Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Mark L » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 06:14:41


Personally I've never much worried about what club I have to hit to go
what distance...I just hit enough club and hope for the best.  But I do
have a question about the sandwedge.  I own a 56degree Cleveland CG10,
which I love, and I can hit it, from the tee, 90-93 yards.  But I can't
seem to come close to that from the fairway.  On my last outing I was 90
yards to the flag with the wind at my back and a good lie and hit it
solid...ten yards short.  On that same day there's a 100 yard, "one club
less" downhill par 3 that I hit with my normal full sw swing pin high
about eight feet from the hole--much to the chagrin of my golfing buddies
who all used a gap wedge or pitching wedge and thought my choice was,
well, ill-advised, to say the least.  The thing is I know this...if I'm 90
yards out I should use my 100 yard, 52degree wedge to get it there but
invariably I'll get a brain cloud and try to get there with the sw.  Is
this some kind of perverse macho thing--trying to muscle up a sw to do
something that I can't do except in the most perfect of conditions?

Anybody else get this way with their sw or other lofted wedgie thing?

ML

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Howard Braze » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 05:21:16

Quote:

>Anybody else get this way with their sw or other lofted wedgie thing?

My full shot SW & LW can give me unpredictable distances as well. I've
been spending more time practicing with these figuring that whichever
club is difficult is showing me problems that I have that are also
present in other clubs.     For some people the 1I is instructive this
way, for me it is the LW.

My best results appear to be when I concentrate on hitting the ball
with the fat of the club head.   Yeah, I know - that's a big duh. But
isn't that the way with lots of golf improvements?

In order to hit the fat of my LW, I have to catch up my club head at
the proper speed, and I have to go in with a consistent angle - with
my club head still going down when I hit.  

It is easy to try to skim with a LW.    I remember the time I took a
big swing and my LW went right through the grass under the ball,
giving the ball a place to sit down deeper.    While that extreme is
rare - lesser extremes causing short flights are not.

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by dugjustdu » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 05:40:14

I've had similar issues with the SW as well though I rarely if ever hit
it off the tee.  My full swing SW will vary by as much as 20 yards
based upon God-knows-what variable.  I'm perfectly comfortable with my
Gap and PW, however.  So, now I save the SW for those touch shots of 50
yds on it and use the Gap beyond that.

I suppose if I put as much practice into the SW as I do the Gap and PW,
I wouldn't have to worry about it, eh?

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Howard Braze » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 05:59:10



Quote:
>I've had similar issues with the SW as well though I rarely if ever hit
>it off the tee.

What would you do if you had a par-3 hole SW distance?  

I see options:

Bump and run if you can't, chip with a higher iron if you can't.

It's a tough distance to practice chips.

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Carbo » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 06:02:05

Quote:

> Personally I've never much worried about what club I have to hit to go
> what distance...I just hit enough club and hope for the best.  But I do
> have a question about the sandwedge.  I own a 56degree Cleveland CG10,
> which I love, and I can hit it, from the tee, 90-93 yards.  But I can't
> seem to come close to that from the fairway.  On my last outing I was 90
> yards to the flag with the wind at my back and a good lie and hit it
> solid...ten yards short.  On that same day there's a 100 yard, "one club
> less" downhill par 3 that I hit with my normal full sw swing pin high
> about eight feet from the hole--much to the chagrin of my golfing
> buddies who all used a gap wedge or pitching wedge and thought my choice
> was, well, ill-advised, to say the least.  The thing is I know this...if
> I'm 90 yards out I should use my 100 yard, 52degree wedge to get it
> there but invariably I'll get a brain cloud and try to get there with
> the sw.  Is this some kind of perverse macho thing--trying to muscle up
> a sw to do something that I can't do except in the most perfect of
> conditions?

> Anybody else get this way with their sw or other lofted wedgie thing?

I'm a pretty consistent 105 or so with my SW, but the LW is a different
story. Sometimes it goes 80 yards, sometimes 50, sometimes I blade it OB
long. I use the LW for most of my pitching and chipping, but generally
I'll try to make a shorter swing with a longer club than try to muscle
something I know I'm inconsistent with.

Everyone struggles with the macho thing at one point or another. The best
thing you can do is be aware of it and try not to let it affect your
decisions. You'll score better that way.

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by dugjustdu » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 06:20:08

Quote:
>What would you do if you had a par-3 hole SW distance?

I've had pretty good luck with the Gap Wedge back in my stance and
hitting in a fashion similar to what you would use on a windy day.  The
ball usually bites pretty well, too.
 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by junior.. » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 06:42:17

As a high school golfer with one of the greatest golf minds (in my
opinion) for a coach, I can regurgitate a few things George Finley
taught me:

The thing about wedges are that they are designed for shot
'workability' or being able to manipulate shots; like flop shots, chip
shots, etc etc. When you use your wedge for a full swing, often the
distance is not always consistent because your club may have been a
little closed/open faced... this is much easier to happen with your
wedge than normal irons simply due to design.

Personally, in order to have the best consistency and contact with my
full wedge shots, I shorten my backswing considerably (I imagine a 3/4
swing, but the momentum from the backswing actually makes the club go
into full paralell position at top, thanks to the video camera coaching
with George Finley) with my sandwedge and lob wedge because they are
shorter and weighted differently. I also focus on the blade of the club
'slicing' downward into the spot where the ball touches the ground so
that way I can get solid contact and backspin (to scare or impress your
buddies).

Basically, with a sand wedge or lob wedge (any club, actually, but more
so for wedges because you don't want to look foolish missing the green
from 90-110 yards out), don't try to "loft" or "scoop" the ball, but
attack the ball hard where it touches the ground. Machoing it up
shouldn't affect distance much with full wedge shots because the ball
goes so high up that forward distance doesn't really matter...The
reason why your wedge shot distance fluctuates so much may be because a
mis-hit wedge shot will roll after it hits the ground much farther than
a well-hit wedge shot. The best wedge shots hit the ground and stop
close to the divot, which is what makes distance control easier.

Hope this helps... maybe I wrote too much?

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Joe » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 07:14:35

Quote:

> As a high school golfer with one of the greatest golf minds (in my
> opinion) for a coach, I can regurgitate a few things George Finley
> taught me:

> The thing about wedges are that they are designed for shot
> 'workability' or being able to manipulate shots; like flop shots, chip
> shots, etc etc. When you use your wedge for a full swing, often the
> distance is not always consistent because your club may have been a
> little closed/open faced... this is much easier to happen with your
> wedge than normal irons simply due to design.

> Personally, in order to have the best consistency and contact with my
> full wedge shots, I shorten my backswing considerably (I imagine a 3/4
> swing, but the momentum from the backswing actually makes the club go
> into full paralell position at top, thanks to the video camera coaching
> with George Finley) with my sandwedge and lob wedge because they are
> shorter and weighted differently. I also focus on the blade of the club
> 'slicing' downward into the spot where the ball touches the ground so
> that way I can get solid contact and backspin (to scare or impress your
> buddies).

> Basically, with a sand wedge or lob wedge (any club, actually, but more
> so for wedges because you don't want to look foolish missing the green
> from 90-110 yards out), don't try to "loft" or "scoop" the ball, but
> attack the ball hard where it touches the ground. Machoing it up
> shouldn't affect distance much with full wedge shots because the ball
> goes so high up that forward distance doesn't really matter...The
> reason why your wedge shot distance fluctuates so much may be because a
> mis-hit wedge shot will roll after it hits the ground much farther than
> a well-hit wedge shot. The best wedge shots hit the ground and stop
> close to the divot, which is what makes distance control easier.

> Hope this helps... maybe I wrote too much?

What he said !  With one added thought.  With a sand wedge off the tee
you should get under the ball properly.  From  a fairway lie, well there
are fairways and there are fairways.  How much grass, how tight is the
lie, wet sod, grass type etc.  All these variables make a difference and
almost guarantee that you will have less than optimum contact and face
position at impact, especially with all that bounce on a SW.  Like
juniorjoe said, better to step up a club.

Joe

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Cal Golfe » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 08:02:45

Sounds like you have a problem getting too steep on the downswing with
your wedges, and only when you tee it up do you flatten that swing out
a little.

I have the same tendencies.

When I want to hit a 100 yd shot, I hit a 3/4 PW.

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Dave Clar » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 08:11:38

Quote:

> From  a fairway lie, well there
>are fairways and there are fairways.  How much grass, how tight is the
>lie, wet sod, grass type etc.  All these variables make a difference and
>almost guarantee that you will have less than optimum contact and face
>position at impact, especially with all that bounce on a SW.

Which is why I just ordered a 52 degree wedge bent to 55.  I want a low bounce
wedge that I can use on the usually tight lies we have on my home course;
however, I want something a little more forgiving than my 60 degree lob wedge.
I'm looking forward to trying it!

Dave Clary/Corpus Christi, Tx
Home: http://davidclary.com

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by larryrs » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 09:40:00

With the extremely lofted clubs, SW, PW, LW, the position of your hands
at address makes a HUGE difference in the distance the ball will
travel.  If you position your hands forward, up by your leg, the loft
is removed and you will have converted your SW to a shorter 9i.

So, in order to calibrate the distance you get with each lofted club,
be sure that your hands at address are always in the same place
relative to your legs.

The lofted clubs should be swung with a lazy 3/4 swing, not nearly as
fast as a full swing with long irons, driver, etc.  You are after
ultimate accuracy-- to hit the ball and then make a nice divot which
puts spin on the ball so it will stop-- and of course for accuracy you
want to ensure that the divot extends toward the flagstick.  You can
watch the pros on TV hit these scoring clubs-- and their swing is
almost leisurely.  Be sure to hit down to make a divot with SW,
otherwise you risk skulling the ball--always a disaster.  

Larry

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by long&lef » Thu, 08 Dec 2005 10:54:26

Quote:

>My full swing SW will vary by as much as 20 yards
> based upon God-knows-what variable

(snippage)

the variable is trajectory which is very hard to get any consistency
with a high lofted wedge IMO. I very rarely hit my SW or LW from the
fairway for a full shot anymore having over the years gotten better
results with a PW anywhere from 110 to 40 yds

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Howard Braze » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 00:22:06



Quote:
>With a sand wedge off the tee
>you should get under the ball properly.

I've played at a short hole where if I'm at gap wedge distance, I will
hit 20 yards too far.   I suspect not using a tee would get rid of
this problem - the ball goes very high like a wedge shot, just too
far.

I don't practice wedge tee shots much though.

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Mark L » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 04:08:29


Quote:


> >My full swing SW will vary by as much as 20 yards
> > based upon God-knows-what variable
> (snippage)

> the variable is trajectory which is very hard to get any consistency
> with a high lofted wedge IMO. I very rarely hit my SW or LW from the
> fairway for a full shot anymore having over the years gotten better
> results with a PW anywhere from 110 to 40 yds

You know this has been quite informative.  I mean I thought I was the only
one who, when getting to the "perfect" distance of 90-100 yards, was more
likely to miss my target badly than I would if I were out to say 125-145.
Next year I resolve to hit my sandwedge mostly from er, uh...sand, and
leave the other shots to my ol' trusty "52" or "48".

On a semi-related note.  When I was first learning the game, back when we
didn't have *** and had to use live mice as balls, a good friend taught
me this rubric for chipping around the green--"Get the ball to roll as
soon as possible which is done by using anything from a wedge to a six
iron to just carry the fringe and then roll to the hole."  He taught me,
roughly, how to determine how far a ball will roll given the amount of
airtime it has with what lofted club which meant that if I was on the
fringe with a lot of green to work with I'd be much more likely to use a
seven iron than a sand wedge.  But this last year I watched the best
chipper I know and he never uses any club but his pw regardless of pin
position relative to the ball position.  Because this is all he uses he
has developed a remarkably consistent feel for this club and is quite
deadly.  So toward the end of the year I began chipping with my gap wedge
in almost all situations just varying the amount of carry and not worrying
about getting the ball to the putting surface for roll.

Results?  *** if I know.  I mean I didn't exactly chip like Phil but I
didn't chip like my friend, either.  So I'm thinking I'll go back to the
varying club determination based upon how much green I've got to work with
and getting the ball to roll as quickly as possible.

What about y'all?

ML

 
 
 

Talkin' 'bout distance with irons...

Post by Mike Daleck » Fri, 09 Dec 2005 03:14:56

Quote:




>>>My full swing SW will vary by as much as 20 yards
>>>based upon God-knows-what variable

>>(snippage)

>>the variable is trajectory which is very hard to get any consistency
>>with a high lofted wedge IMO. I very rarely hit my SW or LW from the
>>fairway for a full shot anymore having over the years gotten better
>>results with a PW anywhere from 110 to 40 yds

> You know this has been quite informative.  I mean I thought I was the only
> one who, when getting to the "perfect" distance of 90-100 yards, was more
> likely to miss my target badly than I would if I were out to say 125-145.
> Next year I resolve to hit my sandwedge mostly from er, uh...sand, and
> leave the other shots to my ol' trusty "52" or "48".

> On a semi-related note.  When I was first learning the game, back when we
> didn't have *** and had to use live mice as balls, a good friend taught
> me this rubric for chipping around the green--"Get the ball to roll as
> soon as possible which is done by using anything from a wedge to a six
> iron to just carry the fringe and then roll to the hole."  He taught me,
> roughly, how to determine how far a ball will roll given the amount of
> airtime it has with what lofted club which meant that if I was on the
> fringe with a lot of green to work with I'd be much more likely to use a
> seven iron than a sand wedge.  But this last year I watched the best
> chipper I know and he never uses any club but his pw regardless of pin
> position relative to the ball position.  Because this is all he uses he
> has developed a remarkably consistent feel for this club and is quite
> deadly.  So toward the end of the year I began chipping with my gap wedge
> in almost all situations just varying the amount of carry and not worrying
> about getting the ball to the putting surface for roll.

> Results?  *** if I know.  I mean I didn't exactly chip like Phil but I
> didn't chip like my friend, either.  So I'm thinking I'll go back to the
> varying club determination based upon how much green I've got to work with
> and getting the ball to roll as quickly as possible.

> What about y'all?

I chip w/ a variety of irons, trying like you were to get the ball on
the green and rolling.

I used to use my lob wedge for most chipping, but I'm just more
consistent with the other method.  Know how I know that?  I played them
off, one against the other, on our practice green.  I'd try different
scenarios, chip 10 balls with each (or some such) and then compare the
results.

I'm just more consistent with the bump and run shot, and which club I
use varies from a 4-iron to a lob wedge, depending on how far I need to
fly the ball to the green, how close the pin is to the edge, downhill
vs. uphill, etc.

Bruce Newman suggested this (he's fairly good :), and low and behold, it
just works better.  It doesn't feel quite as satisfying for some reason
as always hitting a lob wedge, but it sure works better.  I'm getting
over the satisfying part.  :)

I think much of what club works best depends on how much spin you can
take off the shot.  This is a combination of what type of ball you use
(I use ProV1s), and how you strike the ball.

BTW, I used to not use the bump and run method because I couldn't get my
eyes over the ball with long irons; I felt I was too far away from the
ball to control it properly.  Bruce told me the secret:  You address the
ball with the toe of the club down with the longer irons.  When I
started doing that, voila!

The best way, IMO, to find out what's best is to play off the different
methods with each other.  You'll find out what you're the most effective
with, with just a little practice.

Mike

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