Selecting The Wrong Golf Club At The Right Time

Club selection will make or break any round of golf. It is one of fundamental tenants that all golfers must learn. I am not sure that anyone can be taught club selection or can they? I have played thousands of rounds of golf and through trial and error I have learned how to select the wrong club at the right time. My statement might seem crazy, but sometimes going against our gut feel or learned distances is the proper club choice to make the results we desire. Hence, we are making the wrong club choice at the right time.

Many times I have written that knowing how far we hit each club is very important to lower our golf score. It became the basis of my club selections and I recommend that it becomes the foundation our yours. However, there are times when we have to go against the grain and select a club we know is wrong for the shot, but right for the time. At Mattawa Golf and Ski Resort, there is one hole that challenges my club selection to a point that I still have doubts in my mind every time I step up to the tee.

Hickory shafts were once the newest technology!

The sixth hole at my home course plays about 140 yards. This is normally a light 8 iron for me on level terrain. I have hit this club hundreds, if not thousands, of times and I know this is the right club for this distance. Oh, I forgot to tell you that the green is about 50 feet lower than the green, so a 9-iron would be the right selection…..normally. Unfortunately, the first three times I hit my nine iron, I was short of the green by 15 yards. My next five shots, I clubbed to an 8 iron. It just made the green, but just.

I then selected a 7-iron and found that I was on the green in the front half. I have actually hit a knock down 6-iron the other night because of the wind. I am now in the 7/6 iron zone for most of the tee shots depending on the wind. The challenge I have is that my club selection is completely wrong at the right time. I am not sure why I need to club up when I should club down, but it is what I need to do to hit the green.

Every time I step up to the tee, my mind screams to select my 8 iron. But past experience tells me that selection a club outside my norm is the way to play this hole. The lesson I have learned from playing the sixth hole is to be open to selecting the wrong club at the right time. Golf is about making decisions on what club to use when. The trick is not to be so focused on distance hitting (I cannot believe I am say this) that your forget to play the wrong club at the right time.

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

8 thoughts on “Selecting The Wrong Golf Club At The Right Time

  1. Jim I have encountered the same situation on full swing downhill shots into the wind. My thoughts are that the “hang” time is so long that the head wind (or tail wind) has much more effect than the change of elevation. They do not erase each other.
    # 12 and 15 at Osprey are examples.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BMc

      You are exactly right on that. I have been challenge many times on those holes. The challenging thing is that no matter how often I think I have the problem of club selection solved, something new shows up and I have to start over. The joys of golf.

      Cheers Jim


  2. Jim, the club selection dilemma you described is classic (play to the correct yardage). I would guess it’s the dilemma of 90% of all shots. Much less obvious is the conversation players should have with themselves about where not to hit it and what club will get them there. Some of the best conversations are with miked up pros and caddies. You hear them discuss and it’s fascinating to listen to that approach. I mostly only think that way on par-5 layups. Most folks immediately grab for the 3wd and bombs away but avoiding fairway bunkers for the third and putting yourself into an ideal yardage for your approach is critical.

    Wait till the hot weather comes. You’ll be back to 9-iron / Pitching Wedge on you par-3 hole 🙂



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      You are right about the club selection conversations we have on a routine basis. The 6th hole was a real struggle, but I think I have it figured out now. The factors we have to consider are numerous, but ultimately we have to have confidence in the club we select to hit. I hope you get out this weekend.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Two holes kept me from breaking 75. And almost from breaking 80. Really one hole did it. I got over the first of them and even got those strokes back, But the last mistake cost me a triple. I blame not believing in it enough. I gave it more power and that made it rise too fast and the hero shot was doomed. The unlucky cart path bounce that got me there I just have to take. I could have kicked out, and that would likely have cost me one less stroke as that’s what I did after I failed, but I was playing to a goal. And I was still on track trying to save it from a slight push and a big hit from bad luck catching that cart path. I tried the hero shot. Under branches from one tree and over a wall of mangroves sitting pretty close by. My miss may have been caused be miscalculating the needs of the shot. It may just be I didn’t believe enough in the decision I made and felt I had to change it midstream. I’m not really sure at this point. What I know is it didn’t work out this time. But that’s ok. It was great to be contending if only for 15 and a half holes. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Sometimes we are hero and sometimes not. It sounds like a very tough shot. Second guessing our choices after the fact is a great golf past time. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

      Cheers Jim


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s