Stop Using All Your Golf Clubs

I carry 14 clubs when I play golf. I never add or subtract from that number because each club has a specific role. Although I might not hit every club during each round, the situation will occur where I will need a specific club within two rounds or so. I realize that carrying a specific club (like my lob wedge) for limit use might not be the best strategy, but it works for my game. As I continue to play, there are days when I am not hitting a specific club well and it is costing me strokes; so, what should I do to rectify this weakness in my game. Well, some recommend to stop using that club and work around it. However, I am not so sure this is the best way to approach my game.

Every golfer hits a certain club poorly from time to time. It is inevitable and the solution I have heard from many players is to put the club in the penalty box, sin bin, or trunk of their car. They do not replace this banished club, but play around the gaps it leaves in their game. They continue to play in this way until they feel brave enough to pull their ostracized our of its timeout. This situation is perpetual and is not a long term solution to hitting a club poorly.

Even this vintage club would not make the penalty box!

Personally, I give my club a few rounds before I start to panic. Even if this club is one that I use often (driver, 7 iron, wedges, putter). I generally do not panic after a few shots because that is the nature of playing amateur golf.

In the past, my failure to hit a club well is usually starts off with a hitch in my swing, then repeated mishits pushes my concern into the mental realm. I would start to worry about my poor performance and this would just complicate my worsening scores. Back then, I would banish my club and my scores would get better for a short time and then they would get worse. My conclusion was that banning any club was not the solution I needed to be a better golfer.

My new path to fixing my hitting woes was to practice hitting the club in question. I would spend time at the range working out the kinks. It worked out well and taught me that my game needed constant attention to remain sharp. It definitely was a learning experience and helped shape my approach to my game today.

Now, I do not put any club in the penalty box. I continue to use it and take the time to work out the kinks in the range. If that is not possible, I continue to hit my wayward club because I know that I am one stroke away from putting my game back to equilibrium. Therefore, I do not put any club in a time out. I work through my challenges and do not let my brain get in the way. I remain calm, focused and confident knowing that my game will right and will be right in my golfing world.

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

6 thoughts on “Stop Using All Your Golf Clubs

  1. Every time I think about reducing the number of clubs in my bag I will play a longer track
    ( over 6500yds) This always forces me to use every club in the bag, no more Driver/wedge rinse and repeat that we get used to at home.
    ps The music is in the fingers, not the fiddle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BMc

      Great points. I agree that it is rarely the equipment. The 6 inches of real estate between my ears is generally the problem. I played Windermere at 6200 yards and found it played significantly longer and I was glad to have all my clubs that day.

      Cheers Jim


  2. You certainly would not want to put that hickory bulldog in a time out, it is money out of the rough, LOL.

    Since I play clubs from different eras on a regular basis, I am frequently changing out clubs in my bag. I generally don’t put a club in a timeout, instead try to figure out what I am doing wrong.

    It is interesting that my vintage play has had a big influence on what clubs are included in my “modern” bag. My long iron play is better and I now only carry one hybrid which is essentially the modern Bulldog that you pictured in your post. I have also replaced modern FW’s with my old Taylormade V-Steels with steel shafts, they are more reliable. Modern FW have too long of shafts and I choose consistency over a little extra length.

    I believe my philosophy is to accept the challenge and learn how to use each club when it’s purpose is called upon. Scoring is secondary to the whole experience and it usually works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorne,

      I agree with your philosophy. As I become a vintage player, score is a factor, but is quickly becoming a secondary state to hitting the ball well and having fun. The last is more crucial most of the time.

      Cheers Jim


  3. I would liken banishing a club to giving up before you start. I would also repeat the old maxim “it’s not the club, it’s the swing”. But it can also be in the mind. AND, it can be the equipment or any combination.

    Long irons for instance are notoriously harder to hit well while hybrids and higher lofted fairway woods can help you find more fairways and greens consistently simply because of their design.

    And clubs can be damaged without visible signs. Loft or lie angle changes from not treating our clubs well or from hidden hazards like roots can happen. And that can cause havoc to the results of a good swing.

    Solutions range from practice, to lessons, to equipment changes or repair. I generally start with the practice myself, but I think the proper way to go if we really want to be serious about the game is to default to seeing a pro.

    This week we missed out on golf. That’s 40 dollars budgeted for play that can now go to another lesson sometime soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      My intent was not about a broken club, just someone hitting it poorly. Lessons are always a good idea regardless of the condition of our game. The challenge is finding a good golf instructor in my area. Living in the country is a challenge for sure.

      Cheers Jim


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