Could you play 18 holes
using only this club?
The Merits of the One-Club Round
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/26/13
Fifteen months ago, we oobers pondered which clubs we would choose for use in a three-club tournament. Some courses and clubs even host the occasional one-club event.

But PGA of America teaching professional Tim Mitchell has shared the story of what happened when 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson and a group of his friends showed up at Mitchell's course (Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, California). Each golfer was armed with just three balls and one club. In Bubba's case, it was a 20° hybrid.

In his article for Golf Digest's GolfWrx sub-site, Mitchell sings the praises of the one-club round and uses Bubba's 81 that day to illustrate the importance of having multiple skill-sets with the same club.

In a lovely little analogy, Mitchell asks this rhetorical question: When you learned how to hold a pen, did you wait until your technique was perfect before you attempted to draw or write?

And, perhaps channeling former NASA engineer Dave Pelz's appreciation of empirical data, Mitchell suggests keeping statistics and grading your performance on executing five different varieties of shots.

Finally, whether or not you like or dislike Bubba and his personality, shooting 81 on a Tom Fazio-designed course armed with just a 20° hybrid is awfully impressive.

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Photograph by Torleif Sorenson

[ comments ]
slimpks1850 says:
We already talked about Gerry.
Matt McGee says:
This could be a good practice routine. Maybe not just one club, but one club and a putter might be a good learning experience.
Duke of Hazards says:
I can only dream about playing enough golf where I'd try something like this on a lark.
spackler455db says:
My league partner and i do this every year. We usually use a 6 or 7 iron. I can't imagine how i'd get out of a bunker with a hybrid. Putting is a lot easier than you'd think. This year i shot a 43 for 9 with my 7 iron.
mustang6560 says:
This is on my list for next season.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Duke of Hazards has a good point. But for someone who didn't get to play at all this year, I am considering taking Tim Mitchell's advice. My idea is to start my practice next spring with just one club, trying Mitchell's prescribed variety of shots to learn how the club behaves.

This includes trying to learn how to hit not just half-swing shots with my hybrid, for instance, but also trying to hit half-distance shots. If I ever get the chance to play in the Nebraska Sand Hills and the winds are blowing that day, being able to keep a 60 to 120-yard approach shot low and out of the wind may be necessary.

@slimpks1850, Mitchell's advice (on GolfWrx) is the main reason why I wrote this article. I have so much research work on my plate that I spend very little time in the forums, unfortunately.
slimpks1850 says:
Torleif - that's fine. No prob.

I think the only way I would try this is if I were a member somewhere (& played about twice as much as I already do).
jasonfish11 says:
If you were to set a line on someone's score for a bet what do you think that line would be?

Double their handicap? So would setting an over under of 92 for a 10 handicap be a good line?
bkuehn1952 says:
@jasonfish: good question. I was thinking about Bubba's 81. Using his full bag, presumably he would shoot at par or better. The course he played was likely a bit less difficult than those he plays on tour so he was 10+ shots above his handicap.

90-95 might not be a bad target for someone carrying a 10.
Beekeeper45 says:
Gunna have to give this one a go next spring!!!
golfingbumunderpar64 says:
Hell I would just like to know what swinging a club feels like again.
falcon50driver says:
a few weeks ago I took my putter out of the bag for some putting in my office and forgot to put it back. I discovered it was missing on the first hole at a course a long way from home. I used my 7 wood for the round. Worked pretty well.
Torleif Sorenson says:
@golfingbumunderpar64: I feel your pain.  :)
[ post comment ]
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