I recently purchased The Wedge Project and wanted to write up summary on it for everyone here. This is a 50 minute instructional video download on what Mr. Rice sees as the ideal technique for hitting the 50 yard wedge shot. It is low launching high spin wedge shots using a shallow angle of attack. I will try to give a brief summary of the instructional video and will leave the technique itself and a good portion of the information for those who would wish to purchase it.
Rice notes that what can make this low launching high spin shot difficult is the turf interaction. Ideally a more shallow angle of attack will help alleviating turf disturbance with these shots.
He also mentions that in the short game, lag is not a really good thing and that you need to lose lag in the downswing. I take it as the wrists start breaking down earlier than in a full swing coming into impact. They should not over extend at any point and he notes that lag should not really increase starting in the downswing. I wish he would have explained this a little more though. There is another thing that I am pondering a little bit with this. Does there need to be and almost conscious effort to hold off right wrist extension (or maintain a firm more feeling) in this sort of swing? He also mentioned that he uses a 58 degree wedge to hit this shots which I also found interesting. I will get into that next.
The ideal conditions for hitting this shots is with a 40 degree delivered loft and spin loft of 45, Rice states. I agree with this, and it is not really a secret, so I feel fine sharing this. It is something that @iacas has been telling members here for a long time and is verified through TrackMan data. What I think was a bit confusing at first is that he uses a 58 degree wedge to reach these conditions while promoting very little lag in the short game. However, he promotes hitting little draws and talks about the vertical gear effect in these shots, which are both things that will aid in getting a decreased delivered loft. Using a more lofted wedge for these shots will still require a fair amount of forward shaft lean though, and for very good players that may be preferable. I am not so sure that this would be the best thing for the majority of golfers though. The majority in my opinion may be better suited for higher and softer loose feeling pitch shots that use the more of the bounce. He did mention that whatever club you decide to use to reach these impact conditions is fine with him as long as it gets you the result. I think for some of us that this may be a wedge more in the 50-54 lofted range using a bit more bounce and slightly less shaft lean to hit this shot.
Something that Rice mentioned which I find interesting is that the grooves of the club face don't really affect spin all that much. According to him it is the milling of the space between the grooves that do, because the golf ball does not really deform enough to grab into the grooves enough on these shots. So if you want to hit the spinner type shot he recommends having a wedge with a milled face. Keeping wedges in clean and nice condition is important as well.
He also mentioned that bounce in his opinion may get in the way more with this type of shot than it will help, but that if you need to use the bounce then use it. His thoughts on this are probably and indicator of why many very good players like him will use a more lofted club with more forward shaft lean to take out much of that bounce with these shots. It is important to note that this subject covers really just one type of shot and you should consider the bounce needed to play all the various shots you need with each wedge.
Just to wrap it up I think there is some great information in The Wedge Project in understanding the low launching high spinning wedge shot. There are some things that have me asking more questions, but overall it is good stuff. If this subject interests you, and you want to find out exactly how to hit this shot, it is available for download via his website with the link above for $18.50 currently.