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How to "Flight" Your Wedges and Short Irons

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I've been trying to work this into my normal play, and I've found my miss is a pull. Any idea why?

Have you filmed any of these swings? Are the arms synced with the pivot?

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Have you filmed any of these swings? Are the arms synced with the pivot?

You'd think having been here so long id just skip straight to that part, lol. The answer is, of course, no, I haven't recorded any. I'll get on that.

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Ive found i pull when i attrmpt this but i think i just need to sync up. Think my hands get through to quick

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

Absolutely what happens at impact is what matters.

I am suggesting the dynamics related to the different finish intentions (as well as setup) have an effect on the amount of delofting carried from the float load / wrist cock on the b/s to impact. A slight increase of tug away from the L hip by the L shoulder should affect the rate of shaft rotation around the wrist pivot point and how much dynamic loft is presented at impact. With the slight head shift toward the target on the flighted shot and IMO the slightly less L side extension helps keep the hands more ahead of the clubhead and less dynamic loft (a bit more R wrist cup / dorsiflexion) for a lower shot.

I think there is more L side extension in the full wedge shot than is evident just from L shoulder height relative to the ground, because the greater secondary axis tilt lowers the height of the left shoulder relative to where it would be with a more 'covered' shot with the same amount of L side extension (L shoulder moving away from L hip). That's why I think it's contributing something. I see slightly more change in shoulder height relative to the ground from b/s to just past impact in the full wedge swing vs the flighted shot, which owing to a larger secondary axis tilt seems to be evidence of noticeably more L shoulder extension away from the L hip.

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I am suggesting the dynamics related to the different finish intentions (as well as setup) have an effect on the amount of delofting carried from the float load / wrist cock on the b/s to impact. A slight increase of tug away from the L hip by the L shoulder should affect the rate of shaft rotation around the wrist pivot point and how much dynamic loft is presented at impact. With the slight head shift toward the target on the flighted shot and IMO the slightly less L side extension helps keep the hands more ahead of the clubhead and less dynamic loft (a bit more R wrist cup / dorsiflexion) for a lower shot.

I don't think there's much difference, and since we're talking about something both of us are picturing in our minds, I don't see much value in talking about this as we're likely picturing different things and thus aren't on the same page.

I can finish high or low and hit the same shot… it just depends on how much I "coast" my finish, adding nothing to impact.

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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. :)


Thanks for the advice Erik (and your reply as well natureboy).  I played again on Sunday and things went better.  I was definitely a "stupid monkey" on Saturday and was thinking 3/4 shots for everything and completely forgetting that I can just swing a little less with a different club!  My ball placement was a little too far back too I think.

I'll try to post more.  I usually just lurk around because I'm still pretty new to the game and there's a lot more people who are more knowledgeable than me.  Thanks again.

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I'll try to post more.  I usually just lurk around because I'm still pretty new to the game and there's a lot more people who are more knowledgeable than me.  Thanks again.

Brief aside (it's OT after all) but at an 8.6 index you're not "new to the game." :)

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I used this shot on Saturday to perfection. I was 78 yards into the wind to a back flag with ridge in the middle of the green. I was literally talking about this shot to my buddy I was playing with before we got to this hole. Instead of hitting my SW I grabbed my GW and flighted one. I played it to about 20 ft. A few feet long and a little left but it was in the right spot. I'm going to use this shot a lot inside of my full pw distance. Great thread thanks.

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I used this shot on Saturday to perfection.

I had one as well.  90 yards from the middle of the fairway.  Before this thread, I would try and muscle a lob wedge and the most likely result was less than solid contact - probably fat.  "Good" result likely included so much spin that it actually came back to me.

Instead, a smooth 3/4 SW and it bounced once and stopped 3' from the hole.  Extra satisfying when I saw the people on the next tee were watching. :-P

Overall, I'm loving this because my short iron shots are being hit with solid contact way more often, and it's easy to keep them online.  My miss with this shot is more likely to be a pull, whereas with a full swing, it was a push or weak cut.

Also, I'm still having trouble dialing in the distances.  The solid contact from this smoother and easier swing is, in many cases, counteracting the 3/4 length of it.  So, basically, I had my distances all wrong before because they were apparently based on slightly weaker off center hits.  Full swing 9 iron was 150 or so, and now my 3/4 "flighted" swing is ... well ... about 145.

But each round I'm liking this style of short iron play more and more and more. :beer:

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Also, I'm still having trouble dialing in the distances.  The solid contact from this smoother and easier swing is, in many cases, counteracting the 3/4 length of it.  So, basically, I had my distances all wrong before because they were apparently based on slightly weaker off center hits.  Full swing 9 iron was 150 or so, and now my 3/4 "flighted" swing is ... well ... about 145.

This is eerily similar to my experience (except you're a far better player and longer hitter than I!)

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Yeah. I admit I tend to just hit stock full swings unless closer than 90-100 yards with my 60˚. But I have a too big gap between my SW and PW (no GW for me, I like having a 5w/2h/2i and a 3i), so though I try to avoid it, I often end up having to hit a short PW for the approach. I hadn't seen this thread before, and I think I'll try this specific approach, but my self-taught method has just been fairly close: choke up a bit and try to take a shorter backswing. But I often end up feeling at the top like I'm gonna airmail the green, so I soften up and decelerate and either come up way short (90 yard PW when I'm aiming for 115 is always a bummer) or mishit, usually fat when I do.

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But I often end up feeling at the top like I'm gonna airmail the green, so I soften up and decelerate and either come up way short (90 yard PW when I'm aiming for 115 is always a bummer) or mishit, usually fat when I do.

Yeah that's the worst thing you can do. Make a conscious effort to shorten the backswing.

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I don't think there's much difference, and since we're talking about something both of us are picturing in our minds, I don't see much value in talking about this as we're likely picturing different things and thus aren't on the same page.

I can finish high or low and hit the same shot… it just depends on how much I "coast" my finish, adding nothing to impact.

Agreed it won't help you hit the shot better one way or the other. Just curious about why the low finish intention helps with a fairly small change in swing length.

I looked again and now think you're correct. The 9* of secondary axis tilt looks like the bigger difference affecting the hand / club path. Some parametric acceleration is likely there, but probably about same in both swings, but possibly occuring later in the flighted shot - maybe aiding the trajectory slightly. With more secondary axis tilt, upper spine is likely to dip a bit more relative to vertical without extension, but L shoulder will get higher at impact and right shoulder lower than the relatively more even shoulders with the flighted, 'covered' shot.

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Agreed it won't help you hit the shot better one way or the other. Just curious about why the low finish intention helps with a fairly small change in swing length. I looked again and now think you're correct. The 9* of secondary axis tilt looks like the bigger difference affecting the hand / club path. Some parametric acceleration is likely there, but probably about same in both swings, but possibly occuring later in the flighted shot - maybe aiding the trajectory slightly. With more secondary axis tilt, upper spine is likely to dip a bit more relative to vertical without extension, but L shoulder will get higher at impact and right shoulder lower than the relatively more even shoulders with the flighted, 'covered' shot.

It depends. Normal upright or flat swinger?

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It depends. Normal upright or flat swinger?

Not really. Nicklaus (upright) hit flighted shots and so did Hogan (flat) by shortening the backswing and followthrough.

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Not really. Nicklaus (upright) hit flighted shots and so did Hogan (flat) by shortening the backswing and followthrough.

Good points. I'm naturally more flat and trying to be a little more upright, another topic. Got some studying to do when the book arrives. Off to the course.

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Yeah that's the worst thing you can do. Make a conscious effort to shorten the backswing.

Ha.  Yeah, when I do practice my (hopefully previous!) version of this shot, I tend to do better with reps consciously shortening the backswing.  It's just that on the course I find it harder to get away from the default stock swing, so I'll end up with a backswing halfway between what I wanted and a full swing, then I'll semi-consciously panic and make a weak, very non-aggressive downswing with the bad consequences I mentioned above.

Just something else to practice more and get ingrained better...  I think the cut off finish and only partial roll out of the wrists will help, though I've had a long struggle with blocking shots, so I'm worried that move will require some work to not hit too high a percentage of blocks.

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