Which club to use? - Part 1

Published on   2022-02-28 by Kai

Anyone who has been paying homage to the sport of golf for a long time, whose muscles have learned their very own golf swing in a reproducible manner, in short: anyone who is already propelling the ball more or less evenly, for whom distances on the golf course are becoming increasingly important.

This text is therefore aimed primarily at all players who hit repeatable lengths with their respective equipment. To those for whom it is clear for which distance which club is to be used.

Because basically, the point of this sport is always to get the ball towards the hole with the same swing, the same technique, the same use of power.

Metering the swing would be difficult

If this were not the case, the swing would have to be dosed from shot to shot depending on the desired distance. In that case, you could get by with two or three clubs plus a putter and manage the round. But that would make the game even more difficult than it already is.

And so you start the round with a selection of clubs, each of which differs in shaft length and also loft, i.e. the angle of the clubface in relation to the vertical to the ground.

Even beginners quickly learn that the shorter the club shaft and the more inclined the clubface, the shorter the shot. This is physics and therefore obvious. With the driver, its long shaft and little loft, the ball flies far; with the sand wedge, it describes - hit cleanly - a high parabola and lands relatively close.

"Carry" and "Roll" give the total distance

This was and is used since the invention of this sport. A long shot should not normally stop immediately on the ground after the flight, the so-called "carry". Rather, it is supposed to roll another few feet, called a "roll." Both added together gives the total distance. Logic.

An approach shot to the green with a wedge, however, should rarely fly far, but as accurately as possible, and should roll only slightly on landing. So the trajectory is crucial.

And after these somewhat dry explanations, we finally come to the topic of the article: The rangefinders. These can be a valuable aid, especially in unfamiliar places. Because while the eye can estimate distances relatively well in everyday life on the basis of known points, this quickly becomes very difficult on the golf course.

Board on the tee can help

Of course, there is a board at each tee that shows the length of the hole and perhaps also lists distances to the first hazard or a prominent group of trees. However, while playing on the course - especially on par 4 and even more so on par 5 holes - it is always difficult to estimate how far you still have to hit to the green or the flag.

On many courses, the wooden posts at the edge of the course can help, as they indicate the distance still to be covered by the number of rings or dots. However, these are only 100, 150 or 200 meters from the green and only give an approximate indication.

So which club to choose? This can be an empirical value for those who have a good eye for distances. But if you don't have one, you can quickly make a mistake and the ball will fly too short or end up behind the green.

Many holes are designed in such a way that the shot onto the green must be executed cleanly in order to avoid getting into trouble. For example, there is rough behind the green, a water hazard, a bunker or a small wood, all of which can swallow a ball.

This quickly increases the number of strokes on the scorecard, either through rescue shots that have become necessary, or in the worst case through penalty strokes because a ball is lost or has to be declared unplayable.

The flag in sight

To get around all this, it is not uncommon to reach for the aid of a laser measuring device. With this device, you can look at the flag through an eyepiece and see - usually with an accuracy of at least half a meter - how far away the hole is, or even the obstacle in front of which you would like to place the ball.

Based on this value, the choice of the club is a piece of cake. However, as already emphasized at the beginning, a practiced and consistent as well as reproducible golf swing is the prerequisite for this. For those who are still at the beginning of their career, such a laser measuring device will not be of much help.

In this case, the first step is to spend a lot of time on the driving range before making the purchase, which can cost anywhere from around 70 to several hundred euros. Because in golf, too, practice makes perfect - with or without aids.

Previous article in the series: Hybrids - rescuers from adversity

Next article in the series: Which club to use? - Part 2

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