Finding the ideal set composition varies for every player, but there is one thing that should be a constant. Get the correct clubs in your bag that you will use, not what looks cool!
When it comes to finding your ideal set makeup, you should look no further than your local PGA Professional or a certified club fitter. The reason why this is so important is to make sure you are selecting your clubs based on your game’s needs (distance gaps, shot selection, or frequent turf and sand conditions). When I fit my students for clubs, I not only ask them questions related to their current game, I assess them while I am coaching them. For example, if I see my player struggling to hit certain finesse or partial shots around the greens and they may benefit from a lob wedge, then that may start the process of filling the bag from the green backward. As we get further into the round and bag, I may notice that my player carrying a 4 iron, but struggles to hit it well or only uses it to punch out (trust me, I’ve had a few say that’s why it’s in the bag!), I will direct them toward the easier to hit hybrids. If I have a player who carries a 3W, but again can’t hit it off the ground and won’t use it off a tee, then we find out how he feels about a higher lofted fairway wood instead. Sometimes by doing this we can consolidate two clubs into one and it may free up space for a another wedge or whatever may be needed. If you break it down to the fact that over 60% of shots come from inside 100 yards, you can really start to see where the most importance should be placed when finding your ideal setup. You need long clubs you can rely on to get you into position and then use the scoring clubs to do just that – “score”!
For beginning amateurs, you don’t even need a full set. Because you are building your skills and swing speed throughout this process, you may find that you are hitting multiple clubs the same distance. For you, selecting every other club down to your 8 or 9 iron may be a great way for you to see distance gaps and again, you can focus having enough wedges in your bag to help you score your best. Whatever you decide to do, it is ultimately up to you! I will say again, your local PGA Professional or certified club fitter, and a couple of great questions or an assessment of your game, will go a long way to help you select the best set makeup for you! Good luck!!!