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Liko81

Filling the gap - Target distance intervals

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Hi guys,

I "gapped" my existing wedges yesterday evening and identified a potential problem. My pitching wedge, from my G10 set, is a 46*, super-game-improvement monster that, with a full swing in the launch bay at the FLGS, was tracing about 120 yards average total (and not much if that was rollout, maybe 5 yards). That's about what I've been expecting my 9-iron to do on an average day, so either I was really on it or this new sod-cutting approach I've been adopting with the short irons is really punching them out there.

Anyway, the problem was uncovered when I took the same full sod-cutter swing with my 52* Warrior gap wedge. That club is only going about 90 yards total, so I have a 30-yard gap between my set and my wedges. My 56* sand wedge, same brand/model, was a little closer to the gap at about 75 yards full swing, but the worrying thing was that 30-yard difference right around approach-stake distance. The reason is obvious; a six-degree difference between an extreme cavity-back wide-sole cast wedge and a slightly lower-cap oriented pair of thick forged bladelike wedges. I'm not even sure the length between the shafts of the PW and GW follows any recommended progression.

I demoed some of the Cally MD3 wedges in 50, 54 and 58* (all low- to mid-bounce so I could play with ball position to find what worked), and the 50 got me a little closer, but not as much as I expected. I was looking for a 105-yard club and I got closer to 98-yd. The other clubs fell into fairly regular ~15-yard intervals with the 54 averaging 85 yds and the 58 in the high 60s. So, by strengthening my gap and switching to post-2010 face tech I gain in the neighborhood of 10 yards, but that still leaves a fairly sizeable gap of 20 yards in my bag.

My options, as I see them, are:

1. Add a 48* wedge (or whatever will go 100-105) to what I have. I didn't demo the MD3 in a 48* loft but it's clear that as long as I'm rocking the Gs, the average standalone wedge won't be as distance-oriented, so I'll need a stronger loft to compensate. But, it'll probably be the first casualty after any upgrade to my numbered set (I've been casually looking to upgrade, but probably for the next year at least I'll stick with them), so I'll want to go real cheap, as cheap as finding/borrowing a 100yd club from some older set.

2. Go 50-54-58. If 20-15-15 is a reasonable interval set, cool. The wedges I have aren't conforming anyway and will be illegal in a few more years, so I might as well update. Only problem is that's the most expensive way forward right now even if I buy used.

3. Weaken my PW (or at least double-check it against the 8 and 9). I've had the lies adjusted recently, but I didn't pay as much attention to loft. If the pitching wedge is going about the same distance as my 9, then it's too strong; either it got knocked or the previous owner got it tweaked to adjust for his own swing preference. If my 8, 9 and PW all have consistent gaps (meaning I've simply gained about a club's distance over my expectations somewhere) then it's all about the differences between my set and my wedges.

4. Learn to soften the PW (or something stronger) when I need 100 instead of 120. This is something I would have been fine doing in the past, but reading up online many of the disadvantages of messing with swing power and tempo (like inconsistency) are things I've struggled with on the course, so the general advice of "stay full as often as you can" is something I'm trying to take to heart. But, depending on how many buckets it'll take to dial something in, simply backing off on a 9 or PW to about 80% power is the cheapest option of them all, unless someone gives me a free 100yd club.

Edited by Liko81

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Ok here's the thing, I thought the G10 was a 45°.

I suggest the following, get the matching U wedge. Then go speciality wedges with 54 and 58. Your gaps will be better.

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I like to keep things simple and typically carry less than 14 clubs.

Having said that, I recommend option four. You may be happier down the road knowing how to shoot a couple or three trajectories with your PW or a short iron.

Something else to consider - 120yds in the hitting bay. Will this always translate to your usual course conditions re: roll, wind, etc.? Will that 100yd GW always play 100yds? I've seen a lot of no in my own experience, especially in the full wedge attempts.

Good luck!

Edited by Tat14
typo

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I think the simplest solution is #1.  Fill your 30 yard gap with a new wedge.  But, that is probably dependent on what will come out of your bag.  I recently took out my 50* AW, and replaced it with a 48* and 52* so i can get better gapping between my 45* pitching wedge (~125) and that 50* AW (~95).  But that was an easy decision for me since I don't carry any hybrids, and don't ever play my 3W.

This means I'm carrying 5 wedges, but so what.  It what works for me and I have a club to swing fully and comfortably from as close as 60 yards in.  (Also, I think of my PW as more of a 10 iron than a wedge.)  If i ever find that I need to add the 3W back to my bag, its probably my 60* LW that will find its way back into the corner of the garage because filling those gaps between 80 and 125 yards has already proved to be beneficial.

The other solution would be for you to go with #4 if you feel like there isn't a club you want to take out of the bag to fit in a new wedge.  But you could always learn to hit new shots regardless of whether you carry another wedge or not.

Edited by bweiss711

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16 minutes ago, bweiss711 said:

I think the simplest solution is #1.  Fill your 30 yard gap with a new wedge.  But, that is probably dependent on what will come out of your bag.  I recently took out my 50* AW, and replaced it with a 48* and 52* so i can get better gapping between my 45* pitching wedge (~125) and that 50* AW (~95).  But that was an easy decision for me since I don't carry any hybrids, and don't ever play my 3W.

This means I'm carrying 5 wedges, but so what.  It what works for me and I have a club to swing fully and comfortably from as close as 60 yards in.  (Also, I think of my PW as more of a 10 iron than a wedge.)  If i ever find that I need to add the 3W back to my bag, its probably my 60* LW that will find its way back into the corner of the garage because filling those gaps between 80 and 125 yards has already proved to be beneficial.

The other solution would be for you to go with #4 if you feel like there isn't a club you want to take out of the bag to fit in a new wedge.  But you could always learn to hit new shots regardless of whether you carry another wedge or not.

What kind of PW do you have @bweiss711

I honestly don't think it is as simple as the loft of the wedges. The type of wedge is a big key as well. For example, I play Tour Edge Exotics EXI irons usually 5-PW, AW (sometimes to 4-iron finds it's way into the bag, the AW is on it's way to Tour Edge as it is currently in two pieces from hitting a shot out of the trees). EXI's are a forgiving player's iron. I hit my PW (45°) about 125 yards with a good swing, my AW (50°) goes 110 yards. If I play my TGS wedges (which I have to right now) my 50° only goes around 100 yards with a good swing... Gap wedges that are "irons" go further in my experience than GW that are "wedges".

Just my 2 cents.

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21 minutes ago, onthehunt526 said:

What kind of PW do you have @bweiss711

I honestly don't think it is as simple as the loft of the wedges. The type of wedge is a big key as well.

I have the TaylorMade Speedblades.  The pitching wedge looks just like the 8 and 9 irons... cavity back without the "speed pocket" of the 3i-7i.  The AW is also Speedblade branded, but is muscle backed. Looks like a totally different club.  So I agree that it wasn't just about loft in this instance. I believe the club design contributed to more than a 5* difference in clubs would suggest.

My wedges are Cleveland 588 RTX cavity back wedges, so they also just feel more natural to me for full swings.  After swapping out my 3W and the Speedblade AW for the Cleveland 48* and 52*, my gaps feel much more comfortable.

PW (45*) ~ 125 yds

48* ~ 105 yds

52* ~ 90 yds

56* ~ 75 yds

60* ~ 60 yds

Edited by bweiss711

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3 hours ago, Tat14 said:

I like to keep things simple and typically carry less than 14 clubs.

Having said that, I recommend option four. You may be happier down the road knowing how to shoot a couple or three trajectories with your PW or a short iron.

Something else to consider - 120yds in the hitting bay. Will this always translate to your usual course conditions re: roll, wind, etc.? Will that 100yd GW always play 100yds? I've seen a lot of no in my own experience, especially in the full wedge attempts.

Good luck!

Thanks for the vote. Yeah, I know the launch bay isn't the real world (not my ball, not my course's turf, no wind, ball flight based on high-speed of maybe a tenth of a second), but they were my clubs and as close to the same swing as I could produce, so if there's a gap in the launch bay there will be a gap at the range and on the course. Wherever the gap ends up in real-world conditions on the day, be that between 90-120 yards just like the bay, or 75-100 in realer conditions, 25-30 yards difference between two clubs at the short end of the bag seems steep, hence the question.

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33 minutes ago, Liko81 said:

...be that between 90-120 yards just like the bay, or 75-100 in realer conditions, 25-30 yards difference between two clubs at the short end of the bag seems steep, hence the question.

I get it. My main point was option four yields you gaining (or refining) the ability to hit different clubs 100yds or so. I have found it handier than depending on full swings with wedges that close.

Years ago, I noticed a main difference between myself and my better playing pals was the approach they had to, umm, approaches. I was thinking "what's my 90yd club" while they would think "what do I want to hit 90yds from here, in this lie, at that green, etc." Does that make sense?

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2 hours ago, bweiss711 said:

I think the simplest solution is #1.  Fill your 30 yard gap with a new wedge.  But, that is probably dependent on what will come out of your bag.  I recently took out my 50* AW, and replaced it with a 48* and 52* so i can get better gapping between my 45* pitching wedge (~125) and that 50* AW (~95).  But that was an easy decision for me since I don't carry any hybrids, and don't ever play my 3W.

This means I'm carrying 5 wedges, but so what.  It what works for me and I have a club to swing fully and comfortably from as close as 60 yards in.  (Also, I think of my PW as more of a 10 iron than a wedge.)  If i ever find that I need to add the 3W back to my bag, its probably my 60* LW that will find its way back into the corner of the garage because filling those gaps between 80 and 125 yards has already proved to be beneficial.

The other solution would be for you to go with #4 if you feel like there isn't a club you want to take out of the bag to fit in a new wedge.  But you could always learn to hit new shots regardless of whether you carry another wedge or not.

I am at 14 clubs (D, 3w, 4h, 8 matched irons 3-PW, GW, SW, P) so yes, I will have to cut down. I will probably remove the 3-iron; I hardly ever hit it, it's theoretically my 190-yard club but choking down on my 3w produces a near-identical flight, and I'll still have the 4i for punching under trees. Adding a 48* wedge will give me 4 wedges which is pretty standard, just a little more lifted than I thought it would be.

The suggestion of looking for the G10 UW is intriguing, I'd actually not thought of that. Trouble is the age and availability; G10s seem to be holding their used value fairly well compared to clubs of similar age, and not many people are giving them up. 2nd Swing doesn't currently have any UWs that are an exact match (basically RH, AWT steel reg flex, red or black dot). eBay does, but the best match is up in Canada, so we're talking $10 shipping plus a two-week hold at customs. But, I don't play every week and I've used the short-game setup I've had for about 5 years, so what's two weeks?

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41 minutes ago, Tat14 said:

I get it. My main point was option four yields you gaining (or refining) the ability to hit different clubs 100yds or so. I have found it handier than depending on full swings with wedges that close.

Years ago, I noticed a main difference between myself and my better playing pals was the approach they had to, umm, approaches. I was thinking "what's my 90yd club" while they would think "what do I want to hit 90yds from here, in this lie, at that green, etc." Does that make sense?

Makes sense. My counter is, 30-capper playing 8-year-old SGI duffhammers. I do have an "11:30" swing and a "9:00" swing (essentially 1/3 and 2/3 of full) that will play through practically all my irons and even to my 3w, but shot power in this neverland of partial swings varies to widely for me to trust them much as far as distance. Obviously I should practice these, but a full-swing club in this distance range certainly wouldn't hurt (not when I have a club I can easily give up to get it).

Edited by Liko81

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4 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Ok here's the thing, I thought the G10 was a 45°.

I suggest the following, get the matching U wedge. Then go speciality wedges with 54 and 58. Your gaps will be better.

Every chart or listing I've seen for the G10 set has shown the PW at 46* with 10* bounce. I've also heard Ping's factory QA can be as far off as 2*, and these are 8 years old and bought at least secondhand. So my specific pitching wedge could well be 45*, it's just not supposed to be given stock specs.

You might be thinking of the 2009 update to the series, the G15, which is indeed a 45* PW. All G-series irons after the 15s also have a 45* "10-iron".

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To @Tat14's point, I think I'm generally more in the camp of just dial in your full swings and some stock short game shots until you're pretty good.  But there's some truth in what he says.  It's not a bad idea to look at the thread on flighting down your short irons and wedges.  Should be findable with a forum search for flight down or flighting down.  I recommend that because as a high capper it might actually end up being easy to dial those in than your stock shots, and then gives you two options at many yardages.

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