Wedges and Distance Control

At the end of the season last year I sat down with one of my players who play’s professionally on the tour. We were looking at is stats and noticed that he was missing many greens long with a wedge which was costing him dearly usually a double bogey. If you compared his stats with professionals then there was evidence that something was going wrong as seldom to top players hit the ball over the green especially that the trouble is usually punishing on most courses.

So what was reason? It seemed that the yardages were accurately measured it was more down to distance control and the odd shot going up to 15 yards further on occasions. Looking closer at the problem we found that his attack angle was very steep at an average of 16 degrees down making a 52 degree wedge around 36 degrees. It also was in consistent in the angle of attach so changing the loft of the club at impact by some 10 degrees between the shots.

So we had found the reason for the inconsistent distance control the attack angle varied so much between shots even though the swing speed was the same leading to 20 variations. So now we had found the problem the problem what was the solution. The first change we made was to his grip which then encouraged an earlier release helping the club catch up with the hands adding loft to the club. It seemed that after this change he was able to repeat easier time after time with a consistent attack angle of around 8 degrees. This also created more spin as there was more loft on the club face at impact.

One other advantage gained was that with less angle of attack helped utilise the bounce on the wedge discouraging the deep digging action we were experiencing with the previous steep/narrow angle of attach. An important lesson was gained in this area but without knowing the attack angle we could have been searching for a solution for some time.

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