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Help with "What's in my golf bag?"

Tom E

I am looking to tweek my golf bag right now and trying to get an idea of what I should have.  I am an avid golfer looking to improve (aren't we all) and my handicap is 18.  I currently own a driver (D2), 18 degree wood FD (5), 21 degree hybrid, 4 -PW, 50, 56, 60.  Given my handicap, where should I change, if any, my clubs/irons to?  I feel like I am not set up to help improve my handicap.  Should I cut my wedges or an iron down, add a hybrid or wood?  I would like some feedback and at the same time, what's in your bag to match your handicap.  Its always tough to compare to the pros when this topic comes up.  Thanks in advance!!

9 Replies

  1. FJL

    I'm a lower handicaper and in my late 50's.  I found out on my own a long time ago that to lower your handicap, the only way to approach it is through course management, because that will show you where your weaknesses are.  Once you get to a ten handicap through this method, you will have learned your strengths in this game, or, it will force you to practice more to create those strengths with special attention to your second shot (on a par 4, 3rd shot on a par 5), trust me on this, then you will have the where withall to start playing the holes backwards and you'll progress faster toward a single digit handicap.  Once you play the hole backwards, you should always be playing to a strength of a second shot (or 3rd on a par 5), and this is done by whatever gets you there from the tee.  If your second shot is a strength, then that should put you within 20 feet of the hole and now (if you were playing the hole backwards and in regulation) you would definitely have a chance at two putting for your par (which is regulation), but in my mind, and it should be in yours, I (you) have a chance at birdie.  You won't make all the birdies, but you'll most likely have a higher percentage at making a birdie and definitely you'll get your par.... it's a given if you're a good lag putter from 20 feet, lol!  This is how you lower your handicap.

    As your game progresses, you upgrade your gamers.  That tends to not only help because you are more skilled, but more importantly gives you a sense of "I deserve these clubs" and brings you to another level because of it.  Just saying, it will happen.

    Buying clubs that are too far in advance for your game isn't the answer, although Titleist clubs do give one an edge as they are, the best made OEM club out there. 

    Changing your approach to the game doesn't cost you anything at first.  You'll know when your game's level requires the next level of clubs, that's when you make the purchase and upgrade.

  2. Wendy H

    FWIW....I am a 20 handicap. My bag consists of a 910d2 driver, a 15.5* 909f, a 19* 910f, two 910 hybrids 21* & 24*, 6-pw, 56* & 60*. I found I got more out of dropping long irons and adding hybrids. It really improved my game with the  added accuracy and confidence. I still need to add a 52* but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Like you I am constantly working on improvement. So far this setup has helped me lower my handicap by a fair bit this year. I'm hoping to drop below 20 by the end of the season. Best of luck with your game. :)

  3. Michael D

    What shafts are in your clubs? This is key to your swing, ball flight, and even more important then the clubs in your bag. Were you fitted for your clubs with a launch monitor? I wouldn't change anything in your bag until you know what you are using is fitted to you and your game.

    In my bag.

    titleist 910 fd 15 degree 3 wood ust pro force 86 stiff shaft.

    titleist 910 19 degree hybrid diamana kalili 80 hyb stiff shaft.

    titleist ap2 710 3 to PW with Nippon 105t stiff shaft.

    titleist vokey sm4 52 degree with 8 bounce and titleist 56 degree with 14 bounce. Dynamic gold stiff shaft

    scotty Cameron studio style Newport 2.0

    i am a 9 handicap was fit for all clubs...driver is coming not titleist right now so not listing it lol. 

    Good luck with what ever you decide to do.

  4. Tom E



    This is definitely great advice as it takes on a completely different angle of what I am trying to accomplish.  I really appreciate you taking the time to get back to me.  I will take the time to map out my home course better and figure out my strengths so it will help me lower my score! 

  5. Tom E

    Hey Wendy,


    I guess we are in the same boat.  That is something I was looking to do.  I can my hit 4 and 5 iron but at the same time, I was thinking a hybrid will make the longer irons easier to play.  I really like my 5 wood and slowly getting comfortable with the driver but maybe a 3 wood off the tee would help me get the ball in play more often.  Thanks again for the advice and good luck lowering that handicap :)

  6. Tom E

    Hey Michael,


    Thanks for taking the time to give advice!  I was fitted for my driver, wood, hybrid and irons.  I strongly believe in that and especially if you are dishing out that kind of money.  I should really look at my wedges being fitted though.  I just walked in and bought 3 wedges (to cover my gaps) and feel that they are too short as my irons were extended.  The grips need to be changed too so they have the same feel as my other clubs.  I guess I could do that at the same time. 

  7. Darius V


    I think you are on the right track with the advice you have received.

    First - start with planning your way around the course and charting your strokes. Are you hitting fairways? Are you hitting greens? If so - from what distance are you hitting the greens on a regular basis. If you find you hit greens regularly from 100 yds but miss them when 50 yds, then instead of hitting your long shots trying to get as close as possible - lay up to a good distance and hit in from there.

    Changing the grips on your wedges to match the rest of your clubs is important. Good to have a consistent feel when holding the club in your hands.

    Unless you really really really like your 60 degree wedge- I would leave that at home for a while as well.

    I am now down to a 7 and took my 60 out of the bag a long time ago. Better to learn to hit my 56 and my 52 cleanly and controlling distance than playing with something with so much loft.

    That also gives you room in the bag when you decide to put in a new rescue club in the future.

    Just my suggestions.


  8. Tom E



    I just got back from my local GT to have them re grip and fit my wedges, so thanks for the advise.  I have taken all suggestions and now you have me thinking of dropping a 60 wedge in lieu of a future hybrid/wood.  For now, I will keep it in my bag "just in case" I need that miracle flop, lol.  I plan to hit the range this weekend and find out my lay up distance so I can work with it.  I really like the idea of mapping out the course, which is probably a common tool, that I never thought of.  Thanks again for the reply!!

    By the way, how's the new driver treating ya?

  9. Darius V

    So glad you are getting some good advice from the members of TT. You mentioned you would keep the 60 in your bag just in case - just remember you have a limit of 14 clubs :)

    As for my new 913 D2 driver - IT HAS BEEN AWESOME !!!!!

    I played a round the other day and the guys I was with kept saying I was putting on a clinic. I hit every single fairway and am now aiming down the middle and am not afraid to aim down the right side if the shot calls for it.

    The confidence I am gaining from hitting fairways carries over to the rest of the game and as such I have managed to drop a stroke and a half off my handicap. I may have lost a few yards or so from my longest drives using my old driver, but keeping the ball in play is SO much more important.

    Really looking forward to the rest of the season !

    Good luck with your search for improvement. Just remember - Course management is very important. Phil proved that this year at the Open Championship. Leaving the driver behind to ensure he can keep the ball in play and below the wind as needed. Remember it is not how far you hit the club - it's the number on the card at the end !


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