QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Which club manufacturer do you believe makes the best equipment, and why?
Email us and we will publish reader responses in the Sept. 13 issue. Please include your first and last name, along with city and state of residence.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK FOR AUG. 16: Are you comfortable with the 14-club limit? Would you like to have fewer or more clubs in your bag?
With the expansion of types of clubs, making the limit 16 might make a lot of sense. Having room for an additional hybrid and wedge could help average golfers play better — and maybe even faster. Golfers who carry their clubs would be impacted the most, as their bags are plenty heavy with 14 clubs. You can bet most Tour players would add another wedge immediately.
So many of them currently go with 52 and 60. They have needs for longer clubs that go 256, 242, 228 yards that I can not even imagine in my bag.
— Al Fiscus | Searcy, Ark.
Actually, I would like to see a professional event/exhibition where players are limited to four clubs — one wood, two irons, one putter. I think then people would see just how talented PGA Tour players really are in terms of shot making. As for a regular player’s bag, I don't think it matters one way or another, but fewer would always be preferable over more as long as it transfers into faster play.
— Casey Alexander | Harrisburg, N.C.
We’re all comfortable with 14 clubs, but if we’re honest — especially us older guys — 10 or 12 clubs would do just fine. Less decisions:
– for some reason I like my 4-iron — it doesn’t match my set and is a forged semi-hybrid iron with a bigger sole. Gets me out of the rough and I have confidence in that darn club.
– I really should get rid of the 5-iron, I’d rather jump on my 6 or slide that 4. Plus that darn 5 has let me down too often.
– also don’t seem to need the 9-iron especially since my yardage gap has shrunk. Again crank the 47-degree or slide the 8-iron.
– probably could get rid of the 60 since I’m not Phil [Mickelson]. For every great shot I hit with it and get rewarded, I seem to give one back thinking lightning can strike twice.
– my last thought is maybe get a 58-degree sand wedge with slightly less bounce that would work both out of the bunker and with a slightly open face that would function as a 60.
I know the club manufacturers won’t support this, but I really don’t think your handicap will suffer.
— Bob Weingartner | Castle Rock, Colo.
I would support less clubs. You can use a 6-degree gap from a 10-degree driver (10, 16, 22, 28, 34, 40, 46, 52, 58 and putter), instead of the commonly used 3-4 degree gap.
A 10-club set would significantly reduce cost of purchasing clubs, reduce weight of bag by nearly 4 pounds, which could promote more walking. Most handicaps would not know the difference after a couple of rounds.
— Harry Geller | McLean, Va.
The “old school” philosophy is to make shots. Move the ball different directions and distances with each club. It is not necessary to use each club to its maximum capability for distance. So, a driver, putter, two wedges, two hybrids, two irons. Play from the appropriate tees for your skill level.
— Dudley Lewis | Lincoln, Calif.
Golf is an art. The golf course is the canvas or palette. The golfer is the artist. As in all of the arts there are good artists and not so good artists.
The clubs are the tools or brushes to create the art. The art is the form or shape of the golf shot, like hitting a straight shot down the fairway or a draw or a fade. It’s very artistic in a 15 mph right-to-left wind to hang it out to the right and have the wind bring it back on target. It’s artistic to fade or draw around a tree, go over the tree, or under the branches. There are two parts of the golf game. One is played in the air and the other is played on the ground. We are allowed only 13 clubs for the air game and just one for the ground game. Golf has evolved from carrying two wedges and long irons like a 2- or a 1-iron to four wedges and hybrids to replace the long irons. With the 14-club limit this has created gaps in the distance between the strong hybrid to the 3-wood, plus there are no get out of trouble clubs like hitting a low shot from under low hanging branches. Before the four wedges came on the scene, I had no gaps in my game. Every distance was accounted for with driver, 3-wood, 4-wood, 2- to 9-irons, pitching and sand wedge, and putter. Fourteen clubs took care of everything.
Now I don’t have enough clubs to cover every distance. Adding the lob and gap wedges eliminated two of my longer clubs. I am having to use my driver a lot to make those trouble shots from under trees — and even from short distances that the 2-iron was perfect for in those situations. The evolution to carrying four wedges — lob, sand, gap and pitching wedge — has put a strain on the amount of longer clubs to get the job done. With that said, I feel that the 14-club rule should be changed to at least 15 or even no limit. Who cares how many clubs a player has in his or her bag. There is a limit to how many clubs you can fit in a bag anyway, plus how many more pounds of weight do you want to put on your caddie’s back. The art of golf shouldn’t be limited by the amount of colors and shapes of brushes to paint a full picture of the player’s game.
— Carl Saunders | Los Angeles, Calif.
Eleven would be plenty. Lots of configurations would work — pick and choose. Most people don't have the skill or ability of the pros to be so precise to need 14 clubs. Ten clubs and a putter should suffice. Adjust lofts as needed, bounce as preferred, and live with it.
— Fred Clark | Mobile, Ala.
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