chocking down on club

Think about your most recent round of golf.

How many times did you face an approach to the green or a tee shot on a par 3 where the yardage exactly matched the distance you typically hit a particular club? (For example, 160 yards if a good 6-iron goes that distance.) Five times? Three times? Once? 

The golf gods are rarely so kind. Even when they do bestow us with a favorable yardage, there’s usually another factor or two – wind, elevation change – that pushes the “real” yardage up or down. Long story short: You must be able to adjust when you don’t have precisely the right club for the shot. 

Here are a few basic rules to follow when you’re “between clubs,” using a 7-iron and 8-iron to demonstrate:

  • Choose the longer club (7-iron), unless going past the pin or over the green promises more trouble than coming up short.

  • If hitting the longer club, grip down an inch or so, which will cut down the distance the ball travels.

  • If a high shot is called for, make a full swing with the more lofted (shorter) club.

  • If a low shot is best, take the longer club, grip down and swing easy.

  • One you’ve chosen a club, commit to the shot completely. You don’t want to swing too easily and decelerate with the longer club, nor try to “kill it” and overswing with the shorter one.