By Paul Myers
Is there a right distance to hit each of your clubs? Well, no – that is going to vary from golfer to golfer. However, it can be very important to knowing each golf club’s distance, as well as having an appropriate gap in between each so you don’t have any yardages on the course that you can’t handle with relative ease. Once you have nailed down how far all of your clubs go, and under what conditions, you can be able to make more confident decisions when you are pulling a club out of the bag.
One step in the journey to having accurate distances for your clubs can be simply writing down your carry distance for each shot. While it might seem like a pain at first, it will only take a few seconds and can be a big help after just a few rounds. In fact, if you can stick with the process of note taking for just a few rounds, you will already have enough information to get a clear picture of the distance to expect from each club.
If you want to take it a step further, you can enter all of your shots into a spreadsheet and create detailed averages for them. This isn’t necessary for the average amateur golfer, but is an option if you like to get deep into the details of improving your game.
Some Clubs are more about Control then Distance
When you are standing up on the tee with a driver in your hands, most of the time you want to hit is as far as possible while still being in play. Sure, you want to hit the fairway as well, but blasting it down there and impressing your friends along the way can be a lot of fun. Nothing wrong with that at all.
However, once you get up to that drive and you have a wedge in your hands, the whole conversation changes. It is all about getting the ball close to the hole, no matter what distance that means you hit a certain club. Many people are not impressed by how far you can hit a wedge, so stop trying to smash your short irons. Control is paramount with short clubs, and you should rarely if ever swing full out when holding a wedge. In fact, you might learn how far you hit your wedges at a maximum of 90% effort, and stick with that for your standard shot.
Building Your Distance Profile
Once you have taken the time to write down distances for all of your shots over the period of a few rounds, and learned how to swing in control with your wedges, you can put together a list of golf club distances for each club in the bag. Some golfers like to write this down and bring it with them on the course, others commit it easily to memory – do whatever you are comfortable with.
It is important to remember that you may have to adjust your distances as the weather changes, or you play different courses. For example, if the temperature goes up twenty degrees in the summer, might expect more carry distance. Likewise, when playing at higher altitude, the ball may stay up in the air longer. Be ready to adapt your numbers as you go, and remember that how far you hit your clubs is ever-changing based on a number of factors. Pay attention to your carry distances round after round so that you are never left unsure as to what club is right for the shot.
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