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drewfus813

Half Wedges

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I am trying to learn to "dial in" my wedges from inside 100 yards. Recently I have been trying to get my distances down with a half swing PW, SW, GW and LW. I am trying to get my hands to 9:00 and make a normal swing. My one problem has been catching the ball fat. When I am chipping I consciously keep my weight on my front foot in order to not hit behind the ball. Should I try doing that? Any other tips/ideas for getting more accurate with these half swings? Thanks.

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I try to keep my weight on my front foot when hitting half wedge shots.  I also set up with a slightly open stance.

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Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

I try to keep my weight on my front foot when hitting half wedge shots.  I also set up with a slightly open stance.


I also keep my weight forward and the turn is less forceful think smooth.

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HMMM! a bit of a bugbear with me. So THE most important part of the irons game is from 120 yards and into the pin and Ive got PW GW SW and LW to cover that distance. AND from 120 yards to 220 yards ive got 9,8,7,6,5,4,3 hybrid and 4 wood. Shouldn't that be the other way around? Wouldn't it be easier to play golf......and score if you had 8 clubs between 130 yards and the pin and say 4 clubs from 130 to 220? The whole idea of having differing lofts and lengths is that you can play "full" shots and expect the ball to go an expected distance......so you don't have to make up a shot. You can basically shoot your gap wedge and know it's going 100 yards.......easy. So the big problem is I know when I've got the PW in my hands I can hit it 60 yards in a nice soft easy swing........OR, I can smash it 140 yards if I pin my ears back. That's 80 yards difference......in the one club. Wouldn't it be easier if the PW had a narrower distance range, so insteadf of 80 yards range it went 50 yards and for a real "oh my god , I've really smashed that .....and I didn't mean to" shot it goes 90 yards.

So anyway, I've been pissing around with some REALLY short irons to try and get my distance ranges a bit tighter. So at the moment my GW, PW and 9 iron are all 32 inches long, then from 8 to 5 they go up in 3/4" increments. The 4 and hybrid are about standard.

The results are interesting. Recalibrating is very strange. I've played with some buddies with these clubs and on one hole on our local(par 3 110 yards) I've grabbed the 7 iron when the others are going with a PW. Ha Ha.

The advantages are as I expected them to be. If I play a soft PW it goes 50 yardsand if I Smash the crap out of it it goes 90....much better

It means I'm playing more full swings and less "half to three quarter backswing nice and easy,but solid, but not hard or too easy, keep on accelerating and don't quit on the shot" sort of swings.

Why do "the pros" choke down on the club sometimes?

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Originally Posted by logman

Why do "the pros" choke down on the club sometimes?

A lot of reasons. It's nice to have the option. A short club is always choked down - even when it would be nice if it wasn't.

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Yes, absolutely keep weight forward. Also, just my .02, but why hit say, a 50yd shot using all those wedges? Because now you have to have 4 different swings for the same 50yd shot - too much to think of for me. Anything inside 115 I just use my 56* and choke up and adjust my backswing as necessary. I only use my 60* for close-up touch shots.

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When I'm executing partial wedge shots, I take my hands to a couple of points, thigh high, waist high, shoulder high, then make a "full" swing down.  I accelerate into the ball, making the same downward motion that I would as if I were making a full swing, trying to get all my weight on my left side.  I know if I fat a partial wedge then I didn't complete my swing and get to my left side, I made the swing with just my arms.

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+ 1 on the weight forward.  Also, for me, I was taught (by mvmac) to keep that front knee flexed longer and to flair my front foot out about 30 degrees.  this will keep your weight moving forward during the down stoke.  This works great for chips and pitches too.  You won't hit it fat this way.

A great way to practice this is to pitch to progressive distances.  Start with 20 yards and move up to 100 with the full swing.  Also work on ball position.  Put the ball on your front heel to get higher softer landings.  Move it back to get lower trajectory and more spin.  Keep the lower body relaxed and the left knee flexed.

I generally will use only my 58-12 from 85 yards in.

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I try to keep my weight on my front foot when hitting half wedge shots.  I also set up with a slightly open stance.

Exactly! And unless trying to hit a lob, play the ball a little further back in your stance.

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Better contact = better distance control for me. I focus on keeping weight forward, left arm straight, and making great contact.

I started doing better when I stopped thinking at all about the length of the swing and just imagined the shot (height, landing spot, rollout...) and hit it. Like tossing a ball into a basket, I think about where the ball should land more than the amount of force it takes -- like shooting a basketball. I might choose any of three clubs for a 60 yard shot depending on the height and roll and wind... This all works pretty well as long as I make consistently good contact.

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Originally Posted by rustyredcab

Better contact = better distance control for me. I focus on keeping weight forward, left arm straight, and making great contact.

I started doing better when I stopped thinking at all about the length of the swing and just imagined the shot (height, landing spot, rollout...) and hit it. Like tossing a ball into a basket, I think about where the ball should land more than the amount of force it takes -- like shooting a basketball. I might choose any of three clubs for a 60 yard shot depending on the height and roll and wind... This all works pretty well as long as I make consistently good contact.

agree with Rustyred.  I cringe when I watch an 18 hndcp trying that shot.  Most play with GI irons and woods that lets them sweep the ball & hit it anywhere on the clubface.  Works fine from 150 off a fluffy lie but from 50 yds in, precise contact while holding the angle is not easy if you've never practiced.  Try 5000 balls on the practice green from 30 feet with a 60 degree.  Once you get the "feel" for that shot you'll start to get it.

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Originally Posted by logman

HMMM! a bit of a bugbear with me. So THE most important part of the irons game is from 120 yards and into the pin and Ive got PW GW SW and LW to cover that distance. AND from 120 yards to 220 yards ive got 9,8,7,6,5,4,3 hybrid and 4 wood. Shouldn't that be the other way around? Wouldn't it be easier to play golf......and score if you had 8 clubs between 130 yards and the pin and say 4 clubs from 130 to 220?

No.

You aren't faced with shots inside of 120 yards all that often. You are faced with shots outside of 120 yards more often.

And "inside 120 yards" is not the most important part of the iron game. Hitting greens is. Having to hit greens from yardages in the 120-220 yard range with four clubs isn't all that easy.


Originally Posted by logman

The whole idea of having differing lofts and lengths is that you can play "full" shots and expect the ball to go an expected distance......so you don't have to make up a shot.

Again, what? Your lob wedge goes how far? You want a club that's going to go half that distance with a full swing? No.

120 PW

110 SW

95 LW

That's just with three clubs.

Why on earth would you want a club that goes 80 with a full swing, then 65, then 50? That club would have, what, 75° loft?

Originally Posted by logman

So the big problem is I know when I've got the PW in my hands I can hit it 60 yards in a nice soft easy swing........OR, I can smash it 140 yards if I pin my ears back. That's 80 yards difference......in the one club. Wouldn't it be easier if the PW had a narrower distance range, so insteadf of 80 yards range it went 50 yards and for a real "oh my god , I've really smashed that .....and I didn't mean to" shot it goes 90 yards.

I can hit my 7-iron three yards, too. That's over 160 yards difference in one club!

Originally Posted by logman

The results are interesting. Recalibrating is very strange. I've played with some buddies with these clubs and on one hole on our local(par 3 110 yards) I've grabbed the 7 iron when the others are going with a PW. Ha Ha.

The advantages are as I expected them to be. If I play a soft PW it goes 50 yardsand if I Smash the crap out of it it goes 90....much better

Good luck to you with all of that, then. I guarantee a 50-yard swing made with a (longer club that's still appropriate, like a sand wedge) is more accurate. Less motion, less chance of mis-hitting it, etc.

Originally Posted by logman

Why do "the pros" choke down on the club sometimes?

Because having three to four standard length wedges is the best use of the 14 clubs they're allowed to carry. And they find it relatively simple to hit shorter shots with the clubs they carry. After all "grip down one inch to take off eight yards" is pretty user friendly.

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Originally Posted by drewfus813

I am trying to learn to "dial in" my wedges from inside 100 yards. Recently I have been trying to get my distances down with a half swing PW, SW, GW and LW. I am trying to get my hands to 9:00 and make a normal swing. My one problem has been catching the ball fat. When I am chipping I consciously keep my weight on my front foot in order to not hit behind the ball. Should I try doing that? Any other tips/ideas for getting more accurate with these half swings? Thanks.

Try choking up on the club a bit.

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I've been working on exactly this portion of my game the last couple weeks. I've been pretty good hitting it close from 90 - 120 yds (LW-SW-PW) by just dialing back to a 3/4 swing to take about 7-10 yds off a club but pretty bad at less than 80 yds. Trying to hit a half wedge shots sometimes results in a shank for me which is devistating to my mental game. I needed to get a reliable shot when I hit it too close to greens but too far to chip it.

When trying to manufacture yardages from 40 - 75 yds now, I just open the face up more for shorter shots while aiming several yards right (I'm a lefty) of the flag. I also swing at about 70% swing speed to dial back a little of the distance that way too. It takes a bit a practice on the range but having a 50 yd wedge shot in your bag is worth it.

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I like practice rounds hitting approaches to real greens for working on partial wedge shots. My course rarely has the fairways cut low enough to generate consistent spin so I've been working on playing for the ball to release and trying to plan for accordingly for the highest percentage landing areas and trajectories. Doing that allows me to take those shots to any cours. Hitting a shot that lands near the flag with enough spin to hop and stop requires a certain kind of lie, but the swing is easy enough make that it doesn't require any more than a few minutes practice once it's "mastered". I have no qualms about admitting I'm old school when I play partial irons expecting a certain amount of roll, but hitting wedge and having it stop is old school too. My course just doesn't allow that shot very often (fairways too long and greens too hard) so you have to be a bit more creative. Those who can score well at my course tend to have indexes (sp) that travel very well indeed.

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