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Driver, and only irons, anyone try it?


LUXOR54
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Anyone try this? I'm a long hitter compared to all of my playing partners so I'm never struggling to keep up distance wise, if they're hitting a 3 wood I'm hitting a 3 hybrid and carrying past them. I have no problem elevating long irons. Hybrids and fairway woods have their ups and downs for my game, occasionally getting that big miss on a long approach. What I'd be looking at is Driver, P790 UDI, MP-54 3-PW, 51°, 56°, 60°. obviously that leaves a gap for 260+ off the deck. Only way I can see to stick a fairway Wood in and keep the UDI is to ditch the 56 and 60 for a 58 to keep things somewhat in the same ballpark for gapping.

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I have a driver, a set of very strong lofted irons 5-AW (Rogue X with 21-degree 5-iron), some wedges and a putter. Those are always in my bag.

 

I do have a 5-wood (18 degrees) that I go through phases of carrying and not carrying. It has not been in my bag the last several rounds.

 

I also have a hybrid that I can carry to replace the 5-iron. Normally I don't carry it but our rough is so thick right now I find I the hybrid is a little better than the 5-iron at getting the ball out and running so I can advance it up toward the green from the rough.

 

But I'd say a large majority of my rounds I don't have any fairway woods or hybrids. So I usually only have 12 or 13 clubs in the bag.

 

I play a set of tees where every Par 4 is reachable from a decent drive in the fairway followed by anywhere from wedge up to 6-iron for my second shot. None of the Par 5's are reachable, period, although a couple of them a very good drive and very good 5-wood might get close. 

 

So here's how I figure it...

 

1) If I need a hybrid or fairway wood to reach a green it's because I hit a bad tee shot with my driver.

2) If I just made a bad swing with the driver what are the odds I'll make a really good swing with a 5-wood?

3) The worst mistake you can make in golf is following one bad swing with an even worse one.

4) Therefore I'd rather just follow my bad driver swings with a recovery or advancement shot and try to get up and down with a wedge from the fairway. 

 

That line of reasoning makes leaving those long fairway clubs out of the bag seem like a rational strategy, don't you think?

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From August 18, 2021 I will be away from GolfWRX for a while.

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I only have a 3-wood, then a 3 iron (Nike VR Pro II, so rather weak lofted) and three wedges in addition to my 4-pw irons.

A spoon gets me far enough out on any hole, and rarely gets me into trouble.

It does mean that there are a few par 5s I can't reach in two in certain conditions, but even when I can distance wise, I rarely go for it. My average score on par 5s across a few rounds is greatly improved by laying up to my favourite wedge distance and stick it close.
Trying to make it in two is a bit of a gamble and sometimes leads to penalty strokes and double bogeys. And even if I do make the green in two, it's well within my powers to 3-putt for a par.

 

I am / used to be a big hitter as well, but over the last couple of years I've started playing more strategically and focus on keeping the ball in play with improved accuracy.

 

(disclaimer: I realise there are lucky so-and-so's out there that can be both big hitters *and* strategic/accurate.. but I'm certainly not one of those people :classic_sad:)

Edited by Rocky Ball-boa
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11 minutes ago, Rocky Ball-boa said:

(disclaimer: I realise there are lucky so-and-so's out there that can be both big hitters *and* strategic/accurate.. but I'm certainly not one of those people :classic_sad:)

Relatable, my driver is more accurate than my 3 wood off the tee.  My 2/3 woods off the deck are either bombs away or "should I bother shouting fore?" because by the time it lands it's going to over those 2 fairways and into the farmers field

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Been playing this bag for a few years now. Driver, 4i Crossover and 5- SW.

Hit the driver 250 and the 4i 200 yds.  Ya I know that's just 11 clubs and I'm sure there is a gap or two. No problems ever hitting a long par 5 in 3 or any par 4's in 2 though. Plus I walk so its a lighter load and scores actually better than when  I carried 14 clubs.

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10 minutes ago, Justsomeguy said:

I mean Champ Bailey does this and I think he might be the only guy on tour who does. I know you say you are a long hitter, but tell me now if you hit the ball further than Champ.

(I want to make sure that I get way ahead of any record setting WRXism). 😉

Champ Bailey ? Wrong sport, sport.

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I was gonna say champ bailey is an all-time great cornerback. He played for the redskins and broncos that I can remember. 

 

As far as no woods or hybrids. I've never done this. Could see it on a shorter course, but a 5 wood has been a staple in my bag as long as I can remember. 

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Actually thought about this, but it would be driver (9.0) + mini driver (13.5), and then just irons, so cheating a bit because the mini can -- to some extent -- be hit off the deck. 

 

When I'm striping my 2i and 4i, I rarely need a fairway wood, especially on my home course.

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I've played rounds where I haven't touched my driver, rounds where I haven't touched my wood/hybrid. All depends on how I'm playing, how I'm feeling and the course. Now a full setup? Probably not variety is good to have I guess. 

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Driver: 9° Ping G410 Plus - HZRDUS RDX Smoke Blue 6.0

3W: 13.5° Ping G410 LST - Aldila NV 2KXV Green 75X

3H: 19° Ping G410 - Tensei CK Pro Orange 90TX

Irons: 4i - 7i Srixon 585 / 8i - PW Srixon 785 - AMT Tour White S300

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Putter(s): TP Mills Handmade - Kingdom Putter - NCW Boyd - and more. 

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I have played with nothing but driving iron down for the last 6 months (top of the bag has been a struggle).  Played some really good golf.  

 

Birdies are harder to come by (no easy ones on par 5s), but doubles are less frequent.  

 

I wouldn't worry about the gap, as you hit it plenty far for most courses.  

 

I would suggest a 17* hybrid vs the udi.  Driving irons are terrible off the deck(great off a tee, especially in wind).  You can hit them far, but where they stop, no body knows.  I have seen champ and bubba play iron down, but bubba can do whatever he wants with flight, and champ puts so much spin on the ball.  

 

The trend on tour is more woods and hybrids for good reason.    

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It probably depends a lot on the courses you play.  The main situation I can think of is if a 3W makes a par 5 reachable in two with minimal risk.  Beyond that it probably depends on your ability to hit a "fairway finder" with your driver the distance a 3W would go, in particular on holes where the 3W distance (compared to 2 iron) would be helpful due hazards/layout.

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I went all irons for a summer cause I had the yips with any driver or fairway wood.  I actually shot my all time low round this way.  Maybe it was the courses I was playing, but a 230 yard 4 iron off the tee down the fairway was sure better than hitting a wood 40 yards into the trees.  I would try playing 2-3 rounds with nothing but irons.  If you find out that adding back the driver or a driving would be beneficial then you have your answer.

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On the pro tour, Charlie Beljans tried this a couple of years back, and Cameron Champ won the 3M with a bag mix with two Ping 4 irons (i500 and Blueprint).

 

Blast from the past: If you had full complement of Ping Eye2 irons - 1i-PW, GW, SW and LW - you would need to drop an iron or wedge to make room for your Driver and putter.

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

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; 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

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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15 minutes ago, ChipNRun said:

On the pro tour, Charlie Beljans tried this a couple of years back, and Cameron Champ won the 3M with a bag mix with two Ping 4 irons (i500 and Blueprint).

 

Blast from the past: If you had full complement of Ping Eye2 irons - 1i-PW, GW, SW and LW - you would need to drop an iron or wedge to make room for your Driver and putter.

Just putt with the 1 iron, embrace the iron only lifestyle

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5 minutes ago, LUXOR54 said:

Just putt with the 1 iron, embrace the iron only lifestyle

 

We would make great scramble partners. I'll bring 4W and 7W - just in case we need them. 

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

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; 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

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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19 hours ago, North Butte said:

 

 

So here's how I figure it...

 

1) If I need a hybrid or fairway wood to reach a green it's because I hit a bad tee shot with my driver.

2) If I just made a bad swing with the driver what are the odds I'll make a really good swing with a 5-wood?

3) The worst mistake you can make in golf is following one bad swing with an even worse one.

4) Therefore I'd rather just follow my bad driver swings with a recovery or advancement shot and try to get up and down with a wedge from the fairway. 

 

That line of reasoning makes leaving those long fairway clubs out of the bag seem like a rational strategy, don't you think?

 

This sums it up for me, especially #1. I bag a 3w & 4i utility for this reason and I can really go without the 3w tbh. I'm actually looking to replace it with a 5w at some point. 

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Providing an update to this topic. The last few days I've been on my yearly golf vacation, over the last 4 rounds I've only used driver, UDI, 3-pw, 51, 56, 60. It's hard to say the exact effect it has had on my strokes as I'm playing a bunch of courses I haven't played in years, all of which are more difficult than my usual tracks. That being said my scores are very comparable to what I normaly shoot, which I consider a win. I've been playing from the blue equivalents from all the courses ranging from 6400-6750 yards. Driver has been behaving for the most part and when it's not the UDI has been an all star. I honestly can't recall any situations where I really regretted not having a fairway or hybrid. I brought a handful of spare hybrids and fairway woods with me incase things went south, but so far I haven't been tempted at all. Planning on keeping it going for the rest of the week. Only downside is now that my driver is the primary tee club instead of flipping been driver hybrids and fairways, I've been browsing for new drivers, which I definitely don't need. If anything I might be looking at utilities to aid in only the 3 iron spot, it's definitely easier to launch the UDI vs the set 3 iron. 

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That's been my set up for a decade, no real reward for a fairway wood in the bag

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i'm a firm believer in having 15-17 clubs in a rotation and adjusting your set up for the conditions and course you are playing.  If you don't need a 3 wood then why carry it?  

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On 7/29/2021 at 4:57 PM, LUXOR54 said:

Just putt with the 1 iron, embrace the iron only lifestyle

 

Everyone knows purposefully blading a 60* is the only true way of putting with an iron 🙂

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Some decades back, my bag was 2W (made out of wood), 1i, then 3-PW and putter. If it works for you, why not? These days I'm going the opposite direction but age has a tendency to do that to people...

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Like most things it could very well work depending on a variety of factors.

Clearly not for most because of the very issue you mentioned distance.

Since that's less of an issue for you what stands out to me:

#1 Pro's who presumably hit the ball farther, straighter and score better nearly never go with that solution. What the do is not what I do but I'm curious as to why they don't.

#2 I really wonder why you'd want to give up the accuracy and distance that some bridge clubs between your driver and 1st iron might provide?

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Does two drivers and then all irons count 😂🤣😂🤣?

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