Hitting Different Clubs Off The Tee

A couple days ago, I played at Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort. It is a par 37, 9 hole golf course in my local area. It was the first time I played this course in 2020, but have played it many times in the past. The aspect I like about this course is that only use a driver on five holes. The rest of the time I used an iron or my 3 hybrid. When using different clubs off the tee, it is important to have a distance left to the green in mind before teeing it up to ensure you use the correct club.

I could have used my 3 hybrid off the tees for the entire course, but I decided that for the first time to play the course straight up. It was slow playing so I played two balls and shot 2 and 3 over par. I never made any birdies, nor had a great GIR percentage; however my up and down game was solid as I chipped close to most elevated greens.

On the none par 3s where I used irons, I hit my 3 hybrid. I need about 210 yards to reach my desired distance of 110 yards. I chose this distance because I wanted to hit my pitching wedge for practice. As it turned out, I needed more practice because I hit most of my approach shots short to the elevated greens.

Hitting my 3 hybrid off the green was very strategic. On the 7th hole, I had to draw the ball around a green guarding the fairway. Because I was playing two balls I did it twice in a row. On the other hole (the 4th), hit over the tree and came to rest about 110 yards from the green. I could have easily hit any club, but these two shots worked out very almost identical as I was on the left side of the fairway with a wide open shot to the green.

Hitting a different club off the tee was a great feeling. It is something that I sometimes overlook at Opsrey Links Golf Course. There are many opportunities to hit different clubs to take advantage of the weather, course conditions, and how I am striking the ball. I think the next time I play (which was yesterday) Osprey Links, I will try a different strategy.

Course management off the tee is very important. It sets the foundation for all the other shots needed to be successful. Ben Hogan said it best:

Using the right club off the tee is critical to low golf scores. I hit my driver very well most of the time, but could gain an advantage by hitting something different from time to time. It is a mindset and one that I think I need to adopt a bit more often.

Do you use different clubs off the tee box or rely on your driver?

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

9 thoughts on “Hitting Different Clubs Off The Tee

  1. I rarely use driver unless it’s a par 4 over 420 yds or a par 5. I hit 3 wood most times and I use 3 or 4 iron off the tee. I’m looking for position. Conditions will determine what distance I want to achieve with what club. But unlike my friend, Vince, I don’t walk up to the tee with driver in hand.

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    • Linley

      If you are a long hitter, then not using your driver on most holes is a great idea. I am not a long hitter and need to use my driver to set up my approach shots. Additionally, my driver is probably the most consistent club in my bag.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

      • I carry my 3 wood about 235 – 240 on average. It’s not long but long enough. My iron play was very good. And on my way back. So I don’t have a problem playing mid to long irons. My driver is not very consistent. I’m jealous that driver is the most consistent club in your bag.

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  2. Jim, I too prefer the driver. Lately I’ve found that if I mess up a hole because of a poor drive, I’ll switch to a 3WD on the next tee shot and ensure that I get the ball in play. The benefit of keeping your ball in position seems to outweigh the extra length you might gain with the driver.

    Feeling in control is an essential part of my game management strategy. Put otherwise: when you’re in a hole, stop digging. . .

    Thanks,

    Brian

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    • Brian,

      I definitely understand you desire to right the ‘drive train’ 🙂 Unfortunately, I have found that it does not always work and I mess up with my 3 wood as well. I do agree that feeling in control is very important to playing consistent golf. I just wish it was always as easy as hitting one good shot.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Hitting Totally different Golf equipment Off The Tee - Sports News

  4. Good post. We do tend to get in a rut at our home course and it’s important to try new strategies there especially I think. If only to keep us fresh.

    I went out thinking about your post from yesterday. I didn’t club up every time, but with a few exceptions, I was looking for a club I could hit 80% of to do the job. And the 5 times I hit my driver were all at 80% instead of full swings. And the result was an easy 1 over round. I lost one stroke to a bad 2nd putt from 4 feet (it had a bit of break in it and I hit right through it being cocky) and I lost two to bad sand shots (those hurt, I’m better than that from the sand). And gained a couple back and gave myself opportunities during the round for a few more that I didn’t quite manage to convert (my putting was a little off today not terrible, but not quite up to standards if you know what I mean).

    The only stress I felt was while making that double. I was at par, and on the longest hole (#13 402 yards). I had hit what should have been a great tee shot. Right where I aimed it. But I had counted on a nice strong sea breeze blowing from my right to keep me out of trouble and the breeze died just as I hit the ball. It ended up in the right rough with a tall pine tree between me and the green 120 yards away. The rough was pretty deep so I chose a 9 iron and the only thing I thought about was clearing that tree. I did, but I didn’t clear the bunker plugged badly in the wall of the trap and it took two swings to get out this time. Both of which were not my best attempts and I had to two putt in. I still think I should have been able to get out the first time and the 2nd, while it got out, was not great either (again, not up to standards). But such is life. I stuck with the game plan after getting past that little debacle and I got one of the lost shots back on the last hole and left happy with my easy 1 over round.

    I’ve played 13 with everything from a 4 iron up since I moved here. The pin is usually on the left and when it is, driver is the play. Had the flag been on the left, the tree and trap would not have been in play though I’d be skirting the edges of that tree. But when the pin is on the right behind the trap, it’s probably the safer bet to hit the 4 iron and just stay on the left side of the fairway for a clear shot into to the left of the pin. Both the 3 iron and wood have a ditch to worry about that crosses the fairway, but the 4 will stay short even with the best swing. It leaves a bigger club in, but it takes out a few things that cause trouble like I had today. Today I chose the driver because of that breeze and the fact that the first 4 shots with the driver had been laser like. A pitching wedge from the fairway is what I wanted and would probably have gotten if the wind had stuck with me. So I don’t think I can fault my choice today. In fact, I’m sure of it because with our no flags corona rule, it’s impossible to tell which side the pin is on from the tee box. It’s a crapshoot unless you paid attention on the way down that stretch, which I didn’t today. Now we have found the root cause of today’s major failure. Maybe it’s possible to be too easy. I should have been scouting as I went. A mental failure.

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    • Kevin,

      Well, it sounds like you had a great game despite your ‘mental error’. My mixing things up and shooting 1 over is not anything to worry about because every golfer things about what was left on the course. I suggest, you did not leave much. Club choice, as you elude too, is always a challenge because of the variables associated to each swing. I think your choices are great and are definitely resulting in low golf scores. Congrats.

      Cheers Jim

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