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Hey all... I have a question for the forum. I want to refine the strategy I use with my wedges. Usually I just go for the middle of the green and try to choose my distance around pin high. I am always confused as to which distance to hit my wedges. If the pin is 80 yards away, do you try to hit it 80 yards? Do you try to hit it past the pin to 85? Do you try to hit it short at 75? Just curious. 

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I use my wedges based on their known carry, and roll yardages for various shots. 

If the pin is up hill from me, if I miss hit, I want an up hill putt. I am better putting up hill than I am rolling a ball down hill. There's also more useablecup available on up hill putts. 

Pins, down hill from me, I will use a shorter carry club, with a little roll. Other times I will go pin high with a flop shot. 

Most of the time however, I just want get on the green some where, leaving myself a possible one putt. 

Since I know, with in a few yards, what my carry distances are, I leave it up to course conditions, and the shot at hand to factor in the roll after the carry. . 

Edited by Patch

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43 minutes ago, Waddaplaya said:

Hey all... I have a question for the forum. I want to refine the strategy I use with my wedges. Usually I just go for the middle of the green and try to choose my distance around pin high. I am always confused as to which distance to hit my wedges. If the pin is 80 yards away, do you try to hit it 80 yards? Do you try to hit it past the pin to 85? Do you try to hit it short at 75? Just curious. 

There are so many variables it's hard to give an answer that will apply to all situations. Some of the factors to consider include:

  • What is your handicap?
  • Where is the ball? (Fairway, light rough, heavy rough, etc)
  • How firm/fast are the greens?
  • What is your desired trajectory (High, medium, low)
  • Any change in elevation between you and the green?
  • What direction is the wind blowing?
  • Any other weather conditions? (Rain, wet grass, etc)
  • Where is the pin location on the green? (Front, middle, back)

80 yds to a back flag on a very firm green into the wind from the fairway is going to be a much different shot than 80 yards to a front flag down wind from wet rough to a very soft green 

15 minutes ago, Patch said:

There's also more useable cup available on up hill putts. 

A bit off topic, but I don't agree with this as a broad generalization. Isn't the "useable cup" size based on how fast the ball is moving when it reaches the hole?

I can make an uphill putt reach the hole traveling at a faster speed than a downhill putt (reducing the capture size of the hole) just like I can make a downhill putt reach the hole traveling at a faster speed than an uphill putt.

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From 80yds, assuming a flat lie with little wind, it would depend on how soft the green is and how much spin gets caught.  Firmer greens, I'd go for 75yds or less sometimes. I'd never go past 80yds because I don't want to spin the ball that much. Soft greens, I'd try for exactly 80yds. Wind/elevation/lie can definitely change the answer, but I still wouldn't try to land past the hole and rely on spin.

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Ignoring elevation, wind, and sometimes the firmness of the greens, I'm going for 80 yards for a middle pin and 75 yards for a back pin.  A front pin will depend on my margin of error - if I think the pin is at least 5 yards on, I'm probably trying for an 80 yard shot but also trying to error more towards 85.  Severity of green slope will also play into it - a course I used to play in NJ some greens were so sloped that anything above the hole was bad, so in that case I'd go for 5 yards less regardless of the pin placement.

 

 

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I try to get close.  I think about how the ball will roll out (or not) and pick a spot.  That's it.

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Hit to the center of the green, regardless of pin location.

If you were good enough to consider doing otherwise, you wouldn’t be asking the question.  ;-)

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I hit it 10 yards short of the back of the green on back flags. 10 yards longer than the front of the green in short flags and pin high for flags in the middle of the green. 

Generally i aim to the middle of the green but if the green is wide I aim 10 yards away from the fringe closer to the flag.

So... let say the flag is 7 yards from the left fringe and 4 yards to the back fringe... I aim 3 yards rigth of the flag and 6 yards shot of it.

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4 hours ago, klineka said:

There are so many variables it's hard to give an answer that will apply to all situations. Some of the factors to consider include:

  • What is your handicap?
  • Where is the ball? (Fairway, light rough, heavy rough, etc)
  • How firm/fast are the greens?
  • What is your desired trajectory (High, medium, low)
  • Any change in elevation between you and the green?
  • What direction is the wind blowing?
  • Any other weather conditions? (Rain, wet grass, etc)
  • Where is the pin location on the green? (Front, middle, back)

80 yds to a back flag on a very firm green into the wind from the fairway is going to be a much different shot than 80 yards to a front flag down wind from wet rough to a very soft green 

A bit off topic, but I don't agree with this as a broad generalization. Isn't the "useable cup" size based on how fast the ball is moving when it reaches the hole?

I can make an uphill putt reach the hole traveling at a faster speed than a downhill putt (reducing the capture size of the hole) just like I can make a downhill putt reach the hole traveling at a faster speed than an uphill putt.

I have had up hill putts drop in on the top edge of the cup. This after missing the cup a little, but the ball curling in with a little down hill roll. Most of the 360* degrees of the hole is usable. Front, sides, and top edges. 

I have never had a down hill putt roll in on the bottom side of the cup after missing the hole. Only 180* degrees, maybe a little more, is usable on a down hill putt. Front, and side edges. Once the ball is putted past the cup, gravity won't allow it to roll back up hill into the cup. 

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I also just hit to the center of the green. I will try left or right depending on pin placement but I rarely go pin hunting, I'm not the good. For 80 yards that is my 58* wedge if going over a trap, if not I use an 8i and bump and run it.

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I try not to think about the pin until I am inside 60 yards. Center of the green is fine for me. Only exception would be if I am playing match play and my opponent has already stuck an approach within reasonable make range (<8-10ft) and I need to be just as close to have a chance to halve or win the hole. In that case I would be trying to literally make the ball at normal putting speed, though it would still be a complete crapshoot because I am not that good. Considering you are a GSK fan, @Waddaplaya, I would be saying "TAKE ME TO TEXAS!!!". No need to shortside yourself or worse.

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At a basic level I find it lucky to hit the green with my approach shot. It is interesting to think farther than that and have a strategy. I like the idea of aiming 10 yards short for back pins, 10 long for front and try to hit the exact number on the middle pins. I need to dial in my wedge distances more than they are right now.

It is also an interesting idea to try and run it up. I have never honestly though about running a roller into the mouth of the green. I automatically always go for a high lofted wedge. 

 

Thanks for the ideas though, they are awesome. 

Edited by Waddaplaya

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1 minute ago, Waddaplaya said:

At a basic level I find it lucky to hit the green with my approach shot. It is interesting to think farther than that and have a strategy. I like the idea of aiming 10 yards short for back pins, 10 long for front and try to hit the exact number on the middle pins. I need to dial in my wedge distances more than they are right now. Thanks for the ideas though, they are awesome. 

For sure. What you are basically saying is that you are aiming at the pin, but as far as front to back of the green, you are pretty much going for the middle. Just one step away from aiming at true center. I know that GSK often talks about leaving full clubs into greens as opposed to getting as close to the green as possible (we are talking drives and 2nd shots on par 5 here), but I think this hinders more than helps. Learning half swing or underpowered wedge shots can be really deadly. I have no fear of hitting the green and getting kind of close once inside that 60 yard mark because it is so close and I have my 53o dialed in for distance from there in all the way to chips. I am not saying it's perfect, but within 3-5 yards distance wise almost all of the time leaves me a chance and an almost certain 2 putt. Can't tell you how many greens I missed when I was pin hunting from 80+ yards out and it ended in high scores because of a missed green (usually shortsiding myself), a chip, and a 2 putt. Glad to see another "playa" on the forum, but don't be afraid to stray a bit from GSK's methods. I picked up a copy of LSW and it completely changed how I played par 4-5s.

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4 minutes ago, Waddaplaya said:

GSK? LSW

Golf Sidekick. Lowest Score Wins (book). The first one I'm sure you already know, but as for LSW, it has been a fantastic resource for me for statistics and strategy. Hover over the icon in the section under my signature for a very brief idea of what it covers.

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5 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Golf Sidekick. Lowest Score Wins (book). The first one I'm sure you already know, but as for LSW, it has been a fantastic resource for me for statistics and strategy. Hover over the icon in the section under my signature for a very brief idea of what it covers.

Ahh I see. Yea I just didn't realize the acronym. I was like how does Matt's name fit into that. Yes for sure though, he has been a wealth of inspiration for sure. I will check out the other read. Just playing my normal shot shape like Matt suggested has helped my games bounds. One round I literally put every shot I hit all day into a table that had Right, Middle, and Left. I realized I hit 80 percent right to left. Now I have been putting that into play and I am hitting so many more fairways and greens. That sparked my idea for the wedge strategy because I know there has to be something more than just aiming at the green and see what happens. 

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Just now, Waddaplaya said:

Ahh I see. Yea I just didn't realize the acronym. I was like how does Matt's name fit into that. Yes for sure though, he has been a wealth of inspiration for sure. I will check out the other read. Just playing my normal shot shape like Matt suggested has helped my games bounds. One round I literally put every shot I hit all day into a table that had Right, Middle, and Left. I realized I hit 80 percent right to left. Now I have been putting that into play and I am hitting so many more fairways and greens. That sparked my idea for the wedge strategy because I know there has to be something more than just aiming at the green and see what happens. 

That's great though and glad to hear that it is going well. I don't want to get too in depth with with LSW as I believe supporting the writers is important, but what I will say is that my enjoyment of Matt's channel has shifted from instructional to entertainment. Obviously there is some good information in his stuff, but there are also some things that were hurting me and I didn't even know it. Cheers to you, and I hope you "plant some feathers" your next round!

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One of the reasons I like having a GPS device is knowing yardage to front edge of the green and back edge of the green as well as the middle.  I know my yardages pretty well.  I do not want to come up short of the green and I do not want to hit it long and over.  So, armed with that info, I try to hit the club which will get me closest to where the pin is without coming up short or going over the green.  I do play some courses that have huge, really huge greens.  There can be a full 4 club difference between the front and back of the greens or maybe even a bit more.  One thing I really don't try to do is hit a let up shot or stand on it try and get just a bit more.  That usually never works well for me.  

So, let's say the pin is 100 yards but the back edge of the green is 110.  I am going to hit my SW and probably come up just a little short (95) instead of trying to hit GW (110) and possibly going off the back of the green.  Easier to putt 15 feet than to have to chip out of 2inch grass with the pin so close.  

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