Every time I hear the term “gap wedge” I want to throw up.
If you are following the 14 club rule and you have a gap wedge, you are wasting one of the 14.
A 64 degree wedge? Give me a break, are you trying to hit yourself in the nose? I know Phil Mickelson is one of the best short game players in the world, but Dave Putz (not a typo) is corrupting his mind. Phil was a great short game player and had the greatest flop shot in the game before the 64 degree wedge, also another wasted spot in the bag…plus, you are not Phil Mickelson.
Most really good golfers need three wedges and most golfers that shoot over 80 only need two wedges.
Those spots in the bag need to be taken up by high lofted woods and hybrids.
I played with a guy the other day who had a putter, a driver, a 3-wood, 4iron-9iron and 5 wedges (all of which went the same distance) and he shot over 100.
Here is what I think most people should use.
For players who shoot under 80:
48 degree PW
54 degree SW
58 degree LW
For the over 80 shooter:
Driver-with way more loft than you you think. Tiger is using a 10 degree, why do you have an 8?
3-wood (if you want a third wedge really, really bad you can replace the 3 and 5-wood with a 4-wood)
50 degree PW
56 degree SW
For those of you who are listening to your egos right now saying, “well, Monte is pretty funny sometimes, but I like my long irons and wedges and I hit the ball too far for high lofted woods and hybrids.”
Well folks, Tiger often carries a 5-wood, Vijay can be seen with a 7-wood in his bag, most of the PGA Tour carries a hybrid…and myself, a one time longest hitter in the world…I have a hybrid in my bag.
Do you know anything about the lofts on the fairway woods and hybrids that tour players carry? You mention Tiger plays a 10 degree driver, but I’m curious about the lofts on his 3-wood and 5-wood, or the loft of Vijay’s 7-wood. It is my observation that lofts can vary between different models and manufacturers. Any insight?
I couldn’t agree more with your comments about lofts being different between manufacturers. Generally though, they are not more than 1 or 2 degrees different and tour player lofts are pretty accurate.
I’d say 3 wood lofts on the tour are about 30% 13 degree and 70% are 15 degree. It might be 20-80.
Tiger’s 5 wood is probably about 18 degrees and Vijay’s 7-wood was probably around 21 or 22. I believe he mostly uses a hybrid instead of a 7-wood now.
Gone are the days when my buddies and I would carry around our macho 1-irons…. Now we’ve taken it to the opposite extreme with our metro-sesual set of wedges. Thanks for putting it in perspective. Being a die-hard Watson fan, I really bought into his whole 3-wedge system. Also, I believe he was the one who really popularized the 60 degree wedge back in the 80’s.
My Dad just shot a 106 and regularly hits a 1 iron. Your point is proven.
If he shoots 106, he shouldn’t have a 1,2 or 3…and maybe not even a 4.
Bought a new set of clubs. Very happy, but don’t ask what brand. OK, Wishon.
Driver 9.5 – 275
15 degree – 245
old hogan 19 hybrid – 215
3 iron – 204
4 – 191
5 – 178
6 – 165
7 – 152
8 – 139
9 – 126
pw – 113
gap – 100 (at 52 degrees isn’t this an old pw?)
sw – 80
I’ve eliminated the 60 degree for now because I hit the 3 iron very well and its fits into a gap between hybrid and 4 iron. It seems as thoiugh I have come across a number of shots that require about 200-205. When I try to hit the hybrid easy, I pure it and hit it top distance. I wish I could incorporate a 60 degree, but don’t know what club to get rid of (maybe the 4 iron). Anyway, ultimately, I will probabaly use any 5 of the following 7 given the 14 club limit, depending on the course and the weather (3w/17 hybrid/19 hybrid/3 iron/4 iron/sand w/lob w).
First let me say…Great Blog! It is refreshing to hear someone say what you do, only if more would listen. You need to get hooked up with Golf Digest/Golf Magazine. As for the club set up, I break 80 most times out and have never carried more than two wedges, a 50 degree and 54 degree, sometimes a 56 degree depending what was on sale when I visited the golf shop. I don’t think I have ever owned a 60 degree. Last Saturday I was playing with a “chop” who informs us he is going to move back to some longer tees on the back nine because being to close is throwing off his distances into the green. I’m like, huh? He made one par with a thin tee shot that rolled onto the green from 180 yards. So on the first par 3, 170 yards into a light breeze, he informs his cart partner after coming up 15 yards short he should “have hit a full 6 iron instead of a smooth 5 iron. I had to laugh to myself. Less I digress…I dated a girl that was a LPGA Teaching Pro who flat out said most amatures should not carry a 60 degree wedge, she also taught me good fundamentals when I was taking up the game that I still rely on. It was 20 years ago we dated, I haven’t had a lesson since. My swing ain’t picture perfect but it is effective and repeatable. I look forward to more of your blogs…great stuff.
Thank you Don. You got some really good advice from that teacher. I find it very funny when high handicappers play as if they are on the PGA Tour. It really hurts their scores. Hearing a 100 shooter talk about his 8 iron goes 143 yards cracks me up. I try to laugh with them and say if they didn’t think so much about things like that, they would shoot lower.
I am glad you enjoy the blog.