Whether you are in the market for a few new clubs or an entire set, you first need to think about set “composition.” This means thinking about which clubs you plan to put in your bag to get to your 14 club limit. The Rules of Golf allow you to carry up to 14 clubs in your bag and since most irons used to be sold in sets of eight irons, golfers often added a driver, 3-wood and 5-wood, pitching wedge, sand wedge and putter. Maybe that is what the “composition” of the 14 clubs in your bag look like.
As I’ve talked about in the past, I can’t stress enough the importance of getting fit for your golf clubs. Your local PGA/LPGA Professional or club fitter can help you determine your set composition as you go through a club fitting. Perhaps your set begins with a six iron through pitching wedge (5 irons), sand wedge and lob wedge, two or three hybrids, a driver and two fairway woods and a putter. You have the unique ability to determine your set composition based on the clubs you like and use.
Most female golfers struggle with hitting long irons, so I recommend ditching the 3, 4 and 5 irons and replacing them with easier to hit and more forgiving hybrids. Likewise, don’t limit yourself to just one wedge – have a minimum of two or three wedges with different lofts and bounce to help you hit different yardages and shots.
Most clubs have four to five degrees of difference in loft between each club. Each four to five degrees of loft will equate roughly to ten yards of distance on the golf course. Your goal in a club fitting is to eliminate the gaps in yardages, so you have different clubs to hit different distances. Maybe you feel like you currently hit your 7 iron the same distance as your 8 iron – have your club fitter check to see if they are different lofts. It may not be your golf swing, it could be the clubs are going the same distance.
Work with your PGA/LPGA Professional or club fitter to select from the following options to carry 14 clubs in your bag:
Metal Woods: Driver, 3-wood, 5-wood, 7-wood or even 9-wood (if you prefer woods to hybrids or irons, carry woods with different degrees of loft.)
Hybrids: These may be listed as numbers 4, 5 or 6 (since they typically replace the 4, 5, or 6 irons) or listed by their degree of loft:
Ø 3 hybrid = 19 degrees
Ø 4 hybrid = 22 degrees
Ø 5 hybrid = 26 degrees
Ø 6 hybrid = 30 degrees
Irons: Any combination of four to six irons (depending on number of fairway woods, hybrids and wedges)
Wedges: Have at least two or three wedges in your bag with different degrees of loft for both distance, close shots and bunker shots
Putter: Pick a putter that is comfortable for you (mallet style or blade) and make sure it is the proper length. If you choke down and have part of the club shaft above your hands when putting, the putter is too long. Remember, cutting down a putter will make it heavier, so make sure you like the style of the club head as well and it’s not too heavy.