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Creating spin with wedges.


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I was living in the states for the last few months before I came back to Ireland. When I was there I saw a demonstration by Gary Player on how to get spin with wedges. He described the process of accelerating through impact as like 'Striking a match'. I found this to be a brilliant explanation and I've brought it to the course ever since. Another video I saw mentioned how you should open the club face, put the ball forward in your stance (until it's a bit inside your left foot) and transfer the weight to your left foot.

So the next day I went down to the country club to the fairway on a par three, about 90 yards from the pin, and with a bunch of balls, practiced what they had instructed. I only had a pitching wedge. Almost instantly I got it working. I found the spin shots were immediately recognizable by a CLOP sound at impact - and then went straight and high and landed on the green and spun about 3-5ft to the right. I practiced this for a few weeks leading up to my return home.

I came back to Ireland a few weeks ago, very excited to demonstrate my new found weaponry on some of the courses I knew and loved. Ever since I've come home though, my wedge play in general has completely fallen apart, and any efforts I've made to try and replicate the above have failed miserably.

Now I have the advantage of a trio of wedges - 52, 55, and 60, all good quality and geared for spin. But what happens when I try the shot is: I take a huge, thick divot (like a sample cutting of grass, about a foot long) and the ball goes about 60% of the length it should, and about 60% of the trajectory height. So not a complete mishit, but not a pitch or a flop or a spin.

I also find that I am thinning a lot of my wedge shots and can't seem to get under the ball.

Here are a couple of reasons I think this might be happening; Firstly, the fairways I was learning to do this on in the USA were bouncy and lush. When I hit those spin shots with my PW, I almost never took a divot. The fairways where I am in Ireland at the moment are quite mucky. It's been raining on and off almost the entire three weeks I've been home. They're definitely not warm and bouncy. The weather is averaging about 48 degrees (9 celcius) during the day. I think the reason I'm taking such a huge divot is because the ground beneath the grass is soft and the wedge, if it makes any contact before the ball, slices into the mud like butter. And then, when I try and open the club face right up to correct this and get under the ball, I thin it - because there is no 'bounce' to the grass and the underside of the wedge just hits the ground and runs into the ball instead of sliding under it.

All that being said, I know that this can not be the definitive reason for me not being able to hit this shot. I know that there is a way to hit that kind of shot in these conditions. If anyone can offer advice or has an idea as to what I'm doing wrong, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!

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If I'm hitting a wedge I play it a little further back then center. If you were to put your feet together with the ball lined up in between where your feet meet then take a big step with your front foot and small step with your back foot. That's how I've always done it. Lets me hit down on the ball and create enough spin. If I really want to spin it back 3 feet I can but I don't see much of a reason to.

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Ball in the middle, weight shifted down the line, contact ball first, and most importantly...accelerate through the ball.  No acceleration = no spin.  I find I'll get a lot of thinned wedge shots if I hang back instead of pressing down the line, which is what I have been doing the last couple of outings, stupid 60 degree......lol.

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Originally Posted by Dialit

what do you mean by 'hang back' and 'pressing down the line'?

Pressing down the line = keeping weight biased to your left side (for a righty), in the direction the ball will be travelling.  Hanging back = opposite of pressing down the line.

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When the ground is that wet, it is unforgiving as to slight mishits, which is probably why the poster above said to hit ball first, then ground. There is no sliding under the ball, there is no wristiness - imho - in those conditions.

There is only survival.

And survival means hit ball first, because the bounce of your wedge will only help you slide the club with relatively decent (not soaked or wet) conditions. You've got to be precise, I believe, in those conditions.

How?

You've received some advice on wedge play in those conditions (and in normal conditions), which is keeping your weight on the front side on less than full shots. And in the wet, you may have trouble getting back to the front side, so a more centered-pivot swing (less weight shift) may assist you. Other advice to try as suggested, is to move the ball back slightly in your stance to improve your chances of hitting ball first. But that can change other things, so experiment. Another suggestion I've heard in the wet is to grip down about a half inch as wet ground may sink your feet into the ground slightly, and you want to reduce your chances of a heavy shot - so try the above one at a time and see what one works, or combo works for you.

good luck.

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Guess I'm the exception of the rule because I play everything forward of center and never have problems spinning the ball.  I actually play everything pretty much same position just widen my stance with different clubs.

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Make sure your grooves aren't full of dirt and you're using a good quality ball!

It's really ball flight laws, and the same thing that causes spin on a slice/hook will help you with a wedge shot. That means a steeper angle of attack will result in more back spin. As others have said weight more forward and ball back in the stance will help, both because they make a steeper angle of attack.

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All the above tips are great...but if you don't "pinch" the ball with a descending blow and follow through you are not going to spin it like you're wanting to.

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Originally Posted by FuzzyB1

All the above tips are great...but if you don't "pinch" the ball with a descending blow and follow through you are not going to spin it like you're wanting to.

Pinch = contact with the ball first then the ground with the hands leading through impact will put spin on the ball.

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Originally Posted by jshots

That means a steeper angle of attack will result in more back spin.

Be careful here. I know what you're getting at, but this is not necessarily the case. If, say, you steepen your angle of attack by three degrees while also pushing your hands forward enough to take three degrees of loft off the club, then your spin loft* (which -- together with club head speed -- primarily determines the amount of spin on the ball) has stayed exactly the same.

(* Spin Loft = Dynamic Loft - Angle of Attack.)

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A line my father always said in baseball when playing in the infield on a ground ball is "dig dirt!"  I believe this can apply to this situation as well.  Dig fatty divots! Of course you MUST hit the ball first.  But if you're not afraid of making a divot, doing so can help you "pinch" the ball as EverythingGolf mentioned.  You want to accelerate fully through the ball.  A small, but most likely incorrect, swing tip I put in my head when I want spin, is hit down on the ball as in making a steeper downswing.  However, for myself, this is a very slight change.

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Note: This thread is 3184 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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