What follows should be taken as an exercise in style. Or, golfing speaking, a drill. In your opinion is 14 clubs in your golf bag too many? For Miguel Angel Jimenez yes.
The premises are known to all players. For those who have not yet played golf, we remind you that, in a nutshell, the rules in force set the maximum number of tools of the trade that every golfer can bring to the field at fourteen. If he starts from the first hole with (for example) 12 clubs, during the course of the competition a player can add a maximum of two. Anyone playing with 15 or more clubs has two penalty strokes per hole.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, statements
In recent days, a phrase attributed to Miguel Angel Jimenez, the most loved Spaniard in today’s golf world, has been relaunched on social networks. El Mechanico represents one of the last players of the old guard. At 57, Jimenez has around twenty titles on the European Tour and several placings between the PGA Tour and Asian Tour. Ryder’s proven player, the Spaniard has experience to spare to discuss the top systems of golf. And the number of sticks is to be considered one of these.
The reasoning is simple: with 14 clubs available, each player has 13 possibilities (excluding the putter for obvious reasons) to play the ball. With so much choice, does the golfer still need some of his own or does the skill lie only in choosing what to use between hybrid, iron or driver? The question is more complex than it may seem at first glance. El Mechanico relaunches the theme of technique in the game of golf, a theme challenged today more than ever by power.
Having fourteen clubs in the bag means for a golfer to have at least fourteen ways to play (let’s assume) a hundred potential scenarios that can be presented in 18 holes. With fewer irons or woods or hybrids how will that golfer behave in front of the same (hypothetical) one hundred game situations? Each problem (i.e. the game scenario) would have fewer solutions (clubs) and, consequently, every golfer would have to strive and refine his technique.
After all, try to think of your bag. Are all those sticks that we carry around every time absolutely essential? The answer is no. Proof of this is the fact that at least one of them is practically clean and perfect, others are on the verge of being scrapped. And before you bought that perfect clean club, what did you play golf with?
It is, as mentioned at the beginning, only an exercise in style to reflect. Today, no international body could today lower the number of tools of the trade in the bag (think of the revolt of those who produce them). Yet once upon a time golf was played with far fewer clubs …