There is such a diversity of golf wedges available these days to help develop a fine golf short game, its simply a matter of choosing the right for you and practice. They all have different names, purposes and they perform in your own way.
What the average golfer has to understand with golf’s short game is that these can be used in a mixture of ways if you have the imagination. These clubs can get you that birdie or that scrambling par you need to keep up your impetus.
Wedges in general are designed to send the ball high in the air from short distances. There are a number of universal wedges on the market, the pitching wedge being the most common. The pitching wedge normally comes with your set of golf irons. The distinctive loft of a pitching wedge is 48 degrees. The sand wedge is 56 degrees and the lob wedge is typically from 60 degrees to 64 degrees. Other wedges also exist like the gap wedge which is usually around 52 degrees. It is named the gap wedge because it fills the gap from the PW-SW (48-56 degrees).
Now with diverse golf club manufacturers comes rivalry. Not all these companies design golf clubs the same. They are all designed to perform differently. The sand wedge with a large sole and/or a large bounce angle normally works well in thick, soft, deep sand and long grass, but usually does not work well from the fairway, off of hard pan, or in tightly packed sand. On the other hand, a club with a fairly thin blade and or little bounce works well from the fairway but not from heavy sand or deep rough. To review – wedges are designed in different ways to be effective in a variety of situations. The head size, weight, sole and edge shape etc can all be different from club to club.
There are two universal set ups for you golf short game when it comes to wedges. The three wedge system and the four wedge system. Most popular among expert players is a 3 wedge system. This includes the 52 degree, 56 degree and 60 degree lob wedges.
You should always find what suits your game the best. Perhaps you are a long hitter and always find yourself in-between clubs? Through experience the sort of wedges that suits your game will change. But with this set up as suggested you may find the confidence you need in your golf short game to cover a large number of short distances from the green.
If you are a passionate golfer like me, you must be enthusiastic to lower your scores. Have you ever felt annoyed as nothing you do works for you and you seem powerless to progress to the next level?
One area that you should focus on is your short game. Actually using the bump and run shot for example, can greatly lower golf scores. This technique especially for beginners is essential to learn.
Here are some golf short game drills to practice.
The chip shot you can use around the green too and is handled using a straighter faced club. The ball will pop up quickly, land on the green and roll out toward the hole.
To master this easy and valuable golf short game drills for bump and run shots, you can use a 5, 7 and 9 iron. Virtually, all irons from this range are good for the bump and run shot. The effectiveness of the shot depends on how far off the green’s edge your golf ball lays.
The bump and run shot unquestionably offers superior control for the player as compared to lofting the ball high into the air with the wedge in an effort to get it close to the flag.
Golf Short Game Drills
Here are five guidelines on golf short game drills for the best bump and run shots:
1. When you use the bump and run, make sure that you have lot of green to work with and the ball is close up to the green.
2. Keep your toes pointed at the correct approach to the target and keep them six inches apart as you address the ball.
3. Your front shoulder must be at a forty-five degree angle to the target and ensure that you place the ball just inside your front foot.
4. The bump and run shot is more like a firm putt than a full shot. If you want to lift the ball off the ground for some distance then you can use the 7 or 8 iron and hit the stroke with quarter swings. To finish the hole with a short putt, get the ball up close by focusing on the long roll.
5. As you would read the green for a putt, read the green for the bump and run shot too. Use a related swing as you would for a solid putting stroke. Keep your arms locked and hold your wrists compact. Your aim here is to just bump the ball in a low flight over the fringe. In other words, your objective is to get the ball rolling towards the cup as fast as possible rather than flying it most of the way.
Using these golf short game drills for bump and run shots will require a lot of time and practice to perfect your shots. If you master chipping the ball, you can be guaranteed of greater confidence in your short game. You will have lesser swing thoughts, as the general feel is like putting. You can then rapidly lower your golf scores as the bump and run shots present greater control over your shots and more confidence around the greens. In turn this will help you lower your scores per game.
The golf short game is definitely a critical element in the process of learning how to fire lower golf scores. Perhaps the most significant key to bear in mind is that there are no shortcuts to learning the short game as it will involve both time and effort on your part to master. Wedge shots are very important to learn as they can set the foundation for the rest of your golf swing including the longer clubs.
Usually if you develop mastery with your wedges you will find it a lot easier to become a more consistent ball striker with your long irons and driver. The best ball position when hitting wedges is to place the ball in the center of your stance. The wedge game really is all about practice so make sure you are spending appropriate amounts of time hitting these shots.
Remember that solid wedge shots can save you tons of strokes during a round of golf. Also keep in mind that a great golf short game actually helps your long game too since you will swing more freely and with less fear of missing a fairway or a green since you know that more often than not you will be able to recover from poor shots with your longer clubs.
Do not forget to spend some time hitting bunker shots too. When hitting shots out of a bunker your objective is to hit a few inches behind the ball and use a cushion of sand to lift the ball out of the bunker. Be sure to accelerate through on your downswing instead of slowing down. Chipping and hitting flop shots are another key element to the short game.
Hit chips from many different lies from bare lies to deep grass and get comfortable hitting from these tight lies. For most chips you will want the ball position to be more towards your right foot if you are a right handed player to help avoid hitting chunk shots. Also make sure to maintain a straight line between the left hand and the club through the chip shot. This will also help to avoid chunking a chip shot and will help to promote a downward blow so that your chips have more backspin and stop more quickly on the green.
Developing a good pre-shot routine is important as it will help you to stay focused both mentally and physically on each shot. There are essentially 2 components to a pre-shot routine and they are the mental routine and the physical routine. The physical routine usually varies for many players depending on the shot at hand. It may be a good idea to have some flexibility in your physical routine.
For instance in some situations you may want to spend more time taking a few more practice swings if you have an awkward stance until you feel you are ready to execute a good golf shot. The mental routine usually is consistent and stays the same for all shots. Perhaps the most important key to the mental routine is decisiveness. You must not doubt your ability to execute the golf shot at hand. Also make sure you are tightly focused on the target and not thinking about anything else like swing mechanics.
Trust your ability to execute the shot without any conscious effort from yourself like reminding yourself of all the mechanical swing tips you need to follow to hit a perfect shot. Putting is primarily a mental component to the game of golf so work on building confidence. A good tip to build greater putting confidence is to hit a lot of short putts. Since you will make most of these short putts it will help to build greater confidence and also remember that short putts can also save you a ton of strokes on the course too. Use some of these golf short game tips to develop a lower golf handicap.
One of the toughest shots to hit for any golfer is the long explosion shot out of a bunker.
Because you have to carry the ball farther than a typical shot from a green side bunker, it is very difficult to judge the distance the ball will travel and what club to hit. The secret to hitting it successfully is swinging all the way through the ball with a full finish.
When attempting a long explosion shot from a bunker, your stance should be slightly closed and wider than usual. Dig your feet a few inches down into the sand and point your toes in for balance. Be sure to make a full shoulder turn to accommodate the long swing which is necessary to get maximum distance.
Open the club face slightly to hit the shot but not as much as you would for a typical bunker shot. The ball should be positioned in the middle of your stance and you will be trying to hit the sand just about an inch behind the ball.
Instead of digging down into the sand like you would on short bunker shots, you will want to try and just skim the sand for the long explosion. Your set up will help put you in the best position to execute this shot successfully. By closing your stance a little bit as described above you will be able to make the wide turn needed to carry the ball a great distance. You can also get maximum distance by rolling over the wrists more than you would on a typical shot. For left-handers, this means a stronger left hand through the downswing.
When it comes to club selection for this shot, the sand wedge is still the best choice in most cases. Be sure to square up the club for this shot unlike the shorter bunker shots where you are encouraged to open it up. The sand wedge is fine for 15 to 20 yard shots but if you have to cover more yards, consider clubbing down to a pitching wedge or 9 iron, the ball will fly lower and carry farther onto the green.
Green side bunkers
Getting up and down out of a green side bunker to save par is more satisfying to most golfers than making a birdie. Knowing how to get out of trouble is going to save you strokes and lower your score.
There is a great deal of fear for most amateurs in trying to hit a ball out of the sand but there should not be. You have a sand wedge in your bag just for this purpose and it was designed to get the ball out of the trap and up onto the green, trust it. For most shots out of the sand, take a normal stance and position the ball in the middle of your feet. The key is to get the club under the ball to force the sand and the ball up into the air. Most instructors will tell you to aim an inch or two behind the ball to make sure that you hit the sand first.
For most golf shots you do not want to grip the club too tight but when hitting out of green side bunkers you must employ a firm grip. You want to make sure the club is square as it moves through the sand so you will have to keep the grip pressure strong to make the face of the club does not turn. The sand is also going to kill the momentum of your swing so don’t try for a long follow through because you will be swinging too hard.
If the bunker shot you face has to come up over a high lip or you have very little green to work with, then you need a sand shot that is going to land extremely soft. To hit this type of shot you need to open up your stance and open the face of the club. Instead of making a normal golf swing, you want to try and cut across the ball from left to right if you are left handed.
Watch Phil Mickelson hit a short bunker shot and see how he can pop the ball several feet into the air. This shot takes a great deal of practice to properly execute but once you learn how to hit it you can use it in other spots around the green where a pitch and roll won’t work.