The 5 Toughest Wedge Shots
The Plugged Ball
If you’ve got a habit of hitting high then you should be familiar with plugged balls. Almost every time you’re faced with this instance you’re going to have to dig the ball out of the impact hole. You’ll want a very steep downswing so that the leading edge of your club digs into the sand under the ball. Don’t be afraid to take a load of sand with it, unlike a green shot the sand actually creates friction and better grip. You’ll also probably need to swing a little harder while still keeping the face closed. It’s best to tackle this with a high-lofted wedge. Make sure your landing target is suitable as you’re going to have a lot more run from the ball once it lands.
These are make-or-break for many whose initial drive is in the 250′ s, mastering the 25-30 yard pitch from the fairway can give you a clear advantage if your wedge shots are accurate. The 30-50 yard pitch is one of the most delicate since it requires a fine balance between babying the shot and overshooting the green. With a pitch shot, you’ll often want a lob wedge, the reason for this is that it’s less lofted than a sand wedge which will give you more spin and control through the impact. You can stop the ball quickly while still having enough yardage to get it onto the green. Studies have shown that when shooting from the fairway and the rough using a lob wedge over a sand wedge will stop the ball 11 feet closer. David Leadbetter is quoted as saying that if there’s only one club you can get good with it should be your lob wedge.From hardpan, a sand wedge is actually a better choice for a pitch shot.
The Longer Pitch
A pitch from 80-100 yards on the fairway is the ideal place to use your pitching wedge. It’s the ideal condition from which to pitch but if you’re not using all the aspects (head position, follow-through, and tight backswing) you’re likely to overshoot. Don’t forget to pay attention to the wind and any bumps or slopes. You can actually afford a longer follow through with this pitch shot so don’t be afraid to go for a fuller swing as it will help stop the ball in a better position on the green rather than short.
Unless you need to avoid an obstacle or carry a bunker the sand wedge is a good choice for most chip shots. A sand wedge will give you more control on a shorter shot by giving you less bounce. If you need to clear a danger use the lob wedge since it will stop the ball faster. By opening the face of the sand wedge, you can get a little more forgiveness from the bounce while still being able to play like a lob wedge. When shooting from an up-slope, a tight pin, or the rough chip shots with a sand wedge usually land much closer to the hole.
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