I was looking at a table That Lucius Wooding posted about tour players stats and it showed Nearly all clubs had a maximum height of 30 yards....give or take 1 or 2 . So 30 yards for a pitching wedge.....that seems incredibly low. So the pros are putting the ball back and using alot of forward shaft lean to get such a low number. My question is how much shaft lean is too much. And what are the dangers of too much?
How much shaft lean is too much
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It has a lot to do with clubhead speed, and spin loft. Basically, more spin = higher launch because backspin will cause the ball to rise. Its why a fastball is thrown with backspin, to keep it from dropping, making it a straighter pitch. But also, ball speed effects that as well, more clubhead speed, higher the golf ball. Its just something about how golf is, that the decrease in clubhead speed for each iron and the increase in backspin keep the ball near the same weight.
With a wedge, the ball launches at about 65% face and 35% path, and the path is -6° or so , and the delivered loft is often only 35° or so (shaft lean), so you can get a ball coming off pretty low.
I've said several times most people don't realize:
a) How high a PGA Tour player hits his long irons.
b) How low a PGA Tour player hits his short irons.
They all tend to max out at about 30 yards, though. With the driver it's obviously much farther down-range than with a wedge.
Iacas: Do you have some data from amateurs (scratch) compared to pros on this? Launch angle consistency and peak height through the bag.
Yes. It's what you'd expect: the higher the handicap, the less the consistency and the higher the launch angle (due to more delivered loft). Peak height tends to be too low with long irons and too high with short irons.
Would you ever say to a student "you've got too much shaft lean and this problem is happening because of it?"
Yes, there are students that have too much shaft lean at impact (such as me), and tends to hit the long irons too low to have optimal trajectory. It's worse when the AoA is really shallow with too much shaft lean, because you'll often have too low spin and low launch to have sufficient carry.
Yes, Rupert. I've said it before quite a few times. Ideal is the shaft lining up *just* after impact. I'll take a guy lining it up later over a guy who lines it up too soon, but both are sub-optimal.
Example of to much shaft lean. This is from my lesson yesterday the idea was for me to be able to over do it a bit to get the feel
as I am still flipping a little.. The drill he had me do to get here was using a ping pong paddle and and only see one side during the swing
so I could get the fell of what my hands should be doing.
I don't know what Brian's current flavor of the week is.
I'm talking about the shaft lining up with the lead arm (or the proxy, in the case of Lee Westwood and his ilk) at or just after impact, not before. The picture below your post (and quoted here) is a good example of too much shaft lean - the shaft still hasn't lined up and won't until well after impact.
It's fine in a drill/practice, but if this was a real swing, way too much.
I think by now that my answers would be pretty obvious, no?
And shaft lean matters less with a driver. So only the last one's one I'd change, and who knows - he might have been hitting a bit of a different kind of tee shot there. + AoA without increasing delivered loft a ton, though. Ball go far.
Look at the impact position of various good players and you'll soon enough see what it looks like. This isn't science you put down to a single reference point.
A shaft inline with the lead arm or just behind it (i.e. will line up right after the golf ball).
And the above does nothing to state that there aren't cases when you'd want a little more shaft lean due to what it can do the impact dynamics.