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Needing Serious help from 40-125


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I can typically drive the ball pretty well usually leaving myself in between 40-125 into most holes.  I struggle Woefully from these distances.  My typical miss is a chunk, but I'm also excellent at thinning wedges across the green.  I used to dig trenches when I hit wedges.  I'm talking like full beaver pelt divots.  I've gotten a little better in the last month shallowing my swing more.  I understand having tour level wedges isn't in the cards, but I'm looking for serviceable wedges to potentially score better.  I normally average around 1 or 2 birdies a round which sucks compared to how far I can hit a driver.  I'm 6' 6" which probably goes into why I can get steep.  

To give a frame of reference if you're going to provide input, I've been working on set up as of late.  I'm trying to stand more upright with my chest and my butt out.  I'm trying to keep this position throughout the swing.  I've heard about swing more with arms and hands and keeping the rest of my body still.  I've also seen and heard matching the arms with the body and the hips leading the swing.  

I probably has so many damn thoughts going on that I'm bound and determined to F up the wedge swing no matter what I do.

Any drills, tips, or guidance would be greatly appreciative as I'm struggling for consistency. 

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Driver:  :ping-small:   G410 LST, 10.5 *. Even Flow 70G  X-Stiff .5 extended, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

FW Wood:  Titleist  3, 15*, DIamana 70G Stiff ; 5 extended, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

Hybrid:  :taylormade-small:Sim Max 19* Ventus Stiff Shaft, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

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Irons:  :taylormade-small: PSI 5-PW C-Taper 130 X-stiff  

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: RTX-3, 52-56-60*                  

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Obviously, without seeing anything, any advice is a bit of a shot in the dark. But for me, the instruction of James Sieckmann has helped me enormously with the very issue you're talking about. In particular, he advocates imagining a flashlight mounted on your chest. At address, you want that light to shine slightly in front of the ball. This video explains some of that setup:

For me, that setup idea is key. But the other idea is that as I deliver the club, I want to turn through so that chest flashlight ends up shining at my target. This ends up being a vital thing for me; if my chest stops rotating, my strike gets very unpredictable: fats and thins. But if I turn through, a lot of good things happen on those partial wedge shots.

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Yes!  I’ll say first off, this is my favorite distance of all shots to play during a round. It became my favorite by selecting one club and using that one club exclusively. 
 

As I said above, start with one club. I take my 52* and use it for most of my shots during a round. The idea of using just one club ingrains some comfort and confidence knowing that I can make a certain width and speed of swing depending on my distance. 
 

This is all going to develop from practice and repetition. Start with Dustin Johnson’s wedge drill. You can find videos on the YouTube but in simplest terms, he starts with the full distance and then picks three yardages closer between that furthest point and yourself. Full swing to furthest, then work to say 100, then 75, then 50. Keep working back and forth to those yardages to develop that feel and confidence. 
 

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That is a big distance gap to focus on, my suggestion would be to break it down at least between short game (inside 50 yards) and approach. Try to figure out if it is one or other causing the issues. Your index is good so you can obviously get it around fine. Also of note don't focus on the birdies, they will come, focus on avoiding bogeys. 

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9 hours ago, GolfSpy MPR said:

Obviously, without seeing anything, any advice is a bit of a shot in the dark. But for me, the instruction of James Sieckmann has helped me enormously with the very issue you're talking about. In particular, he advocates imagining a flashlight mounted on your chest. At address, you want that light to shine slightly in front of the ball. This video explains some of that setup:

For me, that setup idea is key. But the other idea is that as I deliver the club, I want to turn through so that chest flashlight ends up shining at my target. This ends up being a vital thing for me; if my chest stops rotating, my strike gets very unpredictable: fats and thins. But if I turn through, a lot of good things happen on those partial wedge shots.

Thank you for the video.  I actually worked on it some tonight with just swinging the club, no balls.  I have a scramble tomorrow and I'll definitely be putting this into practice there.  I can easily switch between swings without totally screwing my swing up.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

Fingers crossed.  

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Driver:  :ping-small:   G410 LST, 10.5 *. Even Flow 70G  X-Stiff .5 extended, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

FW Wood:  Titleist  3, 15*, DIamana 70G Stiff ; 5 extended, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

Hybrid:  :taylormade-small:Sim Max 19* Ventus Stiff Shaft, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

:taylormade-small: Sim Max 22* Ventus Stiff Shaft, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

Irons:  :taylormade-small: PSI 5-PW C-Taper 130 X-stiff  

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: RTX-3, 52-56-60*                  

Putter:  :edel-golf-1:  34 Inch E-1 with Pixel insert.  

Golf Ball:     :taylormade-small: TP5

 

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Looking forward to your feedback on how this pans out for you.  @GolfSpy MPR gave you some good advice in my opinion, and I'll double down on it...I would caution against making a "hands and arms" swing, especially in this yardage range.  Go check out Martin Chuck's TourStriker videos, whether concerning the SmartBall or the Planemate, and they both emphasize the chest as the engine of the swing and using your body to control the clubface rather than your hands.  I think you'll find a hands and arms swing far more timing dependent and less consistent.

Also, and maybe this doesn't apply to you but maybe it does, I see a lot of guys get scared (for lack of a better term) and start decelerating the club into impact...a surefire way to chunk it or blade it.  Next time you have to practice these shots, consider a short abbreviated backswing and an accelerated and longer follow-through and I suspect you'll see a marked improvement in impact position.

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Without seeing your swing, you mention both thinning and chunking - reach point to one thing: An issue with a consistent low point.  I cannot give you any specific drills, but I would spend time focusing on your stance, weight distribution at address, swaying in the backswing (head moving back), and not rotating through impact.  

It really sounds like you get stuck on your back foot and throw the club at the ball because you are moving your head and torso towards your back foot during the backswing, so working on your lower body and rotational movement throughout the swing should help resolve some things.

 

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7 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Without seeing your swing, you mention both thinning and chunking - reach point to one thing: An issue with a consistent low point.  I cannot give you any specific drills, but I would spend time focusing on your stance, weight distribution at address, swaying in the backswing (head moving back), and not rotating through impact.  

It really sounds like you get stuck on your back foot and throw the club at the ball because you are moving your head and torso towards your back foot during the backswing, so working on your lower body and rotational movement throughout the swing should help resolve some things.

 

Head movement has been a big issue for me when I have had the chunks. I had the head moving back, but the killer was the up and down movement as well. I'm not talking a small amount of up and down, I had way too much up and down. One of my swing thoughts currently is to try to keep my head level (not necessarily still) during the swing.

OP - Not saying this is your problem, just wanted to share what had caused my chunks. I just recently got out of a streak of being a turf destroyer with short irons. 

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I put some of the tips to use and my wedge strikes were definitely more consistent.  I'm still working on keeping my head level through the strike.  This is honestly a problem for a lot of my swings.  I know being "handsie" isn't good for my swing.  The suggestion of watching Martin Chuck's video was good.  I know the chest should be a driver in the swing because it should leave you to the target.  I just need to figure it out and put it all together.  

I'm sure some are saying you have a low handicap, why are you complaining.  Well that's just my thought process.  I'm always tinkering trying to figure out my swing to get better.  It's very frustrating hitting as many fairways as I do, with the distance I have only to throw away the strokes so easily.  

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Driver:  :ping-small:   G410 LST, 10.5 *. Even Flow 70G  X-Stiff .5 extended, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

FW Wood:  Titleist  3, 15*, DIamana 70G Stiff ; 5 extended, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

Hybrid:  :taylormade-small:Sim Max 19* Ventus Stiff Shaft, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

:taylormade-small: Sim Max 22* Ventus Stiff Shaft, Golf Pride MCC Align Grip

Irons:  :taylormade-small: PSI 5-PW C-Taper 130 X-stiff  

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: RTX-3, 52-56-60*                  

Putter:  :edel-golf-1:  34 Inch E-1 with Pixel insert.  

Golf Ball:     :taylormade-small: TP5

 

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Just now, Markelly82 said:

I put some of the tips to use and my wedge strikes were definitely more consistent.  I'm still working on keeping my head level through the strike.  This is honestly a problem for a lot of my swings.  I know being "handsie" isn't good for my swing.  The suggestion of watching Martin Chuck's video was good.  I know the chest should be a driver in the swing because it should leave you to the target.  I just need to figure it out and put it all together.  

I'm sure some are saying you have a low handicap, why are you complaining.  Well that's just my thought process.  I'm always tinkering trying to figure out my swing to get better.  It's very frustrating hitting as many fairways as I do, with the distance I have only to throw away the strokes so easily.  

Just be careful that the "keeping head level" thought doesn't get too extreme to the point where you are trying to keep the head completely still.

Follow my golf journey to break into the 80s

Current tester for the Titleist TSi Driver

Spring 2020 MGS Tester for the Fujikura Motore X Shaft

Updated 4/27/2021
Driver:titelist-small: TSi 2 - Graphite Design AD-XC 6S
Hybrids:taylormade-small: SIM Max 3H, 4H - Matrix Ozik 85S
Irons:srixon-small: ZX5 5 - PW - Accra 95 icwt S
Wedges: :cleveland-small: CBX 2 54, CBX Full Face 58 - Nippon Modus 105 Wedge
Putter:  :odyssey-small: Two Ball Ten S Tour Lines - 31"
 

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I use 3 backswing lengths for each wedge (also a Sieckmann method): shaft parallel to ground, arms parallel to ground, and full swing which gives 3 yardages. Using 60, 54, 50, and 45 degree wedges gives me 12 distances from 30 - 120 yards, some of which do overlap. If I choke all the way down the grip, that reduces 10 yards off any of those 12 distances. It could be something for you to practice and see if it works for you. Some people add 1 more backswing position and others use the clock system and focus on 1 or 2 clubs, you need to see what is most accurate for you and matches your time constraints to stay sharp. You wedges probably have different grinds and bounces, so trying to hit your high bounce sand wedge from the fairway using the clock system because it is the only club you use from 40-100 yards could make things more difficult if it leads to skulls/thins. Being comfortable with more wedges allows you to use the club best suited to the turf conditions from 2 or 3 options in your bag. 

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