Sometimes you just need a change. Maybe your game’s in a funk – or at least it’s smelling funkier than usual. Perhaps you feel like your last few scores were more wretched than the typical hack-job rounds you normally piece together.
Well, don’t let it get you down. Remember, golf is meant to be fun, so why not start having some? What you need is to change your perspective. But doing that takes more than just forgetting about the high number on your scorecard – it takes reacquainting yourself with the game of golf. But how?
This is where it gets interesting and fun all at the same time: All you need to do is remove some clubs from your bag. And by “some” I mean all but three of them (and keep your putter too). That’s right – take them out before you get to the first tee – just leave them in your trunk.
I call it the “3-Club Challenge” and the object is to play the entire round of golf with only three clubs and a putter. Sound ridiculous? Don’t knock it until you try it. I’ve done this a few times – typically when my previous few rounds have been exceptionally poor – and I have to tell you, it’s reinvigorating!
Now the trick is to choose your clubs wisely. For me, that means my 20-degree hybrid; an 8-iron; and my pitching wedge. The hybrid will see double-duty – both off the tee (I hit about 215 with that club) and out of the fairway. The 8 is my club from 150 yards and the wedge is good from 125 and in (and all will be three-quarter-, half- and quarter-swung at some point during the round too). While those are my three clubs, you’re free to select any three you’d like or feel comfortable with – just as long as you don’t have more than three clubs and a putter in your bag.
Limiting your club selection in this way forces you to simplify the game. It makes you slow down and think hard about each shot. You limit risky shots because you have none to play – every stroke must be carefully thought out. Instead of griping and ripping it, you aim for the 150- or 200-yard marker in the fairway. Instead of going for the green, you pick a spot to lay-up and pitch on.
The first time I took the 3-Club Challenge, I was amazed – not just at how much I strategized for each hole, but also how my results weren’t really that bad! Every time I give the challenge a whirl, I end up shooting pretty close to my average – or at least much better than my previous few terrible rounds with all my clubs. By the next time out, I’m back on track – playing my regular game of poor (but not wretched) golf.
Ready to give it a shot? Get your golf buddies in on it too and maybe even make a little wager on the round.
A word to the wise: I wouldn’t recommend taking the 3-Club Challenge on an unfamiliar course – you don’t want to handicap yourself too much. But on a course you know, this can be all that’s needed to right the ship.
And if you do take the challenge (or already play some form of it), I would love to know your results by leaving a comment!