Showing posts with label Wedge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wedge. Show all posts

Friday, September 15, 2017

Wedge Secrets

Wedge Secrets

Short-game problems aren't always due to a bad swing. Recently, a student came to me about his short game. He was unable to cut strokes from his golf handicap because of his chipping and pitching. His inability to get the ball close from 100 yards in was costing him strokes. Since he was serious about improving, he wanted to strengthen this weakness. He scheduled a golf lesson, hoping I could provide some golf tips to resuscitate his short game.

When set-up to the ball, I quickly recognized the problem. He was committing one of the most common short game mistakes made by weekend golfers. His lie angle (the angle at which the sole of the club rests on the ground) was off. It was too flat, causing the club's toe to dig down. When the toe digs down, the heel comes up. Thus, he was hitting everything off the club's toe, wearing away that area of his wedge. Simply put, you can tell a lot about how you're hitting a club by looking at wear marks.

A Valuable Lesson The real problem here was that the club wasn't part of the original set off irons. The clubs in that set were fitted to my student. The wedge he bought off the rack. Unfortunately, it wasn't fitted properly. And it was costing him strokes. But the problem taught her a valuable lesson. While lie angle was the problem here, it's not always the problem in every case. Usually, mis-hits stem from one of three root causes: lie angle, posture, or grip.

To fix the problem, you have to either change wedges or have it bent so that it's more upright. If you suspect your club is too flat (or too upright), check it out by using a "lie board" to determine where the club is bottoming out. All club companies and club fitters have one. Fortunately for my student, wedges are somewhat forgiving. So her mis-hits weren't too bad. But with longer clubs this might not be the case. Having determined the problem, we set about correct it.

Two Other Causes Bad posture is another cause of mis-hits. Whenever I gave a student a golf lesson, I start by checking her posture. First, I check her distance from the ball. Your hands should hang down under your shoulders in a neutral hanging position—not too close and not too far away. If you feel like your reaching for the ball, your hands are to far away from your body. You're standing too far from the ball. Adopt a proper posture and your mis-hits should drop dramatically.

Faulty grip is a third cause of wedge problems. It's a mistake I see all the time in my golf instruction sessions. Because your wrists set the club's lie angle, they must be in the correct position to hit a ball correctly. A good way to check this is to look at your glove. If the palm is wearing down, you're not holding the club enough in your fingers. Holding the club too much in your palm sets the wrong lie angle, causing toe hits. Obviously, you need to hold the cub more in your fingers. But check your grips as well. If they are too thick or too then, you'll be more inclined to hold the club in your palm.

Two Good Short Game Drills Having resolved the student's initial problem, I also gave him two drills to improve his short game. The first teaches you to hit chips on line. The second shows you how to make sure your pitches travel the right distance.

* Place two clubs parallel to each other about eight inches apart. Make sure the track they create points directly at the target. Practice your chipping stroke. Keeping the club inside the track. To hit chips on line, the clubface must be square and the path of the clubhead must be toward the target.

* The key to pitching shots accurately is landing them in the right shot. Place a range bucket, pail, small trash can, or box about 20 feet away. Try to hit your shots so that they hit or just clear the obstacle you have created. Vary the distances— moving it closer for some shots and farther away for others.

Faulty swings are the only cause of mis-hits in your short game. The wrong lie angle, bad posture, or a faulty grip also causes them. Once you eliminate the mis-hits, use practice drills to help you develop accuracy. Practice the drills and you'll resuscitate your short game and chop strokes off your golf handicap.

Copyright (c) 2009 Jack Moorehouse