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Vandyland's 1/2 bag and almost full bag - A side by side study in an age of maximalism


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So I have two bags currently, as I was awaiting my new irons (Ben Hogan PTxPros, thank you for asking!) I decided I was so done with my current irons that I would, instead, play a half bag with some super old Sam Snead irons. So this bag ended up being a throwback bag which is a bit wacky to be honest:

Driver: Nike Sumo 13* Driver Stiff with the OG Nike Diamana Stiff Shaft
4hyb: Pinhawk 20* One Length Hybrid (7 iron length but still carries about 195)
5-7-9 Irons: Wilson Sam Snead Blue Ridge Blades from 1967ish - I would guess the 5 iron carries 170, the 7 iron carries 145, the 9 iron carries 115
SW: 56* bent to 57* Cleveland Tour Action Reg .588 - carries about 80 yds
Putter: 1982 Bronze Ping Anser

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What was amazing about this bag is that I would go out with these clubs that I was guessing at the yardages (they are old so I played them basically a club and a half short, ex. the 5 iron is like a 6.5 iron, really) and still shooting about what I normally would with 14 clubs. Granted, this is at a course that is fairly easy and I know very well. But still! Also, my expectations were lower and really I was just trying to hit a smooth shot. Score was pretty irrelevant because I was always trying to take something off one of these clubs to make them fit the yardage. Really a study in simplifying the game. 

However, the new big bag is very hard to ignore...but I did have some takeaways from my small bag. I think looking at the setup and picture below, I can easily drop the 5 iron (or 5hyb depending on conditions), 3W and maybe even the gap wedge for most courses. That would take me down to 10 clubs. I don't see any need to add anything to this setup currently so I think at most I would carry 13 clubs. I am posting this WITB to hold myself to the following maxim "No more clubs purchased between now and 2022" 😀. If I think I need help somewhere, it's definitely better to get a lesson. What the small bag taught me is that the game is rather simple if you can hit the ball at the intended target. 

Driver: Cobra SZ turned to 10.5, cut down to 43.5 inches with weight in the front - Carries 245
3W: Pinhawk 3W cut down to 42 inches - Carries 220
4 and 5 hybrid: Pinhawk One Lengths (20* and 25*) - Carries 195 and 180, respectively 
5-PW: Ben Hogan PTxPros
GW: Cleveland Reg .588 51* - Carries 110
SW: Cleveland CG10 56* - Carries 85
Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Anser 

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Just to bring this home. I played 9 holes on sunday with the half bag and shot 38. I played 9 holes this morning with the full bag....and shot 38. This morning's 38 felt a bit easier and I didn't make any putts today but still shows this game can be remarkably simple. I'm not quite ready for those 3 club challenges that I see but I will say playing with a smaller set shows you how often it is better to just take one more club and try to smooth it in there. Mainly because with a small set you HAVE to do it. Playing a smaller set also exposes your weaknesses more, especially if you don't have certain shots like: a knockdown 7iron vs a smooth 7 iron vs a hard 7 iron. I definitely didn't have those shots a few months ago and now I am starting to feel like I have them now. Hopefully that "feel" stays with my larger set. 

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Yep playing a 6 or 7 club set can help your game.  Before my accident I used to play some 9 hole walking rounds with a 7 club set up. Only difference I used persimmon woods and moved up one set of tees. There is a many a person that got started in this game with Sam Snead Blue Ridge clubs

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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Realistically, how many clubs do we actually & consistently use?For me (male, age72+, >80 rounds, 6100yds, GHIN-12) —Typically it’s ‘Driver, hybrid, 7-9-G-L & putter’ — Why clutter up the bag?

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Cyprian Keyes GC. / Boylston, MA
GHIN/WHI:  10.7

Driver:  Cobra. F-MAX. Offset. Superlite. 11.5'

Fairway:  Cobra. F-MAX. Offset. Superlite. 5W-20'

Hybrid:  Cobra. T-RAIL/Iron-Hybrid. Superlite. 4H-21'

Irons:  Cobra. T-RAIL/Iron-Hybrid. Superlite. 5-SW

Wedge:  Cleveland. CBX2. 60'-10'

Putter:  TourEdge. HP-10 / Red

>80...Rounds, annually

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On 8/26/2021 at 12:39 PM, MCMSR said:

Realistically, how many clubs do we actually & consistently use?For me (male, age72+, >80 rounds, 6100yds, GHIN-12) —Typically it’s ‘Driver, hybrid, 7-9-G-L & putter’ — Why clutter up the bag?

One club that is always in the bag  whether it is regular golf , vintage golf or even hickory is a 5 iron. I can hit a lot of shots with that thing. A lot of times playing vintage golf I will play all irons including ( gasp) a 1 iron. Could care less about the score and play from the Super Senior tees since I only hit a blade 1 iron maybe 180 or so now. Those games I carry only 4 or 5 clubs. I think I learned my 5 iron craft from my young days working at the course my old man ran. Always had some sort of 5 iron on my cart hit balls from under the nets on the range. And a 5 iron was always a good versitile snake killing club. My old man was a master at the bump and run with a 5 iron if he missed a green.

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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On 8/26/2021 at 11:39 AM, MCMSR said:

Realistically, how many clubs do we actually & consistently use?

To your point, the last 5 rounds I have played at standard, non-resort golf courses I have used the following clubs over 90 holes of golf: Driver, 3W, 4hyb, 7i, 8i, 9i, PW, GW, SW, Putter. That's 9 clubs and realistically I could easily drop the PW and hit a hard GW or soft 9 and cover that gap. Also, the 3W is more of a luxury than anything else. Most rounds I generally use 7-8 clubs. 

Speaking only for myself, I find when I feel like I "need" all 14 clubs or a really specific club it is, honestly, because I am not feeling confident in my game. I used to obsess over bounce and grind in my wedges because I was too steep into the ball and feared chunking it. I got really concerned with launch angle on my 3W because I was ballooning the crap out of it because I was wiping across it. Etc. Playing with the small bag taught me that I can overcome an 7* gap in my irons on (most) golf courses just by being a little more creative with my shots and a little lighter on my expectations. 

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If you play most rounds on the same course with about eight clubs,

YOU'RE MUCH TOO CONSISTENT!!!

How much fun can golf be when you actually know where the ball is going and how far---every time?

If I were allowed to stuff twenty clubs in a big staff bag,

four rounds at my own club's course and I'll probably hit all twenty.

 

TaylorMade 307cc___13.5°  / Mitsubishi MiDi Proto

Titleist PT___17, 20, 23º  /  Titleist proprietary MG207

Mizuno Fli Hi II__18° driving iron  / Mizuno proprietary Exsar Blue

Titleist T100___5-9  / Mitsubishi Kuro Cage TiNi 85

Titleist Spin Milled___50-08, 56-08, 62-07  /  Aldila NV105

Tad Moore Chicopee___putter

Titleist Pro V1x___ball

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That throwback bag is awesome!  How fun would it be to have some kind of Throwback League?!

I used to play with those 588 Cleveland wedges before buying a pair of SM7's about a year ago.  I found them at a thrift shop and threw them in the bag.  Solid wedges!

Very fun idea for a Sunday bag.  Thanks for that.

:titelist-small:Tsi3 9* - Tensei AV Raw White 65s

:titelist-small:Tsi2 15* - Tensei AV Raw White 75s

:titelist-small:Tsi3 hy 20* - Tensei AV Raw White 90s | :tour-edge: C721 19* Smoke RDX 80s

:mizuno-small:JPX921 Tour - KBS $-Taper 120 4-pw

:vokey-small:SM8 50*  SM7 54*, 60*

:odyssey-small: White Hot Tour #1 (13yrs old😱)

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