What is Club Up in Golf? (and Down) – Explained!

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What is Club Up in golf? It’s a term that is thrown around by experienced golfers, but what does it actually mean? If you’re an avid golfer or are just getting started, knowing the answer to this question will help you play better and enjoy your experience more. In this blog post, I’ll go over everything beginners need to know about club up in golf.

Club up in golf is used by golfers who are going to use the next club in the bag for a greater distance as opposed to their regular choice. “Clubbing up” is typically used when a golfer is taking a shot into the wind or aiming to land the ball on an elevated area on the course.

Why Club Selection is Crucial in Lowering Golf Scores

Choosing the right club for every shot is one of the most important aspects of golf in achieving lower scores and this includes clubbing up in certain situations.

Club selection can determine the accuracy and distance of your shot. If you are consistently using the wrong club for a shot, it can seriously affect your overall scores.

After all, we all want to improve and the ultimate aim for all golfers from beginners to low handicappers is to shoot more birdies and fewer bogeys.

What is Clubbing Down in Golf?

Clubbing down in golf is when you need to take at least one club number higher for your next shot. For example, you would pull out a 6 iron instead of a 5 iron. Clubbing down is the exact opposite of clubbing up and is used when you need to hit the ball with less distance.

Why would you want to club down?

The major reason for clubbing down is when you have a strong tailwind as the ball will fly considerably further in the air thus adding extra yardage to the shot.

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You can also use this for a shot that requires more height over distance, such as in an uphill lie or tight fairway. In these cases, you need to hit the golf ball higher and less far so it stays on course without veering off too much.

Clubbing down is not necessary if there is no wind affecting your next shot because then you would just hold onto your original club selection.

There are other times when you might want to change clubs based on conditions like playing different shots out of bunkers but clubbing up and down doesn’t happen often enough for beginners to worry about at first.

Newbies to the sport should focus on the fundamentals of golf such as:

  1. A sound, repeatable golf swing.
  2. A solid backswing and follow-through.
  3. Keeping your head down throughout the swing to keep your focus on what you are doing.
  4. Your grip on the club should be comfortable with at least two fingers under your thumbs while you hold it firmly.
  5. Hot tip: The golf ball should be positioned at the center of your stance.
  6. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart with the toes of one foot turned inwards to create a solid, balanced base.

To hit a shot you need to take a deep breath and relax before swinging up and striking through the ball with a full after-swing.

Do Professional Golfers Club Up or Down in Tournament Play?

Pros on the PGA tour have immense skill and are able to quickly assess which club is needed for every shot.

PGA players will often club up and down and this is more the norm than the exception because they strive for pinpoint accuracy in order to shoot lower scores than their rivals.

On tough courses such as Augusta National where the greens are super slick, players will often choose a club that will give them a higher trajectory and increased back-spin to stop the ball from skidding on the green.

Stopping the ball dead is one way where golfers can gain a competitive advantage over their opponents – this applies to both fast greens and pin positions close to sand traps.

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How Do I Know What Club to Use When Clubbing Up?

We have found a really good instructional video on how to pick the best club in windy conditions as this is the most common time where we would want to club up as golfers.

Maria Palzola explains how to pick the right club for when you are shooting into a head, tail and sideways winds.

At the end of the day, the more golf you play the better you become at understanding course conditions which is a pre-requisite on deciding whether to club up or down.

You can always hit the practice area of your local golf course and try hitting the ball with one club higher or lower and see what distances you can consistently hit.

Hot Tip: Choose a windy day and head to the driving range – it doesn’t matter what direction the wind is blowing from. Use this time to analyze all aspects of your driving and iron shots and ask yourself these 5 crucial questions:

  1. How far do I hit into a strong headwind?
  2. How far do I hit into a strong tailwind?
  3. Do I need to club up or down in these conditions?
  4. What can I learn and take out on to the live course from these sessions?
  5. Am I getting confident enough to club up or down more on the course?

The Skill to Improve and Enhance Your Golfing Experience

Golf is a game of skill, finesse, and strategy.

If you’re new to the sport or are just getting started again after a hiatus, knowing when to club up in golf (or down) will help you play better while also making your time on the course more enjoyable.

Remember the main points to take away from this guide…

Clubbing up in golf is something that should be considered when conditions are tough such as strong winds or you are trying to land the ball on to a higher area.

And with practice and experience, you will soon be able to decide on the fly when clubbing up or down is required to give you the results you want when playing golf.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful – happy golfing!