Hitting The Right Club at the Right Time

Club selection is a challenge for most players. The factors to consider before making any shot can almost be incalculable. Many times we under club our shot because we think that a 7-iron into a 2 club wind will go the distance because we did once a long time ago. Or we think we can hit our 3-wood 220 yards in the air and carry the pond; we are shocked when we fall short! Golf is about decisions and hitting the right club at the right time is definitely one of the most crucial.

I wish there was a checklist I could follow to ensure I always made the right club selection, but alas there does not seem to be one. Well, I guess I will have to make one up. The challenge I have is accounting for everything possible scenario and even then I am not sure I could capture them all. But, it would be worth a try because it would be useful to at least lessen the mystery of picking the club.

To start, here is a short list of variables that will serve as foundation for my larger solution:

  • Wind
  • Temperature
  • Lie of ball
  • Ground conditions
  • Green position
  • How I am hitting the ball
Selecting the right club at the right time!

I could go on and will in the future, but to provide a more versatile checklist, I will need to add some explanation to each category. Of course, this data will be the world according to The Grateful Golfer, but it should provide some use to others. Actually, I am hoping you will help by adding your view to my draft; some crowd sourcing per-say.

If you have been golfing for any length of time, you probably have an innate list. I know I do, but sometimes it fails. So moving forward, I think this checklist will help us select the right club at the right time!

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

4 thoughts on “Hitting The Right Club at the Right Time

  1. Hey Jim, good post!

    You mention “green location”. I’d like to add one: hole location.

    Jack Nicklaus has always been a believer in hitting your approach shot to the middle of the green more often than not, especially in U.S. Opens and Masters. But every once in a while, you see a flagstick over in the far left corner of a green and you KNOW you can hit that little 154-yard baby draw and make it dance next to the hole…

    I’ve always drawn on past experience too, though. Pre-shot routine and all that stuff. I key in on what has worked in the past in a similar situation.

    When it comes down to it, go with your gut. That’s typically a good feeling and one we ALL dismiss, especially on those 220-yard carries over the pond that falls 10 yards short 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of them all, wind is probably my biggest issue. Will the ball float, get knocked down, or get more carry than you expect is sometimes very hard to guess correctly. The winds yesterday weren’t too bad. About 12 mph gusting to 18 and for the most part I judged them pretty well. But on one hole I carried too far. I had the wind at my back on a par 5 that doglegs left. There is water to contend with on the left but I knew that wouldn’t be a problem hitting with the wind. The question was how far left to aim. Get it right and you’re left with as little as a 9 iron approach and an eagle opportunity. Get it wrong and the worst is you lose a ball in the water. I got it only partially right. I hit the line I chose and my swing was one of my best of the day, but I could not see the area I was aiming for around the corner and judged the direction wrong. In this case I not only cleared the water but crossed the fairway and ended up a few feet into the rough on the far side. Had I aimed farther left by just 5 to 10 more degrees, I’d have been hitting my second with at most a 7 iron. And that would have given me a decent chance at eagle. But my chances at getting on the green from where I landed were drastically reduced. That hole requires perfection to reach in two. The hole has a tall pine tree right in the middle of the fairway blocking the green. From where I landed, I needed a 6 iron to get the right distance but I can’t clear the tree with that club. So I had to try punching under instead from about 162 yards out. I didn’t make the green, but thankfully I got close and chipped up for an easy birdie putt. But it felt a bit like a letdown. It’s not often the conditions give you a chance at eagle on that hole and I had just missed one of them by guessing wrong. Even though every swing I made on the hole was one I could be fairly proud of, I still had missed an opportunity because of one minor error in judgement.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin

      Wow, what an interesting hole! I can see how an inch here or there would make a world of difference. I enjoy holes like that and we have a few on our course. Wind is definitely an issue in my shot decision! It is tough to figure out exactly how things are affected until I hit a few. It is all fun though…..right?

      Cheers Jim


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