Do you know how far you hit every club in your bag? This post covers the reasons why you should know, if possible, carry and total distance of your golf clubs.
If you listen to any golf podcasts, here are my top 5, or watch any instructional videos on YouTube (my favourites), almost all will, at some point, talk about the importance of knowing how far you hit the ball. This would cover not only the distance in a straight line (North & South), but also your dispersion or shot patterns – left and right (East & West).
One of the challenges with distance is ego. Golf clubs have got progressively lower lofted over the years with, say, a modern 7 iron having the same loft as 6 iron from a few years ago. So let go of ego and just concentrate on yourself.
I mentioned ego first because for many, if they do have rough idea of how far they hit it they would often equate that wonder shot, or the skulled iron, or the massive drive with a massive tailwind and downhill as the norm. This will get you into a lot of trouble. Granted, for lower handicaps, there will be less deviation between North & South but should try to gauge what your average shots are, what your top end is. I would consider worse case scenario also, but try to keep on the positive side.
Worse case also helps you when you assess carry. You should know your carry distance and total distance if possible so you can make sure that you get over any trouble that might be in the way.
What are the benefits?
Knowing your distances allows you to gauge:
- how far is the maximum distance you can hit towards the target
- what is the minimum distance required to get over any trouble
- where to target based on your dispersion
How do a measure myself?
The simple way is to pick targets in the range that you have measured out and calculate you average distances. This requires little/no additional equipment: although a range finder could help.
A launch monitor can give you these insights. There is obvious cost involved here, but if you are getting a club fitting you could incorporate a monitor session or simply book a simulator session: there seem to be 100s of these facilities springing up all over the place.
Portable launch monitors are also coming down in price so you may be able to get a good deal. I have a Swing Caddie SC100 that was not too expensive and is accurate enough for my needs.
With all those methods you could be predominantly hitting from mats, where WELD doesn’t come into play so much, and therefore may not equate to your average golf. This is why rangefinder/scoring app is a great solution. Arccoss and ShotScope are probably the two most popular brands out there, I use Golf Pad Tags which have a cheaper initial cost and subscription model.
The tags just screw into the club and you can either tap your phone (with an app installed) or enter shots on your watch (with software). This then records all the shots you play and will give you nice average distances of each club. While it doesn’t show carry distance as a launch monitor can it will give you a very good indication of where your shots are going.
These tools give you a lot more information than just distances and will benefit your game when you assess other data areas too. Knowing your distances will help a great deal.
What are you using to measure you distances?