Pitch With The Wedge



Learning the basic skills in the late 1990s was easier than today. There were only a few basic skills: hitting the wood shots, long irons, medium irons, short irons, and the putt. Now there are more clubs to choose, such as the rescue, hybrid or gap wedge, and tons of shots to make according to all the tour players.

Let us recall that the basic swings are either full, ¾, ½, or ¼ swings.



Every shot can be controlled by:
       1. the length of the swing
       2. speed of the club
       3. which club/angle of the face you select.

In 2010 for a wedge-aholic or an advanced golfer, here are 3 shots when you are 20 yards off the green and you choose to use a wedge. Pin placement will determine which wedge to select in 2010.

Pin - front of the green 
       Club - lob wedge
       Ball - off right foot
       Weight - over left foot

There is very little room to land the ball. Do not lob the ball. Putt with a pendulum stroke of your arms. Think long putt, keeping your club about one foot off the ground with your wrists locked on the backswing and follow through. The lob wedge gives enough height to stop the ball close to the hole.

Pin - middle of the green
       Club - sand wedge
       Ball - middle of the stance
       Weight - even

Land the ball on the front third of the green and let it flow to the hole. The sand wedge gives more spin to slow the ball roll, then a gap wedge. To execute, take your club back about thigh high, but do not break your wrists. This is a ¼ swing.

Pin - Back
       Club - gap wedge
       Ball - middle of your stance
       Weight - even

With a half swing, land the ball half way to the pin, so the ball will roll the other half. If the green tilts uphill or the flag is way back, you may need a pitching wedge. Practice is vital to decide your selection of club. Therefore, add 20 yards out to your weekly practice agenda.

Don't have room for four wedges in your bag? In order to maintain the legal limit of 14 clubs, probably not. For that reason, just open or close the face of your pitching wedge more.

If you would like the ball to hit the green and stop short, open the face of your sand wedge slightly. The swing is ½ back and ½ forward. As well as using the sand wedge for sand, use it for the pitch, one hop, then stop. That is the topic of the next "ON THE COURSE" article.



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