Wanted: One (or Two) More Clubs
If you’ve followed this plan, you now have a perfectly fit set of golf clubs: driver, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and a putter. For some players, though, there may be one or two spots left. As we discussed in the very first lesson, you only get 14 clubs to cover the limitless possibilities on the course, so there’s no sense in leaving spots open. What should fill those last spots? I’m glad you asked.
Extra wedges are my favorite specialty clubs because wedges are so varied, and you can never have enough. If you prefer low bounce wedges, add a sand wedge with high bounce for fluffy bunkers. If you’re a high bounce player, choose a low bounce wedge for fried egg lies in the bunker. You could throw in a 64° wedge for those times when you need a match play miracle. If you really hate sand, pick up one of those “easy out” wedges with soles the size of aircraft carriers. The options are almost limitless.
Left Handed Club
Admittedly this is one the more off-the-wall ideas, but it might make sense if you tend to get wayward with your driver on tree-lined courses. I’m not suggesting you devote hours to practicing your left handed swing, but having the ability to advance the ball 100 yards and get it back in play can really demoralize an opponent who’s expecting you to be stymied.
More Long Game Clubs
As I mentioned in Part 7 of this series, there has been an explosion of options when it comes to long game clubs. From fairway woods and hybrids of all shapes and sizes to the rebirth of utility/driving irons, you can find a club for every shot on the course. Why add more to your bag? There are many possible reasons. Perhaps when selecting your long game clubs, you filled in your distance gaps with fairway woods, but you prefer a utility iron for tee shots on long par 3’s. If you have lots of hybrids, you might add one “redundant” fairway wood for situations that demand a higher ball flight and more carry.
As always, the goal is to get tools that will help you tackle important situations on the course. Think about the shots you face regularly, and use the extra spots in your bag to attack them successfully.
During the heyday of belly putters, carrying two putters was actually a fairly popular thought: carry a belly putter for short putts and a standard putter for long putts. While belly putters are soon to be verboten, I can still imagine a player using this same concept. Set up one putter for short putts (a large grip and heavy head, perhaps) and another for lag putting (standard grip and head weight).
Anyone who thinks this is nuts is either too young or has a short memory – the set above was used by a famous Lefty to win a little tournament known as The Masters. Whether you use different drivers to hit draws and fades, as Phil did, or use one for accuracy and another for distance, having two of the most important club in the bag is an idea worth exploring.
Are some of these suggestions a little odd? Absolutely. In reality, most players, especially those with higher swing speeds, are going to use all 14 spots in their bag for “normal” clubs. That said, it’s not a bad idea to think about what you might add to your bag if you had the space. You may decide to pick up a specialty club to swap in and out of your bag depending on the course.
As always, please feel free to post any questions in the comments section.
Building Your Best Bag
Part 8: Specialty Clubs
Part 9: Maintenance
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