Playing Golf With One Club

This morning I was fortunate to wake up early and see that the forecast for rain did not materialize. After hopping out of bed, in the dark, I decided to hit the links for a quick round. I did not play all week, so I took this opportunity to get out and play some golf.

Arriving at the course, I quickly unpacked my clubs and anticipated being the only player on the course for quite a while. As I set up my push cart, my friend Geary pulled up and we quickly agreed to play together. As we walked towards the first tee, I noticed that Geary only had one club in his hand; his 9-iron! And then our conversation started!Geary and I talked about playing 18 holes with one club and the benefits from not bringing an entire set. We also discussed why he decided to play with one club and his logic makes great sense so I thought I would highlight what he had to say.

Geary plays with one club to, first, improve the use of that club. Today, as I said earlier, was a 9-iron. He has used other clubs in the past and his reasons remain the same. He uses this club for every shot to include off the tee, through the fairway and chipping around the green. He did not putt with this club because would be considered negative training.

When playing with one club Geary says he is:

  • Managing his expectations. He does not keep score. His intention is to practice on-course situations and tries to learn from each shot. By playing 18 holes with one club, it is like hitting a large bucket of balls at the range.
  • He does not try to over hit the club, but, in this case, hit a normal 140 – 150 yard shot high in the air. He does not try to squeeze out extra yardage because he would normally not try to hit his 9-iron farther. He did hit the ball a bit farther on a few occasions, but that was not his intent.
  • He tried to shape the ball into the green. We discussed how to draw the ball and I gave him some pointers and he hit about 20 shots trying different techniques. He stopped after a bit and focused on hitting his club as expected.
  • He uses one club to sharpen his play around the green. He had to play bump and runs, chip shots, semi-flops, and punch shots all day. This the type of practice is valuable for his 9-iron and other clubs as well.
  • Geary and I also talked course management. Using one club, he had to think about his next shot and sometimes the one after that; it was not good practice just to swing away. He tried to focus on his play even though he was using only one club.
  • Lastly, Geary uses one club from time to time to mix things up. Golf can get stale for some, but by using one club, he is in different places on the course than normal and this allows him to see the course from a different perspective.

I amI have played a round of golf with one club in the past. I can say that I have not played this way in a few years. I think it might be time to give it a go and if I do, I think I will start with my 7-iron.

Have you every played a round of golf with one club? If so, how were your results? What club did you use?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


10 thoughts on “Playing Golf With One Club

  1. Aloha Jim,

    I haven’t tried playing with just one club … but I have done something similar.

    Recently a hotel asked me to take three women out on the course. We were a little pressed for time so I played from the forward tees with them … and ignored all of my clubs longer than the 8 iron.

    This worked out wonderfully well. Our group stayed pretty much together and we moved along at a good clip. As a bonus, I really enjoyed seeing the course from a different angle.

    My score was higher, but not near as high as expected. My second shots weren’t going to reach the green anyway, so I began trying to place them where I could chip without the distraction of a bunker. This increased the number of one putts.

    On that day I learned many new things about a course that already I knew well … and I had a lot of fun doing it.

    A Hui Hou,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did one time, back when I was just out of college……..more than a few years ago. I only played 9 holes this way and if I remember shot a low 40 round. Somewhat success for keeping the ball in play. Was a bit though pitching from about 40 to 100 yards…… but proved to be valuable practice for club control and learning to adapt. I did use a putter as well. Chipping wasn’t bad, using a 5 iron to chip with was similar to a putting stroke. Where got tricky was if you were close to the green and had a bank or bunker to carry. Bump and run for the bank…..kind of a soft punch over bunkers with as much loft as you could get. The course didn’t have that many bunkers, so it wasn’t a big problem.


    • Sounds like your experience was a good one. I like the fact that you explained some of the tricky shots you had to make, very much like on the course during an actual round. Thanks for contributing.



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