What Is A Half Set Of Golf Clubs? — Building Your Set!

A half-set of golf clubs is a set that only has 7 clubs in it out of the maximum of 14 allowed in the rules of golf. The half-set golf challenge has gained popularity recently. In the half-set golf challenge, players play a round of golf with only 7 clubs in the bag.

Players like it because of the strategy in selecting which 7 clubs to play before the contest and the creativity it takes to hit different golf shots with less than a whole bag. Sound interesting? Go grab your Sunday bag, choose your half-set wisely, and see what the buzz is all about.

what is a half set of golf clubs to play golf with 7 different clubs

Building A Half Set of Clubs For Play

what is a half set of golf clubs with a minimalist club set

Your golf buddies set up an upcoming half-set golf challenge round this weekend at your home course. You’re sitting in your garage wondering what clubs should stay in the bag and which ones should go. Here are a couple of ideas to help you select the right clubs for the round:

What Golf Course are You Playing, and Which Tees are You Playing From?

The course and the tees you are playing from are critical information to use when selecting the right clubs. For example, if the course has a number of hazards between the tee boxes and the fairways, you may need to bring the driver. How wide the fairways are from the tee is another thing to keep in mind as you decide between putting the driver, fairway woods, or even hybrids in your half set of clubs.  

How Far Do You Hit Each Club?

Many half-club challenges are also set up to play from different tee boxes that you might typically play from. This will force you to hit shots from tees you aren’t accustomed to hitting with another club in your hand.

What Are Your Weaknesses with Your Game?

With only 7 clubs in the bag, there will be more significant gaps between the distances you usually hit your clubs. So how far you can hit your seven iron is an excellent place to start. This is where taking an “Odds” or “Even” approach to club selection is so important.

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses in your game are also important things to consider.

Try to select the clubs that you like and hit the best.

You’ll have more confidence with them when hitting shots that you wouldn’t typically hit.

Here is a sample of the clubs, and distances hit by the average golfer, that could be in a typical “Odds” half-set golf bag :

  • Driver – 230 yards
  • 3-Wood – 215 yards
  • 5-Iron – 160 yards
  • 7-Iron – 140 yards
  • 9-Iron – 115 yards
  • Pitching Wedge – 105 yards
  • Putter 

It’s called the “Odds” because it skips the even-numbered clubs in the bag. Alternatively, you could skip the odd numbers and play an “Evens” bag if you are more comfortable with those clubs.

You might also want to get a Sunday bag or a carry bag during your round. Because you are carrying fewer clubs, you don’t need a large bag to take them around. If you’re looking into walking more rounds of golf, this challenge is a great way to get started. Don’t forget the golf balls!

what is a half set of golf clubs to build a minimalist golf set with for tell me more golf

A minimalist set of golf clubs consists of only 5 clubs. With only 5 clubs to choose from, you need to make sure you pick the clubs that you hit the best and can hit a variety of shots.

Here’s an average 5 club minimalist bag and the distances hit by the average golfer : 

  • 3-Wood – 215 yards
  • 5-Iron – 160 yards
  • 8-Iron – 130 yards 
  • Lob Wedge – 70 yards
  • Putter

The versatility of a fairway wood over the driver is something to keep in mind when you assemble your bag. Do you hit your hybrids better than your irons?

A wedge with a higher degree of loft can help you out with tough shots around the green.
With the minimalist golf approach, less is truly more. It’s about taking the fewest items with you out onto the golf course.

The bag, the clubs, a towel, and some golf balls are the components of a minimalist bag. Walking is a vital part of minimalist golf. Many minimalist golfers also play with the classic forged clubs, blades, and steel shafts for an authentic traditional golf experience.


Playing Golf With 7 Clubs

You’ve chosen the 7 clubs you want in the bag, and now it’s time to hit the links. One question you might have is how you will manage the gaps in your yardages from the missing clubs? Here are a couple of tips to help you out with those in-between distances:

Choke Down on the Club

Choking down on the club is a great way to take some distance off your shot without changing your swing. For example, instead of hitting a hard 8, you can choke down and hit a soft 6 with a more effortless, more relaxed swing.

Move the Ball Forward or Back in Your Stance

If you need to hit the ball higher, move the ball a little close to your front foot. This will allow the clubface to open naturally and pop the ball up higher. It’s useful when you need to get the ball up quickly. To hit the ball lower with a more penetrating flight, move the ball closer to your back foot. This naturally delofts the club and keeps it out of the wind and hopefully out of trouble.

A Hands Low Finish for Knockdown Shots

To hit a knockdown shot, think of a two-hand forehand in tennis, hit with topspin. You swing the club naturally, but instead of your hands finishing near your shoulders, you try to keep them just about the hips. This will keep the ball low and tumbling forward. It’s a great shot to try when you’re in between clubs around the green.

Even with a complete set of clubs, you often are in between clubs for a shot. So when you alternate odd or even, this will make the decision-making a little easier.        
Another thing you can do is practice on the range as if you only have 7 clubs in the golf bag. Practice hitting a fairway wood instead of the driver. Hit only odd or even-numbered clubs from your long irons through your wedges.  Practice using the putter around the greens instead of chipping the ball with a club you’re uncomfortable with.

Playing 5 Club Minimalist Golf

Taking the half-bag challenge to the extreme is the 5 golf club minimalist challenge. It is not for the faint of heart. However, it is meant to challenge your mental approach to the game and your shot-making ability.          

With only 5 clubs in the bag, you have to approach the round with patience and a lot of creativity. Here are three things to focus on when playing minimalist golf.

Course Management

You’ll have to plot your way around the course, shot by shot. Keeping the ball in play is a must.  You don’t have to hit the ball as far as you can with every shot.  Instead, hit a shorter club to a yardage that you like for your approach shot to the green. Play defensive golf and try and keep the big number off of the card.

Three-Quarter and Half Shots

You’re going to need a lot of finesse playing minimalist golf. Hitting less than full shots with different clubs will be critical for you to score well. This is a great way to practice shots you’d never hit usually.

Pitching and Chipping

You’re going to need to be able to hit all types of shots around the green. Pick a wedge with the loft and the bounce that you like and can hit chips, pitches, bunker shots, and flop shots around the green.

Frequently Asked Questions: Minimalism

What should be in a half set of golf clubs?

There should be 7 clubs in the bag. A Sunday or light carry bag is also recommended. Many golfers go for either an “Odd” or “Even” set-up when playing with a half set of clubs. The gaps between the club numbers let you have natural gaps in distances. 

Can you play good golf with a half set?

Yes, you can play excellent golf with a half set in the bag. However, because you have fewer clubs, you have fewer options. This forces you to be creative with the clubs that you have to hit the shots you need to hit.

What is considered a full set of golf clubs?

A complete set of golf clubs is 14 clubs. You can have less in the bag, but not more. A half-set of clubs is often called a beginner’s set because manufacturers’ sets for children usually come with 7 clubs, the minimum needed to learn and play golf.

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

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The half-set challenge and five club minimalist golf challenges are fun and exciting ways to try something new on the golf course. With fewer clubs, it’s easier to carry your bag, and you can get around the course more quickly. Before the round, there’s a strategy for selecting the clubs to take and which clubs to leave behind.

Then, on the course, you will have to focus on course management, club selection, and hitting shots with other clubs you wouldn’t usually use. Both approaches are geared toward walking and enjoying a challenging round of golf while having an authentic golf experience.


Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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