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Lowkie

Wedges

79 posts in this topic

While I understand that which clubs to carry is ultimatetly up to the player and their ability to play each club, I'm woundering what wedges would be suggested for a new player to carry.

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I got my wedges over a period of time when I first started playing. I bought them in the order I found myself lacking:

1. 54 (sand wedge) - Set only went up to pitching wedge so bought this straight away.
2. 50 (gap wedge) - After a year or so of playing I started finding a lot of instances where I'd need to hit an approach ~100y and the pitching wedge went too far and the sand wedge not far enough.

3. 58 (lob wedge) - Again after another year or so I started being a little better with approach shots and instead of being in the rough 20y to the side of greens I was in greenside bunkers more often than not. Hitting sand wedge frequently launched the ball a little too far for me so I got a 58 lob to get out a little higher and softer.

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In the early going, a pitching wedge (PW) and a sand wedge (SW) will get your started. For the first season, focusing on these two will simplify your learning, and help you concentrate practice time on these foundation wedges.

If you're interested in details on wedge kingdom, try this link from club designer Ralph Maltby: http://www.ralphmaltby.com/47

And, welcome to The Sand Trap!

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In the early going, a pitching wedge (PW) and a sand wedge (SW) will get your started. For the first season, focusing on these two will simplify your learning, and help you concentrate practice time on these foundation wedges. If you're interested in details on wedge kingdom, try this link from club designer Ralph Maltby: [URL=http://www.ralphmaltby.com/47]http://www.ralphmaltby.com/47[/URL] And, welcome to The Sand Trap!

I agree. PW and sand wedge are fine. I'd also recommend a dedicated chipper. Please do NOT give in to the temptation to add a lob wedge at this point. Welcome to the forum!

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The iron set I purchased this summer had a 45 degree PW and a 50 degree AW. Since then I've added a 56 degree SW. I rarely use the AW, however, within the last few weeks I've tried to use the SW more and more from the 60-75 yard range. Can't say I'm close to mastering the SW by any stretch out of the fairway/rough yet, but I am starting to find it easier than taking a partial swing with a PW at those same distances (particularly when its a tight lie).
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Thank you all for the advice.  I actually already had a lob wedge that came with the set I bough until the head flew during a shot, and a pitching wedge I accidentally wrapped around a tree lol.  But good to know all I have to replace is the pitching wedge.  Now would the dedicated chipper be a special club or just use either a pitching wedge or sand wedge and then only use that one?

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Lob wedges are awesome, I don't understand the fear they generate in some players. I'm a totally high capper and I can hit my 60* just fine (relative to how I hit everything else) with a full swing or shortgame shot.

The chippers that David was talking about are specialty clubs that look like a fat putter/wedge combo. Great for beginners.

Chipper:

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Lob wedges are awesome, I don't understand the fear they generate in some players. I'm a totally high capper and I can hit my 60* just fine (relative to how I hit everything else) with a full swing or shortgame shot.

Agreed, I'm in the same boat. As a relatively high capper, I really like my 60* wedge and had a lot of fun taking it to the range and learning the different types of shots I could potentially hit with it. Just towards the end of the season I started figuring out how to really use the bounce :)

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Lob wedges are awesome, I don't understand the fear they generate in some players. I'm a totally high capper and I can hit my 60* just fine (relative to how I hit everything else) with a full swing or shortgame shot.  The chippers that David was talking about are specialty clubs that look like a fat putter/wedge combo. Great for beginners. Chipper: [URL=http://thesandtrap.com/content/type/61/id/86745/] [/URL]

You will drop at least 5 strokes next season if you dump the 60* and commit to using a chipper. I mean it.

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You will drop at least 5 strokes next season if you dump the 60* and commit to using a chipper. I mean it.

If I used a chipper I think I'd probably end up losing those 5 strokes back due to my playing partners laughing while I was swinging it.

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I like the psychology behind a chipper; the fact that they resemble a putter means that people instinctively try to use them like a putter rather than swinging them like a wedge or iron. That alone would drop a whole load of shots per round from bladed or over-hit chip shots.

I think once someone is used to how to chip the ball however there's a lot more versatility in wedges an irons than a chipper greenside.

For the first year or so I can see one being of great use though compared to a lob wedge with it quite situational.

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Lob wedges are awesome, I don't understand the fear they generate in some players. I'm a totally high capper and I can hit my 60* just fine (relative to how I hit everything else) with a full swing or shortgame shot.

The chippers that David was talking about are specialty clubs that look like a fat putter/wedge combo. Great for beginners.

Chipper:

My father-in-law actually has this club and I've tried it out several times.  For me at least I seem to have more versatility (at least I think I do) when I use a pitching wedge to chip.  I've learned to control the loft and such during a strike and other then over hitting some times am usually pretty good.  Still working on getting solid back spin on it though.  I think next time I go to the course I'll try and suggested chipping more using the putter stance and see where that get be.

I know off topic, but does grip pressure really effect your shot that much?  I'm told I grip the clubs like I'm trying to choke the shit out of them and that if I stop I'd probably drop 5-10 strokes.  But this way by a friend not a pro so I just wanted to see if there was any consensus about this.

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My father-in-law actually has this club and I've tried it out several times.  For me at least I seem to have more versatility (at least I think I do) when I use a pitching wedge to chip.  I've learned to control the loft and such during a strike and other then over hitting some times am usually pretty good.  Still working on getting solid back spin on it though.  I think next time I go to the course I'll try and suggested chipping more using the putter stance and see where that get be.

I know off topic, but does grip pressure really effect your shot that much?  I'm told I grip the clubs like I'm trying to choke the shit out of them and that if I stop I'd probably drop 5-10 strokes.  But this way by a friend not a pro so I just wanted to see if there was any consensus about this.

"Versatility" is the enemy of the average amateur......you want ease and consistency .  A chip, by definition has little to no spin.  It's a shot that carries a minimal distance through the air and rolls like a putt.  Trying to "get solid back spin" is a mistake.......even if it looks cool when a skilled player plays a spinny little shot.  Honestly though, that type of shot isn't used/needed very often, and you'd be much better served practicing something that will help you be more consistent, rather than less so.

And yes, "choking" the club will definitely add tension to your arms and affect your swing......putting, chipping, and full swing.

If I used a chipper I think I'd probably end up losing those 5 strokes back due to my playing partners laughing while I was swinging it.

You're not going to get the same benefit out of a chipper that a mid hcp or higher will.........but your post points to exactly the reason that more people would benefit from them if they weren't afraid they'd be laughed at.  It's a specialty club, just like a lob wedge is.......if they could get their ego out of the way, they'd learn what a versatile, deadly club it can be.

I like the psychology behind a chipper; the fact that they resemble a putter means that people instinctively try to use them like a putter rather than swinging them like a wedge or iron. That alone would drop a whole load of shots per round from bladed or over-hit chip shots.

I think once someone is used to how to chip the ball however there's a lot more versatility in wedges an irons than a chipper greenside.

For the first year or so I can see one being of great use though compared to a lob wedge with it quite situational.

I know single digit players who use them with deadly efficiency.  They not only "resemble" a putter, but because of the length and shaft angle, they set up and are used like one too.  They're the perfect tool to use with a putting type chipping stroke, like Mike talks about here....

http://thesandtrap.com/t/70998/chipping-with-a-putting-method#post_917910

BTW......for the player that struggles a bit with those nasty little 50 yard half-wedges, the chipper makes for a great weapon from that distance!

Agreed, I'm in the same boat. As a relatively high capper, I really like my 60* wedge and had a lot of fun taking it to the range and learning the different types of shots I could potentially hit with it. Just towards the end of the season I started figuring out how to really use the bounce :)

Having "fun" on the range messing around trying shots you could potentially learn to hit with a relatively difficult to control LW is one thing.  But if you want to improve your scores, add an easy to hit club.......you can either replace the LW or another club that sees limited use, but if you're looking for fun , you'll find it in shooting lower scores. ;-)

We spend a lot of time and money trying to find that right driver, or wedge, or putter that will take strokes off of our game.....for the average player, learning to use a $50 chipper properly will do it faster than the latest and greatest $400 driver.  Commit to it.....practice with it.....and get the damn ego out of the way.  Then start taking money off of your buddies and see who gets the last laugh.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

I like the psychology behind a chipper; the fact that they resemble a putter means that people instinctively try to use them like a putter rather than swinging them like a wedge or iron. That alone would drop a whole load of shots per round from bladed or over-hit chip shots.

I think once someone is used to how to chip the ball however there's a lot more versatility in wedges an irons than a chipper greenside.

For the first year or so I can see one being of great use though compared to a lob wedge with it quite situational.

I know single digit players who use them with deadly efficiency.  They not only "resemble" a putter, but because of the length and shaft angle, they set up and are used like one too.  They're the perfect tool to use with a putting type chipping stroke, like Mike talks about here....

http://thesandtrap.com/t/70998/chipping-with-a-putting-method#post_917910

BTW......for the player that struggles a bit with those nasty little 50 yard half-wedges, the chipper makes for a great weapon from that distance!


Not saying they're not usable at all; just that once a certain standard of golf is achieved there are better choices of club. If a chipper is 37 degrees as an example it's the equivalent of my 8i but also uses up a club slot I'd rather fill with something else.

I tend to be a player that uses whatever club will fly the least and roll out the most for greenside chipping, e.g. If I had 5y of rough to the green and then a further 15 to the pin I'd use a 6i to get the ball rolling asap rather than trying to throw the ball at the hole and get it stopped so that may be a reason why a chipper won't be a permanent fixture in my bag I guess.

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Not saying they're not usable at all; just that once a certain standard of golf is achieved there are better choices of club. If a chipper is 37 degrees as an example it's the equivalent of my 8i but also uses up a club slot I'd rather fill with something else.

I tend to be a player that uses whatever club will fly the least and roll out the most for greenside chipping, e.g. If I had 5y of rough to the green and then a further 15 to the pin I'd use a 6i to get the ball rolling asap rather than trying to throw the ball at the hole and get it stopped so that may be a reason why a chipper won't be a permanent fixture in my bag I guess.

The loft is only one aspect of a chipper.  The overall length, shaft angle and lie are really what makes it a much easier club to use than the equivalent lofted iron.

I'm amazed by the number of people that "make room" for clubs that they don't use more than once every couple of rounds, but won't consider a club that could easily be used a half dozen times or more every round.

But I know......chippers ain't kool.  Until your buddies start threatening to hide the damn thing...... ;-)

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I tend to be a player that uses whatever club will fly the least and roll out the most for greenside chipping,

But wouldn't that be a chipper? [quote name="MiniBlueDragon" url="/t/71156/wedges/0_100#post_921517"] If I had 5y of rough to the green and then a further 15 to the pin I'd use a 6i to get the ball rolling asap rather than trying to throw the ball at the hole and get it stopped [/quote] Interesting that you would use a 6i for that shot. I guess it goes to show that there's more than one way to skin a cat. Flying 5 yards of rough and them rolling 15 yards of green is a 3:1 ratio, if I hit that shot with a 6i I would definitely roll paste the hole. Probably by about 15 yards assuming a flattish green. My 9i is probably just about right for that ratio. Maybe a PW if I'm thinking I'll need to give it a slightly harder poke from thicker rough, but at that point if the rough is thick I'll probably pitch it.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

Not saying they're not usable at all; just that once a certain standard of golf is achieved there are better choices of club. If a chipper is 37 degrees as an example it's the equivalent of my 8i but also uses up a club slot I'd rather fill with something else.

I tend to be a player that uses whatever club will fly the least and roll out the most for greenside chipping, e.g. If I had 5y of rough to the green and then a further 15 to the pin I'd use a 6i to get the ball rolling asap rather than trying to throw the ball at the hole and get it stopped so that may be a reason why a chipper won't be a permanent fixture in my bag I guess.

The loft is only one aspect of a chipper.  The overall length, shaft angle and lie are really what makes it a much easier club to use than the equivalent lofted iron.

I'm amazed by the number of people that "make room" for clubs that they don't use more than once every couple of rounds, but won't consider a club that could easily be used a half dozen times or more every round.

But I know......chippers ain't kool.  Until your buddies start threatening to hide the damn thing......


Nothing to do with "cool" for me; I just want to play the best golf I can (my putter's a Ping 1/2 WackE which is ugly as sin so style really doesn't fuss me at all. lol)

If I couldn't chip with other clubs I'd definitely look at trying one out but ultimately why would I want to add something that will give me the same result as my 8i?

The only club in my bag I'd say is situational is the lob wedge. It's in there because when I need to chuck the ball up high and stop it that's a far easier option to me than opening up my 54 and then adjusting my path to stop it firing out to the right but I agree; it's used every couple of rounds normally. By comparison chipping with my 8i is probably less than that because I tend to chip with whatever makes the most sense for the shot. :)

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@David in FL you have me halfway convinced, might pick up an el cheapo to try out next season. My chipping is pretty decent, although I mostly pitch now, but considering that you can usually find a chipper for $20 I may give it a go and see if it finds a place in my bag.
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