Choosing your club

GOLFING IN PARADISE By JOSE CALLEJA General Manager, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course To become a better golfer, it is crucial to know how the distance each of your clubs
08 Jul 2012 18:38


JOSE CALLEJA General Manager, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course

General Manager, Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course

To become a better golfer, it is crucial to know how the distance each of your clubs will travel throughout the various conditions in which this game is played. This is the first step in being able to effectively choose the right club for any shot. However it is actually very hard to play a club the same distance every time as there are other factors which need to be considered. Professionals and low handicap players learn to look beyond the yardage. They factor in such things as the lie of the ball, the wind direction, the day’s temperature, elevation of the green, the pin placement and the ball position with relation to your stance, you may recall last week’s article which covered how to play a shot when the ball is above your feet. All these condition will ultimately alter how the shot should be played. However it’s the wind which plays the most dominating factor in the distance a ball will travel.
When you are standing on the fairway ready to play your approach shot I can guarantee you it will be totally different from the next approach shot you will play on your next hole.
We all know when you’re playing with the wind at your back, you will need less club. The fact is most approach shots are not played on absolutely calm days and from level surfaces just as you have on the driving range. So when you are out playing don’t just factor in the distance on your yardage book, remember to allow for the wind. When playing onto a par3 on hot and dry sunny days, expect more bounce than normal, the wind tends to dry out the green. So you may want to consider taking less club and playing for the bounce before the green, that is if the green is not guarded by a bunker.
However if the course is wet, you need to be sure to take enough club to land your ball at or near the hole and allowing for no bounce and roll. Sometimes your ball will plug on the green so knowing how far you hit a particular club is extremely important.
When playing into a head wind your ball’s side spin will be over emphasised, so if you tend to fade the ball ensure you take an extra club or two to allow for the loss of distance the fade experiences into the wind.
Let’s now add to the wind another factor into your shot such as uphill or downhill lie. This really becomes challenging especially with the uphill lie and into the wind. When playing from this lie you generally tend to catch the ball more on the upswing thus creating extra height than normally expected, so take at least one more club. When you are faced with a downhill lie, the tendency is to trap the ball so your shot flies lower than usual. The ball also tends to roll more than normal especially if it lands on a downward slope, so I suggest you take at least one club less than usual.    Let’s now add elevation into your shot. When you’re playing to a green that is set high on a plateau such as the 14th Hole at Natadola Bay, you will need more club because the ball will land earlier. The ball lands earlier on the green because it has not been allowed to complete its full carry due to the elevation of the green. So you will need an extra club to compensate for this factor. However you will experience the opposite scenario on the 15th Hole at Natadola Bay. The tee is elevated and the green is down below so your ball has additional hang time thereby flying further.
So once you have analysed your shot conditions and visualised your shot you can select your ideal club for the shot.
Understanding the relationship between distance, conditions and golf club selection is the key to taking your game to the next level.



This week we provide a review on the new Callaway Forged Wedges.
Callaway has designed the new forged wedges for maximum spin and versatility. The following are the features of the new forged wedges:

  • This wedge has 21 tightly spaced conforming grooves with sharper edges thus ensures that more edges come in contact with the ball to maximize spin.
  • The new wedges have a tour inspired shape. These wedges have a very traditional styling with a higher toe and straighter leading edge for a square look at address.
  • It’s blended ‘C” grind shape provides versatility for shot making by relieving the heel and reducing the width of the sole. This allows for more spin and control.
  • This wedge loft has been paired with the ideal bounce to provide optimal turf interaction and versatility for creative shot-making.

If you are looking for a new wedge with the above features then please contact the Natadola Bay Golf shop on 6733500 and we will order one for you.
PGA Tour events update  

Tiger Woods

Last week’s AT&T played on the Par 71, 7529 yards Congressional Country Club was won by Tiger Woods. Woods and Bo Van Pelt were both tied at 8 under par after 15 holes, but Van Pelt faded away and finished the day with an even par 71 while Tiger shot a 2 under par 69 to finish at 8 under overall and claimed his 74th PGA Tour title.
This week’s event: This week the PGA Tour heads to West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. It is scheduled from July 5 to 8 and will be played on the Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs Course. The total prize purse for the tournament is $6,100,000 with the winner’s share being $1,098,000. The defending champion is Mr. Scott Stallings who won on a total score of 10 under par.

Ai Miyazato

Last week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship was won by Ai Miyazato. Miyazato started the day five shots behind second round leader, but fired a final round 6 under par 65 to win by one shot over Mika Miyazato. This is Miyazato’s second victory of the 2012 LPGA season.
This week’s event: This week the LPGA Tour heads off to Kohler Wi for the U.S.Women’s Open. It is scheduled from July 5 to 8. The tournament will be played on the par 72, Blackwolf Run Championship Course. The prize purse is $3,250,000 and will be played over 72 holes. The defending champion is So Yeon Ryu who won on a total score of 3 under par.

Last Wednesday’s Mixed Competition results are as follows:
Winner: Paula Greenville – 31 Points
Runner-up: Alf Bowerman – 27 points

Last Saturday’s Open Competition results are as follows:
Winner: Grant Alchin- 67 Nett
Runner up: Rossco Greenville – 68 Nett
NTP 7th: Jose Calleja


  • Wednesday 11th July – Mixed Competition – Flag Competition
  • Friday July 13 – Bula Friday – Stroke Competition
  • Saturday July 14 – Open Competition – Stroke



George Clarke

This week’s between shots is George Clarke.
What clubs do you use? I use Ping clubs.
Where is your home club? I am a member of Terry Hills Golf Club, Sydney.
Who is your favourite player? Ernie Els.
What course do you love to play? I love to play Terry Hills Golf Course.
What is your favourite hole? The 7th and 15th hole at Natadola Bay.
What shot will you always remember? The tee shot on the 15h hole at Natadola Bay.
Who are your dream playing partners? Vijay Singh and Ernie Els.

This was what Mr Clarke had to say about Natadola Bay Golf Course: “Natadola is an unbelievable golf course. We played three games here and loved it every day.”

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