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How to add more backspin to your wedge shots

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More Backspin from OnTour Golf on Vimeo.

When you’re near the green with a wedge in hand, it’s OK to raise your expectations and be a bit more aggressive in trying to get the ball close to the flag. In this video, I describe the plight of the average amateurs wedge game, the shot that they can most easily adopt for success and the way to practice to achieve the low-spinning shot Tour players often use around the green. 

GolfWRXers, if you want more free lessons from me, just go to my site OnTOUR Golf. There’s over 100 free lessons available on there. You can get all the lessons by signing up here.

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Currently teaching 14 PGA Tour players, Scott Hamilton is a staple on the PGA Tour range each week. In 2015, a poll of PGA Tour players conducted by Golf Digest ranked him as the No. 2 instructor on the PGA Tour. His players like him for his ability to conduct a complete analysis of their games and return a simple solution to help them play better. “You get the result you want without all the big words.” as Scott often says.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Dan H

    Jan 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Cool video with a study comparing a new wedge to a one year old wedge using Trackman numbers: https://youtu.be/PeOboLZcUuY
    shows the importance of the equipment as well

  2. Steve S

    Aug 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks Mr Obvious. Usually I like Hamilton’s videos. This one could have been 3 minutes shorter. This “tip”has been in every golf magazine at least twice a year for the last 5 years.

  3. Dunn2500

    Aug 22, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I have always generated alot of spin with irons and wedges…….aside from technique and this is gonna sound stupid but I see it all the time…..use a good ball and for godsake keep your grooves clean, I see guys with mud, dirt and grass caked into their grooves and they wonder why ball won’t spin……make sure your irons and wedges are clean…..

  4. K sheriff

    Aug 19, 2016 at 12:41 am

    More loft doesn’t always mean more spin. Gap wedge all day

  5. Dave

    Aug 17, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Yes works great if you have the proper coarse conditions ,nice cut fairways not slopped from overwatering and good greens also , we don’t all play on pro type coarses. But very good article .

    • Matto

      Aug 18, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Coarse conditions? Like….rough sandpaper type conditions?

    • cwt

      Aug 18, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Speaking of course conditions and sand[…], I often have these same thoughts when looking at videos about bunker play. I tend to play at smaller municipal courses, and they rarely have well maintained bunkers. How about a video for how to play various public muni courses?

      • Dave

        Aug 18, 2016 at 5:23 pm

        We have a “local rule” about the sand at our muni courses. Theres several of them you are lucky to even have sand in the bunkers at all, and some that have pea sized to nearly walnut sized gravel in them. My group just makes the decision for the day at the first bunkers if its that bad and full of gravel you just get a free drop from the bunker 2 club lengths any direction you want. Sometimes this allows you to even drop on the green but its the same rule for everyone. We used to do no closer to the hole ect but then it started getting to where you had to drop in 8 inch tall crabgrass and it was a worse lie than the sand so we just made it anywhere around the bunker. To be fair this is really only at the couple of really bad courses.

  6. Equipo

    Aug 17, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I think that you mean ‘low, spinning shot’ instead of ‘low-spinning shot.’ It threw me off so thought I’d help.

    • Jack

      Aug 18, 2016 at 11:45 am

      that low, spinning shot is a tough shot to execute consistently. I guess I could become a better ball striker.

  7. k nizzle

    Aug 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Scott, I very much enjoy your teaching style. I get the information I need and the answers to my questions, delivered in a no-muss, no-fuss manner, all of which I can take to the range right away.

  8. Steven

    Aug 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Great information. Coming from the inside will definitely help. What is a good recommendation to eliminate the shaft being back (I assume a casting problem)? Do you think inside plane helps getting the hands ahead of the ball?

  9. Blake

    Aug 17, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Scott is hands down the best instructor on this site.

    • Timbleking

      Aug 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm

      After Mr Smizzle of course…

    • jmejones

      Aug 20, 2016 at 11:35 am

      He didn’t tell us anything. All he said was what’s done wrong and this is what you do…I’d say at least on video, he wouldn’t help 99% of the golfers out there.

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Instruction

How to fix the root cause of hitting your golf shots fat

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Of all the shots golfers fear, hitting the ball FAT has to be right up at the top of the list. At least it heads the list of commonly hit poor shots (let’s leave the shank and the whiff out for now). After fat, I’d list topping, followed by slicing and then hooking. They are all round-killers, although the order of the list is an individual thing based on ability. Professionals despise a hook, but club golfers by and large fear FAT. Why?

First of all, it’s embarrassing. Secondly, it goes nowhere — at least compared to thin — and it can be physically painful! So to avoid this dreaded miss, golfers do any number of things (consciously or subconsciously) to avoid it. The pattern develops very early in one’s golf life. It does not take very many fat shots for golfers to realize that they need to do something differently. But rather than correct the problem with the correct move(s), golfers often correct a fault with a fault.

Shortening the radius (chicken-winging), raising the swing center, early lower-body extension, holding on through impact (saving it), running the upper body ahead of the golf ball and even coming over the top are all ways of avoiding fat shots. No matter how many drills I may offer for correcting any of those mistakes, none will work if the root cause of fat is not addressed.

So what causes fat? We have to start with posture. Some players simply do not have enough room to deliver the golf club on a good plane from inside to inside. Next on the list of causes is a wide, early cast of the club head. This move is invariably followed by a break down in the lead arm, holding on for dear life into impact, or any of the others…

“Swaying” (getting the swing center too far off the golf ball) is another cause of fat, as well as falling to the rear foot or “reversing the weight.” Both of these moves can cause one to bottom out well behind the ball. Finally, an excessive inside-out swing path (usually the fault of those who hook the ball) also causes an early bottom or fat shot, particularly if the release is even remotely early. 

Here are 4 things to try if you’re hitting fat shots

  1. Better Posture: Bend forward from the hips so that arms hang from the shoulders and directly over the tips of the toes, knees slightly flexed over the shoelaces, seat out for balance and chin off the chest!
  2. Maintaining the Angles: Casting, the natural urge to throw the clubhead at the golf ball, is a very difficult habit to break if one is not trained from the start. The real correction is maintaining the angle of the trail wrist (lag) a little longer so that the downswing is considerably more narrow than the backswing. But as I said, if you have been playing for some time, this is risky business. Talk to your instructor before working on this!
  3. Maintaining the Swing Center Over the Golf Ball: In your backswing, focus on keeping your sternum more directly over the golf ball (turning in a barrel, as Ernest Jones recommended). For many, this may feel like a “reverse pivot,” but if you are actually swaying off the ball it’s not likely you will suddenly get stuck with too much weight on your lead foot.
  4. Setting Up a Little More Open: If your swing direction is too much in-to-out, you may need to align your body more open (or feel that way). You could also work with a teaching aid that helps you feel the golf club is being swung more out in front of you and more left (for right-handers) coming through — something as simple as a head cover inside the golf ball. You’ll hit the headcover if you are stuck too far inside coming down.

The point is that most players do what they have to do to avoid their disastrous result. Slicers swing way left, players who fight a hook swing inside out and anybody who has ever laid sod over the golf ball will find a way to avoid doing it again. This, in my opinion, is the evolution of most swing faults, and trying to correct a fault with a fault almost never ends up well.

Get with an instructor, get some good videos (and perhaps even some radar numbers) to see what you are actually doing. Then work on the real corrections, not ones that will cause more trouble.

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Right Knee Bend: The Difference Between PGA Tour Players and Amateurs

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The knees play an especially important role in the golf swing, helping to transfer the forces golfers generate through our connection with the ground. When we look closer at the right knee bend in the golf swing, we’re able to get a better sense of how PGA Tour players generate power compared to most amateur golfers.

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How to eliminate the double cross: Vertical plane, gear effect and impact location

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One of the biggest issues teachers see on the lesson tee is an out-to-in golf swing from a player who is trying to fade the ball, only to look up and see the deadly double cross! This gear effect assisted toe hook is one of the most frustrating things about trying to move the ball from left to right for the right-handed golfer. In this article, I want to show you what this looks like with Trackman and give you a few ways in which you can eliminate this from your game.

Below is the address position of a golfer I teach here in Punta Mita; his handicap ranges between scratch and 2, depending on how much he’s playing, but his miss is a double cross when he’s struggling.

Now let’s examine his impact position:

Observations

  • You see a pull-hooking ball flight
  • The hands are significantly higher at impact than they were at address
  • If you look at the clubhead closely you can see it is wide open post impact due to a toe hit (which we’ll see more of in a second)
  • The face to path is 0.5 which means with a perfectly centered hit, this ball would have moved very slightly from the left to the right
  • However, we see a shot that has a very high negative spin axis -13.7 showing a shot that is moving right to left

Now let’s look at impact location via Trackman:

As we can see here, the impact of the shot above was obviously on the toe and this is the reason why the double-cross occurred. Now the question remains is “why did he hit the ball off of the toe?”

This is what I see from people who swing a touch too much from out-to-in and try to hit fades: a standing up of the body and a lifting of the hands raising the Vertical Swing Plane and Dynamic Lie of the club at impact. From address, let’s assume his lie angle was 45 degrees (for simplicity) and now at impact you can see his Dynamic Lie is 51 degrees. Simply put, he’s standing up the shaft during impact…when this happens you will tend to pull the heel off the ground at impact and this exposes the toe of the club, hence the toe hits and the gear effect toe hook.

Now that we know the problem, what’s the solution? In my opinion it’s a three stage process:

  1. Don’t swing as much from out-to-in so you won’t stand up as much during impact
  2. A better swing plane will help you to remain in your posture and lower the hands a touch more through impact
  3. Move the weights in your driver to promote a slight fade bias

Obviously the key here is to make better swings, but remember to use technology to your advantage and understand why these type of things happen!

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