I was living in the states for the last few months before I came back to Ireland. When I was there I saw a demonstration by Gary Player on how to get spin with wedges. He described the process of accelerating through impact as like 'Striking a match'. I found this to be a brilliant explanation and I've brought it to the course ever since. Another video I saw mentioned how you should open the club face, put the ball forward in your stance (until it's a bit inside your left foot) and transfer the weight to your left foot.
So the next day I went down to the country club to the fairway on a par three, about 90 yards from the pin, and with a bunch of balls, practiced what they had instructed. I only had a pitching wedge. Almost instantly I got it working. I found the spin shots were immediately recognizable by a
sound at impact - and then went straight and high and landed on the green and spun about 3-5ft to the right. I practiced this for a few weeks leading up to my return home.
I came back to Ireland a few weeks ago, very excited to demonstrate my new found weaponry on some of the courses I knew and loved. Ever since I've come home though, my wedge play in general has completely fallen apart, and any efforts I've made to try and replicate the above have failed miserably.
Now I have the advantage of a trio of wedges - 52, 55, and 60, all good quality and geared for spin. But what happens when I try the shot is: I take a huge, thick divot (like a sample cutting of grass, about a foot long) and the ball goes about 60% of the length it should, and about 60% of the trajectory height. So not a complete mishit, but not a pitch or a flop or a spin.
I also find that I am thinning a lot of my wedge shots and can't seem to get under the ball.
Here are a couple of reasons I think this might be happening; Firstly, the fairways I was learning to do this on in the USA were bouncy and lush. When I hit those spin shots with my PW, I almost never took a divot. The fairways where I am in Ireland at the moment are quite mucky. It's been raining on and off almost the entire three weeks I've been home. They're definitely not warm and bouncy. The weather is averaging about 48 degrees (9 celcius) during the day. I think the reason I'm taking such a huge divot is because the ground beneath the grass is soft and the wedge, if it makes any contact before the ball, slices into the mud like butter. And then, when I try and open the club face right up to correct this and get under the ball, I thin it - because there is no 'bounce' to the grass and the underside of the wedge just hits the ground and runs into the ball instead of sliding under it.
All that being said, I know that this can not be the definitive reason for me not being able to hit this shot. I know that there is a way to hit that kind of shot in these conditions. If anyone can offer advice or has an idea as to what I'm doing wrong, I'd really appreciate it.