Mel Flanagan .ie

Cracking The Golf Code

Minimalism in Golf

by | April 19, 2018

I have a new approach to the game. Forget about your €2000 set of golf clubs, your golf jumper that cost you €200, and the golf shoes that were €150 in the sale. Gadgets, Trolleys, Golf Carts, Even your cool looking balls…. Forget the lot.

The key to a good game of golf is to hit the ball in a straight line and get the ball into the hole in a few shots as possible. Even with the same ball you used on the first hole, if you can.

I once saw a man at a golf range with a set of custom clubs that must of cost him the bones of $5000, he couldn’t even get the ball in the air and that was with a nine iron, every shot followed the contour of the ground. It is much like the rich man with a mid-life crisis driving his expensive new Ferrari, and yet he stalls it at the traffic lights.

Golf is a game; it is about enjoying yourself with friends, get back to playing the game and not trying to look good.

The Minimalistic Set of Clubs

Our members are proper golfers; they will pare the game back to its very essence. There will only be items in the bag that they will ever need during the game. They will be wearing clothes, but will not care about what the other players think of them, it is not a fashion show.

  1. Driver
  2. Rescue Club
  3. Seven Iron.
  4. 58o Wedge
  5. Putter
  6. Plus 1 optional club of your choice for example a 9 iron

The Driver.

The very first club you will use and the most important club in your bag, the club you will probably use the least on the course, find a friendly driver.

Here is how. keep hitting shots with different drivers until you find one you like. You will need to be able to achieve loft and plenty of it. You will need to be able to achieve distance, this is added with a “Toed in” face angle, even more distance can be achieved with plenty of flex in the shaft.

Follow this advice to the letter of the law and instantly ebb away from that pitfall of ‘no distance Molly Malone’,  slice and become a long hitting happy hooker.

The Rescue Club.

Go out and find yourself a very strong rescue club with plenty of loft, 25 degrees, add weight to the head and length to the shaft. A rescue club is so easy to hit and totally eliminates 3, 4, 5, & 6 iron. Then throw those 4 clubs right out of your bag, the rescue club does exactly what it is supposed to do, you do not need any of the others.

The Seven Iron.

Personally, I like to call this the joker club, simply because even when you miss hit the ball, skin it or whatever, the ball takes off and will scamper towards the pin, it is that easy to use.

Bin that vainful ego of yours; you are no shrinking violet Phil Michelson with miracle flop shots. Stick to your seven iron and take mountains of shots off your scorecard. There is a very old adage; there are no photos on your scorecard.

The 58o Wedge.

That is it, one wedge and only one. All professional golfers use one wedge and don’t be a fool on the hill with a suitcase of wedges you haven’t the faintest idea how to use.

Jack Nicklaus said “90% of the top professionals, use the same wedge 90% of the time”.

There is NO special wedge, no matter what the big brands tell you, learn to play with the one wedge, your favourite, and this will be the only one you need.

If you have loads of money and want to buy loads of wedges, have at it, it is your money after all and you more than likely earned it the hard way. All I am saying is that you do not need any more than one. No club will make you play better, only you can do that.

The Putter.

Let us cut out all the nonsense here, any putter will do, it is always the Indian never the arrow.

There is very little power required here, this part of the game is about lining up your ball with the hole, Simples.

OK, a well designed green will have very tricky gradients that are there to fool you and add a challenge to your final shots.

However, No putter will help you with tricky gradients. Unless you have a miracle ball, this shot is solely down to you. How you practice and how you interpret the green before you shoot will determine your success.

The Option.

I always give my students one “Out”, an optional extra club. This one is totally your choice. My option and as it happens, that of most of my students is always the 9 Iron. But you must do what you feel is right for you.

In Summary.

Playing golf is very easy, being good at golf is very difficult.

To progress from just Playing to being Good is the trick, master the basics then just practice. When you are playing golf with your mates on a quiet day on the course, simply play 2 or 3 balls each. This allows you to get more and more practice, so instead of hitting the driver 18 times per round, you are now using it 54 times per round and so on. Professional golfers practice all of the time and that is why they are good.

Now, Go out there and simply enjoy playing the game.


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40 years playing and teaching professional level, I strive to improve the game for all my students.

Mel Flanagan PGA

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