Hitting Our Golf Clubs To Distance

During the past golf season, I found that I needed to rely on my club distances more than in the past. I am not sure why this was the case, but as I played different courses, I need to pay more attention to how far I was hitting each club. In some cases and to my total frustration, I was habitually short on approach shots. Usually, it was a full club and it took me some time to adjust to what seemed to be my hitting woes. Because I was not hitting my ball as expected, I started to pay more attention to club distances and came to an not to surprising conclusion.

After many years of practice, I determined my club distances for a standard shot. Each club flew to that distance with a variable of up to 10 yards depending on how I am hitting. 10 yards seems like a great distance, but in reality I am not a professional and hitting to my distance 70% of the time is good enough for my game. For purposes of discussion, I will use my 7 iron flight distance of 150 yards which I can achieved easily with no wind on a dry day.

On the days that I struggled hitting the ball to the distance I wanted, I wondered what was happening. The first challenge was the course was very wet and there was zero roll. These course conditions set up a perfect opportunity to test what I think are my flight distances with my clubs. As I continue to loop the courses, I found that I was hitting the ball 5 yards shorter than I actually thought. I an not sure where those extra yards went, but my stock 7 iron’s flight distance is actually 145 yards, not 150 yards. The missing yardage took some time adjusting too, but when I did I was able to hit the ball to the distances I needed to lower my score.

Interestingly, during drier course conditions, the missing 5 yards resurfaces. I am not surprised by the change in my flight distance, but it did give me something to think about and develop a course management strategy moving forward. Before I explain how I approach my above woes, here is a great video to offers a method to easily determine your flight distances for each club.

During the video, I found one statement particularly interesting. There are several clubs for each flight distance and as a player, it is important to figure out what those clubs are in order to play golf that suits our game. I have acquired this knowledge years ago, however I neglected to use this knowledge when I was playing wet courses.

The simple application of hitting the proper flight distance is something I should not have missed during my poor hitting rounds. Interestingly, I say poor hitting rounds when in fact I was hitting the ball okay, I just had the wrong club in my hand. Even experienced golfers like myself make fundamental errors from time to time, but no longer. Now that I am aware of my course management strategy, I need to take steps to improve my game.

Starting next year, I am going to retest my club flight distances. I am going to use the simple method in the video and establish the short, medium and long distances for what I think are my stock flight distances at this time. It is a good idea to question our game knowledge from time to time and this will be one of ways I will challenge mine; it is important!

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

2 thoughts on “Hitting Our Golf Clubs To Distance

  1. “They don’t hit it as far as they think in the air”. That’s carry distance. And he’s right. Most of us think in terms of how far the ball goes in total not how far it carries.

    Rainy season has it’s reason for being and this is it. Hit to a wet green and your divot gives you your carry distance. And that’s the distance we want to be using when choosing a club for our approach shots. And this applies with our chips, pitches, and lobs as well. Roll out varies depending on shot and surface so carry is the easiest to learn too. After 3+ months of tropical storms and a hurricane I feel pretty dialed in to my carry distances with all kinds of shots. 😁

    The sun had already dropped below the horizon when we teed off on 18 tonight. By the time everyone else was in the green wasn’t green anymore. It was black. You couldn’t read a putt on then if your life depended on it. But thankfully, I’ve played that hole over 700 times. I knew the putt I needed to make and I dropped that 5 foot right to lefter to ruin Bruce’s night and keep him from taking that last skin and the win alone. Only 50 cents added to the pocket for those of us in the winners circle but Bruce’s reaction to that putt dropping was priceless. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I have finished rounds like that. I was hitting from 150 yards once and could not see the green. I had to trust my distances and actually hit an extra club to be sure. I finished in the middle of the green and two putted for par. Talk about trusting your distances. Congrats on holding off Bruce, it is always fun to step up in the moment.

      Cheers Jim


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