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Short pitches on tight lies . . .

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to follow Stan Utley's advice on pitches regarding using the bounce to skim the wedge along the ground, which works great in fluffy lies, but I really don't get how that's supposed to work in a tight lie. Every time I try to pitch without hitting the ball first on a hard fairway, I skull it horribly. Lately I've just been chipping from 40 yards in unless I'm in rough, or using my old 1/4 swing (7:30 swing, some people call it) or 1/2 swing (9:00) and just hitting the ball the same way I do on full strikes -- i.e., I hit down on the ball, and it goes up.

Anyone have any brilliant ideas on how Utley's advice re: using the bounce works off tight lies -- should I just swap out my 56/14 for 52/8 or 60/4? Will that make skulling less likely? Or just create fat shots?
post #2 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

Originally Posted by hamletsdead View Post
I've been trying to follow Stan Utley's advice on pitches regarding using the bounce to skim the wedge along the ground, which works great in fluffy lies, but I really don't get how that's supposed to work in a tight lie. Every time I try to pitch without hitting the ball first on a hard fairway, I skull it horribly. Lately I've just been chipping from 40 yards in unless I'm in rough, or using my old 1/4 swing (7:30 swing, some people call it) or 1/2 swing (9:00) and just hitting the ball the same way I do on full strikes -- i.e., I hit down on the ball, and it goes up.

Anyone have any brilliant ideas on how Utley's advice re: using the bounce works off tight lies -- should I just swap out my 56/14 for 52/8 or 60/4? Will that make skulling less likely? Or just create fat shots?
My experience is that the higher lofted wedges take more practice. LOTS more. Hit perfectly, they can be the best club close in. Hitting them perfectly with a tight lie is....really rare for me. For that reason I use somewhere between an 8i and a SW depending on what is between me and the green. If I have a fluffy lie, I'll use the 58 or 60 deg.
post #3 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

Originally Posted by hamletsdead View Post
I've been trying to follow Stan Utley's advice on pitches regarding using the bounce to skim the wedge along the ground, which works great in fluffy lies, but I really don't get how that's supposed to work in a tight lie. Every time I try to pitch without hitting the ball first on a hard fairway, I skull it horribly. Lately I've just been chipping from 40 yards in unless I'm in rough, or using my old 1/4 swing (7:30 swing, some people call it) or 1/2 swing (9:00) and just hitting the ball the same way I do on full strikes -- i.e., I hit down on the ball, and it goes up.

Anyone have any brilliant ideas on how Utley's advice re: using the bounce works off tight lies -- should I just swap out my 56/14 for 52/8 or 60/4? Will that make skulling less likely? Or just create fat shots?
That bounce could be making it hard to get down to the ball, try something lower such as 8 or 6. I have a 12 degree bounce lob wedge, and the fairways I play at home are long, but when I go to florida, I'm screwed.
post #4 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

You might be hitting too far behind the ball. In Utley's book, he claims that he can hit off a parking lot with his 12* bounce wedge.

When he says to use the bounce, I think he means that you should not excessively deloft the club as you would with a chip. I don't think he wants us to literally bounce the club off the ground.
post #5 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

no no, this can actually be one of the easiest shots ever. I didn't know it came from stan utley, I just figured it out and heard it later. My school's course doesn't have sprinklers on the fairways so in july it gets hard out there, to the point where it's like walking on pavement. You gotta smack that club so hard on the ground. Open it up and spank the ground. Use more of an axe like hack before the ball instead of a usual pitch or swinging action. expect the ball to come out high, hot, and spinning
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

Originally Posted by imtomtomim View Post
no no, this can actually be one of the easiest shots ever. I didn't know it came from stan utley, I just figured it out and heard it later. My school's course doesn't have sprinklers on the fairways so in july it gets hard out there, to the point where it's like walking on pavement. You gotta smack that club so hard on the ground. Open it up and spank the ground. Use more of an axe like hack before the ball instead of a usual pitch or swinging action. expect the ball to come out high, hot, and spinning
Yeah, that's what I was doing before I re-read Utley's book a couple of days ago. Went out into my backyard and hit 100 baby pitch shots 20 yards with a little wrist-flip motion and it was great (sort of like a flop shot), but my backyard's like primary rough most weeks. Went out on the course this morning and pitched great from the rough but from the 1/2" fairway there's just no way to slide the club under the ball. Had an easy 50 yard approach shot to the green with no bunkers, straight shot, and I tried to use the bounce and bladed it over the green. Missed my up-and-down and bogeyed. So I went back to what I'm used to doing, 1/4 swings with a delofted clubface, take a divot, ball goes up high, hot, and spinny. Felt like the return of sanity. I must have misread Utley's book somehow.
post #7 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

I honestly have the cure for your problem lol sounds like an infomercial doesnt it but really just watch your left wrist if its breaking at all your probly going to skull it keep your head down, hands in front of the ball, and dont decel, and most importantly for the shot your trying to play dont break your left wrist i mean exagerate it at most and watch the ball hit the breaks lol
post #8 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

Gotta agree with everybody who says that this is a tough shot that has to be hit perfectly with little room for error. Needs lots of practice. To try to minimize sculling these, I never use a sand wedge (too much bounce), preferring a lob wedge or an A-wedge (which have less bounce), and I play the ball a hair back in my stance to avoid hitting the ball on the upswing.
post #9 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

Originally Posted by KwSipp View Post
I honestly have the cure for your problem lol sounds like an infomercial doesnt it but really just watch your left wrist if its breaking at all your probly going to skull it keep your head down, hands in front of the ball, and dont decel, and most importantly for the shot your trying to play dont break your left wrist i mean exagerate it at most and watch the ball hit the breaks lol
that's pretty much the play i have as well KwSipp. as long as i keep my left wrist locked and it doesn't release early or break down, this is my favorite shot.
post #10 of 10

Re: Short pitches on tight lies . . .

On tight lies the bounce on your wedges particularily on your SW becomes more of a factor. Sometimes it better to use your LW or PW with less bounce or play the SW further back in your stance.
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