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There is a better way to get more out of your clubs. Today's utility
woods can replace long irons, the clubs that many find difficult to hit. 3, 4,
and 5 irons demand greater swing speed and a squarely aligned clubface. This
is a difficult feat for most because the clubheads are relatively
small, the shafts relatively long, and the loft of the face relatively upright.
This can result in slices, hooks, and topped shots. Today's
utility woods can sometimes replace those clubs.
Irons, however, do give golfers more choices: high (shorter clubs with
more face loft) and low (longer clubs with less loft). Too
many amateurs get hung up on distance, thinking they should hit a pitching
wedge 120 yards, for example. It doesn't really matter what club is needed to
carry the ball 130 yards over a
canyon to the green; this will vary from person to person. It is important to
focus on number of strokes, not
who can hit it the farthest.
Remember is that there is more than one way to
carry prescribed distances. Again, it comes down to the individual golfer. One
may prefer a set that
allows for consistent contact and ball flight rather than a set that enables a
to pull off a pro-type shot once a round. It all depends on what you want to do
on the course.
There is no one distance standard for any particular club. A 9-wood
may travel as far as a 7-iron. Forget distance. The only way to judge is by the
frequency and accuracy with which it approches the target. It is important to
configure your clubs to maximize your chances
for par. The best way to test this is using a medium-length par-4. For
example, a senior or a woman who may achieve 180 yards with a
driver or 130 with a fairway wood shot would find most likely follow a shot
sequence on a 360-yard
hole like this: Driver, 3-wood, 7-wood onto green. A better player with
more strength and clubhead speed might find the shot sequence to be: Driver,
pitching wedge. On par-fives, the senior or woman might play the following:
3-wood, 3-wood, 9-wood onto the green. The stronger player might go: Driver,
lob wedge. Thus, how these two people set up their bags will differ.
SENIOR SET-UP Driver, 3-wood, 5-wood, 7-wood,
9-wood, 11-wood, 7-9 irons, gap wedge, pitching
wedge, sand wedge, lob wedge and putter (for a total of 14.
BETTER PLAYER SET-UP
Driver, strong 4-wood, irons 3-9, pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, lob