We've previously covered nine of the 14 clubs you're allowed to carry in your bag, the irons and the driver. Considered in those terms, essentially two-thirds of your clubs are designed for you to hit a golf ball between 100 and 300 yards. However, during a round, something in the neighborhood of 60% to 65% of your strokes will be taken within 100 yards of the flagstick, independent of your handicap. If you're skeptical of that statistic, keep track next time you play. More clubs for fewer of your shots, fewer clubs for more of your shots. Yes, golf is a game of opposites. For instance, to get the ball up in the air with an iron, hit down on it. Just accept that the golf gods want you to be baffled, and your enjoyment of the game will soar. At the very least, your frustration might diminish. Everybody wants to hit drives 290 yards and 7-irons 185, probably because practicing full-swing shots is a lot more fun than honing one's skills around the green with the wedges or on it with the putter. But the truth is that in order to see meaningful improvement in your scores, you have to possess a terrific short game. Here are some items that can help.
Open-Faced Sand Wedge
You'll want to carry at least three wedges, your pitching wedge and two additional clubs. The pitching wedge usually has a loft of 47 degrees or 48 degrees. Add to this a sand wedge, normally 56 degrees of loft, and a 60-degree lob wedge or a 52-degree gap wedge, depending on your preference. Wedges can also be found at 54 degrees, 58 degrees or set at odd-degree lofts like 53 and 55. Pelz Golf, the company started by short-game guru and former NASA scientist Dave Pelz, even sells a 64-degree wedge. The debate will rage forever as to whether you should carry three or four wedges, but as with all other club-buying options, the choices are limited only by how much you want to spend.