Gapping Your Clubs for the Right Distances
Here’s a easy way to review your clubs’ distance gapping to maximize each club in the bag. The old adage of 10 yards per club is great in theory, but doesn’t translate well on the course.
First, we need to identify favorite or “necessary” yardages that fit your game. Do you have a par-three on your home course that is in between clubs for you? Are you confident from 120 yards, but only have a 115-yard club in your bag? Once you identify a couple of crucial distances, you will have a framework with which to fill in the gaps. If you don’t have a club that you can count on to cover those critical yardages, then you can have your clubs “tweaked” to provide you with the distance control you need to make a good shot.
I like to think of clubs in three different categories. Each category has a general spacing you should be looking for between each club. And the best place to start is where it counts the most; the scoring clubs. A general rule of thumb would be to have 10 yards in between your scoring clubs. Think of scoring clubs as ones you would be confident pin hunting with. For most recreational and even accomplished players this would be 8-iron down to your wedges. Because the targets of these clubs are the tightest, having more options will take away a lot of half shots feeling you have to manufacture a swing to get the golf ball to the pin.
Then move on to “hopeful clubs.” These are clubs that you “hope” to get on the green with. This can be a wide range of clubs and takes some honesty to figure out. Mid-irons to long-irons and hybrids fall into this category. Between these clubs you should strive for a gap of 15 yards per club. Having enough options will cover all your carries without having clubs too close together, which can add confusion to club selection.
The last group to look at would be the “distance clubs”. Driver, fairway woods, and some long-irons or hybrids would be classified as distance clubs. The primary goal of these clubs is to hit the ball as far as possible; 20 yards per distance club here would be good spacing. This provides the largest room for error on the harder to hit clubs and takes away some confusion in the decision making process of what stuck to pull from your golf bag.
Don’t be surprised if you have less than 14 clubs in your bag when you are done figuring out your club gapping! As long as you cover the crucial yardages in your game the rest will fall into place.
Todd Daignault is the owner and club fitter at Prove It Golf. He can be reached at (860) 257-4550 or www.ProveItGolf.com