Gapping in Between Clubs? Club Decision and Execution
How many times in a round are you finding yourself at a yardage that you just don’t have the right club for? Probably a few. How many shots do you think you lose when you hit it to that number? Probably a few. Let’s discuss how we can rely on our averages to solve this and how to get out of this predicament relatively unscathed.
Regardless of the brand or how fresh the set is, a player should have a general idea of how far they hit each club, especially their irons. A general rule of thumb is that players should expect about 4 or 5 degrees of loft between each club. Most modern sets of club start with a pitching wedge at about 45 degrees of loft and stopping at a 4 iron at around 20 degrees of loft.
This all translates to an average of about 10 total yards in between each club- if a player is hitting their pitching wedge 110 yards, they can expect their 9 iron to go about 120, their 8 iron about 130, etc. As players move up, (meaning going from a 8 iron to a 7 iron to a 6 iron and on) irons become more difficult to hit because of the loss of loft. As you lose loft, the ball will launch lower and roll farther than a shot with a higher lofted club, meaning a shot with a 5 iron will launch lower and roll farther than a shot with a pitching wedge. Even knowing how far just one club consistently goes is a huge benefit to a player’s game.
The question you should be asking before you hit your shot is where would you like to ideally hit your next shot from to give you the best chance at making a birdie, par, etc. Other factors to consider–do you want the ball to keep rolling up or do you want it to land and stick? The answer to that question helps pick out an idea of the shot that we want before we have even pulled a club.
Unlike swing analyzers or launch monitors, Arccos Caddie Smart Club Distances doesn’t separate carry from actual distance. So your averages are based on where your ball ‘ends up’. While setting aside our egos might be easier said than done, Arccos helps remove our biases. In fact, most customers who tell us their hole-in-one stories have said that their results were largely due to Arccos helping them better understand their distances or recommending a club for a shot they normally wouldn't pull from their bag.
If you do find yourself in the precarious “I don’t have the club for this shot” situation, here are a few ways to get out of there relatively unscathed.
The idea of hitting hard is not just the idea of swinging harder and expecting the ball to go farther. Oftentimes swinging it harder (in your mind) just means swinging out of sequence. The best way to think of hitting it harder is to think of pacing and tempo.
Hitting it shorter takes a bit more club manipulation and a slight change in set up. Narrow the stance, choke up on the club, and swing it as you normally would. As you narrow your stance, you are restricting the mobility of your lower half causing you to make less of a hip turn. Choking up on the club creates a shorter club, leading to less depth in the golf swing. This combination will allow you to hit those in between shots and gives you some more control over your ball flight.
The powerful thing about Arccos Caddie is that it considers environmental factors that you might otherwise not consider when you think about your standard distances. Temperature, wind, elevation (if you’re traveling), humidity etc. By leveraging the app during play, you can focus on how you’re planning on hitting the ball and not what you’ll be hitting it with. The recently improved Smart Club Distances was enhanced with an even better algorithm based on club type (wedge/iron/woods etc.) to more accurately tune your average distances.
With the addition of the A.I. Rangefinder, players can optimize their course management in conjunction with their Smart Club Distances to play smarter golf and lower their scores. Players can proactively manage their club selection and course strategy for better performance instead of reacting to unexpected results. The Arccos Caddie App was intentionally designed to not overwhelm players with stats during play, and to keep their attention focused on their round–meaning leave the tricky calculations to us, and we’ll leave the club swinging to you.