Dial in short clubs: Breaking 80, Week 1

Dial in short clubs: Breaking 80, Week 1

DIAL IN YOUR SHORT CLUBS

While it’s always a good idea to get
your clubs fitted, the most important
thing for scoring is to get your
wedges and short irons dialed in.
First you need to be sure your distance
gaps are correct. In many modern iron sets
the lofts are jacked very strong to encourage
more distance. Unfortunately, this can
wreak havoc on your distance gaps and
short-game scoring shots.
Basically, you want 4-degree gaps between
each of your scoring clubs; I recommend
having the lofts checked. Then,
make sure you have the right collection of
wedges to complement your short irons.
For example, if you have a 37-degree
8-iron and a 41-degree 9-iron (common
in game-improvement iron sets), you need
to make sure you have 50-, 54-, and 58- or
60-degree wedges to round out your arsenal.
If you don’t, you should invest in new
ones, or have your existing wedges bent (be
aware that if you strengthen your wedge
lofts, you’ll take away bounce, which isn’t
always a good thing).

WEEK 1 DRILL: WEDGE ASSESSMENT
Once you have your wedges
and scoring irons set up
properly, you need to get out
to the practice range and dial
in your distances. To do so,
take your 8-iron through
LW and hit 10 practice balls
with each (if possible, the
balls you normally play, not
range balls). Hit these shots
from a good flat spot on the
range. It’s important to do
this on a quiet day with little
wind. It’s also important
to know your yardages
as accurately as possible,
so I recommend using a
rangefinder for this exercise.

Mark the average yardage
you hit with each club. You
should notice a 10- to 15-yard
gap between the distance
you hit successive clubs
(for example: 60-yard LW,
75-yard SW, 90-yard GW,
etc.). It may not be exact,
but you should be close
to this gap structure.

Now, the real test: Hit 10
solid shots with each club,
paying close attention to your
landing spot. Your goal here
is to see how consistently
you can hit each club based
on the yardage you charted
in Step 1. At the end of six
weeks you should be able to
consistently land about 70
percent of your shots with
each of these clubs in a 10-
yard radius. The other thing to
figure out during this session
is which scoring club is your
favorite, or the most reliable.
If you’re going to cut those
last few strokes and break 80,
you’ll need to have a go-to
lay-up distance.

WEEK 1 ACTION PLAN (3 HOURS)

1. Gear Check
(60 minutes)
:
Have your scoring clubs
(8-iron through LW)
checked by a clubmaker.
You want 4- or 5-degree
increments between
each club. Be certain
your lofts are correct
and that the gaps are
appropriate. If need
be, you should consider
purchasing a new
wedge or two to fill
out your set.

2. Distance Check
(60 minutes)
:
Hit 10 balls with each
club until you can
confidently say how far
you hit each club when
you make solid contact.

3. Distance Practice
(60 minutes)
:
Mark off the yardage
for each club from
8-iron to your shortest
wedge and hit 10 balls
with each club to each
corresponding target.
By the end of six weeks
you should be able
to hit 70 percent of your
shots within a 10-yard
radius of the target.

BREAK 80 PLANNING WORKSHEETS (PDF)

WEEK 1: DIAL IN YOUR SHORT CLUBS

WEEK 2: DEVELOP A GO-TO DRIVE

WEEK 3: CHIP AND PITCH IT CLOSER

WEEK 4: MAKE MORE PUTTS

WEEK 5: DEVISE A GAME PLAN

WEEK 6: GET OUT IN ONE SWING