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How to "Flight" Your Wedges and Short Irons


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I tried flighting my wedges and a few approach shots with short/mid irons for the first time yesterday because the Bay Area was extremely windy and my normal ball flight is quite high. The lower/boring flight worked out well, but I did notice a stronger right to left trajectory than normal which caused some left misses. Definitely something I plan to start practicing as I can see the usefulness of this shot, windy or not.

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While this thread takes a look at distance control with your wedges , this thread will discuss how to vary or control the trajectory of your wedges/short irons. A trait of the majority of tour

Sweet!

For me, my full iron shots tend to draw whereas my flighted shots go straight with the abbreviated swing.  With the lower ball flights, I get too much roll on hard greens.  The ball carries to th

OMG, I have had the same experience! Flighting wedges has been simply excellent for me, but this was something I have had to account for. I pull almost everything, so I thought it was just me.  Do you pull all of your shots, and perhaps this is just more pronounced?

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For me, my full iron shots tend to draw whereas my flighted shots go straight with the abbreviated swing. 

With the lower ball flights, I get too much roll on hard greens.  The ball carries to the front or middle of the green and rolls to the back or off the green, especially on elevated greens. I've not been trying this very long so I'll have to determine the right club and swing for the total distance.  I am sure it'll be easier on flat courses and as winter weather approaches. 

Continuous improvement. 

This thread is what started me to experiment with these shots. Thx. 

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13 hours ago, Cantankerish said:

OMG, I have had the same experience! Flighting wedges has been simply excellent for me, but this was something I have had to account for. I pull almost everything, so I thought it was just me.  Do you pull all of your shots, and perhaps this is just more pronounced?

Immediately after trying this new-for-me shot on the course, I had a lesson and my instructor noticed my right hand grip had become very strong since my previous lesson (I get a lesson about once a month). I think my instinct to have a strong grip comes from years and years of slicing and advice on the internet to fix it with a strong grip.

On the launch monitor my path was fine, about 1.5deg in-out so the left shots were caused by a closed club face. She had me adjust my grip to neutral and the sharp right to left trajectory softened to a slight draw or straight. I have to remind myself each shot to use a neutral right hand grip until it becomes second nature.

I've struggled with straight pulls, and pull hooks (and pull slices and shanks too), which were caused by out-in swing, and flipping at impact, but I've corrected my swing path and rarely flip the club face closed anymore.

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1 hour ago, Darkfrog said:

Immediately after trying this new-for-me shot on the course, I had a lesson and my instructor noticed my right hand grip had become very strong since my previous lesson (I get a lesson about once a month). I think my instinct to have a strong grip comes from years and years of slicing and advice on the internet to fix it with a strong grip.

On the launch monitor my path was fine, about 1.5deg in-out so the left shots were caused by a closed club face. She had me adjust my grip to neutral and the sharp right to left trajectory softened to a slight draw or straight. I have to remind myself each shot to use a neutral right hand grip until it becomes second nature.

I've struggled with straight pulls, and pull hooks (and pull slices and shanks too), which were caused by out-in swing, and flipping at impact, but I've corrected my swing path and rarely flip the club face closed anymore.

I see.  That might not be the same thing I was talking about.  My issue has been a straight pull.  If I intentionally strengthen the grip I get the draw.  But that is different.  Good luck with this.

 

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  • 1 month later...

I've been working on this quite a bit in the simulator over the past couple weeks.  I am really starting to find great consistency with it.   

56 degree - 80 yds
52 degree - 90 yds
PW - 112 yds
9I - 122 yds

I can also shorten the back swing a bit and take 10 yds off each club, pretty consistently. 

It's really great.  It knocks about 30 yards off a full swing and gives me a lot more options in the 70-120 range.   really focusing on adopting the use of flighted wedges, I can already tell that I am going to find myself 10 feet from the pin rather than 20 feet significantly more often.  


however, I am having the following struggles:

1) When I work with my 8 iron or stronger, I (like others) am having struggles with closed face and it getting a bit hooky.   

2) This works really well, when I have an open approach to the green.  but if the green is guarded in the front by a bunker, or water or what not, it's really hard for me to switch back to a non-flighted wedge.   Just seems like by increasing the consistency of the flighted wedge, it is having a very negative affect on non-flighted wedges.  anyone else finding this as well?  

 

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17 hours ago, lastings said:

however, I am having the following struggles:

1) When I work with my 8 iron or stronger, I (like others) am having struggles with closed face and it getting a bit hooky.   

2) This works really well, when I have an open approach to the green.  but if the green is guarded in the front by a bunker, or water or what not, it's really hard for me to switch back to a non-flighted wedge.   Just seems like by increasing the consistency of the flighted wedge, it is having a very negative affect on non-flighted wedges.  anyone else finding this as well?  

 

I think the hooks with a flighted wedge come from either hanging back / not shifting weight or the arms keep swinging and the body stops rotating.  I try to make sure its a smooth swing with both the arms and body to make it work.  Sometimes it seems to help to have a shorter backswing.

I haven't found an answer to #2 yet but I also struggle going back to non-flighted wedges.

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  • 4 weeks later...

been flighting nearly every shot inside for the past 4 weeks in my simulator league.   I think it's having a big impact in consistency.  

but, an added bonus is on mishits for us clompers.   without flighting a full swing 80yd shot or opening up the face to make a 60yd shot go 40 yds, those shots always carry the risk of catching it thin and skulling it well over the green.   however, because of the lower trajectory and naturally slower swing speed when flighting it, if you catch a flighted shot thing an skull it, its not nearly as detrimental as the mishit still goes about the same distance.  

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  • 1 month later...

So I was wondering about the spin on these flighted shots. I don’t just mean flighted as was described in the first post but rather 1/2 and 3/4 swings as well. 
 

Like I described in my my swing topic I was at the practice facility yesterday and I was hitting 1/2 shots from 60-70 yards out into a fake grass practice green. The shots into these practice greens are really hard to stop for me - at least they were with range balls and full swings. This time I took 5 pro v1s with me and these knockdown shots that flew REALLY low, like 5-8 yards in the air max, stoped on pretty much the first bounce. I heard somewhere that when you really lower the trajectory with a higher lofted club you actually add much more spin than for example hitting the same shot shape and distance with a “chipped” 9 iron. 
 

So I’m definitely going to practice that and try to implement it in my game. 
 

And the added benefit like stated in the post by @lastings above mine is that the risk of skulling one over the green is much less than with a higher lofted club. 

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Killa, I get very little backspin on my 9-iron chips.  I also get much less on my 2/3 swings than with the full swings.  But I just love having this shot in my bag.  I will take the roll.

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I have basically stopped taking a full swing from about 9 iron down. Just flighting all those shots seems to have improved accuracy. I can hit a 100 yard pitching wedge like a short pitch. Works really nice. I have also been taking a stab at doing it with all my irons to see what happens. Nice low controlled flight. 

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On 3/15/2020 at 6:13 PM, Killa said:

Like I described in my my swing topic I was at the practice facility yesterday and I was hitting 1/2 shots from 60-70 yards out into a fake grass practice green. The shots into these practice greens are really hard to stop for me - at least they were with range balls and full swings. This time I took 5 pro v1s with me and these knockdown shots that flew REALLY low, like 5-8 yards in the air max, stoped on pretty much the first bounce. I heard somewhere that when you really lower the trajectory with a higher lofted club you actually add much more spin than for example hitting the same shot shape and distance with a “chipped” 9 iron. 

Spin tends to max out around 45-50° spin loft. And slower clubhead speeds reduce spin, too.

I'd be surprised if:

  1. Your balls were only 5-8 yards peak height.
  2. They would behave like that on a relatively solid, firm golf course green. The landing angle had to be pretty small, even with 10-15 yards of height.
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17 hours ago, iacas said:

Spin tends to max out around 45-50° spin loft. And slower clubhead speeds reduce spin, too.

I'd be surprised if:

  1. Your balls were only 5-8 yards peak height.
  2. They would behave like that on a relatively solid, firm golf course green. The landing angle had to be pretty small, even with 10-15 yards of height.


I was really surprised by how the balls handled on the green. I can’t video it for now as the practice facility is closed. 
 

I mean I do get lots of backspin on my full iron shots on softer (natural grass) greens, I once had 12’ with a 7 iron but on these fake grass greens the ball usually releases quite a bit. And with the ball flight I had with these 1/2 swing flighted shots I was expecting the ball to roll massively but they checked up really fast to my surprise. 

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