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An overlooked spec in golf gear is the set makeup itself.
I’ve seen many golfers just buy a club and throw it in the bag without any thought as to how it fits into the set. Hybrids seem to be the main culprit, but wedges can also wreak havoc on your game.
The thing is, people see an ad for a new hybrid, or see one on sale at the store, think they need it to play better, then buy it. They don’t realize that it isn’t that simple. Let’s use an example:
Say you have a set of irons, 3-AW (“approach” wedge, also known as a Gap Wedge). The 3 iron’s loft is 20*. You also have a 3 wood (15*) and a 5 wood (18*). You buy a 19* three-hybrid and think “I don’t use the AW that much, I’ll get rid of that, so I have help with longer shots”!
See the problem? You now have three clubs (5w, 3h and 3i) that are basically the same! Each one is only a degree different from one club to the next; that’s not enough of a loft gap to make a difference in distance. Of course, the lengths are going to be a little different, but that will only add to the confusion.
You have a PW (46*), SW (56*) and LW (60*). You hear talk about needing a new wedge to add consistency to your game. You think “I need help with higher flop-type shots; this 62* wedge is perfect”!
Well, what you’ve now done is, much like the 5w/3h/3i situation, you’ve added a club that’s too close to another one already in your bag. Two degrees is not enough of a difference to really matter, even when talking about short shots.
For all intents and purposes, you have two clubs that’ll do the exact same thing!
What you could’ve done was to skip the 62* wedge and added a 52* Gap Wedge. You have good spacing between the 56* and 60* (4*), but a 1o* spacing between the PW and the SW!
Instead of having to decide between hitting half- and three-quarter shots with the PW, or muscling a SW, the GW would allow you to hit those shots with your normal full swing. If you wanted a little more loft for a slightly higher shot with your LW, all you have to do is open the face and stance just a tad for the same effect.
It behooves me to say that, even these examples are not that simple. Club manufacturers don’t have standards when it comes to things like length. If you want to truly find a club that works within the scope of your current set, seeing a club fitter/builder is the best way. Sure, you may find that a 3h or GW is a good addition, but if you buy one that’s too long, it’ll still mess up your yardage gaps. Getting the specs right on all your clubs is vital to having a set that allows you to have full swings for the majority of the shots you’ll face on the course. That leads to more consistency and, hopefully, lower scores.