Originally Posted by Open-Faced Club Sandwedge
This is a very foreign idea to me, as someone who tries (somewhat successfully) to use forward weight and forward shaft lean to make sure the leading edge gets underneath the ball. How do avoid bouncing the blade of the club into the equator of the ball?
I can relate to this. I had spent a lot of this last year working on my chips with the hands forward/leading edge technique, especially for hard pan lies. A few weeks ago, I read through the great threads here about engaging the bounce more, even with these types of lies--very foreign to me. Taking this to my practice sessions, I was amazed because my mind wanted to believe that there was no way I could avoid skulling the ball using this technique, but after a few hours of practice the ball contact became very repeatable and a very different shot (higher and much softer) than I was used to playing. It got really fun to play with variations based on how much bounce and where the ball was in my stance.
I took this to the course last weekend for the first time, and even on the hard lies, I still found a lot of success with it. It was exciting to be able to not have the ball run out so much--definitely was not used to this as a high handicapper. Pretty much all of my issues were distance related, which will just take time getting used to backswing length and ball position.
As for what Ernest said about more forgiving, I can think of two shots from my round that perfectly illustrated this. Both were inside 20 yards and were hard pan lies. On the shot where I engaged the bounce, I could feel that I struck the ground much too early. The club still got through, popped the ball up--though not as high as normal and with less spin--and got me on the green a little further than I had hoped for but I still a chance to putt. A few holes later, I tried to play that distance as a low runner, so I went shaft forward/leading edge, and again, hit the ground early. This time, the club stuck right into the ground, and I was lucky to even get a piece of the ball, and had to play another off of that lie again for my next shot. Small sample size, but those two shots will go a long ways for giving me confidence to use more bounce, even for the shots that are the subject here.