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Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Will More Clubs Help Your Score? (Video)

I've used several Rick Shiels videos lately because he's been doing some interesting experiments to see how your equipment affects your score... and this one is the wildest of all. Rick has put 33 clubs in his bag, eliminating the possibility that he'll ever be between clubs. In addition, he added a chipper and a left-handed club for special shots. Will he shoot lower when he has more choices?

Let's admit it right now -- 33 clubs is overkill. He had eight wedges, for Pete's sake! But I think a case can be made for carrying a left-handed club (right-handed for you lefties) in case you get caught in a tough situation -- that is, assuming you learn how to hit the ball well enough from the "other" side to make it worthwhile.

But it also seems pretty clear that you need a serious strategy adjustment to use that many clubs. Too much choice can be worse than not enough because when you don't have the right club, I think it's still easier to commit to the shot with your "best guess" than when you have too many "correct" choices.

BTW, in case you're interested, the highest number of clubs used in an official event -- that is, before the max was set at 14 -- was 32 in 1935. And Lawson Little won the US and British Amateurs of 1934 and ’35 with nearly 30 clubs in his bag. The USGA and the R&A finally set the limit at 14 in 1936. You can read the history of such overstocked golf bags at this link.

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