Gapping your clubs is not simply knowing your club distances and the gaps between them. Its knowing how far your 7 iron goes vs a 6 iron as well as understanding all of the variables (wind, shot shape, slope, lie,humidity etc.) So why is “gapping” your clubs so important. Knowing your distances builds confidence BUT knowing your distances in all conditions helps you build a score.
At Kaizen we help you understand your gaps and the variables. We have developed a gapping methodology that starts with baselining and then helps you look at how the conditions or variables can impact your game.
In this article we cover phase 1 - Baselining. Use this simple methodology and identify where you can save shots in a round.
First Session - Create your Baseline
Head to the range, rent a launch monitor https://teetimes.back9solutions.com/kaizengolf
record the weather and general conditions (Wind into 10 MPH, Wind off the left 5 MPH etc) and do the following :-
1. Hit 6-10 normal 6 irons - Record the following. Your MEVO + launch monitor should do this :-
Average Carry Distance
Average Total distance
Club Head speed
TIP - Do NOT work on anything during the session just focus on hitting shots , not shapes, not technique. Walk into each shot as if it is a new shot on the course following your normal pre-shot routine.
2. Do the same for your 5, 7, 8 and 9 Irons
* TIP - Dont mix your driver, Hybrids and distance wedges (Less than 50 yards) in the same gapping session to start off with.
3. Spend 45 minutes on your 5 to 9 iron and STOP. That is 50 shots and is plenty before you get tired and enough to give you your baseline data.
TIP - Now discard your “outliers” , I.e the complete miss hits , again the launch monitor will allow you to select and delete. So you should have 6-8 shots with each club.
4. Go Home or go back to the club house ... Open your data on the portal (eg. myflightscope.com), ask yourself the following questions and record the answers for EACH Club
TIP - You can use the Kaizen gapping session excel spreadsheet and you will get an automatic gapping chart - just make a gapping session booking and we will give you the spreadsheet. :-
What was the predominate weather condition or environmental condition (Wind, Slope)
What was my average carry distance (There is no baseline here , your game is your baseline, do not worry about PGA distances).
What was the distance between each club’s carry distance (Slower speed players will tend to see 7-9 yards between each club, whereas, higher speed players may see 10-12 yards between each club).
What was my average deviation or dispersion
What is my average smash factor
What is my dominant shot shape
How much farther does my shot go on average if I draw vs fade the ball
What is my average launch angle
What other trends did you see
My gap between my 5 and 6 iron is very small
Is my smash factor consistent (Note smash is different per club , so refer to the smash factor index to check your rating - Agin this is in the Kaizen Gapping Spreadsheet)
5. Start to Build your plan. These observations and data are the Crown Jewels , the secret sauce to your game. Your plan could include examples like :-
a. Validate my 5-6 gapping. Go back to the range and take a look at these 2 clubs only on the launch monitor and validate the gapping.
b. Change - Armed with this new knowledge you may start to change your approach on the course. I.e. I need a 7 iron to cover the bunker on hole 5 not my 8 when the wind is 10 MPH into
c. Adapt - My dispertion with my 9 iron is only 10 yards. Play conservative off the par 5’s and leave a 9 iron 3rd shot into the green . The chance of making birdie is higher that hitting a high risk 3 wood 2nd into the front left trap.
It is highly possible that armed with this new data and additional data (as you continue to add data to you driving range sessions) that you will see shots you are missing on the course.
6. We recommend you break you gapping sessions into 4 separate sessions. Break your gapping driving range sessions into :-
1. Irons (Upto 9 iron or PW)
2. Wedges (50 - 60 degree inside 120 yards)
3. Driver and
4. Utilities and fairway woods
Assimilate the information across all clubs until you have a complete view of the gaps in your bag. The Kaizen golf gapping spreadsheet will give you all the comparison data you need to ensure you have your yardages covered.
In the next session we will cover the variables.