Some very nice people from a golf club manufacturer recently invited me to try out a new wedge - a lob wedge they called it, 60º of loft with enough bounce to make it useful in the sand as well.
Now I need another wedge like a hole in the head. I have wedges with 60º, 56º (my sand wedge), 52º and 46º each of which is - in the right hands - the perfect tool for the job. I often sacrifice a long iron or my 5-wood to have the full complement of wedges in my bag such is my need for accuracy from within 100 yards. Accurate to, say, within 100 yards.
I will forgo the ability to play a hopelessly long shot from the fairway 250 yards away from the green to be able to play a short flop shot or deft little punch from 20 yards. The percentages are greater.
So I leave the 5-wood, 3-wood or 2-iron in the garage.
But the need for such a variety of clubs got me thinking. Why do we need 14? Sure a stiff-shafted driver will launch me from the tee 300 yards into the right-hand rough. A 4-iron might let me hook a shot to the left-hand greenside bunker and my 56º sand wedge will get me up and down from the trap - in four! - and I occasionally even need my putter.
But I am also reminded of my Tin Cup moment. You may recall the storyline in the film of the same name when Kevin Costner - playing a down at heel pro - has to complete a round using only his 7-iron having destroyed or discarded all his other clubs.
It sparked a short-lived craze where people wanted to see if it could be done. Off the tee, 7-iron; approach shot, 7-iron; chip on, 7-iron; tap-in, 7-iron.
I tried it once, on a quiet day, at Tamworth and was flabbergasted at my success. I had never hit it so straight off the tee.
Of course I was not blasting it into the next county but nor was I playing my second shot from the long grass.
I found I could clear 160-170 yards with a well-timed 7-iron which often only left the same again into the green - particularly at Tamworth which is hardly the longest course.
Chipping was relatively easy while putting, with a certain amount of dexterity, was barely any trouble at all.
Some of the longer holes required three blows to reach the green but I found I was hitting the dancefloor instead of scrambling around it so what I lost in distance I made up for in placement. In all it was an enjoyable round.
That said, I tried again a few weeks later at The Forest of Arden and came unstuck at the third where my trusty seven let me down with 450 yards to go. I needed my 3-wood and then I needed it again.
At the sixth I came up short again. And again at the seventh. Then the ninth. And by the 12th my card was a joke.
I needed something more substantial on a championship course. Sod the accuracy! The 7-iron experiment was over.