Finding "Secret Weapons"
One of the great things about this game is that there is always that one more club that can make a difference in our games. Or at least that's what we want to believe. And it keeps us haunting the golf shops and online stores looking for that one club that will prove to be our new "secret weapon". In my own bag, that one club that has proved the most elusive was just the right 4-wood ... and I think I've finally found it.
I've written before that I believe the 4-wood is the most overlooked and under-appreciated club in the game. Or darn close to it. Most golfers, in my opinion, would benefit significantly by swapping their 3-wood for a 4-wood. That extra 2-3 degrees of loft and 1" shorter shaft can pay big dividends.
For most players, the 3-wood serves as "driver #2" on holes where a little more accuracy or less distance is desirable, but it is a horrible approach club, as very few can hit the 3-wood with enough height and spin to hold a green anyway. Those are two shots you can execute better with other clubs.
For that "baby drive" you need on a narrow fairway, with just a little practice I think you will find that a gripped down driver, with throttled back swing will produce the results you are after. A single 15-20 minute session on the driving range can change your world. Just grip down on your driver about two inches, making it 3-wood length. Then make a swing that feels more like a soft wedge shot than a full driver shot. A bunt, so to speak. You'll quickly see that you get a lower ball flight, tighter dispersion and more consistency, while carving off about 15-20 yards.
But, back to that "secret weapon" thing. The 4-wood, with 16.5-17 degrees of loft and a 42" shaft can be awesome. For me, it gives me an approach club from 215-220, wherein my 20" hybrid maxes out about 205. It also gives me a controllable low-loft club for those very low knockdowns from under trees. It's a perfect tee-shot tool on those great short par-four holes where I want precise positioning, or for that second shot on longer par-fives where I want to keep the ball in a precise part of the fairway for my approach.
I'm a fan of building your set where all twelve clubs between your driver and putter are effective approach clubs. I call it "golf by the numbers". For me, the 4-wood gives me that long-range club that I can still hit into a green and hold the ball in place with a minimum of roll-out. But it also gives me a club I can turn over into a baby draw off the tee or when I want a little more roll-out.
Your "secret weapon" may be just the right hybrid, or a different driver, or a new putter. Could be a full set of precision scoring clubs to replace your 6-iron-looking 9- and p-club and "just wedges". Or it could be a new 4-wood.
Oh, that new "secret weapon" of mine? It's a Ping Anser 16.5, which I reshafted with a UST Mamiya AxivCore.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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