The nights are drawing in, the weather is turning a little colder and more unpredictable and soon, it will be genuine winter golf time. If you are in part of the world where golf is still possible and your courses aren’t transformed into snowy wastelands, or rain-soaked puddles of mud, then fortunately you can still enjoy some winter golf.


For many people though, winter golf means a time to hit the range and practise some of the many mistakes that they have noticed throughout the year that seems to be a problem within their golf game.

However, so many problems out on the course, and I speak from long and painful experience, comes from the simple fact that you don’t really know how far you hit each club, nor the difference in distance between each club.


Adams Idea Hybrid Irons



I hit a seven iron about 150 yards…

Yes, you and most of the modern world does. Some may hit it a lot further. Tour pro’s will regularly smash a seven iron close to 200 yards. The actual distance you hit it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the prefix ‘about’.


Here’s the thing. If you don’t know exactly how far you hit a seven-iron, or any other club for that matter, how is it possible for you to take a yardage on a course and select the right club to hit the ball the required distance?

The short answer to this, is that it isn’t. It is guesswork and often it is wrong.


On a course, we’ll get blinded by conditions. We’ll assume the wind is blowing more strongly or weakly than it is, that the ground is firmer or softer than it is, we’ll also fall into the trap of feeling that we need to show our playing companions what a great player we are by thrashing a seven iron the 190 yards you have left to the green.

The net result of all this guesswork all too often are approach shots that fall either way to short, or less frequently in my case, way too long of the intended destination.


So before you start work on what is wrong in your swing, spend an hour or two going through arguably the most beneficial golf practise routine I have used in the past two years. Distance gapping.





What is distance gapping?

What you need for a successful distance gapping session is around 150 golf balls, a relatively calm day, a notebook and pencil (or if you are a tech geek, an iPad or iPhone or similar will do to record your results) and your golf clubs.

At first I tried to do this at the golf range, but I found this very difficult to measure the shots accurately as at the range, you cannot retrieve the balls. This made accurately measuring the distance of each shot accurately a real problem, so I found the perfect solution.

I head to my local course for the last hour or so of daylight when the first few holes and the practice ground are empty. By taking an old card, you can easily work out distances of each shot.


I then go through my bag hitting around ten shots with each club at what I perceive to be my usual swing speed at full pace. After I have hit ten shots, I then use the GPS system on my iPhone (and an app that can accurately measure distance) to see how far those ten shots have, on average landed.

I always discount shots that may have rolled on unexpectedly, or which I mishit and what you’ll find is as you get used to the practise, you get a cluster of balls around the same area. Note this distance down next to the club, collect up your ten balls and then do it again for another club.





Repeat this exercise through the bag and by the end of it, you’ll have a lovely list of each club in your bag and how far you can hit it.

What you’ll also have is a clear indication of what the gaps are in between your clubs. This is invaluable when deciding what club to select for approach shots in particular. Let’s say for example, I hit my 7-iron 152 yards on average (which I do) and my 6-iron around 165 yards. If I am looking at a par 3 of 159 yards. Which club should I use?


Well I could try and thrash a 7-iron, but a more sensible choice is to use a six-iron. I may slightly over hit the shot, but if I am six yards over, that is better than risking a lot more going wrong with my shot thanks to trying to do too much with a 7-iron.

Another thing to do with clubs is to measure the distance when hitting clubs off the ground and then off the tee. There can be a marked difference between hitting a 3-wood from the tee, compared to out of the rough, or off the fairway.


By understanding how far you hit the ball, you gift yourself this vital knowledge and the guesswork that can ruin your game is cut down greatly. Professionals put huge stock in knowing exactly how far they can hit every club in their bag and if you want to get better at golf, then you should too.

And a quiet winter’s afternoon at the local course is the ideal time to do it.



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