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How to "Flight" Your Wedges and Short Irons

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While I can't control the flight (altitude) and spin the way you guys can, I started using one club longer on shots 110 yards and in at the beginning of the season. It's far from automatic, but the control is so much better.

To give an example, I hit a green from 80 yards recently and was momentarily disappointed that it hit the left side of the green with a right hole location. The distance was right, but on this day in particular, my control had been so good that this felt like a fail. I quickly came to my senses and realized how thankful I should be just to hit a green.

My technique is to address the ball with more weight on my front foot, forward shaft lean, and control the distance with where I grip the club and/or how high my hands go up on the backswing. I don't consciously try to restrict my followthrough, that just kind of happens. Used it for the first time today with a 9i and hit a GIR. Just like everything else about my game however, there are days when even this shot doesn't work.

A little off topic and for that I apologize in advance, but I'm wondering if the concept works for longer clubs.

If the concept with irons is that you gain more control by hitting a 3/4 8-iron instead of a full 9-iron (and I'm on board with that, been doing it for a few weeks, and finding success) then why not, in the case of a short dogleg par 4, for example, play a "flighted" driver instead of a full 3 wood?  Similarly, where 3 wood might be too much and you're thinking about hybrid, go with a "flighted" 3 wood?

Hope I don't sound like a high 'capper know-it-all, but because I have a substantial gap between my 4i and my 5w, a pro suggested I learn how to take something off my full swing with the 5w. Pretty much the same thing - less distance, more control. I only use this shot for longish par 3's or really tight approaches that I'd have trouble reaching with the 4i. Same technique as my full swing except I grip down on the club and make a slightly abbreviated backswing/followthrough.

Not suggesting that this is something anyone else should do. It's just that learning and developing different shots is part of what I enjoy about the game.

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As additional help, I wonder of the new KBS 610 wedge line will help, or a blend of 610 and HiRev 2.0 with flighting wedges.

The 610 lowers launch a bit for higher speed players while allowing the ball to stop within a few feet of touch down. It is butt stiff and loses that stiffness about 14 in from the tip. The HiRev 2.0 offers 250 added rpm's over the HiRev ... goes a tad higher for the height challenged. Probably not good for guys with high speed or already spin it back.

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But yeah, below a 9I, "flighted" or "chippy" shots don't often work out well at all in the U.S.

Good for trouble shots where you have to keep the ball low, though an even lower finish might be called for.

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Zach Johnson hit a bunch of flighted wedges this week.

So? All he got for it is was some really old wine jug with a bunch of other people's names on it!

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Zach Johnson hit a bunch of flighted wedges this week.

I noticed that too and thought of this thread!  If it's good enough for a 2 time major champion, it's good enough for me!

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As usual you guys are right and my initial thoughts are wrong. I've been hitting my short irons really well lately so I basically ignored this thread. Well today I came back to earth and was struggling with the short irons. I was 129 away from the middle of the fairway. I grabbed PW then put it back. I said what the hell, it's flighting time baby. Took out my 9, choked up, took a 3/4 swing, stopped my follow through halfway up and the ball stuck 5 feet from the pin for my best shot of the day.

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That's not really a related video. Joe's talking about the low checking pitch shot, not a flighted wedge shot from 100 yards or whatever.

I was told videos for this shot yardage were not related. But I agree that much of the mechanics are quite similar. Amount of speed through the ball and amount of kinetic sequence would be different on shorter pitches than 100 yard shots, but probably along a continuum rather than a hard boundary.

What Joe Mayo said in the video I posted about 'zipping the hands left' is very evident in Zac Johnson's stills in the thread. It seems like the finish is along a flatter plane than a typical full swing (though I think Zac's regular motion is usually more 'around' than most PGA swings). The left shoulder is moving away from the ball a bit more horizontally than vertically at impact. I think this along with hand path helps reduce the vertical rotation rate (vertical release) of the shaft around the wrist pivot point. This means less loft is being added to the clubface through the strike than typical, making it easier to maintain the original shaft lean without extra effort / hand speed.

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I was told videos for this shot yardage were not related.

No, you were told that specific video (a high-spinning pitch shot) was not related.

Flighting your wedges often involves a bit less spin, for one.

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No, you were told that specific video (a high-spinning pitch shot) was not related.

Flighting your wedges often involves a bit less spin, for one.

The label on that video said low-flighted high-spin wedge. The distance covered was within 10 yards of the two I posted. I commend Mike for including it. The thread title is 'flighted' wedges. That means primarily trajectory, right? But fair point about the amount of spin. What are Mike's Trackman numbers on the 'flighted' shot versus a stock wedge?

It appears on tv that a stock 'flighted' wedge for the PGA has a lower trajectory, but with a bit more spin than I would expect for the 25% shorter b/s. So would Mike's spin rate be 25% less with a flighted wedge vs. a stock wedge at 100 yards? How much does his run-out increase on the flighted shot at 100 yards?

My point is back to the variations in types of lower trajectory shots. A real 'links knockdown' for hitting into a strong headwind is intended to be both a low trajectory and low spin shot...often 2-3 extra clubs - a shorter b/s - and much less wrist cock - played for almost as much run-out as carry. The idea is to minimize the effect of the wind by keeping the ball close to the ground where wind velocity is lowest and making use of the firm fairways. If the PGA stock flighted wedge was very low spin, wouldn't we see a ton of run-out with the lower trajectory on their firm & fast greens rather than the more typical 2-hop & stop? Wouldn't they be landing well short of the green and running it on vs. carrying to the green like I usually see? That's why I think there is overlap in the mechanics between the 50-yard pitch / wedge in those videos and the longer flighted short irons...depending on the intentions for the trajectory and the run-out.

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The label on that video said low-flighted high-spin wedge. The distance covered was within 10 yards of the two I posted. I commend Mike for including it. The thread title is 'flighted' wedges. That means primarily trajectory, right? But fair point about the amount of spin.

It's simply not the type of shot being discussed.

…often 2-3 extra clubs - a shorter b/s - and much less wrist cock - played for almost as much run-out as carry.

A shot that runs out almost as much as it carries is also not the type of shot we're talking about.

If you don't know what a "flighted" wedge is by this point, I can't help you. I don't care about Dave Pelz, I don't care about how someone else might use the term - we've used it pretty consistently and demonstrated the shot we're talking about, and have talked about it. I think it's been pretty clear.

A flighted wedge:

  • Goes a bit lower.
  • Spins a bit less.
  • Is often hit by gripping down slightly.
  • Has a shorter backswing and follow-through.
  • Can be played from 70-150 yards or so (I can flight a 7I)*.
  • Uses "Full Swing Motion" mechanics.

* Yardages vary by person.

It's not a chip shot. It's not a pitch. It's not a lob, or a flop, or a short game shot. So, further discussion about the definition and what or what doesn't qualify is unnecessary.

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The label on that video said low-flighted high-spin wedge. The distance covered was within 10 yards of the two I posted. I commend Mike for including it. The thread title is 'flighted' wedges. That means primarily trajectory, right? But fair point about the amount of spin. What are Mike's Trackman numbers on the 'flighted' shot versus a stock wedge?

You're reading too much into the caption. The club is a high lofted wedge hit with speed and full swing mechanics, so yeah it's going to have a good amount of spin on it.

It appears on tv that a stock 'flighted' wedge for the PGA has a lower trajectory, but with a bit more spin than I would expect for the 25% shorter b/s.

Why? Pros will sometimes go with a flighted shot so the ball doesn't spin too much, more of a "drop and stop", or a one hop and stop shot.

How much does his run-out increase on the flighted shot at 100 yards?

There isn't any run out on a flighted shot.

My point is back to the variations in types of lower trajectory shots. A real 'links knockdown' for hitting into a strong headwind is intended to be both a low trajectory and low spin shot...often 2-3 extra clubs - a shorter b/s - and much less wrist cock - played for almost as much run-out as carry. The idea is to minimize the effect of the wind by keeping the ball close to the ground where wind velocity is lowest and making use of the firm fairways. If the PGA stock flighted wedge was very low spin, wouldn't we see a ton of run-out with the lower trajectory on their firm & fast greens rather than the more typical 2-hop & stop? Wouldn't they be landing well short of the green and running it on vs. carrying to the green like I usually see? That's why I think there is overlap in the mechanics between the 50-yard pitch / wedge in those videos and the longer flighted short irons...depending on the intentions for the trajectory and the run-out.

We're not talking about a "links knockdown" shot. The shot described in this thread is one where the ball lands on the green (maybe hops once or twice depending on the club) and stops.

That's why I think there is overlap in the mechanics between the 50-yard pitch / wedge in those videos and the longer flighted short irons...depending on the intentions for the trajectory and the run-out.

Completely different shots and not the topic of the thread. The swing I posted illustrates it's not a pitch.

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I was reminded of this thread yesterday in the round with @SavvySwede e, we hit identical tee shots within a few yards of each other. With the wind blowing left to right, he hits a flighted wedge that held the line and just missed staying on the middle tier of the green. I hit a full SW that the wind carried all the way into the right greenside bunker. Lesson learned.

I made up for it with a good flighted wedge later in the round.

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It's simply not the type of shot being discussed.

 

 

A shot that runs out almost as much as it carries is also not the type of shot we're talking about.

 

If you don't know what a "flighted" wedge is by this point, I can't help you. I don't care about Dave Pelz, I don't care about how someone else might use the term - we've used it pretty consistently and demonstrated the shot we're talking about, and have talked about it. I think it's been pretty clear.

 

A flighted wedge:

Goes a bit lower.

Spins a bit less.

Is often hit by gripping down slightly.

Has a shorter backswing and follow-through.

Can be played from 70-150 yards or so (I can flight a 7I)*.

Uses "Full Swing Motion" mechanics.

 

* Yardages vary by person.

 

It's not a chip shot. It's not a pitch. It's not a lob, or a flop, or a short game shot. So, further discussion about the definition and what or what doesn't qualify is unnecessary

That's a helpful clarification - amount of spin reduction is not as much as a 'full knockdown' type shot.

The reference to terminology is relevant as Joe Mayo calls the shot a 'pitch' because of the length of the shot, but the mechanics he describes appear to me right in line with the 'flighted wedge' shot that you & Mike descibe, as demonstrated in Zac Johnson's finish, and seen in the low-flight, high spin shot with a high lofted club video that Mike posted. I understand that a 'pitch' for you involves different mechanics, but some use the term 'pitch' just to describe a shorter length shot - regardless of mechanics.

 

You're reading too much into the caption. The club is a high lofted wedge hit with speed and full swing mechanics, so yeah it's going to have a good amount of spin on it.

 

 

 

Why? Pros will sometimes go with a flighted shot so the ball doesn't spin too much, more of a "drop and stop", or a one hop and stop shot.

 

 

There isn't any run out on a flighted shot.

 

 

We're not talking about a "links knockdown" shot. The shot described in this thread is one where the ball lands on the green (maybe hops once or twice depending on the club) and stops. 

 

Completely different shots and not the topic of the thread. The swing I posted illustrates it's not a pitch.

 

I think it would be really instructive to see the difference in the shots on a launch monitor so we can see how the change in mechanics affects the impact parameters and the ball flight.

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