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Good Morning,

 

I would like to know what the most difficult part of short game is for most players.

 

Chipping?  Pitching? Putting? etc and is the struggle not knowing the right swing for

 

these shots or not being able execute what you know is good technique.  

 

Also, how many of you have custom fit wedges as compared to custom fit drivers?

 

Thank you,

 

Mike

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My issue is getting distance control from 100 yards and in. 

 

Read Dave Pelz Short Game Bible. It has great instruction and rationale for addressing chip, pitch, putt and 100 and in.

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My short game has always been the best part of my game

 

I think it was due to when I was growing up and learning the game my Dad  ran a golf course with 9 holes regulation and 9 holes par 3. Our house sat right in the middle of all. I played that par 3 course all the time. I was learning so as I progressed I had played it with everything from a 5 iron to a SW. Now for some reason I loved the short game and practiced it all the time still do. For me I am a feel player and very old school and it is all about feel for me. Personally I do not think or subscribe to one method as being correct. I think one has to develop their own feel and style. Main thing is grip pressure. Grip too hard and you become nervous and nerves is no good at all. You have to relax. One thing I do and I am not tooting my own horn but I am a pretty decent putter. I do not try to get too cute with the shot my thinking is if I can get it on the dance floor I can make the putt. That takes the tension out right there and chances are that will lead to a better shot.

 

I practice chipping all the time around the yard at the house to keep my feel up. I even have been known to make contact chips with whiffle balls in the house. You also have to develop short game thinking. If you look at a paticular chip there may be several different options with club or method on each shot. Do not be afraid to experiment to find what works for you. I notice you are new to the forum and do not know me yet but all the fine folks on here that know me will tell you I have always said that there is no one set proper etched in stone way to hit a ball or play this game. Practice does two things IMHO it developes feel and confidence.

 

That Pelz bible as Chem said can be a good reference point to get you started. You may go directly off of it to get where you want (nothing at all wrong with that) or you may base your basic game with some modifications that fit you from it. It may be a good building block to help you get started on your own style

 

As far as custom wedges I am a big proponent of custom fitting and I do my own wedge modifications as far as weight grind lofts and lies. Bounce can be a tricky thing also. For me personally the club has to sit good at address and look good to my eye. A good fitter can help you on that aspect.

 

Good luck to you hope I sorta gave you a basic outline of my thoughts which may or may not work for you

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My wedges are custom fit and I spend the bulk of my practice time around the green because it doesn't hurt my back, its cheap, it pays dividends for my score and I've found that properly played short shots do translate into solid full shots too.  As an FYI I have SCOR wedges and am very concerned about what will happen when they wear out.  I've learned to use the multi purpose soles to their fullest advantage.

 

I have a teacher and have taken a couple of short game lessons.  If I were to single out a popular short game instructor that I subscribe to its Utley - I like to keep things simple.  For example I stand square and only slightly open the face out of the sand and swing the same way every time - I pick a different wedge for different distances and sometimes even 9 or 8 iron to control the distance.  It works for me.  Obviously there are some lies or stances that require adjustments but I can handle those because I've got the basics down.  The adjustments are normally common sense ones - closed stance on a down hill, side hill to create space for the club to move, that short of thing. 

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You should listen to stu since he does know what he is talking about around here, and I am a bit of a short game hack. I will also agree that you need to find the what works for you. 

 

The Pelz book was really helpful for me because he backs up his opinions with some interesting data about what is most important to look at when approaching the entire "100 yards to the green" game. The big thing for me was that I always felt I was a feel player, which for me meant that I put a lot of wrist action into some of my shots because hey, "I'm all touch baby". The Pelz book goes a lot into removing wrists but still maintaining feel and accuracy. Sort of a highest probability of success approach. Basically, wrists are unreliable under pressure, big dumb shoulders aren't.

 

Again, find what works for you, and Pelz's book is like eating fish. Swallow the meat, spit out the bones.

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Thanks for the compliment there Chem. What you are saying is exactly what I am talking about. with me being an experienced instinct/feel player I use a combination of both wrists or shoulders depending on what the shot calls for. Also with much practice looking at a shot my eyes basically tell my brain and body how and what method needed to execute. I do not really need to think about what I am doing and believe me the more I leave my brain out the better off I am. My methods are strictly feel and instinct and that comes strictly from practice and experience. I have had guys around my club especially the retirees try to get me to teach them what I do. I can't because honestly I do not know mechanically wise or method wise how I do some things. And really I am not an instructor even when I held a Class A certificate I did not give lessons. I will give my opinion if someone asks me for help. I will try but I am so afraid I may screw someone up. Someone said one time I had a lot of imagination around the greens and execution along the imagination. I do a lot of things they do not teach in like the Pelz Bible or any where else.

 

One of my little speciality shots is called a chop pop where around the green in heavy rough you basically drop the club behind the ball sharply and basically stick the club in the ground and the ball will pop up. I learned that trick at a young age at a clinic put on by Mr Lee Trevino. Loved it have used it ever since basically age 12 or so. One year I saw  Paul Goydos teaching that same trick to a rookie player at I think the US Open. Old School all the way!  Another trick I do I learned from the gamblers around the old man's course and I will warn you if you have any doubts do not try it. I hit a wedge off of concrete. we used to do that in the rain from under the porch down to the 9th hole on our par 3 course. Of course I copied anything those guys did and I learned that shot practicing it at night in the summer when putting up carts. In fact I wore out an old POS Northwestern wedge both face and sole doing that trick. I can actually do it with both a low bounce or high bounce wedge. Basically my wedge game is a combinatiion of Trevino and some of those old gamblers.

Now I will blow your mind!! Most of my sand play came straight from Pelz. I was never a good trap player until I moved here to the beach some 14 years ago. Where I grew up we did not have many traps and the few we had were hard as bricks like hitting off the concrete. When I played the minis and tried US Open qualifiers etc I found out I was a mediocre sand player at best. When I moved down here it was sand trap city. I actually watched a couple of Pelz clinics on GC and went from there. The first winter I was here I hit balls on the beach for hours at the time. I would take a couple of wedges my shag tube with balls , rake and flags and to the beach I would go. I could create different lies and textures of sand and with a mixture of the wind hit away. I used Pelz as a building block and went from there with my own style. Man that was a great winter no one hardly here and I could hit balls free as much as I wanted to. LMAO! wore out a brand new set of Cleveland 900 wedges that winter. 

 

Like I have said before there is no proper way to play this game and one has to develop their own style that they can execute with confidence. hey if it is strictly the Pelz or other Guru way then so be it what ever works

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Distance control with 40 - 60 yard bunker shots for me which fortunately I don't have to play a lot of.

 

I got my wedges lengthened 1 inch over standard when I bough them but that's about it.

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My short game overall, isn't that great. I could be better at all of it, but my most glaring weakness is putting. I seem to "just miss" way too often. It will slide right over the edge of the cup or stop an inch from going in, break just a tad high or low... and the dreaded lip out (I hate that!). If I could eliminate the 3 putts, I could score fairly well for a 57 year old guy that almost never practices. Hmmm...... I think I just stumbled on the problem.  :D

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Mine was very solid early in the year when I put a lot of practice time in wiith my new wedges to get the feel of them.

 

I haven't practiced as much the past two months and it shows. My biggest struggle right now is probably mental/club selection.

 

Yesterday for example I was about 20 yards off the green to a back pin, probably a total of 40 yards. I was thinking distance and not carry vs roll and absentmindly took the 54.

 

I hit a very good shot that landed about 30 feet short of the pin checked up snD only released about two or three feet.

 

Where I should have played a lower lofted (pw) and gotten more roll out of it.

 

Just need more time spent working on it.

 

My wedges are new, but we're not custom fit

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I may have misled some-- Some guys can hit wedges straight out of the box with stock settings their eyes and hands can adapt quickly. Me I am super sensitive to stuff with my feel. My buddy who was a club fitter for years said I had an uncanny feel for weight and uncanny sight for loft and lie settings. Good example I recently did a trade deal and got some restored Macgregor FC 4000 Tourneys. Was messing around in the shop with a buddy of mine and told him the wedge was too darn flat off my specs by just eyeballing it. Normally the lie on my wedges is 65*. We put it on the machine and it was at 61* way too flat for me. I told him before we put it on the machine that it was at least 3* too flat for me. FYI most wedges the stock lie is around 63 to 65  Most Cleveland wedges are 65 stock as were most old MacGregors that I learned with. Most stock Vokeys are 63 or 64. Different manufacturers have different stock numbers on both loft and lie. Bounce is all together another different animal and I could type on it all night. On the condensed version bounce considerations include one's basic swing and angle of attack and the sand and soil conditions they play in. That is one of the reasons I always reccomend a good fitter on wedges. Even some of the PGA Tour pros will change out a wedge for different soil conditions. Most of the time the sand is not a consideration for them because the PGA Tour has spec sand. Now they may change up a wedge for bounce out of the sand in the US Open, The Masters and the Memorial because those are 3 of the tournaments I know of that do not have spec sand.

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Mine was very solid early in the year when I put a lot of practice time in wiith my new wedges to get the feel of them.

 

I haven't practiced as much the past two months and it shows. My biggest struggle right now is probably mental/club selection.

 

Yesterday for example I was about 20 yards off the green to a back pin, probably a total of 40 yards. I was thinking distance and not carry vs roll and absentmindly took the 54.

 

I hit a very good shot that landed about 30 feet short of the pin checked up snD only released about two or three feet.

 

Where I should have played a lower lofted (pw) and gotten more roll out of it.

 

Just need more time spent working on it.

 

My wedges are new, but we're not custom fit

That example of the shot you gave there is no one proper way to execute that shot. Yes if you had wanted it to roll out you should have used  the PW or 9 iron for roll. Me I get a little ballsy on that shot according to some people I would have taken my 56 or 60 and went upstairs as I call it close to the pin and tried to stop it unless it was down hill. If it had been down hill I may have still taken the 56 and played it back in my stance some and ran it down. 90% of the time there are several options and club selections you can make on any shot around the green. A 56 wedge is my workhorse wedge. But that was learned back in my early days when we did not have the 58 and 60 wedges and our PW was 49 or 50 loft (mine still is 50). We learned to use the 56 for a variety of shots. I had went to a gap wedge for a while but have found out I do not need it for my game. I know guys that are masters at the bump and run game and one older guy I play with some is an absolute master with the bump and run with a hybrid. So many options none etched in stone correct or incorrect as long as you can execute them. You just gotta practice and find your niche

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All of the short game is difficult, but it can be made easier with practice.  I was terrible from 50-60 yards and in as well as putting when I took up the game.  My pro said I had "hands of stone" and he was right!!  Today, my putting is OK since I changed putters; depends on the greens that I am playing.  Since I moved to a new course this year and have spent a lot on time on the greens, I do pretty well.  Chipping and pitching were terrible until I got my SCOR wedges and got the lie adjusted 3* flat.  Stu is right; it's all about the feel.  The more I spend practicing certain shots, the better those shots are when it matters.  I like to create shots around the green, and that creativity make practicing fun.  All in all, my short game is OK, but it could be better.  I have to rely on it a lot because of lack of distance off the tee.   :(

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Good Morning,

 

I would like to know what the most difficult part of short game is for most players.

 

Chipping?  Pitching? Putting? etc and is the struggle not knowing the right swing for

 

these shots or not being able execute what you know is good technique.  

 

Also, how many of you have custom fit wedges as compared to custom fit drivers?

 

Thank you,

 

Mike

custom fit: I think mine are bent a degree upright and cut a half inch short. That's about it and pretty similar to how my drivers have been fit- which is what you'd expect at a big box store. My putter is also adjusted for my height.

 

I think the biggest struggle for me is feel. Some days you have it (like today where I hit an absurd amount of up and downs on the front), and others (like a 3-4 hole stretch where every shot went 10 foot past). Stu has a great point about feel and what shot you use. I use the 60 around the green and really change based on the shot. I can chip it low when I want some roll or when I have some green to work with, chip it high if it's a bit short sided or want to deaden it on a hill, flop it if I think the high line is a bit more to the eye, or hit a traditional pitch (the last being the worst part of my game right now). I have three different stances, plus manipulate the club open and closed based on the lie, the green and where the pin is.  I've experimented a ton and found the 9 iron bump and run is my favorite, but will play an 8 or A gap wedge if it needs more height or needs more distance than the 9. Some days that's my preferred method around the greens as I have a greater feel with that method, other days it's the 60 and just figuring out where I want to hit it. 

 

My dad is old school in the sense that he hits a ton of bump and runs with irons where the better shot IMO is hitting more pitches. To him it's his better shot, so I've learned to sit and watch him be creative or fail spectacularly. For most golfers I'm guessing it's just finding a shot that works and you can trust. For my dad who doesn't play often, it's tough for him to execute anything in the short game. It's partly because his technique never gets refined and partly because he doesn't trust his wedges around the green.

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I have a hard time between 85 and 65 yards. my 54 goes 100 and my 58 im not totally comfortable hitting a full shot. It goes straight up and will be short. I try to avoid a full wedge if at all possible. I have tried every make and model. Blade wedges tend to do that. My 58 is great around greens so I kind of just deal with it

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custom fit: I think mine are bent a degree upright and cut a half inch short. That's about it and pretty similar to how my drivers have been fit- which is what you'd expect at a big box store. My putter is also adjusted for my height.

 

I think the biggest struggle for me is feel. Some days you have it (like today where I hit an absurd amount of up and downs on the front), and others (like a 3-4 hole stretch where every shot went 10 foot past). Stu has a great point about feel and what shot you use. I use the 60 around the green and really change based on the shot. I can chip it low when I want some roll or when I have some green to work with, chip it high if it's a bit short sided or want to deaden it on a hill, flop it if I think the high line is a bit more to the eye, or hit a traditional pitch (the last being the worst part of my game right now). I have three different stances, plus manipulate the club open and closed based on the lie, the green and where the pin is.  I've experimented a ton and found the 9 iron bump and run is my favorite, but will play an 8 or A gap wedge if it needs more height or needs more distance than the 9. Some days that's my preferred method around the greens as I have a greater feel with that method, other days it's the 60 and just figuring out where I want to hit it. 

 

My dad is old school in the sense that he hits a ton of bump and runs with irons where the better shot IMO is hitting more pitches. To him it's his better shot, so I've learned to sit and watch him be creative or fail spectacularly. For most golfers I'm guessing it's just finding a shot that works and you can trust. For my dad who doesn't play often, it's tough for him to execute anything in the short game. It's partly because his technique never gets refined and partly because he doesn't trust his wedges around the green.

If I used an 8 or 9 to bump and run, it would run off the other side of the green!  Maybe I'll use a PW; mostly my 50, but if the pin is close, it's a 54 or 58 depending on the lie.

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That example of the shot you gave there is no one proper way to execute that shot. Yes if you had wanted it to roll out you should have used  the PW or 9 iron for roll. Me I get a little ballsy on that shot according to some people I would have taken my 56 or 60 and went upstairs as I call it close to the pin and tried to stop it unless it was down hill. If it had been down hill I may have still taken the 56 and played it back in my stance some and ran it down. 90% of the time there are several options and club selections you can make on any shot around the green. A 56 wedge is my workhorse wedge. But that was learned back in my early days when we did not have the 58 and 60 wedges and our PW was 49 or 50 loft (mine still is 50). We learned to use the 56 for a variety of shots. I had went to a gap wedge for a while but have found out I do not need it for my game. I know guys that are masters at the bump and run game and one older guy I play with some is an absolute master with the bump and run with a hybrid. So many options none etched in stone correct or incorrect as long as you can execute them. You just gotta practice and find your niche

You're spot on Stu.  I'm so used to playing my wedge shots to land and release, due to coming from a set that was so worn out, I had a custom built 588 DSG in 56 that had been my workhorse for the past 10 years, used it just about everywhere inside 90 yards.   But finally the grooves go so worn I needed new wedges. These SM6's are so good, and have so much spin, I've not yet learned to be aggressive enough with them on carrying the shots to the hole knowing they are going to hold.   Like I said just need more time with them. 

 

Also with the hard firm conditions we have here now with the hot and dry weather of the past month, I felt the greens would release a bit more.  Always learning and trying to perfect in this game, aren't  we :)

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I have a hard time between 85 and 65 yards. my 54 goes 100 and my 58 im not totally comfortable hitting a full shot. It goes straight up and will be short. I try to avoid a full wedge if at all possible. I have tried every make and model. Blade wedges tend to do that. My 58 is great around greens so I kind of just deal with it

I can maybe give you something to try on this-- Do not try to get too cute with the shot and guide it-- Make it your goal to fly it on the green where you can get the putter on it. A lot of times a higher lofted wedge will balloon on you when you try to hit it too hard especially if you are like me and have your wedges soft tipped with a lot of weight on the bottom. My 60 will do that. I take some off of my 56 in that case by opening up the face. Mostly with me it is instinct again I look at the shot and instinct tells my brain to tell my body how hard to hit it. You can not teach that it only comes from practice. You also develop feel from practice. Also you learn from practice when to get aggressive or not to. Something else in your case to maybe try is to have that 54 bumped up to 56. Do not let anyone kid you about loft gaps because everyone is different and there is no set in stone way about loft gaps either. Heck I am an oddity to some My PW is 50* my SW is 56* and my lob is 60*. In your case I would not mess with the 58 since you stated it was great around the greens for you. 

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You're spot on Stu.  I'm so used to playing my wedge shots to land and release, due to coming from a set that was so worn out, I had a custom built 588 DSG in 56 that had been my workhorse for the past 10 years, used it just about everywhere inside 90 yards.   But finally the grooves go so worn I needed new wedges. These SM6's are so good, and have so much spin, I've not yet learned to be aggressive enough with them on carrying the shots to the hole knowing they are going to hold.   Like I said just need more time with them. 

 

Also with the hard firm conditions we have here now with the hot and dry weather of the past month, I felt the greens would release a bit more.  Always learning and trying to perfect in this game, aren't  we :)

I can see what you are going through with the new wedges. A lot of times it can be the shaft too. When I tested those Renegar wedges for MGS they had the KBS wedge shafts in them. Now being an lifelong DG man it was a whole different ball game for me on those. I also done some R&D work for my friend's shop on the new Wishon PCF wedges. They are legal and they bit like heck. I never could get the feel for me with them. We did several shaft changes and I just could not get the feel. Not saying they are not great wedges but I just could not get used to them. In fact my buddy Bo Bear loves them and they are in his bag now in fact our own PJ plays a set of them and likes them. Any new wedge will act differently. For some reason old 588s have always felt best to me. I am also a fan of the old Vokey 252 series. New wedges are like breaking in a pair of new shoes just have to get used to them. Actually in time I could have gotten used to the PCF wedges but I have so many 588s that I have enough to last me until I am 90 if I live that long. I do not play comp any more and the crowd I play with does not give a hoot any how what anyone plays so my wedges are not legal. They were USGA legal when they were made but not now according to them

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It's sand play and pitching for me. I'm still a pretty inconsistent sand player, and with pitching I just have trouble judging swing length.

 

I don't have custom fitted wedges, but my next set (after this year - mine are beat to hell right now) will be. And will also have Steelfiber shafts to match my irons.

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Sounds like there may be some overthinking going on, Big Stu says to just put the ball on the green somewhere, that's great advice when you are struggling, pick a club that puts you on the green, sometimes in touch shots or feel shots, the tendency is guide the ball to the green instead of making a good strike to the ball, it's the same with sand shots, find a good method that gets you out onto the green, it doesn't have to be a great shot or the perfect shot, just an effective shot, get the ball on the green. Don't over think what you are doing.

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    • By GolfSpy MBP
      It's no secret I'm a big fan of the DST Compressor, as I've made apparent here and here. Oh and there's the original forum thread/version of the blog review.
       
      Just wanted to point out that my DST success hasn't been restricted to the range. This season I've suffered from a terrible short game, something I've always taken great pride in and have been somewhat know for round these parts. Well last weekend I took out the DST to the chipping green and it's really helped me get my hands back into a forward position that I had migrated away from in the off-season, After 2 hours spent just hitting shots from different situations I'm now back to getting the right check on chips when and where I need it.
       
      My last few rounds I've really struggled with my irons and this short game has kept my scores at some really respectable numbers.
       
      Anyways just dropping a tip for you guys looking for a training tool to really ingrain your chipping strokes.
       
    • By Mfrye
      What the heck happened to my game!
       
      On a normal day on the links I am stuck in the mid 80's occasionally ill break 80 but rare and normally on a familiar course but I never go above 90 or at least havent in a long time. as where I am not a great or even good golfer I keep composed and play my game. Now for the worst round of recent memory.
       
      I was visiting my girlfriends family last weekend and mentioned to her grandfather that we should go out and play a round. It worked out perfectly because I was going to be in town the next weekend. So we went to his country club Mountain Gate CC, a monster of elevation changes perched atop the Topanga Hills. It is blowing about 15mph with gusts in the 30s and temps were high 50s.
       
      First drive is a straight top barley makes it 20 yds, Her grandpa lets me tee another one off, it was beauty straight down the pipe 270. then threewood off the deck on the long par 5, top again and rolls to about 140 out, hit a nice 6 into the wind the just bounced off the back of the green and i managed to chip in for birdie. thats where the red numbers ended. I was missing 3 foot putts chunking chips and catching the thin, sliding the club and pooching shots. I didnt one putt a single green. I was slicing and hooking drives so bad on one i wound up on another green.
       
      My question I pose to you all is, What to do when nothing is going right? I know all this could be because i was nervous playing with her grandpa, or the course is extremely challenging which is why the Campions tour wont come back. I just hope I can shake the dreaded shanks
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