Ian Hardie Golfer Pacific NZ Column October 2019

Ian Hardie Golfer Pacific NZ Columns
Ian Hardie Golfer Pacific NZ Columns


Do you really need a full set of golf clubs?


“The biggest liar in the world is the golfer who claims that he plays the game merely for exercise” – Tommy Bolt.

I was talking to a golfer the other day who made a statement that I have heard a lot over the years.

‘I don’t play much – so I only need a few clubs – half a set will do me’.

It’s a statement that I absolutely…………………..disagree with!

Generally the golfers that say things like that are just starting out in the game or due to other things going on in their life, they play golf casually.

Now, if you consider the statement from a common sense approach.

It’s logical.

If you think about from the point of view of financial cost.

It’s also logical.

The golfers that make statements like this generally claim that they play the game just for the exercise or for fun but I don’t believe them.

My experience is that anyone who walks onto a golf course, after their first couple of games of golf, will start to want to try and improve.

In both the quality of their golf shots and ultimately improve their scores by lowering them.

A common response I get when I ask these golfers after their game ‘How did it go out there?’ is usually not.

“I had great exercise or fun”.

But a judgement from them as to whether they went well or not.

“I went terribly”.

“I’m just a hacker”.

“I don’t really play enough”.

These answers can only be based by judging their game against past performance and can only be important, if they care about improving on some level.

Which almost all of them want to do.

So, even though there are plenty of logical reasons as to why a golfer should start cheaply with a few golf clubs.

I still think it’s a bad thing.

As the golfers I’m referring to are the future of the game, the ones that given the right encouragement will be the full time golfers of the future but if they continue to perform poorly.

They will become frustrated golfers and give up golf altogether.

So, why do I disagree with the ‘few clubs to start with mentality’ I hear you ask?

Think about your own golf game for a minute.

The one you may have spent many years working on to give you a sound repeating action that consistently moves the ball to where you want to hit your next shot from.

No doubt, you compliment it by having as many clubs at your disposal as possible – currently a maximum of 14 as you will know.

Although, personally I think it should be higher – you can read about that here.

Having all of these different golf clubs available to you allows you to approach almost every shot on the course, select the simplest club to use for it and effortlessly hit that great shot.


Reality for most of us?

No, of course it isn’t!

Even with the maximum number of clubs available to us most of us spend every game trying to adjust our actions to get that next shot – just right.

We have spent years doing it and mostly we don’t get it right.

So, tell me how a new golfer or one that doesn’t play very often, using their handful of clubs is ever going to be able to do that?

Before you say “they don’t need to Ian – they are just new or casual golfers”.

Think about who they will be playing with and watching, silently measuring their own performance against.


You, the established golfer, the one with all the experience who is making minor adjustments each shot to allow your single action to give you great shots.

That new or casual golfer with very little experience and a few golf clubs has to be able to have at least 3 different actions before they start to adjust anything at all.

One action that hits the right distance.

One that hits really hard – to fill in the gap in clubs.

And another one that has to hit a lot softer – also to fill in the gap in clubs.

As I’ve talked about before in other articles on https://golfhabits.com/ that’s hard enough for an accomplished golfer to do.

What chance does a new or casual golfer have?

Very little.

And how many games of golf, performing badly in front of someone else does it take for most people to stop and give up?

Not that many.

So, do you really need a full set of golf clubs?

You do if you like the game (if only a little) and you want to get better, which everyone wants to do ultimately.

The sooner you get a full set of golf clubs, the easier golf will be for you!

Then maybe you’ll play a little more and really start having fun on the golf course.

Play well.


Ian Hardie is Golfer Pacific’s Golf Professional contributor. He is Club Professional at Omanu Golf Club in Mount Maunganui. Ian’s time is split between the pro shop at the club and helping people to improve, while enjoying their golf more as a result of his golf coaching. Over the past few years, in an effort to help as many golfers as he can, Ian has been sharing his common sense golf advice with golfers around the world through his website golfhabits.com. With over 500 articles to read, it’s a great resource for any golfer looking to improve their golf game.

Location Omanu Golf Club, 98 Matapihi Road, Mount Maunganui Phone 0272222073 (txt is ok) or at Omanu Golf Club Pro Shop (07) 575 5957 E-mail ian@golfhabits.com Hours Coaching Times: Monday - All Day, Tuesday - All Day, Wednesday - Morning, Thursday - Afternoon, Friday - Sometimes, Saturday - Afternoon, Sunday - Rarely.
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