High Handicap Bag Set-up Discussion
(TL/DR at the bottom) I have some questions about setting up my bag and wanted to bounce some ideas off the community here.
My goal is to get a set up that I feel I am the most confident in and the most consistent on my home course.
If that comes at the expense of ideal gapping or makes my bag less versatile outside my home course I am willing to make that trade off for now. I don't have aspirations of breaking 80 anytime soon. I know I should get lessons and I plan on doing that before next spring. My average score is around 96 and I don't have an official handicap. I have only really been playing since this past May outside of once or twice year previously before buying my own clubs this year. I pretty much only play at my closest muni course. It's the cheapest and it's only about 5 minutes from my house. Its not particularity long or difficult by a good golfer's standards. 5593 total from the whites. The Avg par 4 is 332 yds and the par 5's average out to about 460 yrds, again all from the whites. My current bag set-up is as follows (numbers are based on the driving range and on course data I have collected, I haven't gotten on a launch monitor outside of trying/buying a club):
Driver 9 degree head turned up to 2 to 11 degrees. I get my most consistent ball flight and distance from this setting. The 9 gave me the best numbers that day in the store but up 2 degrees works much better for me on the course - Total average is about 270 set like this
HL 3 Wood at 16.5 Degrees - total average is 235 off the tee but I have hit some into the 250's. But I can't hit it off the deck whatsoever. I get lucky sometimes when I try and hit it off a mat at the range but never off actual turf.
3 Hybrid 19 degrees - a well struck shot will go nearly that same distance as my 3 wood maybe 220. But a well struck shot with this club is the anomaly here.
4 Hybrid 22 degrees - I can hit this club pretty consistently 200 yards plus if I don't chunk it and up to 220 total or more on the right hole from a tee.
5i-PW at 45 Degrees - I don't hit my 5 iron consistently but I am "ok" with my irons. my 8 iron is my 150 yard club when well struck.
Gw at 52 - This almost never gets used. It is about a 110 yard full swing and I have found that I am never really at that yardage.
Sw at 56 - about 90-95 yards on a full swing but it can balloon on my and fall short. I am finding I don't use it on full swings often though. Pretty much use it 80 yards and in.
and of course the 3-putt machine.
I have been playing around with my bag set up the last few times I've been out after tracking club use. I played this past weekend and my average distance with my driver was 273 yards (again that is total, with roll out). So the driver is staying and staying set at 11 degrees for now because if I am swinging well it works and I get some really good distance. On my home course that means I am usually a nice wedge shot away from the green and when I put that all together and don't 3 putt everything I give myself a real shot at breaking 40 over 9 holes (I've been close to doing so twice haha). My 3 wood was my tee-off club before I got my driver. I have however, tee'ed off with both my driver and 3 wood when playing solo and the course wasn't busy to see which one is more accurate. Given my current skill level, there isn't much difference in accuracy and my driver goes further. If my driver isn't working for me I can't rely on my 3 wood either, I am better off with a hybrid or iron to get through a bad round. So currently my 3 wood goes is pretty much useless to me off the deck, be it fairway or rough. I just can't hit it if its not on a tee. I don't really love either of my hybrids but I hit the 4 more consistently which results in the overall distances between the 2 being very similar. I think more than anything this has to do with the shorter shaft length. It is more comfortable at address and just feels easier to swing and make contact with as a result. So currently the smart play for me is to go to the 4 hybrid for my second shot on a par 5, or if the driver isn't working, or for shorter par 4 that I need to keep it in the fairway for. I think I am an OK iron player but I don't have a lot of confidence in my 5 iron. I don't hit it that often on the course, so that might be why.
So here's what I tried:
I took the 3 hybrid out of the bag. I didn't miss it. I took the 5 iron out of the bag. I ended up needing a shot longer than my 6 iron but shorter than my 4 hybrid after a short tee shot so the 5 went back in this past weekend and it turned out I needed it again so it'll stay for now. I took my 52 out and just manufacture shots with my PW (which is 45 degrees) with partial swings or choking down if it's a yardage that my 56 can't reach. Around the green I chip with a hybrid, 7, or PW whenever possible so the 52 doesn't have much use there either. That seems to work so the 52 is staying out for now but my get bent to 51 or 50 later and go back in if I feel I need it. Other than testing accuracy, I only used that 3 wood for one tee box and it's likely a shot that would have been better served by my 3 hybrid if I could hit it well. These changes haven't really made any improvement but it hasn't hurt me either. I am going to keep the 6i-PW, 56 the same for now and the 5 iron will probably stay as well.
Here's what I'm thinking of trying:
1 - I am going to put my 3 hybrid back in and take the 3 wood out. First I'll spend some range time with it first to try and get comfortable with it. It's not like my 3 wood is going to help my out if my driver isn't working. This doesn't involve spending money so it makes sense for me to try it first.
2 - If one works. Find 3 and 4 hybrids that I like better.
3 - Drop my 3 wood for a 5 wood to try out. I can see if the shorter shaft and slightly higher loft of a 5 wood makes it easier to hit off the deck if needed. It may go a similar distance off the tee if I need it as well. Drop the 3 hybrid and keep the 4.
3- Drop the 3 wood drop my current hybrids, drop my 5 iron. Get a 5 wood, get 2 hybrids that fill the yardage gaps appropriately.
4 - Keep my 3 wood, hope I can dedicate the time and practice to learning to hit it off the deck, get a hybrid (maybe adjustable one) in the 20-21 degree range to replace my current 3 and 4 hybrids. Keep the 5 iron or add a 5 hybrid in it's place.
TL/DR: I avg. 96 or so a round. My driver is fine for now. My 3 wood is useless useless off the deck. I don't love either of my hybrids but I hit my 4H better than the 3H.
Anyone else go through some similar experimentation and find similar options that worked best for you? Any other suggestions.