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Moxley

62/64 Wedge for hard lies?

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I've been toying with what to do when replacing my Lob wedge, which I'd now like to do. I have a 60 degree lob wedge, which I don't tend to carry because it's really old (worn grooves) and I like my 54 for most shots.

The problem I have is that my home course has very hard ground (sandy) , which I find difficult to chip or pitch from, and can suffer from catching it thin with my 54. This is especially the case when 54 might not be enough and I want to bring it down steeper.   What I'd like is a club that I can use to pick the ball with a (somewhat) square face and get it high. I'm already competent at this shot with my 60 but I figure a bit more loft will make hitting these shots easier as I won't have to open the face as much. I also wonder whether it might give me another option out of bunkers when I need more loft (again, a couple of these are somewhat hard). 

I don't use these clubs for full shots (or indeed shots where I have any other choice) so I don't need to worry about suitability other than for specialist shots. I'm not concerned about loss of distance because I only use it close to the green, so I guess distance control is the main drawback of having so much loft?  

Any thoughts much appreciated. 

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This was done with a wedge that has 22° bounce:

Short answer is that you can pitch from hardpan type lies with a lot of different types of clubs, though I'd avoid high bounce PLUS wide sole.

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Like any tough shot in golf, the more you practice it, the easier it gets. 

As mentioned above by @Iacas, many different clubs can be used with tight pitching lies. 

Less lofted, stronger clubs can used just by opening the club face a little. 

Heck, even a fairway metal can be used in the right conditions. Just grip down, and "putt" ball up to the target

Experiment with different clubs, and see what you can come up with. Learning different shots, using different clubs is one of the more satisfying thing in golf. 

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I have had a Callaway 64 degree with 9 degrees of bounce in my bag for years.  Gotta be careful with sandy lies in the fairway or rough, sometimes you go right under it.

It's a great club for those flops and short sided shots.  I do hit full shots with too.

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@iacas thanks , although I have found it more difficult with a lot of bounce - I think it's because I can get a little steep, whereas the video talks about a shallow aoa. 

@Patch I'm talking about shots where I need to lob the ball up  - when I have an alternative (e.g. bump and run) I invariably take it. 

@Typhoon92 Good to know thanks.

 

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How high are you trying to lob the ball up?  I can get the ball about chest high off of thin carpet on concrete with a normal pitch using my mid bounce 58*.  No need to open up the face either.  This club does just fine if I need to get over a bunker or something, is this the kind of shot you're referring to?

I personally really like higher bounce off tight lies since it gives a little more surface area to glide along the ground if you're off a touch before impact.  I get that if you had more loft you could get the ball up higher with the same swing, but I'd worry about what @Typhoon92 mentioned and just generally being less consistent with that amount of loft.  But it sounds like you've got a spot in the bag that you don't mind using, so whatever makes you more comfortable.

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I read when I was a new golfer that amateurs (I think from Butch Harmon or someone like him in a magazine) should never use a wedge above 58 degrees, so when I bought my first wedges around that time I stopped at 58 degrees and have never wavered.  I have no reason to hit the ball higher than a 58 allows.  My current 58 has 8 degrees of bounce and a grind that allows me to open up the face quite easily.  As mentioned earlier, occasionally in the wrong conditions you can slide under the ball, but if you couldn't it would be easy and then it wouldn't be golf.

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One of the guys in our group asked my to show him how to hit a high green side lob.  He has a 60 degree wedge and is about a 10 handicap.  He practices it and does a fair job pulling it off...he is happy with the results.

Should he get a 64 degree?...no.  He doesn't practice nearly enough and will hit more bad shots than good ones.  The 60 is more forgiving and will be better for him in the long run.  Also, for him and his practice time...less choices so he can work more on that shot with the one club.

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2 hours ago, Typhoon92 said:

One of the guys in our group asked my to show him how to hit a high green side lob.  He has a 60 degree wedge and is about a 10 handicap.  He practices it and does a fair job pulling it off...he is happy with the results.

Should he get a 64 degree?...no.  He doesn't practice nearly enough and will hit more bad shots than good ones.  The 60 is more forgiving and will be better for him in the long run.  Also, for him and his practice time...less choices so he can work more on that shot with the one club.

How is a 60 wedge more forgiving than a 64 degree? I think forgiving is actually the wrong word because if the bounce of the clubs being compared is the same, or greater than the angle of attack then a 64 degree wedge is actually more "forgiving" because as loft increases it becomes more difficult to tilt the spin axis of the shot and create draws and fades.  That being said you will inherently hit a 64 degree wedge straighter than a 60 degree wedge.  

Now there will come a point where you don't hit a certain loft far enough for it to have use in your bag but that is a different story.  I can hit 100 yard moon balls with my 65 degree wedge if need be and it is extremely useful around the greens for me because a stock shot comes out of the shot window that I want to see my pitch shots come out of and it allows for a fuller swing on 40-70 yards shots which is huge for me.  That being said my friend hit a 64 degree wedge about 40 yards on a full swing so the club just isn't useful to him at all. He played with a long drive guy that carried an 80 degree wedge but when your swing speed is 140 mph then you need that loft to help you hit short game shots because the guy hits sand wedge 150 yards! 

In regards to bounce....I love bounce...the more the better!  I hate it when my wedges dig into the turf and I can't think of many situations where bounce isn't your friend.  That being said even if you were hitting  a shot off a tile floor you have 60 ish or more degrees of loft on a shot struck with square club face so that is enough to get you out of most situations no doubt.  The lie will dictate how much you can open the face and expose bounce but you should have enough loft to work with in most situations even from the tightest lies. 

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49 minutes ago, Righty to Lefty said:

How is a 60 wedge more forgiving than a 64 degree? I think forgiving is actually the wrong word because if the bounce of the clubs being compared is the same, or greater than the angle of attack then a 64 degree wedge is actually more "forgiving" because as loft increases it becomes more difficult to tilt the spin axis of the shot and create draws and fades.  That being said you will inherently hit a 64 degree wedge straighter than a 60 degree wedge.  

Now there will come a point where you don't hit a certain loft far enough for it to have use in your bag but that is a different story.  I can hit 100 yard moon balls with my 65 degree wedge if need be and it is extremely useful around the greens for me because a stock shot comes out of the shot window that I want to see my pitch shots come out of and it allows for a fuller swing on 40-70 yards shots which is huge for me.  That being said my friend hit a 64 degree wedge about 40 yards on a full swing so the club just isn't useful to him at all. He played with a long drive guy that carried an 80 degree wedge but when your swing speed is 140 mph then you need that loft to help you hit short game shots because the guy hits sand wedge 150 yards! 

In regards to bounce....I love bounce...the more the better!  I hate it when my wedges dig into the turf and I can't think of many situations where bounce isn't your friend.  That being said even if you were hitting  a shot off a tile floor you have 60 ish or more degrees of loft on a shot struck with square club face so that is enough to get you out of most situations no doubt.  The lie will dictate how much you can open the face and expose bounce but you should have enough loft to work with in most situations even from the tightest lies. 

Really interesting post, thank you. I think your last paragraph sums up what attracts me to this option.

On a technical point though, I would have thought it would be easier to tilt the spin axis on a 64, because more loft above 45 degrees (unless delofted to 45 which is unlikely at these lofts) would reduce friction and thus backspin? That said, lateral accuracy would normally be a secondary concern for me with this type of shot. 

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1 hour ago, Moxley said:

Really interesting post, thank you. I think your last paragraph sums up what attracts me to this option.

On a technical point though, I would have thought it would be easier to tilt the spin axis on a 64, because more loft above 45 degrees (unless delofted to 45 which is unlikely at these lofts) would reduce friction and thus backspin? That said, lateral accuracy would normally be a secondary concern for me with this type of shot. 

The more loft, the bigger the face to path difference will have to be to create draws and fades in all cases.  Also more loft will increase spin which makes it even more difficult to tilt the spin axis. 

I would agree that there is a point at which the strike is so oblique that it will be difficult to generate max spin but 64 degrees is not that threshold.  A 64 degree wedge is spinning more than a 45 degree wedge in every situation simply because more speed will be required to execute the shot.  For a 40 yard shot you just can't hit a 45 degree wedge with near as much speed as you can a more lofted club.  

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8 hours ago, Righty to Lefty said:

How is a 60 wedge more forgiving than a 64 degree? I think forgiving is actually the wrong word because if the bounce of the clubs being compared is the same, or greater than the angle of attack then a 64 degree wedge is actually more "forgiving" because as loft increases it becomes more difficult to tilt the spin axis of the shot and create draws and fades.  That being said you will inherently hit a 64 degree wedge straighter than a 60 degree wedge.  

Now there will come a point where you don't hit a certain loft far enough for it to have use in your bag but that is a different story.  I can hit 100 yard moon balls with my 65 degree wedge if need be and it is extremely useful around the greens for me because a stock shot comes out of the shot window that I want to see my pitch shots come out of and it allows for a fuller swing on 40-70 yards shots which is huge for me.  That being said my friend hit a 64 degree wedge about 40 yards on a full swing so the club just isn't useful to him at all. He played with a long drive guy that carried an 80 degree wedge but when your swing speed is 140 mph then you need that loft to help you hit short game shots because the guy hits sand wedge 150 yards! 

In regards to bounce....I love bounce...the more the better!  I hate it when my wedges dig into the turf and I can't think of many situations where bounce isn't your friend.  That being said even if you were hitting  a shot off a tile floor you have 60 ish or more degrees of loft on a shot struck with square club face so that is enough to get you out of most situations no doubt.  The lie will dictate how much you can open the face and expose bounce but you should have enough loft to work with in most situations even from the tightest lies. 

Where I meant it to be less forgiving was around the greens, I wasn't thinking full shots at all.  That would be the same as my 5 iron is easier to hit than my 4 iron.  My less forgiving statement was built around when I first started using the 64 and others I've taught flops or lobs to.

 The tendency is to open up the face, that screws with the bounce and you can slide right under the ball and it'll go 2 feet.  With the 60 you can get away with it more than opening up a 64.

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On 11/17/2018 at 6:07 PM, Typhoon92 said:

Where I meant it to be less forgiving was around the greens, I wasn't thinking full shots at all.  That would be the same as my 5 iron is easier to hit than my 4 iron.  My less forgiving statement was built around when I first started using the 64 and others I've taught flops or lobs to.

 The tendency is to open up the face, that screws with the bounce and you can slide right under the ball and it'll go 2 feet.  With the 60 you can get away with it more than opening up a 64.

I was just giving you a hard time actually but the fact is that a 64 can be effectively used around the greens just like any other club but of course selecting the proper club in relation to the lie and the type of shot needed is very important.  I will say this though...if your in the rough and you go right underneath the ball that isn't because of the bounce....it is because your low point of your swing was too far beneath the ball and if that is the case then you would mishit any club in that situation.  Sure you would get away with more the less loft you had because the ball would be projected more forward than up but the fact would remain that you didn't get yourself in correct location in relation to the ball and no matter what club you were using, the shot would not have been pulled off as you expected. 

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Hitting the 64 around the greens out of rough is scary...u can almost whiff going under the ball.  Need a lot of focus and still...  When I first got my 64 I remember doing it from the fringe.  It was funny to look back down at the ball which barely moved and say "wtf?"

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3 hours ago, Typhoon92 said:

Hitting the 64 around the greens out of rough is scary...u can almost whiff going under the ball.  Need a lot of focus and still...  When I first got my 64 I remember doing it from the fringe.  It was funny to look back down at the ball which barely moved and say "wtf?"

If you want to get rid of that fear just tee up your most lofted wedge off a driver height tee...but don't change your ball position and leave the ball in the same ball position it would be in sitting on the ground.  You will quickly learn how to control your low point. Don't worry about the ball flight at this point because it is probably a draw but that isn't the point of the drill.  This is effectively simulating the shot without the rough being present.  This is the exact type of adjustment that you will have to make in the rough.  You have to see the shot visually in relation to depth into the ground also.  You are basically making an "air divot" because from the rough the club may not make it to the ground so you should expect to feel only resistance from the grass and not from the ground or you will catch it high on the face and it won't carry as far as you expect it to. The shot will become less scary over time because you will have a plan and will be able to visualize the shot better.  Hope I'm making sense and this helps you out as I see you are already a very good golfer. 

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At the risk of sounding silly, I'll chime in.
Have you tried an XE1 wedge?

If you have 25 bucks and an ebay account you can get one. 

I actually bought mine out of the used bargain bin at one of my local courses. The sticker was marked down to 10 bucks, I asked the guy if he'd take 5 to get rid of it. (We settled on 8.) 

Anyway, I have the 65 degree model. In full disclosure I never carry it. Not that it doesn't work. But it simply isn't versatile enough to earn a spot in my bag. I find it pretty much to be a one-trick-pony. I can't open the face or loft or deloft it. (I also didn't like it out of the sand, but that's me.) What I CAN hit with it is about a 40 yard pitch with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Where it excels (for me) is on a shot of 5-15 yards where it needs to go high and land soft. As the commercial says just line up square and swing it. It pops the ball up off almost any lie and it lands soft. 

Again, I don't carry mine, so I'm not sure if that's a ringing endorsement. But it sounds like you may have a spot in the bag for this type of specialty wedge. I'm guessing it won't be very versatile for you either, but it will do that one job well. Plus, I'm pretty sure you can find a used one... Heck, maybe you can buy mine.... Did I say I paid 8 bucks for it? 

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6 hours ago, Typhoon92 said:

Hitting the 64 around the greens out of rough is scary...u can almost whiff going under the ball.  Need a lot of focus and still...  When I first got my 64 I remember doing it from the fringe.  It was funny to look back down at the ball which barely moved and say "wtf?"

It's like a magician pulling a tablecloth out from under plates. "How did I do that?!!" :-P

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31 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

At the risk of sounding silly, I'll chime in.
Have you tried an XE1 wedge?

If you have 25 bucks and an ebay account you can get one. 

I actually bought mine out of the used bargain bin at one of my local courses. The sticker was marked down to 10 bucks, I asked the guy if he'd take 5 to get rid of it. (We settled on 8.) 

Anyway, I have the 65 degree model. In full disclosure I never carry it. Not that it doesn't work. But it simply isn't versatile enough to earn a spot in my bag. I find it pretty much to be a one-trick-pony. I can't open the face or loft or deloft it. (I also didn't like it out of the sand, but that's me.) What I CAN hit with it is about a 40 yard pitch with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Where it excels (for me) is on a shot of 5-15 yards where it needs to go high and land soft. As the commercial says just line up square and swing it. It pops the ball up off almost any lie and it lands soft. 

Again, I don't carry mine, so I'm not sure if that's a ringing endorsement. But it sounds like you may have a spot in the bag for this type of specialty wedge. I'm guessing it won't be very versatile for you either, but it will do that one job well. Plus, I'm pretty sure you can find a used one... Heck, maybe you can buy mine.... Did I say I paid 8 bucks for it? 

I was just about to ask you how far you hit it because I was certain that you don't carry enough swing speed for it to fit in your bag.  I carry a 65 degree C3i wedge that I can hit 100 yard moon balls with and I just don't get what people mean when they say you can't open it up...sure you can....you can open it up as much as the lie will allow as with any wedge....but do you need to in most cases? You are already working with 65 degrees of static loft to begin with and I find it to be dead simple easy to use out of a bunker and almost like cheating. They are not for everyone especially if you don' t have enough swing speed but I find that style of wedge very useful in just about every situation.  

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