During the mid 80’s I began playing my practice rounds on tour with 4 clubs and 3 balls,#3 wood,5iron,9iron,and a putter.Seeing that there were few caddies around on the mondays, tuesdays and wednesdays I thought it kinda stupid to lug around all my gear and tour bag just to tire myself out. On one such occasion I was approached by the commissioner of the tour at the time who gave me a reprimand and said that I couldn’t do what I was doing. ?? I looked at him with genuine curiousity and said" you mean I can’t practice on the course"? He says no…you must take all your clubs and have a bag. I said ,“but I already know what all my clubs do and I am aware of the colour of my bag”. I carried on to say that the only thing I have a need to know is what the golf course is asking of me?I have already practiced my clubs and I don’t know how to practice my bag! Needless to say he was not impressed and would not let it be.So the next time I was threatened with a fine for “conduct unbecoming of a professional”. I’m quite certain that the board of directors had a good time with this because some of them were playing with me during these practice rounds and saw that I was free to pay alot more attention to the details of the course and not in the least burdened by my having to lug about a 50lbs bag. They were also fearful of attempting it for the knowledge of the “what if I am seen practicing on the course this way?”…Looking back now I don’t beleive I would do anything differently…the fine was revoked. There is nothing unprofessional about practicing the course.
Nice story Paulsy. I must admit I enjoy playing a half set or less from time to time. Every year we have a 5 club challenge at my club in the UK and the first year I entered I was lucky enough to shoot 72 (+2) which stood as my best round for a fair old while. I think just playing 5 clubs can have the benefit of reducing indecision and expectations and can unlock a bit of creativity. Plus its fun! I am looking forward to this years comp as I am sure I can double up my persimmon driver as a fairway wood as well.
There are at least 4 or 5 rounds I used to play with only 2 clubs. One iron from SW to 6 iron and a putter. I also hop the fence all the time with only a wedge to 5 iron…no putter. It’s very instructional to see how a hole can be reached very easily with two well struck 7 irons vs. a 3 wood and a SW. Or learning to play knock downs or opening up a 7 iron and hitting high floating 100 yard shots.
Shame on the tour for trying to fine you. It’s your business how you wish to prepare!
I thought it was great that Tom Watson played the Masters this year with only 13 clubs… and nothing more lofted than his 56 degree SW.
A 60 year old shooting 67 the first day is pretty impressive.
Very well put…especially the unlocking part!
…and he probably only needed about 7 of them!