What Would You Use In A One-Club Challenge?

You're tackling your home course but you've only got one club -what are you going with?

Golf clubs outside of a bag
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If you had just the one club to get you round what would you go for? Given that you’d have to use it off every tee, possibly out of some thick rough and, almost certainly, from the sand, And that’s before you get to the green and have to start rolling it up there from 30-40 feet.

We asked our forum members and, while there was a lot of love for the obvious choice of the 7-iron, there was plenty of thinking outside the box…

7-iron I'd say, punch that off the tee, full approach shots, try and open it up a bit if it did end up in bunker. Putting would be hard but manageable..


I think almost everyone would pick a 6 or 7 depending on how far you hit it. I'd go 6 iron. I'd need to adjust things for our two shorter par 3s but would be able to get to the green on the others.


Either a 7-iron or a hybrid. Both have their pros and cons.


Not really dependent on course at all but I'd have to say 8 iron for the balance of a) being able to hit it consistently well, b) giving you a chance out of bunkers, for chipping, pitching etc - covering all bases. Probably around five of our par 4s are short enough that I'd still be able to reach in two, in summer. I'd be able to reach three of the par 3s in one (including the temporary par 3 we have at the moment) and the other three I'd be short and chipping on. On both of the par 5s I think I'd be just short of the green after three 8-irons and just chipping on there as well. I think if I went in a bunker I'd be dead either way.


Based on missing every bunker my 4h/23*, if not a 7i..


We had a five-club challenge last week and I chose my clubs according to the par-3 yardages, only to find that we were on winter tees and the yardages were a lot shorter!

Personally for a one-club challenge I would use my 150-yard club.


This one...


one club

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7-iron for me, I definitely want to try a whole round with one club, reckon it would go better than most expect. Talking about hybrids out of bunkers, I saw a story on Instagram the other day and someone was using a putter and driver out of a bunker with great results.


Probably a 5 hybrid for me, full shots off the tee, little punchy shots, stabby chips, would be decent for putting as well maybe. Anything that needs a flop or high chip, I'd probably have to play around it. 


Probably 7 iron for me. Three things - bunker play, hitting shots over bunkers and a 7-iron would not reach a lot of our fairways, plus a 7-iron out of the rough sounds reasonable.


7-iron, I hit virtually every green in reg with it, and it won't be too long on shorter shots.


7-iron for me, even our longest par 5 would be reachable in three shots. Most of our par 4s would just be two full shots. Curious now to see what I would score doing this…


I'd be staying at home and doing something more constructive with my time. Might be OK on a pitch and putt with the little lad. I’m not being grumpy but my golfing time is too precious to waste going round with one club. Would be quite happy playing 18 with a vintage set, that would be fun.


I play with a single club quite often, it's a brilliant exercise to get me back on track when my game has gone a bit south generally. Usually I play with either a 6 or 8-iron though my scores aren't all that different since most of our par 4s are just outside two-shot range for my 6. The 8 is heaps easier for a third go at the green and I don't find it any harder to putt with.


The 7-iron is a versatile club. Enough loft to use as a short-game club and can still get you out to the fairway. Makes the most sense for this sort of thing.


We sometimes do this around a few holes after a round. 5 or 6 iron seems to be the usual club of choice. Bunkers are a challenge but just about possible.


A lot of people suggesting a 7-iron but the lofts on 7-irons vary so much these days, there could be three clubs worth of loft difference just between clubs currently on the market. I played four holes with just a hickory 2-iron this year and was 5 over par.


I would use either of three clubs that I have – Ping i10 7-iron (21st century), Maxfli Australian Blade 6-iron (1978) or a Forgan Powerpakt 5-iron (1961). What the lofts might be I'm not certain - they all could be very similar - the shaft lengths are very close. The main point for me is that I hit all three about the same distance.

Voyager EMH

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Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.