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Pancho Lefty

Choosing Which Wedge To Use

22 posts in this topic

As I've stated in another thread, it's generous to call my short game "bad." A bump and run is just out of the question with me. Either I'll biff it short, or over shoot the green, adding strokes. I carry a 56 degree and 52 degree wedge, along with a pitching wedge. I've been using my 52 lately for just about all of my pitching. So when should I be using my 56?

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This might be too much to think about if you don't have a consistent flight on pitches, but think more about where you want to land and how high/soft you want the ball to go/land.  If there's lots of green, go with what makes you comfortable whatever it is, but for me I like the bump and run because I can trust the green more than the spin the ball will take.  If you have no green, its the 56 to run it higher and land it soft.  This can go to longer shots with wedges too, with how you want the ball to react when it hits the green.  But most of all, the short game takes practice.  If you feel comfortable only using the 52 and you can hit all the shots with it, then stick with it.

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This might be too much to think about if you don't have a consistent flight on pitches, but think more about where you want to land and how high/soft you want the ball to go/land.  If there's lots of green, go with what makes you comfortable whatever it is, but for me I like the bump and run because I can trust the green more than the spin the ball will take.  If you have no green, its the 56 to run it higher and land it soft.  This can go to longer shots with wedges too, with how you want the ball to react when it hits the green.  But most of all, the short game takes practice.  If you feel comfortable only using the 52 and you can hit all the shots with it, then stick with it.

Thanks. I'm still learning. Some days are better than others. Often times, I see others pull off a chip from approx. 75 out. They take 75-80% backswing and it's like their club stops at impact. They get a nice loft that sticks on the green. I wanna be able to do that, but can't do it.

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From 75 out, it would be called a pitch. A chip is more like a lofted putt. To get it to stop you have to hit down on the ball or slide it underneath like a flop or sand shot. Since you're 75 out, you're probably not flopping. If I have some room to land it, I hit a lower pitch with my 60* with the ball back of center and get it to stop after a bounce. Easier to get the ball on line. Takes some clean grooves. Probably not from 75 out though. I only do it when I have to (like underneath a tree) but I love the bump and run. You have to have a feel for how far to hit the shot. You have to know how the ball will release from the approach. Don't rush the shot or you're begging for a chili dip. Bring it back and accel through it smoothly. It's not a stab shot like I see so often. I don't do a full rotation either. I'd rather fly it to the hole whenever possible.
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From 75 out, it would be called a pitch. A chip is more like a lofted putt. To get it to stop you have to hit down on the ball or slide it underneath like a flop or sand shot. Since you're 75 out, you're probably not flopping. If I have some room to land it, I hit a lower pitch with my 60* with the ball back of center and get it to stop after a bounce. Easier to get the ball on line. Takes some clean grooves. Probably not from 75 out though.

I only do it when I have to (like underneath a tree) but I love the bump and run. You have to have a feel for how far to hit the shot. You have to know how the ball will release from the approach. Don't rush the shot or you're begging for a chili dip. Bring it back and accel through it smoothly. It's not a stab shot like I see so often. I don't do a full rotation either. I'd rather fly it to the hole whenever possible.

Right, you can obviously tell I'm still somewhat new to the game. I've done it on a practice green before with a pitching wedge (bump and run), but I don't know if it was just beginner's luck, or if I'm a choke artist.

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As I've stated in another thread, it's generous to call my short game "bad." A bump and run is just out of the question with me. Either I'll biff it short, or over shoot the green, adding strokes. I carry a 56 degree and 52 degree wedge, along with a pitching wedge. I've been using my 52 lately for just about all of my pitching. So when should I be using my 56?

Pitching I tend to think of as full or partial swing shots in a normal setup from, I dunno, 30 to 120 yards out or so using the various wedges based on the distance you need.  Chipping to me is a slightly different animal where you drop the club on the ball from a carefully measured height and let gravity do the work, usually inside 30 yards or whatever.

The thing you're talking about with either a short muff or a frozen rope over the green seems to happen when someone has a short chip (say 10-20 yards) and they try to "hit" the ball.  In those cases you simply need to learn how to do the club drop I mentioned above because it's almost impossible to master a 1/8th or 1/16th swing or whatever it would be.  heh

As far as wedge choice it basically just comes down to distance to the hole.  If you're in the rough just off the green and the hole is nearby then you probably want to use the 56 to limit the roll.

I'm pretty bad about the bump and run too and I need to fix that.  I used my 58 degree a lot early on and got really attached to it and use it for 99% of my chipping so when I attempt a bump and run with my 50 I usually end up with waaay too much run.  The good thing is this sort of thing should be easy to fix with plain old practice and experience.

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As I've stated in another thread, it's generous to call my short game "bad." A bump and run is just out of the question with me. Either I'll biff it short, or over shoot the green, adding strokes. I carry a 56 degree and 52 degree wedge, along with a pitching wedge. I've been using my 52 lately for just about all of my pitching. So when should I be using my 56?

Hi, welcome to the site. I tend to use my 58 for most shots around the green. I would suggest using your 56 more. Since you're new to the site and to the game I strongly recommend you check out this thread and implement this technique to your pitching.

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Hi, welcome to the site. I tend to use my 58 for most shots around the green. I would suggest using your 56 more. Since you're new to the site and to the game I strongly recommend you check out this thread and implement this technique to your pitching.

Same here. I tend to use one wedge for majority of my short game shots.

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Hi, welcome to the site. I tend to use my 58 for most shots around the green. I would suggest using your 56 more. Since you're new to the site and to the game I strongly recommend you check out this thread and implement this technique to your pitching.

Hi, welcome to the site. I tend to use my 58 for most shots around the green. I would suggest using your 56 more. Since you're new to the site and to the game I strongly recommend you check out this thread and implement this technique to your pitching.

That was certainly helpful and I'll implement this into my pre-round routine around the practice green tomorrow when I play. Surprisingly, I'm decent most of the time when the ball is around the green. My hangup is which wedge to use when I'm about 100 yards out in the fairway. Should I be punching with a 7, or using a wedge? If a wedge, which one?

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I bump and run with a 5 thru 8 iron depending how I think the approach will release. If it's an elevated green, I make sure I land short and will roll up the hill rather than inadvertently pitching into the hill and having the ball check up. The more you "strike the match" the more spin you'll put on it and it may check up more. Take a smoother pass thru the ball and it will release better. I get lots of practice from the trees on this. For chipping, take the club that will land it on the green for a more consistent release. Landing in the rough or approach is a crap shoot. Whenever possible i use a 9 iron since I can eyeball the distance better and the ball has a consitent release. A wedge spins more and a 8 iron will roll more. The "Rule of 12" works well for 8 thru W. For a 9 iron, 12 - 9 = 3, so go 1/3 in the air. For an 8 iron, 12 - 8 = 4, so go 1/4 in the air. I've paced it off on greens and it really works well. When you putt, you use a smooth swing, I put a little more "umph" into the chip, but I don't break my wrists much. If I break my wrists, i think of it as a pitch and different rules apply. that's me.
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I bump and run with a 5 thru 8 iron depending how I think the approach will release. If it's an elevated green, I make sure I land short and will roll up the hill rather than inadvertently pitching into the hill and having the ball check up. The more you "strike the match" the more spin you'll put on it and it may check up more. Take a smoother pass thru the ball and it will release better. I get lots of practice from the trees on this. For chipping, take the club that will land it on the green for a more consistent release. Landing in the rough or approach is a crap shoot. Whenever possible i use a 9 iron since I can eyeball the distance better and the ball has a consitent release. A wedge spins more and a 8 iron will roll more. The "Rule of 12" works well for 8 thru W. For a 9 iron, 12 - 9 = 3, so go 1/3 in the air. For an 8 iron, 12 - 8 = 4, so go 1/4 in the air. I've paced it off on greens and it really works well. When you putt, you use a smooth swing, I put a little more "umph" into the chip, but I don't break my wrists much. If I break my wrists, i think of it as a pitch and different rules apply. that's me.

I've never been good at hitting bump and runs. I like hitting a chip shot or pitch. The pitching technique on this site I use from 10-50 yards. Inside of 10 yards I hit a chip shot typically with my 58 degree wedge or my 50 degree if I want a little bit more roll out.

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Since I've picked up a cheap 60* I've started using that when I'm around the greens. It allows me to fly it closer to the hole which is good when I'm short sided and it's mostly carry and not much room for roll.

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That was certainly helpful and I'll implement this into my pre-round routine around the practice green tomorrow when I play. Surprisingly, I'm decent most of the time when the ball is around the green. My hangup is which wedge to use when I'm about 100 yards out in the fairway. Should I be punching with a 7, or using a wedge? If a wedge, which one?

Your 52 wedge should be just about perfect for that.

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My hangup is which wedge to use when I'm about 100 yards out in the fairway. Should I be punching with a 7, or using a wedge? If a wedge, which one?

I can't say for sure because I don't know how far you hit it but it would generally be a 52 degree or a pitching wedge.

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Pancho Lefty, I was just listening to "Pancho and Lefty" by Willie and Merle this morning. I assume you know the song. :)
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Thanks guys. I remember seeing someone mention "striking a match" above. I understand the concept, but actually do it is another. Any advice on that?

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Striking the match is a Gary Playerism. Do a youtube search. It's his way of saying to not decellerate, which is such a common problem. Your hands have to be ahead of the ball. The ball is slightly in the back of your stance . Left arm straight. Bring your arms back with just minimal wrist action. I guess I mostly rock my shoulders. When I have to do longer chips, I accellerate thru the shot to make sure I nip it off the turf and follow thru. When I chip, I don't think of chipping to the hole. I chip to a spot on the green. My 9 iron will fly in the air 1/3 the way to the hole and roll the remainder. To practice a 30 foot chip, put a tee on the green 10 feet from your ball and work on nipping the ball to the tee. On a flat green, it will roll right to the hole. Slightly longer for uphill chips, slightly less for downhill. The key is to be able to judge how to hit the ball 10 feet, not 30. A 60 foot chip is being able to judge how to hit a 20 foot shot. Works all day long.
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Thanks guys. I remember seeing someone mention "striking a match" above. I understand the concept, but actually do it is another. Any advice on that?

More of a chip image/feel, not a good one to use for pitching.

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