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Hamachi Style

Lob as a shot type and not a club

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I was reading an article yesterday where one of the top amateurs was talking about how he doesn't carry a lob wedge, and uses his sand wedge for all chips/ lob shots around the green. His stance was that there's no need to have a club with 60* of loft; 56* is plenty to accomplish all shots. I found this interesting as almost all pros seem to have lob wedges in their bag... I know some guys use up to 64* like Phil, Woodland, I'm sure there's at least a few others.

 

Anyone have opinions on this? Feel free to post the link to the article if anyone has it.. I seem to have lost it.

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56-degrees was as far down as many sets went for a number of years and you never saw guys back then struggling with the shot. To each their own nowadays. The 60-degree wedge can be advantageous for a lot of golfers and detrimental to others. Same with the 64-degree wedge, though I'd argue that it's beneficial to fewer and hurtful to more players than the 60.

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Seve used various lower lofted clubs to play flops, sand shots, chips and so on. It’s about technique more so than loft. 

Having more loft makes some shots easier and offers more versatility. Each person should find the clubs that work for their game and courses they play. 

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Yeah that makes sense. I think 14 clubs is a lot in a bag and doesn't force people to economize at all, which I guess is the idea. I think if max clubs was between 11-13, you'd see less lob wedges in bags.

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1 hour ago, Hamachi Style said:

Yeah that makes sense. I think 14 clubs is a lot in a bag and doesn't force people to economize at all, which I guess is the idea. I think if max clubs was between 11-13, you'd see less lob wedges in bags.

 

... If you learn to use your LW for all it's abilities, there is not a more useful club in the bag. I have stated this before, but when I started playing golf I knew a 60* could be vey useful in Chicago's wet and thick rough. My plan was to master all shots around the green and then move on to other clubs for different shots like bump and runs. I became very proficient with my 60* and had so much confidence with it, I briefly tried using other clubs but abandoned that idea and continued to just use my LW. 

... Through the years I have moved from a 48-54-60* to a 52-58* to accommodate modern 46* pw's and I still use my 58* for every shot around the green. I think the only time I could make a better club choice is on a flat green with the ball off the front and the pin in the back, I could play a lower lofted club and play it like a long putt. But most of those shots have some slope or mounding and I find using my 58* with spin helps negate the effect. 

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Just went down this rabbit hole of YouTube/Google research myself.

Plenty of folks use almost exclusively a LB around the green and hit different shots with it, arguing you then only need to get familiar with one club and can become more effective quicker.

Then plenty of other folks are in the camp of utilizing different clubs and different lofts with more similar swings to achieve the different shots around the green.

For what it's worth, my unscientific perception was that pros were more commonly found in the LB-heavy camp.

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I don't carry a 60* for this exact reason.  I can accomplish any shot required with my 56* .... High lobs, sand shots, pitch shots in deep grass, etc.  

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... I am guessing your 56* has a decent amount of bounce and does not have trailing edge relief, so how do you play high shots from a tight lie with your sw? 

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... I am guessing your 56* has a decent amount of bounce and does not have trailing edge relief, so how do you play high shots from a tight lie with your sw? 


More Vertical shaft open face hit off the toe.
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I used a 56° wedge with 10° of bounce for my “lob” shots for a good long time.

Bought a 60° and started duffing everything with it.

If you are a Vokey follower and read about their 56/16K grind it was built because they started noticing more players using the 56° around the greens, because of better results.

I personally have ditched the 60 and don’t plan on using one again. I can do everything I could with a 56° I could with a 60, plus more.

It all depends on the operator. I can see the benefits of having one, but for me it’s a wasted spot in the bag.

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This is an age old argument even when we didn’t know what loft our SW was - that’s right - when i was playing in the 60’s and 70’s I had no clue what loft any of my clubs were or how much my shafts weighed or what the bounce was on my SW. I just practiced with all of my clubs and worked out how to use them best for my game.

I was a huge Jack Nicklaus fan so since he played everything around the green with SW at that time, that’s what I did. I had all kinds of shots with it. Later as Seve came on the scene I learned the bladed sand wedge and the flop - I played the flop with my Eye 2 SW even when I added a 60 - little did I know that my SW was a 58 the difference in bounce made both clubs useful

Still I played lots of shots around the green with the Eye 2 SW - most useful club that I ever owned.

Other than when I’m practiced I never hit flop shots anymore - way too risky my lob wedge hits the ball high enough or with enough spin to handle most situations. If I really need a flop I will go with a traditional shot and take my chances at holing a 10 footer.


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12 minutes ago, revkev said:

Other than when I’m practiced I never hit flop shots anymore - way too risky my lob wedge hits the ball high enough or with enough spin to handle most situations. If I really need a flop I will go with a traditional shot and take my chances at holing a 10 footer.
 

 

... Great point! One of the things it took a long time to learn when hitting a flop shot is NEVER miss short. Swing a little harder and hit it higher or longer than ideal so the worst case scenario is a long putt. But when trying to get it close to a pin just over a bunker or just over thick rough or water, you absolutely have to make your mistake long. The good news is this frees up your swing to be faster/harder/longer with no fear of hitting long and having a 10-20 footer. Because hitting it short is usually a 3 shot mistake. Once in a blue moon I will make the mistake of cutting it too close and leaving it short and that might be my most hated mental error. 

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I'll only flop when absolutely necessary and I don't have the touch to manipulate a SW to do it consistently.

Because I'm less than comfortable in playing a wedge forward and opening it up for loft, I've used the loft provided on lob-wedges to compensate. First with a 60° and now also a 64°.

I'm finding the 64° very quickly rendering my 60° obsolete (been about a 7 or so rounds trial). While I don't use it on full shots as I had the 60°, it's much more versatile for me around the greens.

PM Grind, just so easy to hit compared to other very highly lofted LWs that I've tried in the past.

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... Great point! One of the things it took a long time to learn when hitting a flop shot is NEVER miss short. Swing a little harder and hit it higher or longer than ideal so the worst case scenario is a long putt. But when trying to get it close to a pin just over a bunker or just over thick rough or water, you absolutely have to make your mistake long. The good news is this frees up your swing to be faster/harder/longer with no fear of hitting long and having a 10-20 footer. Because hitting it short is usually a 3 shot mistake. Once in a blue moon I will make the mistake of cutting it too close and leaving it short and that might be my most hated mental error. 


IMG_1259.JPG

Our range is so nice - you can go behind this trap and there is rough or tightly mown grass, down hill or uphill lies, short or long pins - I spent an hour around this green today trying to decide if I will try the the 52/58 combo or stick with the 60.

I found that the 58 will be adequate and the extra 7 yards on it for full shots is important. Plus I’m good with it out of the sand. I hit tons of sand shots today.


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Years ago the only wedge I used was the Titleist Forged Brad Faxon 56* wedge from the "Players Series." I learned to hit all kinds of shots with it and it changed my game forever. I have carried a 58 for years now and it is the only club I use around the greens (with a few isolated exceptions). I love using spin around the greens to try and control as much of the shot variables that I can but I always attribute my ability to hit those shots from the time I only carried the BF 56. That said - I could never imagine going back to only having the 56. I am, however, giving serious thought to going to 51 instead of 49 and 53. Having two wedges is what I'm used to and then I can carry a 5 wood again.

 

 

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What is the difference between a lob and flop shot?  Aren't they essentially the same; a shot whose max height is about the same as its distance?  

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What is the difference between a lob and flop shot?  Aren't they essentially the same; a shot whose max height is about the same as its distance?  


I’m guessing the OP is talking about flops. I’m sure that the only one who knows the difference between the two is Dave Pelz. He will gladly charge you $3200 at his 3 day school coming by you soon to explain the two in such detail that you won’t be able to execute either as you are thinking when do I hinge or unhinge here. :)


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I wasn't trying to define 'lob' as anything specific. More asking about the highest lofted club used for the shots closest to the green. A flop shot seems like a more specific thing but is probably also pertinent to this discussion in terms of: can you accomplish a flop with just a 56* or do you need a 60*. But my main query was based off the recent article I referenced where someone took the position of "having a lob wedge is unnecessary". 

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As @revkev mentioned there’s lots of ways to skin a cat. Get the ball on the ground as quick as possible and let it roll out, Hop n stop shots, in between. 

Things many amateurs don’t consider to include approach shots to the green are where is the pin, how much green to work with, conditions of the greens, any type of mounds or different levels on the green.  

Pick a shot you want to hit, choose the club that’s you hit that shot and execute it.

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