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Knowing Your Wedge Distances


Golfspy_CG2
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This is something that has been on my mind a lot and with recent threads regarding trackman analysis and knowing distances, I did a very short testing today.  

 

Our course was basically empty due to forecasted rain that never came.  So I went out to one of our holes, and worked on tee shots for about 1/2 hour, then moved up to the green to practice wedges.

 

Today, I just picked 50 yards (used my NX7 Pro! to get the exact distance) as I thought (incorrectly it turns out) that was an in between distance for me, between my 54 and a half 50 degree.  I started with the 1/2 50 degree shots, and they were all perfectly playable but came up short, but really only one true good shot at making the putt, but all would have been easily two putted, but if you're hitting a wedge from 50 yards, chances are you're wanting to get down in two from there, not three. 

 

So thinking I was too tenative on those, I next took my 54 and figured this should be a full (3/4 in case of wedges) swing.  Turns out I was spot on.   A very nice grouping all within 10 feet, with one outlier that was a bit chunky and pulled left.   

 

 

 

For you single digit guys you might expect a better grouping than this, but as a 17 HC, I'll take these just about every time and take my chances with the putt.   They were all with the ProV1x and all had a very nice one hop and stop reaction.  With the exception of one which actually went a couple yards longer and spun back about 6 feet or so. 

 

So this has me realizing how important it is to know all your distances, especially with wedges.  I'll continue this with both my P, 50 and 58 degree over the next week or so. 

 

Man having an empty course was awesome, I could have stayed out there another two hours or so just working on short game shots, they are so fun to hit.   

 

So let's hear what you guys have done to dial in your wedge distances, or how well you know you distances on each wedge.

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Trackman or other quality launch monitor is a good place to start.  On course testing like you did is always best though.

 

My preferred method is finding an empty fairway late in the evening that is flat.  Then hit 5-10 balls with a particular shot.  I'll leave my bag where I hit from and then driver over to the grouping, find the rough center and laser back to my bag.

 

I find that when you know the distance you're trying to hit it can alter your shots.  So I'd rather hit a specific 1/2 or 3/4 swing shot with a club and see how far it goes without knowing I want it to go 50 or 75yds.

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5w: :cleveland-small: Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Yellow

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Trackman or other quality launch monitor is a good place to start.  On course testing like you did is always best though.

 

My preferred method is finding an empty fairway late in the evening that is flat.  Then hit 5-10 balls with a particular shot.  I'll leave my bag where I hit from and then driver over to the grouping, find the rough center and laser back to my bag.

 

I find that when you know the distance you're trying to hit it can alter your shots.  So I'd rather hit a specific 1/2 or 3/4 swing shot with a club and see how far it goes without knowing I want it to go 50 or 75yds.

That makes complete sense, and ultimately I'll probably do that along with this. It's funny, I didn't really start out with this in mind.  I was actually out there to look at some work the super had done on this particular hole and took my bag with me.   it started by taking 5 tee shots with the ProV1X vs TP5 X (that's another thread topic!!) then, I went to each of the new kirby markers he installed and lasered them with my range finder, to see how accurate to the pin they were.   Then just decided to hit shots from each.   When a few of them came up short, that's when i decided to do the short game shots, so it was completely impromtu with no plan before going out.

 

You're right if I had a trackman, i could just to to the middle of a par 5 put it down and hit away and see every shot.   

:titelist-small: TSi1 Aldila Ascent 40G shaft

:titelist-small: TSi2 18 FW with GD AD IZ 6 Shaft

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 and 23 degree hybrids Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T300 5-P Tensei  R flex shaft 1/4 long 

:titelist-small: SM8 48F/54/58 D Grinds 

:ping-small: Tyne 4 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

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Shankster and I have a similar wedge philosophy which is essentially, the Dave Pelz school of thought; use one club, always follow through the same way but adjust your backswing to vary distance. For me, I use my 50* wedge. Full swing is 110 yards and then I use the clock method (my club is the hand on the clock...) to reduce my distance. For instance, if I have to hit 50 yards, that's 3 o'clock. I use the 50* because I can spin the ball pretty well and again, Dave Pelz, I want the ball in the air as little as possible. From inside 20 yards, I try to use bump and run as much as possible because I just have far greater control that way. The only time I use my 56* is if I'm in a bunker or I really need to get the ball up/make it stick from a short distance.

 

As for practicing my distances, my CC has a really great short game area which I have been using lately but that's not at all necessary. When I was in HS on the golf team, I practiced on the football field at the middle school by my house. I would set up on the goal line with a bucket of balls and hit 5 balls to every 10 yard marker on the field. I would play games like try to hit 100 then 10 then 90 then 20, etc.  You could do this at any park with just some cones and pacing. Being a hyper motivated teenager worked for me! Now where'd all that time and motivation go...

 

Good luck!

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This is something that has been on my mind a lot and with recent threads regarding trackman analysis and knowing distances, I did a very short testing today.

 

Our course was basically empty due to forecasted rain that never came. So I went out to one of our holes, and worked on tee shots for about 1/2 hour, then moved up to the green to practice wedges.

 

Today, I just picked 50 yards (used my NX7 Pro! to get the exact distance) as I thought (incorrectly it turns out) that was an in between distance for me, between my 54 and a half 50 degree. I started with the 1/2 50 degree shots, and they were all perfectly playable but came up short, but really only one true good shot at making the putt, but all would have been easily two putted, but if you're hitting a wedge from 50 yards, chances are you're wanting to get down in two from there, not three.

 

So thinking I was too tenative on those, I next took my 54 and figured this should be a full (3/4 in case of wedges) swing. Turns out I was spot on. A very nice grouping all within 10 feet, with one outlier that was a bit chunky and pulled left.

 

 

 

For you single digit guys you might expect a better grouping than this, but as a 17 HC, I'll take these just about every time and take my chances with the putt. They were all with the ProV1x and all had a very nice one hop and stop reaction. With the exception of one which actually went a couple yards longer and spun back about 6 feet or so.

 

So this has me realizing how important it is to know all your distances, especially with wedges. I'll continue this with both my P, 50 and 58 degree over the next week or so.

 

Man having an empty course was awesome, I could have stayed out there another two hours or so just working on short game shots, they are so fun to hit.

 

So let's hear what you guys have done to dial in your wedge distances, or how well you know you distances on each wedge.

Wait, where was my invite to this?? ;) at the range near my house, I laser the closest flag to determine the distance since I'm not in the same stall each time. I've been working on hitting the 9i,pw, 52* and 58* to the different flags so I can expand my shot capabilities with each wedge. I've been doing this for the last several years.

 

MDGolfHacker

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What's In This Lefty's Bag?

Driver: :cobra-small: F8 9.5° Project X Even Flow Blue 65g shaft 

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 3W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 5W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Hybrid: :titelist-small: 816H2 19°

Irons: :titelist-small: 2021 T200's 4-GW AMT RED shafts Regular Flex

Wedge: :cleveland-small: Tour Satin RTX 4 Wedges in 52° and 56° 2 Dot

Putter: :nevercompromise-small: Gray Matter TDP 2.2 32.75"

Bag: :1590477705_SunMountain: Three 5

Ball:  :titelist-small:  PRO V1X

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Wait, where was my invite to this?? ;) at the range near my house, I laser the closest flag to determine the distance since I'm not in the same stall each time. I've been working on hitting the 9i,pw, 52* and 58* to the different flags so I can expand my shot capabilities with each wedge. I've been doing this for the last several years.

MDGolfHacker

It was very impromptu. The super told us he'd just put in the first set of Kirby markers. So I told him I was going to go grab my laser and ride out and see.

 

Of course my laser was in my golf bag, so it was just easier to grab it and one thing led to another. Lol

 

But we will have to do this one evening. It would be a great aspect to add as part of our forum testing of the e6.

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:titelist-small: TSi1 Aldila Ascent 40G shaft

:titelist-small: TSi2 18 FW with GD AD IZ 6 Shaft

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 and 23 degree hybrids Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T300 5-P Tensei  R flex shaft 1/4 long 

:titelist-small: SM8 48F/54/58 D Grinds 

:ping-small: Tyne 4 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

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One club, you guys must be right handed. Seriously though, I will attempt any shot, I have a pretty good idea on my wedge distances for the most part, so it depends on the conditions that day. I can bang balls all day at a specific yardage, but on course it's different. My full 57 goes 95'ish, full 53 goes 108'ish, and my 49 goes about 120'ish. Wind and lie can have a factor as well, if I have a 50-60 yard shot I can play that with any one of those 3 clubs. I use some imagination on what I want the shot to do. I only take it high in the air if I have to, I would rather play the ball down and try to control the shot.

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Lefties are always in their Right Mind

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One club, you guys must be right handed. Seriously though, I will attempt any shot, I have a pretty good idea on my wedge distances for the most part, so it depends on the conditions that day. I can bang balls all day at a specific yardage, but on course it's different. My full 57 goes 95'ish, full 53 goes 108'ish, and my 49 goes about 120'ish. Wind and lie can have a factor as well, if I have a 50-60 yard shot I can play that with any one of those 3 clubs. I use some imagination on what I want the shot to do. I only take it high in the air if I have to, I would rather play the ball down and try to control the shot.

The one thing this showed as small of sample as it was. I need to spend a lot more time doing this.

 

To your point, the shots with the 50 came in low to mid flight landed checked a bit bit rolled out a few feet. The fact they were still short shows I was not aggressive enough with them.

 

The 54 definitely came in much higher, had more of a hit and stop and even a spin back on a couple. The fact I was more aggressive with it led to that spin along with the increased loft.

 

Like you said, in addition to knowing the distances, I need to learn different flights wiith them to adjust to varying green and wind conditions.

 

But I have to walk before I run.

:titelist-small: TSi1 Aldila Ascent 40G shaft

:titelist-small: TSi2 18 FW with GD AD IZ 6 Shaft

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 and 23 degree hybrids Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T300 5-P Tensei  R flex shaft 1/4 long 

:titelist-small: SM8 48F/54/58 D Grinds 

:ping-small: Tyne 4 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

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Not me, I'm a Lefty ;)

 

MDGolfHacker

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What's In This Lefty's Bag?

Driver: :cobra-small: F8 9.5° Project X Even Flow Blue 65g shaft 

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 3W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 5W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Hybrid: :titelist-small: 816H2 19°

Irons: :titelist-small: 2021 T200's 4-GW AMT RED shafts Regular Flex

Wedge: :cleveland-small: Tour Satin RTX 4 Wedges in 52° and 56° 2 Dot

Putter: :nevercompromise-small: Gray Matter TDP 2.2 32.75"

Bag: :1590477705_SunMountain: Three 5

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True. I don't get to practice as much anymore, but I've always been a good wedge player, most lefties are. It's about seeing the shot in your mind, then just doing it. Sometimes it works and other time it doesn't, I rarely use my highest lofted club inside 70 yards or so, it's too easy to slide under the ball, especially if the turf is soft, and it's too easy to blade it if the turf is hard, so I use my 49* or 53* for a lot of those shots, you can't be afraid to go past the flag with these shots. A lot of the reason that we come up short is fear of going long. It's all about trust, you have to trust the decision you make. The pros make a decision a make the swing, good or bad. If you don't trust the decision it will always be bad.

Lefties are always in their Right Mind

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True. I don't get to practice as much anymore, but I've always been a good wedge player, most lefties are. It's about seeing the shot in your mind, then just doing it. Sometimes it works and other time it doesn't, I rarely use my highest lofted club inside 70 yards or so, it's too easy to slide under the ball, especially if the turf is soft, and it's too easy to blade it if the turf is hard, so I use my 49* or 53* for a lot of those shots, you can't be afraid to go past the flag with these shots. A lot of the reason that we come up short is fear of going long. It's all about trust, you have to trust the decision you make. The pros make a decision a make the swing, good or bad. If you don't trust the decision it will always be bad.

I must of missed that Lefty memo, lol

 

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What's In This Lefty's Bag?

Driver: :cobra-small: F8 9.5° Project X Even Flow Blue 65g shaft 

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 3W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 5W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Hybrid: :titelist-small: 816H2 19°

Irons: :titelist-small: 2021 T200's 4-GW AMT RED shafts Regular Flex

Wedge: :cleveland-small: Tour Satin RTX 4 Wedges in 52° and 56° 2 Dot

Putter: :nevercompromise-small: Gray Matter TDP 2.2 32.75"

Bag: :1590477705_SunMountain: Three 5

Ball:  :titelist-small:  PRO V1X

RangeFinder:918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Pro

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This is exactly what I do.  

 

Heck, you don't even need to hit balls into a green to do it - you can just hit a bunch of balls down the fairway and do the same thing (and your local greenskeeper would thank you)

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I still use my method listed above for finding distances, it works.

 

As for wedge theory mine is a variation on Pelz.  I have 4 wedges.  I have a stock "full" shot with each wedge.  Then I have the same swing but choked down to the bottom of the grip.  It takes 5-7yds off a shot for me.  So that's 2 stock distances with each wedge for a total of 8 without having to change my swing at all.  Whenever you lay up just try to be around those yardages.

 

If you want to bring in Pelz theory now do the same thing with regular grip and choked down grip but with half swings.  Now you have 16 stock yardages with only 2 swings just by adjusting the grip.

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3w: :taylormade-small:'16 M2 hl w/ Diamana D+ 82

5w: :cleveland-small: Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Yellow

Hybrid: :cleveland-small: 22 deg. Launcher HB w/ HZRDUS Black

Irons: :cleveland-small: 5i - gap Launcher CBX w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

Wedges: :cleveland-small: 54 CBX & 58 Zipcore w/ Nippon Modus 3 125

Putter: :odyssey-small: Red 7s

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And just as important as knowing your wedge distances is knowing what your "green light" yardages are.  These yardages are the ones where you feel like you can really attack the pin, whether it be with a full swing, or a 3/4 swing, etc.

 

For instance, I hit my 54* wedge around 102 yards.  However, 85 yards is my money distance.  This is the yardage where I can saw off a little 54* wedge, really control the distance and attack a smaller target.  

 

These yardages are important for if you are playing to a number on a short par 4, laying up on a par 5, or punching out of trouble to get up and down.

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Agree with Mr. jlukes. Although I'm not smart enough to lay up, and it usually ends bad. But when I'm in that "green light" zone, game on.

 

Well said sir.

 

 

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I used to have full-3/4, half, and quarter swing distances for PW through LW but I got away from it.  I would love to be able to practice wedge distances as others have done;  just don't have a place to go.  Getting course time probably isn't practical and doing this on a range would get cost prohibitive especially if I was spending hours practicing distances; which I know I could.   My approach now is when I go into golf shops and they have simulators I grab some used wedges and try to hit specific distances. 

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Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
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Im working on dialing in my wedges now. So far it looks like:

PW- 135

GW- 118

SW-105

LW- 85 full, 60@9o'clock, 45@8o'clock, 30@7o'clock......

I'm looking to improve my wedges by trying another method to range my SW and LW shots.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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3 Wood- Callaway GBB Epic 15 Aldila Rouge Max 85X

Hybrid-   Callaway GBB Epic 19 UST Recoil F4

Irons-      Callaway CF Apex 16'  4-PW S300

Wedges- Titleist SM6 GW/SW/LW S300

Putter-    Ping Anser Sigma G w/ Superstroke Pistol GT 2.0

Ball-        Bridgestone B330/ TaylorMade TP4/ Titleist ProV1

Grips-     Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 Grey

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