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Lob Wedge - Is it only useful in expert hands? - Page 3

post #37 of 75
The lob wedge is my favorite club around the green and the one I use in almost every situation. However, this is mostly a product of me not wanting to switch clubs when I would toss the ball around the green to practice different short game shots. My other wedges are still used in specific situations though.

I've figured out how to keep my chips low, which is always nice, but I've also figured out specifically to not hit the ball high just because I can. When I first got a lob wedge I thought flop shots were king and would try to hit them from anywhere. One notable memory has be hitting a flop shot from the middle of the fairway 5 feet short of the green on an upslope with 10 feet of green to work with. That is the perfect example of when NOT to hit a flop shot. Buying a wedge with a higher bounce when I replaced the first one helped me really realize that low is the way to go by essentially forcing me to stop hitting flop shots in every situation (Ping put 12* as the standard for bounce on a 60* wedge with they Tour-S wedges). That realization was the real start to my improvement in the short game, though I still have a ways to go.
post #38 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

I think ANYBODY can benefit from a lob wedge - difference is I see high handicappers often using it way too much.     IMHO, I think all of us but the better players should approach the lob wedge as a specialty club - not to be used for routine chipping or sand shots, but for getting out of TROUBLE.    Such as finding yourself in the rough with a short sided pin; if you're on a downslope off the green & need loft to clear the bank & stop the ball; etc.     I have an ultra lob 64 that I occasionally bag when I know I'm going to be faced with these conditions - find its way less problematic than opening up a lesser lofted wedge.   It has it's place, but should be used SPARINGLY !!!!
This is exactly what I now do! I soon learnt There's a time and a place for my 62* lob and I have to remind myself of this occasionally when I'm tempted to use it when I shouldn't! Although I only use it occasionally it has got me out of some tricky positions!
post #39 of 75

The biggest problem I see around the greens is people that hit the shot they want to hit instead of the shot that the lie and situation call for. They may automatically pull out the 60 or automatically something lower lofted when the odds of that shot working are small on that shot.

 

They fall overly in love with a bump and run style, or overly in love with a flop style, or overly in love with a high spinning style. I love all three and which I use depends on the situation.

 

My personal rule: Only use as much loft as necessary for the shot at hand and only depend on spin as much as necessary for the shot at hand.

 

Using that rule I could need to do anything from a very high flop shot, to a high spin low trajectory shot, to a low spin rolling bump and run.

 

P.S. If I had to walk up to a shot around the green blind I would take the most lofted club in my bag (60 or 56), a PW, and an 8 iron. I can't even remember the last time I needed anything other than those clubs. If I was forced to do it with one club it would be a 56 in the summer and a PW in the winter.

post #40 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

I use the quickie pitching technique so I don't have that problem around the greens even off tight lies. On full shots you should be creating forward shaft lean so that decreases the bounce anyway. Im probably wrong but I don't think bounce creates skull shots. From what I understand about bounce it just makes the club glide along not actually bounce off the ground.

 

Well said!  You're right, bounce doesn't create skulled shots, bad technique does.

post #41 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Playerhater View Post

I think the lob wedge is the most useful club in the bag it's the heaviest and the most versatile. You just need to learn to hit ball first then the ground. Your hands must be ahead of ball at impact. When I first started playing golf I remember struggling with the lob wedge to start I played it off my back foot to encourage a descending blow and played it with an open stance to make it go straight. Try that and as you get better at staying ahead of it with your hands you can move the ball a little more forward.

 

But you are a +2 handicap.  For the OP at a 20 cap, the LW is probably a bad idea.  It's a club which requires fairly precise ball striking, and most 20 caps aren't there yet.  Nothing says that he can't carry one if he wants to, but there are other clubs and shot types which can make a bigger difference in his game at this point, are easier to use, and generally offer more to someone who is still trying to figure out his game.  

 

I played around with various LW's for nearly 20 years, and finally realized that it's not a club that's ever going to be very useful to me, so I quit trying.  In practice sessions I did all sorts of clever things with it, but on the course my success ratio was well under 50%, meaning that shots made with it were most often no better than a more standard shot, and it actually hurt my score more often than it helped.  It's an easier club to mishit, and mishits tend to be more disastrous than with other clubs.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

I only carry my lob wedge when I'm really playing my best golf or on certain courses that are likely to require a lot of very soft but very high flop shots off of very tight lies (which is not very many among the courses I play).

 

Under most circumstances anything I can do with a lob wedge I can also do with a sand wedge.

 

When the lob wedge is in the bag the 5 wood is out. For me it's probably more that I have to take a club I always hit very well out of the bag and put a club that I don't always hit very well in the bag.

 

 

This is how it should be evaluated.  Most LW shots are quite doable with a 56° SW.


Edited by Fourputt - 12/19/13 at 9:28am
post #42 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

In practice sessions I did all sorts of clever things with it, but on the course my success ratio was well under 50%, meaning that shots made with it were most often no better than a more standard shot, and it actually hurt my score more often than it helped.  It's an easier club to mishit, and mishits tend to be more disastrous than with other clubs.  

That reminded me of the first tournament I ever played in. I thought I was very good with a 60 degree. After completely blowing what should have been an almost automatic chip shot from just off of the green I went back the next day and tried the same shot with every club in my bag multiple times.

 

I learned two things.

 

1. An easy shot that's almost automatic in practice or a casual round may not hold up well under pressure.

 

2. Every other club in my bag, including the putter, had a higher success rate on that particular shot than a 60 degree.

post #43 of 75
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

In practice sessions I did all sorts of clever things with it, but on the course my success ratio was well under 50%, meaning that shots made with it were most often no better than a more standard shot, and it actually hurt my score more often than it helped.  It's an easier club to mishit, and mishits tend to be more disastrous than with other clubs.  

 

that's a great comment in general about practice - and those harder shots.  (and specifically about how it applies to the LW)

 

after 2 or 3 warm up shots, one can then hit all sorts of shots

unfortunately in real golf shot - you only get the first attempt

 

In practice, it's revealing to keep track of which shots you walk up and hit on the first try - (or, how long it takes practicing a shot until you can do it on the first try).  i.e., it lets you know which shots you practice to stretch your ability....vs which ones you'll use during a round.

post #44 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post
 

 

that's a great comment in general about practice - and those harder shots.  (and specifically about how it applies to the LW)

 

after 2 or 3 warm up shots, one can then hit all sorts of shots

unfortunately in real golf shot - you only get the first attempt

 

In practice, it's revealing to keep track of which shots you walk up and hit on the first try - (or, how long it takes practicing a shot until you can do it on the first try).  i.e., it lets you know which shots you practice to stretch your ability....vs which ones you'll use during a round.

I agree that flops shots require a lot of practice. But how often do they really come up?  For me, once ever 4 or 5 rounds there occurs a situation where a flop would be an option.  I most of those situations, a pitch will get you in at least a position to make a putt.  I think I had to do only 1 or 2 flop shots last year in my 40 rounds (mostly 9 hole rounds).  

 

I can do them with my 58 by just opening up the face and using a pitch method. The difficult part for a flop is having to swing with a longer stroke the get the distance.

post #45 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by boogielicious View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post
 

 

that's a great comment in general about practice - and those harder shots.  (and specifically about how it applies to the LW)

 

after 2 or 3 warm up shots, one can then hit all sorts of shots

unfortunately in real golf shot - you only get the first attempt

 

In practice, it's revealing to keep track of which shots you walk up and hit on the first try - (or, how long it takes practicing a shot until you can do it on the first try).  i.e., it lets you know which shots you practice to stretch your ability....vs which ones you'll use during a round.

I agree that flops shots require a lot of practice. But how often do they really come up?  For me, once ever 4 or 5 rounds there occurs a situation where a flop would be an option.  I most of those situations, a pitch will get you in at least a position to make a putt.  I think I had to do only 1 or 2 flop shots last year in my 40 rounds (mostly 9 hole rounds).  

 

I can do them with my 58 by just opening up the face and using a pitch method. The difficult part for a flop is having to swing with a longer stroke the get the distance.

 

The point is that you don't have to be playing a flop to mishit a lofted wedge.  All else being equal, it always takes more precise contact than any lower lofted club.  That is just simple geometry.  Just as a 56° SW is easier to mishit than a 47° PW, or at least the result of the mishit will be more pronounced.  Shot for shot, you  are swinging harder with the LW to pitch the ball the same distance as a SW, and that means that mishits are going to be less forgiving.

post #46 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

The point is that you don't have to be playing a flop to mishit a lofted wedge.  All else being equal, it always takes more precise contact than any lower lofted club.  That is just simple geometry.  Just as a 56° SW is easier to mishit than a 47° PW, or at least the result of the mishit will be more pronounced.  Shot for shot, you  are swinging harder with the LW to pitch the ball the same distance as a SW, and that means that mishits are going to be less forgiving.

I agree.

post #47 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

The point is that you don't have to be playing a flop to mishit a lofted wedge.  All else being equal, it always takes more precise contact than any lower lofted club.  That is just simple geometry.  Just as a 56° SW is easier to mishit than a 47° PW, or at least the result of the mishit will be more pronounced.  Shot for shot, you  are swinging harder with the LW to pitch the ball the same distance as a SW, and that means that mishits are going to be less forgiving.

 

While I tend to agree with your statement, you're forgetting that human beings and their golf swings are not creatures of SIMPLE geometry in all cases. For some reason, I hit my lob wedge better than my sand wedge, and I've taken thousands of shots off and on the course to learn that. My body seems to like the 9 o'clock swing of the LW better than the 8 o'clock swing of the SW, my eyes prefer the extra loft, the extra spin I seem to get on a pitch gives me more confidence. I've holed an eagle from 50 yards with my LW and in about 35 total rounds of golf played in my life and come within 2 feet on several other occasions. No such success with a SW. If you can learn consistent ball-first contact with all of your wedges, a mishit with either a LW or a SW (or any other wedge or low iron) will not necessarily be worse for a LW vs. a PW, for example. A mishit with a PW could be a thin full swing from 130 that flies over the green into a ravine while a mishit with a LW might just be on the toe too much and too much sidespin leaving a 30 foot putt rather than a 10 foot one. I just think that there is intrinsically nothing more difficult about hitting a LW vs. other clubs unless your deficiencies as a golfer magnify the problems associated with that particular club. 

post #48 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

The biggest problem I see around the greens is people that hit the shot they want to hit instead of the shot that the lie and situation call for. They may automatically pull out the 60 or automatically something lower lofted when the odds of that shot working are small on that shot.

 

They fall overly in love with a bump and run style, or overly in love with a flop style, or overly in love with a high spinning style. I love all three and which I use depends on the situation.

 

My personal rule: Only use as much loft as necessary for the shot at hand and only depend on spin as much as necessary for the shot at hand.

 

Using that rule I could need to do anything from a very high flop shot, to a high spin low trajectory shot, to a low spin rolling bump and run.

 

P.S. If I had to walk up to a shot around the green blind I would take the most lofted club in my bag (60 or 56), a PW, and an 8 iron. I can't even remember the last time I needed anything other than those clubs. If I was forced to do it with one club it would be a 56 in the summer and a PW in the winter.

Everyone above a 10 should clip this and tack it to their golf bags, IMO. Well put.

post #49 of 75
I completely disagree. There's so many times when pitching (with a lob wedge) is a better option than chipping. If you know how to use a lob wedge its not hard to pitch with at all. If you have the proper technique the loft of the club doesn't make the shot any easier or harder.
post #50 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoan2 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

The point is that you don't have to be playing a flop to mishit a lofted wedge.  All else being equal, it always takes more precise contact than any lower lofted club.  That is just simple geometry.  Just as a 56° SW is easier to mishit than a 47° PW, or at least the result of the mishit will be more pronounced.  Shot for shot, you  are swinging harder with the LW to pitch the ball the same distance as a SW, and that means that mishits are going to be less forgiving.

 

While I tend to agree with your statement, you're forgetting that human beings and their golf swings are not creatures of SIMPLE geometry in all cases. For some reason, I hit my lob wedge better than my sand wedge, and I've taken thousands of shots off and on the course to learn that. My body seems to like the 9 o'clock swing of the LW better than the 8 o'clock swing of the SW, my eyes prefer the extra loft, the extra spin I seem to get on a pitch gives me more confidence. I've holed an eagle from 50 yards with my LW and in about 35 total rounds of golf played in my life and come within 2 feet on several other occasions. No such success with a SW. If you can learn consistent ball-first contact with all of your wedges, a mishit with either a LW or a SW (or any other wedge or low iron) will not necessarily be worse for a LW vs. a PW, for example. A mishit with a PW could be a thin full swing from 130 that flies over the green into a ravine while a mishit with a LW might just be on the toe too much and too much sidespin leaving a 30 foot putt rather than a 10 foot one. I just think that there is intrinsically nothing more difficult about hitting a LW vs. other clubs unless your deficiencies as a golfer magnify the problems associated with that particular club. 

 

You can't dismiss the geometry.  Swinging the club 1/4" deeper than planned at impact is going to make a bigger difference with a 60° wedge in the result of the shot than mishitting the same amount on a 47° PW.  And hitting it thin will have an even bigger impact because you are simply swinging so much harder to hit the same intended distance.  

 

I don't argue that there may be the occasional shot which can't be executed with anything but a LW (and because those moments are so rare, I choose not to carry one at all and just take my medicine on that one shot every 3 or 4 rounds).  It has just been my observation since they first started to show in the average players' bags, most players have the mistaken idea that just because they have it, they have to use it, and as a result they overuse it.  I see them used when there is no trouble to carry and no reason in the world for playing not playing a higher percentage shot.  Unless a player has put in the practice time you say that you have they are not going to be very successful with one.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

I completely disagree. There's so many times when pitching (with a lob wedge) is a better option than chipping. If you know how to use a lob wedge its not hard to pitch with at all. If you have the proper technique the loft of the club doesn't make the shot any easier or harder.

 

I can pitch with a PW, a GW, a SW - I can even pitch with a 8I (and often do).  Just because I'm not using a LW doesn't mean that I'm chipping.  Even with proper technique, mishits happen, and yes, it is still more difficult to use and it takes more practice to be proficient with a LW than it does with a 50° GW.

post #51 of 75
Using the technique I use its not any more difficult to use a LW (with bounce) or an 8 iron.
post #52 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

Using the technique I use its not any more difficult to use a LW (with bounce) or an 8 iron.

 

Does that bounce help when the ball is sitting up in 2-3 inches of fluffy rough?  On soft, wet turf?  The point of multiple clubs, including 3 or 4 wedges, is that certain clubs are suited to certain shots.  A LW is not a do everything club, even though I see a lot of average and below average players using it as if it is.  It is a specialty club which most golfers only have need of once or twice a round at most.  Unless you are pitching to a shortsided pin, there is almost always a better choice of shots.  I realize that you aren't going to be convinced, but that doesn't change the fact that it is not a universal utility wedge. 

post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakester23 View Post

I completely disagree. There's so many times when pitching (with a lob wedge) is a better option than chipping. If you know how to use a lob wedge its not hard to pitch with at all. If you have the proper technique the loft of the club doesn't make the shot any easier or harder.

 



Like Fourputt said you likely won't be convinced but for the record when I say as little loft as necessary for the shot at hand I'm not necessarily talking about the loft stamped on the club, but the effective loft at impact. Lowering the loft at impact can include hands more forward at impact.

That can be just as effective as going to a lower lofted club as long as the player doesn't have a tendency to flip at the ball, but it requires a little more skill and there's more chance for error.
post #54 of 75
I completely agree that its not a club for every shot. For me if the ball is within a yard or two.from the green I will chip (unless i need to carry something). I probably would say I pitch around the greens 80% of the time. I'd say I use my 58 degree wedge 90% of my pitches. I will use my 54 or my 50 depending on the lie or distance of the shot. All I am saying is technique is what allows me to use any club. Using the quickie pitching technique I can hit all different trajectories with different amounts of release. So for me I can do more with my LW. I know everyone has their own ideas and I'm not saying your wrong but I use my 58 way more than my 54 or 46. I wish I didn't have to use it so much buy my long irons are atrocious a1_smile.gif
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