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Can't hit my 56 off the mat - and a question about aim


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On the course the 56 is one of my more reliable clubs. 

But on  the mat I seem to have a lot of thin shots and that bothers me. Am I supposed to be hitting the ball 1st? I've heard conflicting advice about "sliding the club under the ball". 

On the course I think I'm aiming just at the point the ball meets the ground and that works. Whether I'm hitting  ground first, ball first, or almost simultaneously, I'm not really sure.

Is there something special about the mats with a high lofted wedge that I'm overlooking?

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IDK. I have never really thought about hitting lofted wedges off of mats. I am not much of a divot taker with any of my irons, but I do tend to mark the turf in front of the ball more so with my wedges. Since it's impossible to take divots using a smooth mat, I don't hit wedges off of mats. Some mats are not designed for hitting down on the ball. 

Of course with all my irons I strive to hit the ball first, then the turf. Actually I like to hit the ball a little on the thin side, which for me, gives me consistent distances  with each if my irons.

For my thin, pick the ball clean impact, I aim forward, towards the front of the ball. I never aim to hit behind the ball. I also never ground my club behind the ball at address. 

 

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This would be speculation without seeing it but you should always hit the ball first except in bunker style shots. My guess is that you flip your club and the mat keeps the bounce from being flush with the mat's surface.  

It doesn't seem like you know how to hit a 56 wedge properly according to what you have written. They should be hit with a downward blow, ball first and hands in front of the club head. @mvmac has some videos on here. I used figjam's secrets of the short game to learn. 

Edited by Valleygolfer
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Change where you are aiming at. Especially with the 56.. If you look at a 5 iron, the approach angle of the club (the angle from the sweetspot to the leading edge) to the ball is much different than a 56... Try aiming at the target side front edge of the ball, not the spot where the ball is on the ground. Should also help to hit down on the ball a bit more and get more spin. 

As mentioned, ball first except in particular circumstances like bunkers or desperate flop shots from deep rough that require a bunker "like" swing.

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10 hours ago, gregsandiego said:

But on  the mat I seem to have a lot of thin shots and that bothers me. Am I supposed to be hitting the ball 1st? I've heard conflicting advice about "sliding the club under the ball".

What type of shot are you hitting?

If you are hitting a full shot, then the ball should be closer to the middle of your stance. You want to hit the ball first.

If you are hitting pitch shots, then you want it to slide under the ball.

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16 hours ago, Valleygolfer said:

This would be speculation without seeing it but you should always hit the ball first except in bunker style shots. My guess is that you flip your club and the mat keeps the bounce from being flush with the mat's surface.  

It doesn't seem like you know how to hit a 56 wedge properly according to what you have written. They should be hit with a downward blow, ball first and hands in front of the club head. @mvmac has some videos on here. I used figjam's secrets of the short game to learn. 

Thank you. It's that "sliding under thing" that I didn't invent. I know I hear it...

13 hours ago, saevel25 said:

What type of shot are you hitting?

If you are hitting a full shot, then the ball should be closer to the middle of your stance. You want to hit the ball first.

If you are hitting pitch shots, then you want it to slide under the ball.

I knew it! See - some people do say "slide under". If you slide under you are hitting the ground first, right ??

11 hours ago, Hacker James said:

Use the bounce. I seem to recall a thread specific to this. 

If you find it let me know... I'll do a search.

10 hours ago, Valleygolfer said:

@gregsandiego Do you have a swing thread?

No, sorry.

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Do you think it could be a subconcious thing as in your mind telling you that you cant take a divot on the matt and if you do you slam the club into the ground and possibly hurt your hands/wrists?

Just speculation but if you hit your 56 good off turf then your technique cant be that bad.

I could be talking bollocks, which i have been known to do from time to time :-D.

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8 hours ago, gregsandiego said:

I knew it! See - some people do say "slide under". If you slide under you are hitting the ground first, right ??

Not necessarily. It's more of a visual. For PITCH shots, you want the club to slide/glide under the ball more. This happens because the bounce helps the club from digging into the ground. You still want to hit the ball first most of the time. It's just the club helps you if you don't. With a good wedge (52, 56, 60, etc..), you can hit slightly behind the ball and get away with it.

On a Full Swing, you do not want to have that pitching motion. You want to strike the ball first. The leading edge will dig into the ground like any other iron.

33 minutes ago, RussUK said:

Do you think it could be a subconcious thing as in your mind telling you that you cant take a divot on the matt and if you do you slam the club into the ground and possibly hurt your hands/wrists?

Just speculation but if you hit your 56 good off turf then your technique cant be that bad.

I could be talking bollocks, which i have been known to do from time to time :-D.

This could be true. I remember a club fitter telling me once, that golfers will tend not to hit the lie angle board because they know it's not grass. It could take a few tries to actually hit it.

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 9:49 AM, Hacker James said:

Use the bounce. I seem to recall a thread specific to this. 

this is not exactly the one I recall, but you may find it helpful

(never mind...bad link), but you can search google for 

Using bounce in wedges  there are several, one that seems germane is from Andrew Rice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hacker James
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13 hours ago, saevel25 said:

Not necessarily. It's more of a visual. For PITCH shots, you want the club to slide/glide under the ball more. This happens because the bounce helps the club from digging into the ground. You still want to hit the ball first most of the time. It's just the club helps you if you don't. With a good wedge (52, 56, 60, etc..), you can hit slightly behind the ball and get away with it.

On a Full Swing, you do not want to have that pitching motion. You want to strike the ball first. The leading edge will dig into the ground like any other iron.

This could be true. I remember a club fitter telling me once, that golfers will tend not to hit the lie angle board because they know it's not grass. It could take a few tries to actually hit it.

Now we are getting somewhere. I think I usually do good on nice fluffy grass and my Cleveland 56 somehow lets me get away with that. 

7 hours ago, Hacker James said:

this is not exactly the one I recall, but you may find it helpful

(never mind...bad link), but you can search google for 

Using bounce in wedges  there are several, one that seems germane is from Andrew Rice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will look for it.

 

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8 hours ago, gregsandiego said:

Now we are getting somewhere. I think I usually do good on nice fluffy grass and my Cleveland 56 somehow lets me get away with that. 

ThIs confirms my suspicion. How far do you hit the club? 

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Practicing with a mat does not always yield reliable feedback according to some. Of course there are some good mats that provide feedback owing to how they are constructed, gel, motion, whatever, simulating the taking of a divot.

One easy way that I use is place a very short rubber tee in a small, light weight hitting mat. The tee protrudes only a fraction of an inch above the mat surface. If you manage to hit the ball first, the mat should remain in place indicating the taking of a divot in front of the ball.   Should you hit  behind the ball, you will hit the tee and mat will fly out in  front of you.  Simple, yet effective. Not as good as real turf though.  

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Note: This thread is 961 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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