"Errant tee shots, solidly struck fairway woods, thinned long irons, duffed wedges, acceptable putting. Right, Guinness please."
Do you ever sit down and contemplate what went right and wrong after your round, or do you just think about anything other than golf as you knock back that well-earned pint in the 19th? No doubt that answer depends on how seriously you take your golf.
We caught up with The Belfry's Senior Coach Ben Frost to learn what equipment and course management changes you should probably consider making in order to get the most out of your game moving forwards in 2018.
And we'll start with the club that can often get amateur golfers in all sorts of bother...
#1 - THE DRIVER
The driver is a great club to have in the bag if you can use it without getting in to too much trouble. However, if you can't hit the fairway at least 50% of the time (so approximately six or seven times) or if it makes you lose three or more balls per round, then I say stick it on the subs bench.
Extra distance is all well and good, but if you're reloading on the tee or playing from behind a tree stump every hole, then you aren't going to progress that handicap too quickly.
Yes you will see just about every Tour pro regularly ripping driver down the middle of the fairway, but these guys are out there for a living remember. Henrik Stenson is rarely seen hitting a driver, but instead chooses to use his more compact 2-wood.
If you're confident with the driver and are leaving yourself shorter shots into the green on a regular basis from the fairway, then obviously continue doing so. You've got a huge weapon up your sleeve right there if you're able to use it effectively. Long, straight driving is what the stuff of dreams are made of.
But if you're more capable of finding the fairway with the fairway wood or hybrid from the tee, then I say you should sacrifice some extra distance in order to get yourself in the short grass more frequently. I know I'd much rather prefer hitting a 7-iron from the fairway than a 9-iron from the deep stuff.