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mvmac

How to "Flight" Your Wedges and Short Irons

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Interested in this topic although late to the table. Nice discussion and feedback. Usually play a partial to 3/4 knock down shot due to wind and few obstructions. Also, physical limitations restrict movement so this shot helps the most. I can control this shot nicely and hit it smoothly and accurately but when transitioning now to full shots with longer irons my tempo?? is off as I don't seem to fire correctly. More thin shots than I like as I sit in a my stance. I seem to want to lean back and hit it harder...need to fix. Ideas?? Thanks.

It's OT for this thread to talk about full swings, etc. but from the picture you posted AND your avatar, you turn very little and just use your arms, and I'd work on that. Start a My Swing thread or something.

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@Hatchman

It's OT for this thread to talk about full swings, etc. but from the picture you posted AND your avatar, you turn very little and just use your arms, and I'd work on that. Start a My Swing thread or something.

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Good advice iscas. I'll start a new thread to discuss full swings since I'll be released from long term PT soon and excited about TRYING to get a bigger turn and use other muscles.

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How important is it that the club only goes to vertical for a flighted shot? My full swing goes roughly to parallel and today when I attempted to flight my wedges/short irons (with some success) my playing partner indicated that, as well as gripping down, I was still taking the shaft to 45° past vertical.

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How important is it that the club only goes to vertical for a flighted shot? My full swing goes roughly to parallel and today when I attempted to flight my wedges/short irons (with some success) my playing partner indicated that, as well as gripping down, I was still taking the shaft to 45° past vertical.

Yeah for a flighted shot it should be a 3/4 swing (left pic) or shorter depending on how far/high you want to hit it.

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Thanks. My attempts at a 'flighted' swing went slightly past that point, but felt very controlled compared to my usual swing. However, the extra control could be down to my hands being half-way down the grip. I'm a relatively short hitter (7 iron carries 130ish yards), so I usually grip as high as possible and (probably) overswing to try and make up for it. I might need to make this shorter, controlled swing my stock swing in future and try a genuine, even shorter flighted swing once I've embedded that.

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Thanks. My attempts at a 'flighted' swing went slightly past that point, but felt very controlled compared to my usual swing. However, the extra control could be down to my hands being half-way down the grip. I'm a relatively short hitter (7 iron carries 130ish yards), so I usually grip as high as possible and (probably) overswing to try and make up for it. I might need to make this shorter, controlled swing my stock swing in future and try a genuine, even shorter flighted swing once I've embedded that.

I feel like that's a general thing I notice whenever I try to take shorter swings... I've read "feel ain't real" a few times around here.

That said, I like the concept presented in here. I struggle sometimes around 90-110 yards with a full swing SW, but might be much better suited to use a 'flighted' PW.

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I wouldn't really advocate putting the ball back in the stance that much. You can still flight your wedges with the ball more towards the middle of your stance. For Zach it works because he's really really good. It takes a lot of precision to hit the ball that solid from that far back in the stance.

Good point to raise. Maybe it depends a bit on your swing path. Steve Stricker's ball position is centered / slightly forward, but I think he comes through much shallower than Zach's coach was describing which sounds like more of an extreme 'trap draw'.

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tried this out yesterday after a range session and hit 13/18 greens.  For me, that's unheard of.  I had more birdie putts inside 15 feet than i've ever had in my life.  I didn't try to hit anything under a 6 iron with a full swing.  I have the distance down pretty well but I'm having issues controlling the height.  It wasn't too windy, but any time I was hitting in to the wind the ball would balloon.  The one thing I noticed I wasn't doing was the shorter follow through and I was making more of a full finish.  Could this be the cause of my problem?

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tried this out yesterday after a range session and hit 13/18 greens.  For me, that's unheard of.  I had more birdie putts inside 15 feet than i've ever had in my life.  I didn't try to hit anything under a 6 iron with a full swing.  I have the distance down pretty well but I'm having issues controlling the height.  It wasn't too windy, but any time I was hitting in to the wind the ball would balloon.  The one thing I noticed I wasn't doing was the shorter follow through and I was making more of a full finish.  Could this be the cause of my problem?


It could be, but I would suggest doing two other things into the wind:

  • Make sure the ball is not back in your stance. This steepens the AoA.
  • Make sure you're not taking too much loft. This increases dynamic loft, of course.

Both of these increase the spin loft which, basically, increases spin. The second requires increased clubhead speed over a lower-lofted club, which also increases spin.

Into the wind if you have a 65-yard shot, and you can play it with a 3/4 lob wedge, often a 1/2 sand wedge or even a shorter (gripped down more, perhaps, too) pitching wedge is the proper play.

P.S. I hope you stick around and post frequently, @MacGruber, because your username and avatar amuse me. :)

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tried this out yesterday after a range session and hit 13/18 greens.  For me, that's unheard of.  I had more birdie putts inside 15 feet than i've ever had in my life.  I didn't try to hit anything under a 6 iron with a full swing.  I have the distance down pretty well but I'm having issues controlling the height.  It wasn't too windy, but any time I was hitting in to the wind the ball would balloon.  The one thing I noticed I wasn't doing was the shorter follow through and I was making more of a full finish.  Could this be the cause of my problem?

I was thinking about what functionally relates the low hand finish to lower ball flight and I think it could support your height issues with a full finish.

Besides gravity aiding the release, any golfer who is straightening their left leg / left side through impact is creating a parametric acceleration with their rising left shoulder akin to a 'whip-cracking' motion. I think the intention of low hands at the finish helps keep the left shoulder lower through impact, allowing the hands to stay more ahead of the clubhead and de-loft the club versus the clubhead release rate and therefore positive loft change rate up to impact being enhanced by the upward left side torque in a regular full swing.

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I was thinking about what functionally relates the low hand finish to lower ball flight and I think it could support your height issues with a full finish. Besides gravity aiding the release, any golfer who is straightening their left leg / left side through impact is creating a parametric acceleration with their rising left shoulder, akin to a 'whip-cracking' motion. I think the intention of low hands at the finish helps keep the left shoulder lower through impact, allowing the hands to stay more ahead of the clubhead and de-loft the club versus the clubhead release rate and therefore loft increase being enhanced by the upward left side torque in a regular full swing.

I think you might be overthinking it. Swinging to a full finish (without faking it) requires more clubhead speed. Higher speed means more spin and higher apex of flight. Swinging to a lower finish just gets you to swing slower and easier to control. It's also why you make a shorter backswing and choke down on the handle.

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I think you might be overthinking it. Swinging to a full finish (without faking it) requires more clubhead speed. Higher speed means more spin and higher apex of flight. Swinging to a lower finish just gets you to swing slower and easier to control. It's also why you make a shorter backswing and choke down on the handle.

Possibly, your point is valid. I expect it might be a little of both, though.

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Possibly, your point is valid. I expect it might be a little of both, though.


I think it's a lot more of @billchao 's point than yours. Parametric acceleration? Really? The left shoulder is always working up in the golf swing. At 90° turn it's as low as it's going to get, and if it stays low it can simply lead to steeper AoAs and more spin that way, too.

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I think it's a lot more of @billchao's point than yours. Parametric acceleration? Really? The left shoulder is always working up in the golf swing. At 90° turn it's as low as it's going to get, and if it stays low it can simply lead to steeper AoAs and more spin that way, too.

Yes, possibly. Sure L shoulder is always working up relative to it's height on a full b/s, but does it rise through impact appreciably less with a 'flighted finish' than on a 'full finish' swing. Try a short backswing (L arm parallel) with intention to come to a full 'powered' (left side extended and hands high) finish vs. a long / full backswing (w/ same amoung of wrist hinge) with a low 'held off' finish (L arm parallel). Which ball goes higher?

Could also compare your L shoulder height and hand path through impact with your regular wedge swing vs. the lower 'flighted' finish. Haven't done it myself so I'd be curious to see.

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Yes, possibly. Sure L shoulder is always working up relative to it's height on a full b/s, but does it rise through impact appreciably less with a 'flighted finish' than on a 'full finish' swing.

And yet, at impact, they're going to be at about the same point . Who cares what happens after the ball has left?

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