Category Archives: basics

How to deal with that ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ golf club – that always lets you down!

bad golf club

“Golf is not a game of good shots. It’s a game of bad shots.”Ben Hogan

By Ian Hardie

A while back I was on the golf course conducting a playing lesson with a golfer who had been having lessons with me over a period of a few months

Which were mostly focussed on improving the consistency of their golf action

Just like a lot of golfers experience, the golfer felt (and the quality of the shots on the practice fairway showed) that their golf action had improved as a result of the ideas that we had worked through together

However, the scores that the golfer was posting weren’t reflecting that improvement which meant that the golfer was concerned that

‘They weren’t scoring as well as they thought they should have been’

As I wrote about in the article Do you really need golf lessons – part six? that’s exactly the reason for having a playing lesson – taking whatever skill level the golfer has at the game and working through some ways to turn that into consistently lower scores on the golf course

Anyway, even though doing that is a good idea for almost all golfers – something that you can find out more about here if you would like to do one or two with me – that’s not really what I wanted to discuss today

Instead, I’d like to talk about something that happened during the playing lesson

To set the scene for you, the golfer I was with has traditionally held a handicap that sits in the high single figures to early double figures – depending on how well they are playing at the time – somewhere in the 7 – 13 range to be more precise

An above average golfer whose game was based around consistency and scoring well through having a good short game as opposed to attacking the golf course

Well, that’s what it used to be anyway – as the result of working on their action with me over a period of a few months had meant that the golfer was now producing a lot more ‘effective distance’ off the tee

If you don’t know what that means – you can find out by grabbing a copy of the book:

How to drive the golf ball as far as you possibly can

The increase in ‘effective distance’ was opening up a new way of being able to score on the golf course for the golfer by being able to go for the green on par 5 holes with their second shot when it was appropriate

As opposed to playing three shots to a par 5 hole that most golfers need to play

A situation like that that arose during our playing lesson, after the golfer had hit what they suggested ‘was one of the best drives they had ever hit’ – they were easily in range of the green of the par 5 hole that we were on for their second shot but like a lot of golfer’s who get themselves into that position

As they had spent many years ‘laying up’ on par 5 holes – the golfer was a bit unsure of firstly whether they should go for the green from that spot and secondly, what club to use

Exactly the sort of situation that makes playing lessons so useful for most golfers!

So what I got the golfer to do was…………………………actually, I’m not going to go into the details of what we did – if you are curious about that book yourself a playing lesson today

The interesting point that I’m talking about came when I suggested that the golfer should try hitting a hybrid that I saw in their golf bag to see what it would do from that spot

The golfer quickly said ‘No, I’m not going to hit that club – it’s a naughty club’

‘It’s what sort of club?’ I said in a fairly surprised tone

‘It’s a bad club – every time I try and use it for a shot – it lets me down’

Now you may be thinking that the golfer is somewhat ‘unusual’ in saying things like that about a golf club but I can tell you that certainly isn’t the first time I have heard that sort of thing in the 30 years or so that I have been involved in the game

Normally, if a golfer gets to the point where they think that about a certain golf club

It gets left out of their golf bag and ‘punished’ by being put into a dusty corner of a garage, a dark cupboard, they trade it in for a new one or it gets given away to another golfer

Who in theory must be able to make it ‘behave better’ in some way than the first golfer could!

I even recall seeing a golf club hanging with a rope noose around the head of the club in a garage some years back – an apparent attempt by the golfer to ‘teach it a lesson’

Each of things above (with the exception of ‘hanging it for a while’ I think) are very good options to take in dealing with that ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ golf club – that always lets you down by the way

As the last place it should ever be – is in your golf bag on the golf course

Keeping a golf club in your bag that you have basically zero confidence in – will simply bring your confidence down  – as it sits there every time that you look at your clubs:

Reminding you of all the bad shots you have hit with it

Reminding you of how many strange places you have hit your golf ball with it

Reminding you of those times where you were playing well until you used it on that hole

Reminding you of………………………….

I could go on with a massive list of things there I’m sure but the bottom line is that having it there messing with your mental state each time you look at it

Is something no golfer needs to have going on while playing

I certainly hadn’t been aware that the golfer I was with even had a problem with it as when I had done my full bag check at our first lesson together – something that I make a point of doing with every golfer in an attempt to identify problems like this

The offending hybrid wasn’t in their golf bag as it was sitting in the golfers garage at home having being ‘timed out’ for being ‘naughty’ in a similar position to the golf clubs that you can see on the left of the image above apparently

The good news for the golfer?

There was actually a fairly simple reason that the hybrid was a ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ golf club for that particular golfer even though it was a good model and brand of golf club, as well as being fairly new

Which I’m going to tell you about in ‘How to deal with that ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ golf club – that always lets you down – part two’ soon

Until then

Play well

And if you happen to be a golfer that has one or two ‘bad’ or ‘naughty golf clubs’ being stored or punished somewhere – send me a message here – to let me know how you do it!


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