One of the unforeseen results of all the technology in the golf equipment over the past few decades is that most golfers have really become detached from the real dynamics of their set of clubs. What I call our “tool box.”
If the tools aren’t right for the job, the job is not going to be done efficiently, or even correctly. One story I like to tell to illustrate this point is the auto mechanic. Let’s assume you were referred to two mechanics to work on your new exotic sports car, both highly ‘decorated’ by the company as having passed all their certifications. So you visit both to see what they are all about. The first one has a whole wall of tools and diagnostic devices, neatly arranged. The other has a few wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer and anvil. Which one do you think can get the most out of his training and talent?
In your golf bag, you also have a tool kit. And the only way to get the most out of whatever skill and talent you have is to have a tool kit that optimizes what you know how to do. At one end you have a specialized tool called a driver, which is used to launch the ball off the tee. At the other end is a putter, designed to roll the ball across the green, hopefully into the hole.
In between, you have twelve clubs with which to navigate 2-3 miles of the golf course from tee to green. And the game gets much easier if those tools are arranged to make this effort systematic and organized.
But the reality is that the golf equipment manufacturers have been messing with your tool box, so you probably have some ‘disconnects” in there that are causing you unnecessary problems. The most glaring and damaging to your scoring is that the focus on distance has given you longer shots at the long end of your set, but has widened the distance gaps at the short end. It’s not your fault, but just the way the set has “matured”.
We used to have a set of irons ranging in loft from the 3-iron at about 22 degrees, to the PW at about 50-51. As cavity back irons evolved, the PW began to “move” – to 48, then 47 . . . 46 . . . and now many sets have a P-club as low as 43 degrees. What used to be an 8-iron. The problem is that the 3-iron hasn’t moved but a degree or so, effectively compressing your range of yards covered by 20-25 at least, and removing your valuable high-loft scoring clubs.
This is a bigger topic than can be covered one post, but I can stay on this topic next week. In the meantime, you should do some online research to see just what your lofts are in you set of irons, and make yourself a chart showing each iron and how far you really, comfortably can hit it. That’s a great start to really getting to know your tool box.
And we’ll go to the next step on Tuesday. See you then.