I’ve been trying to approach my bag differently this season. Less focus on exactly WHAT I’m carrying and more focus on why I’m carrying it… I played without a 5 iron for a few weeks after buying a new set of clubs that just had 6-PW because I didn’t miss the 5 iron (eventually bought a sub70 639 5 iron for the 2nd hole, feature in my other strategy thread… back right pin from the back tee box requires a 5 iron from me).
More than anything, as my bag filled up, I started looking for gaps that weren’t distance related… and realized I set up my wedges backwards… I thought it’d be interesting to talk about how people set up their bags, and the overall mentality to a thought driven 14 clubs. My bag is built SPECIFICALLY for my home course. It works fine elsewhere, but I’d probably have some different stuff if I played a different course most weeks.
Must Haves This is simple for me. Driver and putter. I want a club designed to go as long as possible off a tee in my bag, and a putter is a no brainer. My driver is 9 degrees and 45ish inches… It’s built to maximize my length with minimal dispersion risk… I could do some tweaking on it, but that’s a whole different thread. 2/14
Irons I play regular 5-PW. I hit the ball a decent clip, so it covers me from 150-210. I play game improvement irons (Adams CMBs) as I’m using these irons to get onto the green and would rather have the forgiveness. 8/14
Wedges This is where I plan to do some tweaking, but more for playability than to cover distances. 150-100 I use PW or 50 degree gap wedge (currently a vokey) but am looking at the new GI spin wedges to improve greens hit from 100+ yards.
100 yards and in, I use my 54 degree sand wedge. Thin soled and decent bounce. I need to do some work around here and expand my shot selection. I’m working on the Sieckmann approach, but haven’t put in the time yet.
Around the green: My high bounce, thick soled 58 is a beast for me around the greens… I wish I had gotten it as a 54 and a thinner soled 58 for more “touch” work, but honestly, the 58 has done so well, maybe I shouldn’t be complaining. Working on Sieckmann here as well, but focusing on the 58 as my “go to” wedge shot for consistency and practice. 11/14
Position Clubs I play a 4 utility (Sub70 699u), 18 degree hybrid (Adams) and a 13 degree Adams 3 wood. If I’m more than 200 yards from a green, I’m more worried about big misses than I am hitting the green… I like the hybrid / iron setup because it offers me different ball flight choices, and allows me to pick the best club for the lie. The 13 degree is almost exclusively a secondary tee club. I have a couple of holes where I need the ball to stop between 260-270, and this club does that for me. I can and will hit it off the deck, but it’s a rare shot for me. The extra 25 yards over the hybrid is usually not worth the inconsistency. 14/14
Overally, my setup is built for me to perform where I need it to perform. The irons cover my distances on par 3s and any long approach shot I may have. The wedges work for my 100 yard and in gaps (though I want to improve my shot making with my GW and LW at these distances) while also covering me around the greens (the GW does work as a bump and run club if I need it). My longer clubs are designed to put me into position to put me close to the green and allow my short game to work. Obviously, this doesn’t always work, but I think I’ve balanced the 14 clubs well and built a bag that works on my home course. I’d like to swap up my wedges some, and have been eyeing replacements for my 3 wood, but I like the “role” every club plays in my bag, even if I can improve the clubs (and my shotmaking) around them.