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MarshallRaynor

Do You Really Need A LW?

22 posts in this topic

My lob wedge and I don't get along. At all. I hate that thing. And I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual. I can't chip with it. I can't flop with it. I can't do squat with it but dig holes and invent new curses.

I'm very decent with most of the rest of my clubs. My irons and I get along great, especially my small  irons. My PW and SW and I are great friends. My SW is actually very close to my favorite and most reliable club, after the good ol' 7i. But I can't hit beans with my 60* LW.

I think when I upgrade I'm just going to go PW, AW, SW, and fill out the top of my bag a little better. Maybe pickup a 5W to go between my 3W and my 3i. Or grab a 3H or 4H for special occasions when I need the extra bump. I'm not a big fan of hybrids, either, but they have their uses.

Have any of you run into this situation? I think I can make do with a sand wedge being my smallest club for anything I'm going to be doing for the next long time. How about you?

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When my handicap was up in your level (it has since been as low as 15 +/-), I spent a lot of time getting used to my LW: both chipping and full shots. I kept telling myself it'd be useful to birdie par-5s (by wedging it close after a smart layup) and to rescue myself if I was short-sided in the rough. Wasted time. Guys on tour don't hit it close enough on average from my LW distance for me to regularly make the putt, let alone me. I don't play in heavy enough rough and, when I am short-sided, I accept it as a mistake and get the ball on the green, even if it means I'll likely two-putt from where I end up. I don't think you need a LW. Chip and pitch with your SW -- its loft is high enough and it probably has high bounce (think forgiveness). Give it a try for a few rounds. Worst case scenario, you forget a few swear words.
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Mine stays in my closet at home about half of the time and is the last option the rest of the time. ;-) There are certain courses where I always make sure it's in the bag. The ones with tight lies, lots of bunkers to flop over, and fast greens. On most courses I don't need it much (if any) at all.
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I switch back and forth between my LW and my 2 driving iron so I keep only 14 clubs in my bag. My go to wedge is my 56 and I love the extra bounce so really the only time I take my 60 is when I know certain courses have tough rough I need to dig out of.
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My lob wedge and I don't get along. At all. I hate that thing. And I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual. I can't chip with it. I can't flop with it. I can't do squat with it but dig holes and invent new curses.

I'm very decent with most of the rest of my clubs. My irons and I get along great, especially my small  irons. My PW and SW and I are great friends. My SW is actually very close to my favorite and most reliable club, after the good ol' 7i. But I can't hit beans with my 60* LW.

I think when I upgrade I'm just going to go PW, AW, SW, and fill out the top of my bag a little better. Maybe pickup a 5W to go between my 3W and my 3i. Or grab a 3H or 4H for special occasions when I need the extra bump. I'm not a big fan of hybrids, either, but they have their uses.

Have any of you run into this situation? I think I can make do with a sand wedge being my smallest club for anything I'm going to be doing for the next long time. How about you?


Yeah, never cared for a 60* wedge or anything more lofted for that manner, I find 58* does everything I need for my ability and if I carried anything more I would have to devote too much time making sure that club is dialed in.

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I keep mine in the bag, it's a 62* lob! I only ever use it over short sided green side bunkers, which I agree isn't often, but it gets me out of trouble and there's room in my bag for it! When I first got it I was trying it anywhere from 50yrds in, but it's really quite hard to get accurate consistent distances, the sw or aw is much more reliable for that! So now I only use it for what I bought it for, little flops over short sided bunkers to keep the ball close to the flag! If my approach shots were better I guess I'd never need it!
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When I played years ago I never really liked chipping and I mostly used my sand wedge around the green, who knows what loft/bounce it had, in those less enlightened times people had a pitching wedge and a sand wedge...  When I took golf back up about a year and a half ago I got a set of Ping G20s that came with PW, GW, SW and LW.  The lob was a 58/12 and we became friends, that being my main go-to club anywhere near the green.  Since I got the AP1s and filled the bottom of the bag with SCOR wedges I do branch out a bit more because they all 'feel' the same to me, but up close the lob is still my go-to club.  Love it.

That said, a lot of wiser golfers than I recommend against 60* wedges for higher handicap players and I expect the problems described by MarshallRaynor are symptomatic of the reason for this recommendation.  I could get by okay with nothing loftier than my 56*, but I think most people should be okay with a 58* lob.  Unfortunately, you do have to practice with any wedge to get the most out of it, and pulling it out of the bag five or six times on the course doesn't count as practice.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video-golf-pitch-shot-technique If you read/watch the videos in this link you'll see an effective way to work a wedge (sand/lob/whatever).  It's a pretty long thread, but there is a lot of good stuff in there.  Being confident in your ability to pitch the ball takes a lot of pressure off the average player who doesn't hit that many greens in regulation (else s/he wouldn't be "average").

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When I played years ago I never really liked chipping and I mostly used my sand wedge around the green, who knows what loft/bounce it had, in those less enlightened times people had a pitching wedge and a sand wedge...  When I took golf back up about a year and a half ago I got a set of Ping G20s that came with PW, GW, SW and LW.  The lob was a 58/12 and we became friends, that being my main go-to club anywhere near the green.  Since I got the AP1s and filled the bottom of the bag with SCOR wedges I do branch out a bit more because they all 'feel' the same to me, but up close the lob is still my go-to club.  Love it.

That said, a lot of wiser golfers than I recommend against 60* wedges for higher handicap players and I expect the problems described by MarshallRaynor are symptomatic of the reason for this recommendation.  I could get by okay with nothing loftier than my 56*, but I think most people should be okay with a 58* lob.  Unfortunately, you do have to practice with any wedge to get the most out of it, and pulling it out of the bag five or six times on the course doesn't count as practice.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video-golf-pitch-shot-technique If you read/watch the videos in this link you'll see an effective way to work a wedge (sand/lob/whatever).  It's a pretty long thread, but there is a lot of good stuff in there.  Being confident in your ability to pitch the ball takes a lot of pressure off the average player who doesn't hit that many greens in regulation (else s/he wouldn't be "average").


Awesome reply. I'll definitely check out that link. Thanks.

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If you can hit it, it's a good club to have.

And, HDCP range doesn't seem to influence whether it's a good club. I play with 20HDCP players that pull off clever shots with the club. And, I know small-college golfers from different schools who have a 56* SW as their highest lofted wedge.

Personally, I have not done well with 60* LWs. I did play a 58* for two seasons and got OK results, but recently I dumped the 54* + 58* for a 56*.

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The problems I see is people tend to overuse it. When they could be playing a simple bump and run they increase the difficulty attempting a lofty pitch. I see it as a full swing club that produces a specific yardage and a sometimes option around the greens. Unless I am in sand or need to pitch I usually chip with a less lofted club 8-49. I can hit a decent flop but I find it easier to control distance keeping the ball on the ground.
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I don't use one. I don't feel I need one. I carry an extra hybrid instead.
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I have both a 60 and 64 right now.. Will def keep at least 1 especially when I get my edel wedges'
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The problems I see is people tend to overuse it. When they could be playing a simple bump and run they increase the difficulty attempting a lofty pitch. I see it as a full swing club that produces a specific yardage and a sometimes option around the greens. Unless I am in sand or need to pitch I usually chip with a less lofted club 8-49. I can hit a decent flop but I find it easier to control distance keeping the ball on the ground.

I agree. My 60* is my 90 yd club. I also use it for "9 o'clock" and "7:30" distances. The only times I use it around the green is when I am forced to play a higher shot. Otherwise, I want to get the ball rolling as soon as possible on the green...

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The i20 lob is 58 degrees and it's easily my most used club, I love it.  I don't carry a sand wedge (54 degrees) though, just the 58, 50, and 46 i20 wedges.  If I was going to ditch a club from my bag it would be either the 3 iron or the pitching wedge.  I hit my 4 iron about as far as the 3 and with less hassle and between a 9 and the gap wedge the pitching wedge just seems kinda useless to me.

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I only use it in a bunker these days ... Love my i20 gap wedge for a 100 in ...
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I have the same problem. Got a 60* and never could get used to it. My 56* does it all.

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I have the same problem. Got a 60* and never could get used to it. My 56* does it all.

I hated the lob when I first got it too, I kept hitting it off the toe and it was driving me nuts.  What I figured out is you really need to snuggle up close and hover over the ball since it's such a small club.  If you can get used to that it becomes a fun club to hit imo.

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