The short game is an essential part of golf. It can make or break the golfer. So this caveman is doing an Ode to the Short Game by giving you a brief history of a few of his favorite short game clubs.
Since putting is the most precise aspect of the game, nearly every golfer has a putter and can point one out amongst the Irons and woods. While it may not be required by the rules to have in your bag, going without one would be extremely difficult. The putter is also the only club allowed to have a bent shaft.
I can’t find a single definitive source for its name. The way I remember it though it came from he Dutch verb “puttern” which means to role. Putters started off resembling a scythe (that old fashioned weedwacker) then moved on to hickory shafted clubs bearing a 7-10 degree loft. Modern day putters, however, generally only hold a loft of 1-5 degrees. Why do you ask? Earlier greens could not be as well maintained without our new fangled mechanical lawnmowers, and so that extra oomph was necessary to climb over that furry-ness.
Other recent additions to the putter have included expanding from the traditional putter shape to include mallet, peripheral weighted and blade. Some also are replacing the metal center with a softer rubber like compound to give more rebound and distance.
In this caveman’s opinion it would be very difficult to just pick up one of the new putters and instantly know how to wield it. So make sure you take your time to find out which style fits your needs the most.
For many golfers, this club has become has indispensible as the putter. Its Ideal for short high shots that are able to come to a halt quickly after landing on the green. Tom Kite became the first tour player to regularly use a lob wedge and changed the way the game is played. Dave Pelz was the driving force behind Kite’s decision after he recommended that he place a 60 degree loft wedge in his bag. He followed through in the summer of 1980, during a time when generally the highest lofted club in anyones bag was 56-degrees. The following year, kite won the PGA Tour money title, the Vardon Trophy and the Player of the Year honors from Golf Writers Association. Coincidence? Not according to him:
“That one club allowed me to go from a pretty good player to . . . a much better player,”
Another great club every golfer should have, The pitching wedge bridges the gap between irons and wedges. When used in full swing, it can create a fairly high trajectory shot which carries between 80-130 yards. But when used in a truncated chipped motion it can send the ball upward in a short lobbed approach shot. And when used in a low putting type motion, can lift the ball a few feet over the 10-25 yards of rough to land it firmly on the green.
What is your favorite short game club Rock Heads?