
A Lighter Golf Bag
This may not be as important as being a better shotmaker, but there is a certain pleasure to strolling the course with a few clubs in a Sunday bag.
It’s unlikely that you’re going to shoot your personal best with a minimalist set, and that’s ok. In fact, if your enjoyment of the game is waning because of the numbers on your card, that could be a very good thing. Playing with just a few clubs can put you back into the “play” mentality which, I find, is closely connected to having a better time on the course.