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Dropping a middle club (e.g. 5 iron) from the bag


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I was around 115, just not seeing the driver distance I expected compared to others... it might just be my driver swing as I hit the ball with a ton of spin, even with a positive angle of attack.

 

could probably also use a thorough fitting, but finding the right professional has been a challenge.

As of 1/24/21

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18 Degree Adams A12 with Proforce V2

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6-GW Adams CMB with Project X 6.0

Sub70 286 54

Sub70 JB Low Bounce 58

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I play i500 in power spec I only carry 13 clubs {minus 5i}. I could add a 13* fw as you mention to get the 14th   I generally only play 9 clubs as it is

I concern myself more with yardage gaps than any particular club. I am 65 and my first iron is a 7 (more like a 5 in traditionally lofted irons), and my next club is a 25º 9-wood. The yardage gap betw

Hey, as long as you can hit the golf shots you need, use what works! I never adjusted lofts and still go without 5i 🙂.  However, the more comfortable I get with the more versatile 5W and 4H, the

Well I didn't drop a middle club, but basically accomplished the same thing, by dropping a FW and spreading my long iron gaps to 5* I had gotten the extra club for the 5 wood, but it wasn't helping as much as I thought, so I am dropping it and the 60 to add a 58 and a 62.

4 to 5, 5 to 6, and 6 to 7 have 5 degrees spacing in between them. 7 to 8, 8 to 9, 9 to pw have 4. Allowed me to go 46, 50, 54, 58, 62 at the bottom of my bag. Gonna trial this out. I may shrink these gaps a little bit too. All my wedges play the same length, 9 iron to LW, with a bunch of porting on the 58 and 60 to get the weight right.

The only time I hit the 4,5,6 irons are a couple of long par 3's, tee shots and second shots into par 5's. At those distances, I just want to hit the green, or even near it sometimes. First number is stock, second number is a lower traj knock down cut. The 58 and 62 are brand new lofts, and haven't been able to test the long irons with the "saw shot" Bold numbers are known, non bold are guesses or not 100% verified. I would like to have a trap draw type shot, to add, but it is unreliable as of yet other than the 9, P, 50, 54 and I haven't gotten those distances yet. Unfortunately with spaced out tee times, my club stays full sunup to sundown.4 - 230 - 2185 - 212 - 2016 - 196 - 1857 - 180 - 1728 - 168 - 1609 - 156 - 149P - 144 - 13850* - 132 - 12554* - 120 - 113

58* - 108 - 102

62* - 96 - 90

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  • Driver - Callaway Epic Max LS on Ventus Purple
  • 4 Wood - Company that shall not be named, turned down 1* and open on a UST Mamaiya Black
  • 7 Wood - Company that shall not be named, turned down 1* and open on a UST Mamaiya Black
  • Hybrid - Ping G400 17*
  • Util - Srixon ZXU 18* on Recoil 110
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No way I could drop the 5i from my bag. It is the club I use to get out of the trees, lol. Normally, there isn't a lot of use for the yardage it plays at my home course, so it doesn't get a lot of use for full swings, but I use it a lot from the trees, unfortunately. I'm considering dropping my 3w to add another wedge. My 3w and 5w are close to the same distance, and I am a whole lot more consistent with my 5w, so when I need something off the tee that needs to go where I want it to go, I choose the 5w. My 3w is a one trick pony with a bad miss. 210-235 yd fade, miss is a slice.

My current wedge setup is:

44* PW

49* AW

54*

58* Low bounce

My current setup is missing a high bounce wedge for sand and fluffy lies around the green.

I think I want to go to:

44* PW

49* AW, possibly buy a new 48*

52*

56* High bounce

60* Low bounce

 

Hmm, now that I have typed all that, I think I will change my bag before my round today. lol

In the bag

Driver: Taylormade Sim2 Max 9*

4w: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Hybrid:  Apex 19 3h 20*

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

W1: Vokey SM7 54* S

W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

Putter: Swag Handsome Too

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When I built one of my iron sets many years ago I skipped the 3 iron and spread things near the top so that I could put in a 4th wedge. It's a combo set of Golfsmith Professional Grind blades (PW-7i)and Tour Cavity Forged (6i-2i). I skipped the 3 iron, and bent the 4 iron a couple of degrees strong - from 24 to 22 degrees. I also tipped/trimmed the shaft for the 4 iron halfway between the 5 & 2 specs so the feel blends in with the rest of the set. This gave me pretty smooth gapping through the set, and at the long end of the set, having slightly bigger gaps isn't that big of a deal. I'm sure the the distance dispersion for a 3 or 4 iron is going to be larger than for a 8 or 9 iron anyway. I'm not going to try and get cute with trying to hit a specific number on a 195 yard approach shot - I'll take anywhere on the green from that range :)

When I bought my used Rams several years later I ended up doing something similar. The 5-iron had a crack in the shaft, so I tweaked the lofts around it. That's one thing I love about forged irons - you can move them around pretty easily to match up with what you need.

I actually just reshafted the Golfsmith irons last week and almost didn't bother with the 4-iron since my 5H will usually fill that slot. I went ahead and reshafted the 4 iron anyway - it will be nice to have the option for really windy days. No more true 2-irons for me. That's staying in the bag of lost clubs in the corner. :)

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@Sean you are correct, that is exactly the point my friend! Club head type and loft are irrelevant. Appropriate yardage gap and functionality are vastly more important.
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I should leave the 5i out, can't hit it anyway unless I am on a long par 3 tee box.

[color=#A4A4A4][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=2]Driver: TaylorMade R15 delofted to 8.5[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#A4A4A4][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][size=2]5 wood: Work in progress[/size][/font][/color]
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@Dan Drake some of the best comments I've seen on here so far, fairly new to WRX, thank you for the info on realistic set make up strategy. I'm not a big hitter and fight a slice off the tee that is the overwhelming cause my bogey golfer status. I have and will keep trying fix that and find the right driver but I've also questioned the usefulness of my 5 iron as well because I have a hybrid I can choke down on to fill that gap if needed. I keep asking myself if driving irons are a potential tee replacement when I went away from long irons for hybrids in the first place.
Is there a strategy that makes sense to have a driving iron that offers no other purpose or gap, and if so are the modern driving irons that different than the long irons I left behind as shorter hitter/apparently slower swing speed?
Avg. Carry Yards
D: 240 (260 if I don't slice)
3w: 220 (235 if I don't slice)
3Hy:200 (my current safe tee option)
5Hy:180
5i: 168
6i: 157
7i: 145
8i: 138
9i: 125
Pw: 110
Gw: 90
54*: 75
58*: 60
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@BogeyUh_FindsaWay First off, great screen name! Bogey definitely, uh, finds a way! Secondly, welcome to the best place on the net for gawf!
To answer your questions in the order of ease:
Yes, the driving irons (and even the long irons from certain sets) are vastly different from long irons from even just 10 years ago. Hollow bodies, higher COR faces, AI input on weight distribution, etc. all play a big part in making them MUCH easier to get a usable shot out of than not to long ago.
Yes, using more optimal gap "manipulation" would still give you plenty of coverage at the top of the bag, nice (maybe even tighter!) gaps at the bottom of the bag, AND leave a spot in the bag for a specialty club. In your case, that specialty club would be a 2nd tee specific club that would be usable multiple times around to do the job that your other tee shot specific club, namely the driver, has the most trouble doing. Other golfers may opt for a sand specific club. Some golfers would be best served with a 2nd driver. And ADAM FLIPPIN' SCOTT played the final round of the 2018 PGA with TWO PUTTERS in the bag and he was in the final group!!!!! If a guy with that kinda swing talent can make a perfectly objective decision about a shot specific club in the last group playing the last round of a major, then we all should look at our bags a lot more discerningly! BTW, he hit his good shots so well that day, and his bad shots so badly, that I don't think he pulled the short putter (which he would have used for lag putts) out of the bag. He just didn't have that many 35' putts, if any. Still doesn't make it the wrong way to set up his bag for that day, especially considering both his comfort level and the massive amount of course prep his team had done and knew what was needed and what wasn't on that course.
Looking at your bag specifically, I would like to see one of either the 6i or 5i be bent to hit 160y and the other tossed in the trunk. Add in whatever tee shot specific club you think is going to work best and go out and test it out. Might be a 2w super fairway type club. Might be a 2i/driving iron deal. Could even be a 2nd driver setup to basically snap hook so that you have a different club to pull based on which side of the hole you need to avoid at all costs.
Please, let me know if you have other questions, this is great, thank you!

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thought we had to have 4, 5 irons for BST, to be able to sell as a 'set'?

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Have you considered a 'mini-driver?' I know some find them gimmicky, but I recently replaced my driver with one, and in the four rounds I've played since, I have had only one drive get me in trouble (pulled the ball out-of-bounds). And I typically hit it more consistently than the driver, so am getting as good or better distance with it. It also serves as my off-the-deck long club. I also recently went to a 6-club bag, and while I'm still getting used to it, I haven't missed any of the clubs I removed. Granted, I'm not a great golfer, but I have no doubt this set-up will eventually yield my best scores, and club choice has become simple. The guys I usually play with, on the other hand, stand around pondering club choice, then roll the ball about 40 yards, so what was the point?

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If you don't like hitting the 5 iron, why not? For a while I hated hitting the 5 iron. No confidence, wasn't consistent. Would rather hit a punch 4 hybrid. Now I'm getting more comfortable with it again. The bag is a fluid thing, and so is my game LOL.

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I haven't tried a mini-driver yet. I'm going to take the advice of @Dan Drake and have my 6 iron strengthened to close the gap between it and my 180 yard hybrid. Then with new open spot in my bag I will definitely test out the mini-driver as well as driving irons to address my tee box issues. Maybe even a club that hooks like Dan mentioned, if that's possible with my swing. I used to carry 9 clubs when I walked before I bought my ClicGear cart and you're right about it not changing my scores much. I have a tendency to hit it off the toe no matter how much I try to remind myself to crowd it. I can only guess that it's the way it sits, lie angle maybe, I don't know. But I just feel more confident to choke down on the hybrid than I do with the 5 iron.

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My OCD won't let me drop a club in the middle of a matching set... for instance if I'm using 3-P of the same irons, I'd have a hard time dropping the 5i. But if it's at a set transition (4i doesn't match 5/6i), I'd easily be able to drop one of those.

I rarely hit long irons with the expectation of "flying" them to the flag and having them stop. I'd rather carry to the "front" distance and release to the middle of the green or hit them to a safe spot with a good up & down angle. For me, long irons are not pin hunting clubs and if it's a forced carry, I'd rather club up from my long irons to a hybrid, so I agree that it's reasonable to expect that you could cover that distance gap with other clubs relatively well.

Good luck!

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WITB: Taylormade M6 ~ Ping Anser 4w ~ Ping G30 3h ~ Cobra King Forged One 4-P ~ Cobra King 50-V, 56-WL, Titleist Vokey 60 ~ Nike MC-02W

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I hear you, but luckily I must have reverse OCD :). My models are so mixed up that it's easy to drop the 5 iron now. Definitely not scoring from that far like you said.Yup, stronger lofts combined with weakened ones can help space yardages out like @Dan Drake suggests. Digging the concept of 15 yd gaps at long and mid irons, then 10-12 yd gaps on wedges.@Dan Drake Good point on Adam Scott's temporary 2 putter setup. I thought it was a great idea to show people you can think outside the box. Why not try if you had a putter that gave you great feel for long lags, but then a putter that you felt more confidently aligned for short putts? Same goes for all our equipment - try to maximize ROI in the bag and get the ball closer to the hole!

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Funny story around this concept - So I had been thinking about dropping a long iron so I could tighten my gaps in the wedges and short irons since this is where I would more likely need to stick it close. Then I saw this thread earlier in the week, and I was like "yeah, maybe I should try this." Then on Tuesday I took my irons to the shop to get my lies adjusted to my specs and low and behold the five iron snapped off at the bottom of the hosel when they were working on it( the hosel had been bored off center causing the walls of the hosel to be too thin on one side). So I had them change the 4 iron loft 1 degree to 25 and had them change the 6 iron one degree to 30. So the gap between those is only 5 degrees - not a big deal - I'm not that precise with these clubs anyway. So kind of a coincidence considering this thread started just a few days ago - but I'm excited to give this a try.

I understand the arguments above about yardage gaps, and i really need to have tighter gaps in my scoring clubs (7 iron through the wedges) since those are the clubs you need to be more precise and can be more precise on so that you can get more easy pars and birdies. So the lofts of my wedges to 7 iron will be 57,54,51,48,43,39,35. I probably need to tighten the gap beween the pw(48) and 9 iron (43) - but I'm going to go the range and test these out and see what the actual yardage gaps are between these.

 

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That's a fantastic story about a happy accident, and like Bob Ross says, life is full of those!

Honestly, I'm curious about your 3 degree gapping in the highest lofts. Per Tom Wishon, that will provide for good gapping for high swing speed players, but can cause some bunching for slower swing speeds. I have done 3 degrees between the wedges before, but it was 5+ years ago, I wasn't as good at ball striking back then (still not great, but improving!), and I while I did track my stats, I didn't take notes of when and how I changed my bag setup, so I don't have any proof of concept. Hmmm, I feel a project idea coming on.......

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On 5/11/2020 at 4:09 PM, joostin said:

Curious if anyone has dropped a weird club in favor of an extra wedge or long club? It's normal to hear someone drop a club at the top end to add something at the bottom end, or vice versa. You know, drop a 3 wood to add a lob wedge; drop a gap wedge to add a hybrid. OR switch between a 5 wood and a driving iron depending on the course you're going to play or the conditions. I want to keep ALL those options and have decided to drop 5 iron! This post is self indulgent to justify my crazy...

I'm adding a low loft 3 wood - TEE CBX 13.5* - for S's & G's, but don't want to drop anything at top or bottom. My 5 wood, 3-4 irons, and 4 wedges all get a decent amount of use. Some rounds I'll go without using a couple of those clubs, but same can be said for 5-9 irons. I honestly like all those top and bottom clubs. The top clubs are mainly off the tee, but I'll even chip with them and of course punch out from trees where I like to visit. Why not drop a middle club that I can make up with surrounding clubs? For me 5 iron is a one trick pony; it's a 190 to 200 yd club which I don't get all that much outside of the driving range. In its place is my trusty MP-H4 4 iron. It's so easy to launch high but can be worked low. If I take a little off by making a cutoff swing, grip down an inch, try hitting high fade, etc., I think it will cover the 5 iron just fine. Even if I screw up 12 yd long or short I'm probably ok (same with stepping on a 6 and coming up short). My expectations aren't super high from 200. If 4 was harder to hit I would drop that but it's not, and I'd rather drop 5 over a shorter iron.

I prefer lots of tee options and all 4 wedges. The low loft 3 wood will be a 2nd driver that can be worked left and right. Driver for me has been a revelation once I found a setup that takes the left side out of play, but man it's the only thing I can't draw. 5W is great off tee or deck, stinger, high ball, whatever. 3 iron is a nice gap behind, and is my favorite club to hit flush. I'm not worried about filling the gap between driver and 5W, just something fun to bomb with the potential of hitting off the deck.

Heck... Half-bag players don't seem to mind missing a few middle clubs, nor do their scores. Some dudes can go sub 80 with a 7 iron.

I think woods, hybrids, driving irons, and wedges deserve the love that set irons get. Can you get by if your 195 yard approach isn't pin high? Let's show those guys some love and keep em ALL in the bag. Who's with me?!


It’s like you’ve read my mind! I’ve done exactly this for exactly this for exactly the same reasons. My 22* Apex Utility iron covers the 5i slot if I grip down with a bit of a fade. I play 4 wedges (48,52,56,60) and 14* 3 wood + 18* and 22* hybrids (there’s a 15m gap between the hybrid and the UT despite being 22*) which all get a LOT of use every round. The 5i I might hit once every four or five rounds at best. 

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4 hours ago, KiwiNick said:


It’s like you’ve read my mind! I’ve done exactly this for exactly this for exactly the same reasons. My 22* Apex Utility iron covers the 5i slot if I grip down with a bit of a fade. I play 4 wedges (48,52,56,60) and 14* 3 wood + 18* and 22* hybrids (there’s a 15m gap between the hybrid and the UT despite being 22*) which all get a LOT of use every round. The 5i I might hit once every four or five rounds at best. 

Hey, as long as you can hit the golf shots you need, use what works!

I never adjusted lofts and still go without 5i 🙂.  However, the more comfortable I get with the more versatile 5W and 4H, the more likely my 3i can drop out and 5i back in.... or not.... It'll probably be a revolving door for me with those two clubs.  Who knows, I kind of like having a non-conventional WITB.

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I have definitely given this a lot of thought. I like my 5-iron, but I could easily work around its absence. I have more of a game-improvement 4 iron that is very versatile and I could dial that down to hit my numbers. Just not sure what club I would put back in the bag.

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I started doing this in my late teens through my 20's.  I played 2-LW with my Eye 2's and started by taking the 4 iron out and then eventually the 5 iron (put the 4 iron back).  Back then I was a tad more powerful and athletic and was able to get a good 280 off the tee and rarely fell into the 4 or 5 iron yardages.  If a hole would put me there I'd take a 3 wood off the tee to avoid that block.  The toughest part was when you ended up on a par 3 that required the yardage, in those cases I would just take the iron that would get me to the back of the green or the front of the green depending on the hole.  

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In 2016, I went to a golf event and by luck got a half hour of time with two reps of the then-resurgent Ben Hogan company. This was when Hogan had iron models offering 1° loft increments from ~ 20° to 46°, and then the wedges picked up.

 

We talked about a set with 22°, 27° and 32°, followed by 4° increments up through the wedges. The idea was to squeeze out a long iron, admitting the fact that long irons would be less precise on distance than short irons and scoring clubs.

 

But, I decided to keep my Callaway X20 Tours... never tried out the Hogan idea.

 

------------------

Also, an example from the early 2000s: A scratch golfer I knew decided to finally add a LW. To make room, he bent his 5i a degree strong, bent his 3i a degree weak, and dropped the 4i. Another example of tweaking the gap and dropping a less accurate long iron.

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2020 at 11:09 PM, joostin said:

Curious if anyone has dropped a weird club

I dropped the 6 iron, my 7 goes 15 yards less than my 5. I just choke down to hit the 6 iron shot.

Do you have a similar yardage difference?

Edited by cavemeister

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I see nothing bad with your approach,

If gripping down on a 4 iron  works for your gapping, then your good to go. There maybe other spots in your bag that will yield good results and allow for more club dropping



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5 hours ago, cavemeister said:

I dropped the 6 iron, my 7 goes 15 yards less than my 5. I just choke down to hit the 6 iron shot.

Do you have a similar yardage difference?

Well the OP was a year ago but still valid to my WITB, now with a 4 hybrid in place of the 4 iron, then 6 iron.  It's a big gap, 180s with 6i, about 210 with 4H.  But hitting a cutoff 4H in the 190s is not so bad as it already flies high.  

 

Something else I posted that helps me with different yardages with all the clubs:

 

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