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"The Wedge Project" by Andrew Rice

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  1. 1. How do you generally hit a 50 yard wedge shot from a nice lie to a pin with green to work with and no trouble in front?

    • Send it in low with spin.
      4
    • Send it in higher and softer.
      11
    • Bump and run.
      1
    • I just hope to make contact.
      0

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19 posts in this topic

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.

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I have it too and think it's good information.

Not 100% sure about the groove thing -- there are conflicting arguments from smart people on both sides of the issue.

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I have it too and think it's good information.

Not 100% sure about the groove thing -- there are conflicting arguments from smart people on both sides of the issue.

I think the main thing with the grooves for us to think about is that having milling between the grooves can't hurt.  So why not have it?

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The interesting thing is there is a school of thought that it does hurt. The milling breaks up the straight line edge of the groove, leaving gaps. I do not know who is right on this -- it's a bit of a pissing match currently. ;-)

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The interesting thing is there is a school of thought that it does hurt. The milling breaks up the straight line edge of the groove, leaving gaps. I do not know who is right on this -- it's a bit of a pissing match currently.

Ha ha, I was not aware of that.  You would think they could robot test this.

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Ha ha, I was not aware of that.  You would think they could robot test this.

Most robots can't piss though. Maybe @Lihu could make a Pissing Contest Robot?

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Have either of you used this method and found that it works?
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Most robots can't piss though. Maybe @Lihu could make a Pissing Contest Robot?

Here's one that poops:

http://www.webpronews.com/robot-eats-poops-2012-02

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Here's one that poops:

http://www.webpronews.com/robot-eats-poops-2012-02

Eww.

Back on topic. I answered the poll "High and Soft" but that's simply because it's the method I'm most confident in. Low and spinning isn't a reliable shot fro me (yet) but it's certainly a shot I would love to have.

I will bump and run quite often but only from much shorter distances, 50 yards is a little far for a bump and run IMO and I would rather take my chances with a lofted swing. I may even do a half swing (but with full swing mechanics if you know what I mean)  with my 60* as that's also a pretty reliable shot for me.

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Have either of you used this method and found that it works?

Yes, it does work. It is much easier to get consistent distance control with a lower launch angle and more spin.

You have to have confidence in your technique, though. It requires more club head speed, generally, and a faster overtaking rate, specifically. If you are a player that is prone to skulls and other contact issues -- you're going to have some nervous moments initially.

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I answered the poll "High and Soft" but that's simply because it's the method I'm most confident in. Low and spinning isn't a reliable shot fro me (yet) but it's certainly a shot I would love to have.

I will bump and run quite often but only from much shorter distances, 50 yards is a little far for a bump and run IMO and I would rather take my chances with a lofted swing. I may even do a half swing (but with full swing mechanics if you know what I mean)  with my 60* as that's also a pretty reliable shot for me.

Same here.  I've recently found that with the "quickie pitching technique" my "full swing" goes right in the neighborhood of 45-55 yards.  I have the most confidence with that shot currently, and the most room for error.

On open front greens, a nice option to have would be the low pitch, not quite a bump and run but just a simple shot with a PW or even 9 iron that gets rolling sooner (watched DA Points hit a few of these beautifully yesterday on the replay of last years Houston Open) but it doesn't come up much, and I never practice it, so it's not currently in my arsenal.

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Yes, it does work. It is much easier to get consistent distance control with a lower launch angle and more spin.

You have to have confidence in your technique, though. It requires more club head speed, generally, and a faster overtaking rate, specifically. If you are a player that is prone to skulls and other contact issues -- you're going to have some nervous moments initially.

@Jakester23 I agree with @Stretch that it does work and I really like the shot a lot myself.  I just don't really use it all that much.  I don't generally find myself 50 yards or so from a green except for a par five I cant quite reach or something like that.  I would stick to what I said in the OP though that it is probably not ideal for most golfers to try to play this shot IMO.  I would say a softer and higher pitch using more bounce would be more forgiving.

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I like to send it mid to high trajectory with lower to mid spin for a wedge. I its easier to gauge roll out or stopping distance than having one zip back. I rather land it 10 feet short, and have it roll out or stop than have it come up short and zip it back further away from the hole.

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For this shot, I usually use the 52 wedge with a partial swing.  It goes low.  I think of it more like a big chip with speed.  I focus on weight forward and making crisp contact.

I have been working on the pitching technique with other clubs, PW, 9 iron.  But they will go a bit further.  My 58 needs a full pitch technique swing to go 50 yards.  I have been working on pitching with the 52 a lot as well.

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The lower flighted pitch is quite teachable to average players in my experience (but mainly the experience of my mate Etienne, who is the head pro at our golf club.) Under the influence of Andrew and a few others, he started by first converting his elite juniors to the method and then took it through the other ability groups to see how it would go. It went surprisingly well.

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For this shot, I usually use the 52 wedge with a partial swing.  It goes low.  I think of it more like a big chip with speed.  I focus on weight forward and making crisp contact. I have been working on the pitching technique with other clubs, PW, 9 iron.  But they will go a bit further.  My 58 needs a full pitch technique swing to go 50 yards.  I have been working on pitching with the 52 a lot as well.

I pretty much only use my 52* for full swings, goes about 115-120. I need to spend a little time learning to use this club in short game situations as it'll provide a touch more roll out than my usual go-to club - 56*

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The easiest way to train this is to stick two standard alignment sticks in the ground about 3 feet apart and then tie a piece of string between them near the top.This will give you at roughly 3 feet by 3 feet gate and if you hit balls just under the string from about 6 feet back, you're looking at about a 30 degree launch angle, which is optimal*. Most people are very surprised to find how much higher they actually launch it than that. Then you can work on ball position etc. to bring the flight down.

(* For a 50 yard pitch.)

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The easiest way to train this is to stick two standard alignment sticks in the ground about 3 feet apart and then tie a piece of string between them near the top.This will give you at roughly 3 feet by 3 feet gate and if you hit balls just under the string from about 6 feet back, you're looking at about a 30 degree launch angle, which is optimal*. Most people are very surprised to find how much higher they actually launch it than that. Then you can work on ball position etc. to bring the flight down.

(* For a 50 yard pitch.)

Interesting training method.  I've always just judged launch angle when practicing short shots looking at the overall trajectory, but never felt that was super accurate.  How about making two tarps with both sides open sided hemmed so you can slide an alignment stick in.  Something like:

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