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Should golfers chip with one club or multiple clubs?



The other day, a student asked me if they should use the same club around the green or change clubs depending on the shot. My standard reply is that average golfers should always use multiple clubs. I feel that it’s easier for them to consistently repeat one swing, and merely change clubs, thereby changing loft to control distance.

If better players ask me this question, however, I advise them to try both ways and see what works best.

As a golfer’s mechanics and feel improve, there is a valid argument for gravitating toward one club. In fact, better players tend to tell me that they have much better feel using one club. Of course, that’s not true for everyone, but there is one thing golfers who use one club around the greens have in common — they practice their short games A LOT. They have to, because the manipulations they make with their swing and setup to be able to use one wedge around the green effectively and consistently takes a lot of practice.

As a scratch player, I tend to use my lob wedge most often around the green. It’s what I practiced as a kid, and no one ever taught me any different. So as I pondered the one club vs. multiple clubs question for this article, I wondered if myself and all the other one-clubbers out there were making things harder on ourselves.

Does chipping with multiple clubs create more consistent impact and flight patterns, as I’ve always assumed it does for average golfers? Or would a better player like me be able to consistently create the impact and launch conditions with one club that would make it work just as well?

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.48.46 AM

The simple chip shot

I decided to put it to the test, taking my Trackman out to the chipping green and hitting a standard shot from just off the green in light rough. It’s a shot that golfers could effectively use anything from a lob wedge or a simple 9-iron.

I only hit five shots with each club to see what the differences would be between my 9 iron and my lob wedge (56 degrees). I did not want to hit a bunch of shots with each club, as I would “get the feel” and the results would be skewed.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.38.32 AM


  • The lob wedge carried between 7.9 to 9.3 yards in the air while the 9-iron carried 3.8 to 4.6 yards.
  • With the lob wedge, there was a 4.2-foot difference in carry between the shortest and longest carry, while the 9-iron had only a difference of 2.4 feet.

Launch Angle and Landing Angle

  • The lob wedge had launch angles ranging from 26.4 degrees to 31.8 degrees and the 9-iron ranged from 15 degrees to 16 degrees.
  • Remember that when launch changes, dynamic loft tends to change as well. That creates inconsistent heights and carry. This is shown by the top right graph of the photo above. The 9-iron and lob wedge produced two very different heights and landing angles, with the 9-iron being much more consistent.
  • The 9-iron showed much more consistent launch conditions, making roll out predictions much easier to judge — particularly on a flat surface due to more consistent landing angles.
  • As launch angle changes, so does landing angle. And if you look at the data above, you can see that the lob wedge had a landing angle difference of 5.9 degrees and the 9-iron landing angle difference was only 1.5 degrees, making roll out more consistent.

Side and Side Total

  • Since the shot was only a few yards, the side-to-side dispersion was tight with both clubs; however, this would not be the case as the carry distance became longer.
  • The 9-iron will usually carry and land closer to the target line than the the wedge, because it does not have to carry as far in the air to reach the target.
  • The lob wedge will not tend to roll offline as much as the 9-iron will, however especially when the green surface is sloped. For that reason, it is vital that golfers who prefer to use multiple clubs factor in green contours on shots with lower-lofted clubs.


  • The first thing I notice in the photo (on the top right, showing trajectory) is that my lob wedge varies in height from 3.4 feet to 4.3 feet, giving me radically different landing angles.
  • The 9-iron heights only differed by 0.2 feet!

The Conclusion

It is more than obvious from the data that using a 9 iron in this circumstance makes it MUCH easier for golfers to predict the launch angle, carry distance and roll out of a shot. That’s why I will continue to recommend that average golfers use multiple clubs when chipping to minimize variables as they learn different shots.

There is no substitute for confidence and feel under pressure, however, so if you believe that you are better using one club rather than multiple clubs around the green then you will probably perform better on the course. So I also stand by my statement that better players can use one club if they feel it’s best.

Just don’t let your ego get in the way, better players. If you’ve been chipping with one club for a long time, it might be worth your while to learn a new shot with say… a 9 iron. Let the results tell you if it is or isn’t for you.

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Tom F. Stickney II, is a specialist in Biomechanics for Golf, Physiology, and 3d Motion Analysis. He has a degree in Exercise and Fitness and has been a Director of Instruction for almost 30 years at resorts and clubs such as- The Four Seasons Punta Mita, BIGHORN Golf Club, The Club at Cordillera, The Promontory Club, and the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. His past and present instructional awards include the following: Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Golf Digest Top 50 International Instructor, Golf Tips Top 25 Instructor, Best in State (Florida, Colorado, and California,) Top 20 Teachers Under 40, Best Young Teachers and many more. Tom is a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 25 people in the world. Tom is TPI Certified- Level 1, Golf Level 2, Level 2- Power, and Level 2- Fitness and believes that you cannot reach your maximum potential as a player with out some focus on your physiology. You can reach him at tomst[email protected] and he welcomes any questions you may have.



  1. Russell Platt

    Nov 5, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    I use a gap and pitching wedge. If i need a lot of carry, I open up the gap, and the pw is used for runners.

  2. Alien

    Oct 22, 2015 at 9:17 pm


  3. David

    Oct 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    One important issue for average players is bounce. A 56 in the traditional sand wedge role should have plenty of bounce to help the player on less than good swings around the green. For that reason I think it’s a good idea to stick to that wedge, or a 50/52 with 10 degrees of bounce.

    Most average players I’ve seen don’t realize the difference that 4 degrees of loft makes. How many do you see trying to decide to chip with an 8i vs a 9i?

    Not only that, but how many actually practice with different wedges in different situations?

    Keep it simple and stick with one club. Luke Donald typically sticks to a 54 or 60 to chip, according to his Mizuno YouTube video.

  4. Greg

    Oct 21, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    There are no short cuts to being good at chipping. It’s all about how your hands and wrists feel on any given day. Practice, practice and more practice will produce muscle memory in your hands and wrists until it becomes second nature. Whenever it is possible I prefer to run the ball most of the way to the pin, anything from a six iron down to the nine iron. You’ll be surprised how many times your chips will hit the pin and drop. BTW – whenever I practice I never leave until I’ve holed four chip shots.

  5. Duncan Castles

    Oct 20, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Good article Tom. I have a reasonably strong short game and typically use a 56 degree Wishon for everything around the green, but this inspired me to use a PW for three mid-length chips yesterday. Two kick-in pars and one chip-in birdie.
    I’ve worked on the technique before – using a putting grip and stroke with the heel of the club set more upright – but it was a nice reminder that the simpler shot can be more consistent. Even if it doesn’t feel as nice.

  6. Mat

    Oct 16, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    There is a reason that most chipper clubs are at a 9-iron loft. That’s what I use for many, but not all of my chips. Once I’m 18 yards from the pin, or more often lower than the green, usually the 58 comes out. But on a level approach, that 9-iron is pretty much like a long putt – you just start your roll on the green.

  7. Jang Hyung-sun

    Oct 16, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    58 deg Yururi Raw Gekku for everything 100 yards in. Sand, flops, lob, even Runyan little poison running chips…one tool to rule them all.

  8. Dave S

    Oct 16, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    I don’t consider myself a very good player (14hcp), but I definitely prefer using one club from w/in 50 yards (60 degree for me). I find that players who aren’t as good, typically have one club that they’re most comfortable with. I’d prefer to change the shot I hit with a club I’m very comfortable than hitting a different type of shot with a club I may rarely use around the green in a typical round. I almost think the author’s premise is flipped in real life… I think you need more time to learn to hit different shots with different clubs. Even if you technically make the same swing, but just change club for loft/distance purposes, the feel of that swing will change w/ different clubs, which can throw off someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to practice those shots.

    • Gerald T. Parker

      Oct 19, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Most 14 handicap golfer should not even have a lob wedge. They must be hit precisely and too many mishits.

  9. Scott

    Oct 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Tom, Are you gaming or SCOR wedges per the picture?

  10. Greg V

    Oct 16, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Nice article, but there is one short game technique that can help to obtain great results on the shortest of shots: turn your chip into a putting stroke.

    Use your putting grip, put the toe of the club into the ground, stand closer, bend your lead arm as you would when putting, and make your putting stroke with a PW, 9-iron or 8-iron.

    For many players, the putting stroke enables better contact. If hitting chips and pitches “fat” or skinny is a problem, the putting stroke chip or pitch can fix the problem.

    It is certainly a technique to practice when you lie withing 10, even 15 feet from the putting surface.

    • Like

      Oct 16, 2015 at 1:29 pm

      I like that.

    • Dave

      Oct 16, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      I particularly like using that technique with a 23 deg rescue club from the fringes. I rarely see others doing it but I do see a lot of muffed wedge shots. Putting style with a hybrid is a much higher percentage shot. This is particularly true when the grass is one of the tough / wiry creeping grass like kikuyu. I remember watching Faldo using a 3 wood for that shot at Riviera.

    • Mat

      Oct 16, 2015 at 5:49 pm


      That’s it. You’re putting. Thanks for adding this.

  11. Carlos Danger

    Oct 16, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Have always thought that higher hdcp should only practice with one wedge for most pitch/chip shots. 52-56 degree wedge.

    Obviously there are sertain circumstances where a flop is required or you have alot of green to work with and you may use a PW or iron, but for the most part getting comfortable with one club is the best way to go.

    Walking up to the green with 4 clubs in your hand and a dozen different types fo shots to hit is not a good idea unless you are a low hdcp with an excellent short game. Reason being is that a higher hdcp will only be somewhat or not at all comfortable hitting the majority of the different shots. But if you have been practicing with the same club and know how it performs you will be much more confident and comfortable hitting those chips and pitches

  12. prime21

    Oct 15, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Awesome article per usual. I just hope you don’t read 99% of the ridiculous commentary offered by the amazing short game gurus that couldn’t wait to throw in their 1/2¢’s. Pure, simple logic challenging those who have only done it one way to try something different that may actually help their game. And if it doesn’t, they can return to their “proven” method without harm. Thank you for your time, data, and an idea that may turn out to be a stroke saver, even to those who think their way is the only way!

  13. golfiend

    Oct 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Pitching or gap wedge for almost everything except maybe using a 9-iron for a run out. If I’m not in the sand, the sand wedge never gets used, and in sand that’s not fluffy, the gap wedge sometimes works fine.

  14. birly-shirly

    Oct 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Tom – you’ve previously written articles using launch monitor data to support pretty clear conclusions that “serious” golfers SHOULD be using premium balls and new wedges. Here you seem to have comparable evidence for an equally strong recommendation, but this time the conclusion is all about personal choice, preference and confidence. Why the difference?

  15. leftyswinger

    Oct 15, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    when did a 56 degree become a lob wedge? am i missing something

    • KCCO

      Oct 15, 2015 at 5:08 pm

      I am slightly confused by this as well, in a number perspective 51/52 my gap, 56 sand (as my personal preference I still use 60 outta the sand for most short shots) and my “60” would be my lob wedge. Am I missing something, or just personal preference? More just wanted to know if people considered there 56 a lob?

      • prime21

        Oct 15, 2015 at 11:07 pm


        • Prime 3-2-what????

          Oct 16, 2015 at 9:53 pm

          -prime21 Could you please elaborate on at least on of your posts? …..I speak with Tom personally and always feel his theories are pretty spot on. As for your comments I’m a little intrigued by what all of the negativity or just lack of allowing others to share their own personal ways and opinions. If you could maybe put a little factual insight and not just shots at others ways they prefer or have been taught. Tom is teaching and showing with numbers. Your simply wasting space. Thankyou

  16. Robert

    Oct 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    For years I only used one club around the greens, but my chipping was far from great and one of my weaknesses. So I started using 3 clubs. LW 59, GW 48, and 9 iron 42. I know unless I have a very long shot, the 9 iron will carry 5-6 paces of fringe. The GW on a standard shot will carry 10-11. For both I hit the “putter” type stroke and the ball easily lofts in the air and gets rolling. I judge the distance as if I was about to putt the ball. It works very well.

    Any other shot, I’ll hit my LW (unless I have to get creative).

  17. Greg Hunter

    Oct 15, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I use a 56 for just about everything from 100 yards in. I practice with it on every shot from sand, lob, pitch, bump. unless I have a really tight lie which I will use my 60 with only 8* of bounce. I think it’s easier to get use to one club so you know how it feels and reacts. I will change the loft of the wedge by pressing my hands forward or not. My son and the young players I have taught are doing well with it. A lot simpler IMO

    • Ben

      Oct 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      sometimes you need to be able to hit a lower lofted club and still use the bounce of the club, if you forward press a 56 SW and turn it into a 9 iron you will encourage digging of the leading edge. That would by my only complaint with your method. That being said, I think for 95% of players your method would work great. I am near 0 index and none of the 5-15 hcp guys I play with really understand using the bounce of the club around the green.

  18. cb

    Oct 15, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    great article tom. i, like yourself, grew up only using a lob wedge and about 3 months ago i just started practicing with my PW around the green. I saw what your data confirms, the PW was easier to achieve consistent results than my 60. Now I usually go for the PW or 52 around the greens unless the shot calls for some carry with no real roll out, then I switch to the 60 and do the same motion as I do with the PW or 52. So myself, a 6 hdcp, switched from being a 1 clubber to now using the same motion but switching clubs depending on what the shot calls for.

  19. Mark

    Oct 15, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Besides my usual wedges I do like to use my 7 iron on certain chip shots. My advice: don’t forget about the utility of your irons!

  20. John Triscott

    Oct 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Most of us don’t play nearly enough to chip with multiple clubs… I would only recommend one club and become comfortable with that.

    I use a 56 for all green side shots. I use a 60 out of bunkers. 60 for flop shots. There are obviously times that come up where I may need to bank a 7 iron into the grass but I don’t practice these (or practice other shots).

    If you have the time to practice pitching and chipping with multiple clubs…. I envy you. I will have to stick to my one club method…

  21. Lowell

    Oct 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Again with chipping and pitching, I feel it is what the player can repeat effectively that works i.e. if you can produce a high flop shot with a 56 and are able to close it down to chip on the green, great. Now if you prefer a lob wedge and like using your 8 iron, great also. For me, its about comfort zone. I practice a multitude of shots around the green from an 7 or iron all the way up to an open 56 degree wedge. For me, I picked up a good rule of thumb from a short game clinic I attented. The rule that if I can putt it, then I putt it even if off the green. If I can pitch it, pitch it. This to me means 7 iron all the way up to a 56 depending on the amount of release I want. If really depends on the players preference and how comfortable they are with executing it.

  22. Dan K

    Oct 15, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    I mostly use my 56* around the green. If I have to hit a really soft flop of a tight lie I’ll use my 60*(less bounce), and if the bunkers are firm I’ll use my 60*. We have two greens with severe up slope to the back of the green so if I am chipping from the front of the green I’ll use my 52* or putt with my hybrid.

  23. Steve

    Oct 15, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Great topic. I had a teacher a few years who dogmatically insisted I try to use my 56 SW for all greenside situations. Of course it can be done, but with my average skill skill level (index 17) it requires more talent and practice than I have available. For me controlling the amount of spin when hitting a low runner with a lofted club was an issue, and I felt that at times I was trying to make my SW do things it wasn’t really designed to do.

  24. Aaron

    Oct 15, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Am I seriously reading an article about chipping/pitching that is referencing launch monitor data!? Ridiculous! I would be willing to wager that if you grabbed nearly all tour players and asked them to give a tutorial on chipping not one of them would refer to launch monitor data as to how they come to play those shots. This over analysis of the game is beyond me… Quit trying to quantify everything and take a large bucket of balls to the practice green and work on different shots, with different clubs, different lies etc. and get used to hitting a multitude of shots so that when you are actually on the course you have a “FEEL” for what you want to accomplish! I am a scratch golfer and I use whatever club I can visual pulling the shot off with. The problem that most average golfers have (10+ Hcp) is that they do not practice enough! They will read an article like this and the take away will be “my 9 iron is more predictable and consistent for shots around the green”. Then they will go out and the first short sided, shady lie chip they have they’ll grab that nine iron and either chunk the chip, or thin it across the green because they don’t have a feel for how to play the shot and the club they chose is not based on a reliable expectation derived through practice.

    • golfraven

      Oct 15, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Fair point on the Trackman and I was sceptical at first but I guess it has been used more to collect the data and to support the argument. On a youtube video I gave seen a Pro practicing chipping with the Zepp App and he used it to get feedback on tempo and hand/club path which I found interesting.

    • Tom Stickney

      Oct 15, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      It’s always fun to put numbers on your feels to make sure you are doing the right things not how I would teach chipping usually. Have fun with the article

      • Ben

        Oct 21, 2015 at 12:42 pm

        Tom I think your use of the trackman is very useful. It shows readers that you have better consistency in terms of landing point, landing angle, and direction when you use a lower lofted club. I tend to chip with every club in my bag short of the D/3W because it allows me to use more of a compact putting stroke with less moving parts. Relying on the SW or LW takes far more accuracy because of setting the wrists, longer swing, ball spends more time in the air, etc. An easy mental tip I have used is that I try to land the PW halfway to the hole, it will generally roll out. And the effort I use on that swing is about 2x as much as what it will take to accomplish the same with a 6 iron. SW/LW is more of an art form, less mechanical. Maybe that’s why we are so divided on the subject.

  25. Philip

    Oct 15, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I decide based on two choices, the first is what do I want/need to do – run it to the hole and take out some nasty break on the green or land it fast and run out – how much space is between the flag and the edge of the green – what is the safer shot – what kind of lie do I have? Once I decided on the type of shot I want I select a club accordingly. On average I get the following results : 60 = more carry, less roll / 56 = carry and roll the same / 52 = more roll than carry / 48 = even more roll than carry. It is very, very rare that the shots I am left with around the green allow me to use less than my 48 degree PW.

  26. Howser

    Oct 15, 2015 at 11:11 am

    60°, 52° &… awww, just use what feels right slackers!

  27. Alex

    Oct 15, 2015 at 11:08 am

    My bread and butter club for pitching and chipping is my 54°. I sometimes hit my 58°, especially if I need to hit a flop; and if there’s plenty of green up front I occassionally hit a bump and run with an 8 iron, depending on my feeling for the day. But I’m mostly a one-club player.

    • Large chris

      Oct 15, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      Same here Alex. I’ve found using that “tour pitch” type technique described a few weeks ago (coming much more from the inside, pushing hands forward) has given me a lot more confidence with the 54 including from tight lies, but the 58 and 9 iron still gets occasional use.

  28. TheCityGame

    Oct 15, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Tom, normally I like your analyses, but this is a nonsensical way to use your launch monitor, and you overlook some key factors.

    1) OF COURSE 9-iron carry is more tightly grouped than LW carry. You’re not trying to carry it as far. It’s like saying your full PW carry is more tightly grouped than full 4 iron carry.

    2) Only looking at carry ignores the fact that a 1 yard extra carry in the 9-iron might translate to 3 more yards of roll-out, while 2 yard extra carry in the LW might only translate to 1 extra yards of roll out. That is, your 9-iron missed the mark by 4 yards (1 carry + 3 roll), while your LW ended up missing the mark by 3 yards (2 carry + 1 roll).

    You’re overlooking the simplest metric that a player should consider when deciding what to use around the green : proximity to the hole after the shot.

    I think that for a very basic shot (say, flat fairway to flat green), a player should try to bench-mark this for himself.

    But, this whole idea can be boiled down to “this is why you have to practice”. Every shot around the green is different. Different lies, different carry requirements, different roll-out, different green speeds, etc.

    You might be better with that 9 iron in some general sense, but you’re not going to hit it to a pin 2 paces on when you’re 8 yards off the green in wet conditions. You’re not going to hit your 52 rather than your 60 when you need to flop one over a bunker to a close pin. You probably aren’t going to use your 60 when you miss the green by 2 yards and have 20 yards of roll-out to the pin.

    Personally, I like to keep it simple. . .

    60 when I have to be cute.

    54 for a “standard” get-it-up and roll-it-out

    PW for when I want to get it on and get it rolling.

    • dwc

      Oct 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Good comment. I am about a 15 HC and have been practicing extensively with 58 wedge. I’m comfortble with it, but I would like know under what situations would the better club be a 54 or 50 or 46, for example. Assuming you were equally as gifted in each (requires practice). But assuming that, can you detail a few examples of the move down from say a 58 or lob to a PW?

      Or perhaps recommend a good book that discusses this. I certainly get the obvious: over a trap to a short sided pin = lob, but probably do not understand the implications of other cases.


      • Scott

        Oct 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm

        dwc, There are too many variables to give a 100% of the time type of answer, but I can tell you what works for me. If you use a practice green to hit chips to, you maybe able to determine which works best for you. Ignoring the different types of strokes (discussed throughout the article), if you have a basic level lie to a basic level pin, try hitting a few shots with a swing that you are comfortable with. Then pay attention to your results. If I am short to the pin, hitting it the way that I am comfortable with, I may need more roll and I will lower the loft. If I am past the hole, I will add loft. After some practice you will be able to determine which club works for which shot better for you. Once you have an idea on what will happen, then you can adjust for slope, speed, etc. If I am short or long, I would rather change clubs then try to force a swing – harder or softer.

        I will say, if you have not tried the putting stroke style of chipping, you may be missing out. I even use the putting stoke on 30 plus yard shots if conditions are such. And please practice with the type of ball that you will be playing to get a better feel.

        • dwc

          Oct 16, 2015 at 1:51 pm

          Thanks for the thoughts. I am interested in this putting style of chipping. I use more of a Steve Stricker technique. Is that similar? For very short chips, sometimes I will raise the heel off the ground, stand very close to the ball with the shaft more vertical. Is that what you mean by putting technique

          • Scott

            Oct 19, 2015 at 9:27 am

            yes, that is one way to do it. I tend to keep my elbows close to my body and hit the putting stoke. It would depend on what you are comfortable with. With the putting stroke, your club options open up where you can use a low lofted iron, hybrid or wood. Although I have fun hitting different clubs, I would try to limit your selection and get used to how the ones perform for you.

      • TheCityGame

        Oct 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm

        The secret is in the dirt. You gotta get out there and practice.

        There is no right answer to this. That’s why it’s common debate topic. Try to find the right balance between simplicity and effectiveness.

        For me, that’s 3 clubs. 60 when I have to lob it. 54 as a general tool. PW when I have a lot of green to run it across.

        Sometimes you need to be an artist. Recently I flew a green. I had a lot of green back to the pin but had a “hog’s back” part way there. A lot of guys might have bumped onto the green, and tried to trickle it over the hog’s back. I felt comfortable hitting a flop that landed into the face of the hog’s back, almost died, and then trickled down to the hole. A person probably could have flopped it OVER the hogs back too. There were a lot of ways to hit that shot. I hit the one I saw in my mind’s eye. You don’t have a mind’s eye if you’re not out practicing.

        Don’t overlook how often the putter can be used.

        • Scott

          Oct 23, 2015 at 11:12 am

          Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you feel about it) you are right. No Substitute for practice and being comfortable hitting the shot that you envision.

  29. Ryan

    Oct 15, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Nicklaus used a 56, no lob his whole career. Food for thought.

    • David Ober

      Oct 15, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      And by all accounts, including his own, Nicklaus had a mediocre pitching game for a professional. Was definitely the weakest part of his game. It certainly wasn’t “bad,” but there are other pros whose short games we should look to for guidance, rather than Nicklaus. And I’m a big Jack fan! 🙂

      • Alex

        Oct 15, 2015 at 4:52 pm

        The greatest short game golfers all used the 56 until a few years ago when the 60 showed up. Seve, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and Gary Player come to mind.

        • prime21

          Oct 15, 2015 at 11:16 pm

          No Tour Professional in the history of golf has actually changed the lofts of his/her clubs. They kept the same exact loft that was stamped on their clubhead throughout their entire career. Even if during a season the loft changed, they simply continued to use it as it was, without ever putting it on a loft/lie machine to check it or bend it. I suppose you were privie to Seve’s WITB throughout his career huh? The 60 showed up “a few years ago”? What? Shhhhhhh.

          • devilsadvocate

            Oct 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm

            Your ignorance made me lol….. Shhhhh yourself

          • devilsadvocate

            Oct 15, 2015 at 11:53 pm

            I’m sorry but I have to reiterate… The ignorance in primes post literally made me lol and wake up my sleeping wife next to me…. And the shhhh…. Hahahaha hahahahaha…..whew! Man! prime, buddy, loft and lie change naturally through play and have to be monitored and adjusted on a fairly regular basis, especially with softer forged metal that tour players use… Also yes the 60 degree wedge is a fairly recent addition to the golf world… Personally heard Tom Watson talk about how it makes the game easier than he thinks it should be…. But seriously thanks for the laugh I needed it!

            • devilsassociate

              Oct 16, 2015 at 10:06 pm

              I agree! I hope he continues to post, it’s actually humorous. Prime, I’m sorry but you haven’t made a “.1/2cent” (your words) in any of the posts, regarding your days when you were caddying for Seve……or whatever tour pro’s you work with.

  30. Charlie

    Oct 15, 2015 at 10:51 am

    I rotate between 50/54/58. Anything less lofted goes into my normal iron set. Going from blade wedges to cavity irons with C-Taper shafts dramatically changes the feel and bounce off the club.

    So, yes and no?

  31. Sira

    Oct 15, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I have always been taught by my old short game coach to use 8-iron to run the ball if the lie and pin position allows it.
    To get softer landing shot, just get a higher loft wedge.

    Of course, to use any type of shot you need to practice the heck out of it so that you are confident using them in real situations. More clubs for chipping equals having more shots in your short game arsenal.

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The Wedge Guy: My top 5 practice tips



While there are many golfers who barely know where the practice (I don’t like calling it a “driving”) range is located, there are many who find it a place of adventure, discovery and fun. I’m in the latter group, which could be accented by the fact that I make my living in this industry. But then, I’ve always been a “ball beater,” since I was a kid, but now I approach my practice sessions with more purpose and excitement. There’s no question that practice is the key to improvement in anything, so today’s topic is on making practice as much fun as playing.

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the range, and always embrace the challenge of learning new ways to make a golf ball do what I would like it to do. So, today I’m sharing my “top 5” tips for making practice fun and productive.

  1. Have a mission/goal/objective. Whether it is a practice range session or practice time on the course, make sure you have a clearly defined objective…how else will you know how you’re doing? It might be to work on iron trajectory, or finding out why you’ve developed a push with your driver. Could be to learn how to hit a little softer lob shot or a knockdown pitch. But practice with a purpose …always.
  2. Don’t just “do”…observe.  There are two elements of learning something new.  The first is to figure out what it is you need to change. Then you work toward that solution. If your practice session is to address that push with the driver, hit a few shots to start out, and rather than try to fix it, make those first few your “lab rats”. Focus on what your swing is doing. Do you feel anything different? Check your alignment carefully, and your ball position. After each shot, step away and process what you think you felt during the swing.
  3. Make it real. To just rake ball after ball in front of you and pound away is marginally valuable at best. To make practice productive, step away from your hitting station after each shot, rake another ball to the hitting area, then approach the shot as if it was a real one on the course. Pick a target line from behind the ball, meticulously step into your set-up position, take your grip, process your one swing thought and hit it. Then evaluate how you did, based on the shot result and how it felt.
  4. Challenge yourself. One of my favorite on-course practice games is to spend a few minutes around each green after I’ve played the hole, tossing three balls into various positions in an area off the green. I don’t let myself go to the next tee until I put all three within three feet of the hole. If I don’t, I toss them to another area and do it again. You can do the same thing on the range. Define a challenge and a limited number of shots to achieve it.
  5. Don’t get in a groove. I was privileged enough to watch Harvey Penick give Tom Kite a golf lesson one day, and was struck by the fact that he would not let Tom hit more than five to six shots in a row with the same club. Tom would hit a few 5-irons, and Mr. Penick would say, “hit the 8”, then “hit the driver.” He changed it up so that Tom would not just find a groove. That paved the way for real learning, Mr. Penick told me.

My “bonus” tip addresses the difference between practicing on the course and keeping a real score. Don’t do both. A practice session is just that. On-course practice is hugely beneficial, and it’s best done by yourself, and at a casual pace. Playing three or four holes in an hour or so, taking time to hit real shots into and around the greens, will do more for your scoring skills than the same amount of range time.

So there you have my five practice tips. I’m sure I could come up with more, but then we always have more time, right?

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The Wedge Guy: Anyone can be a better wedge player by doing these simple things



As someone who has observed rank-and-file recreational golfers for most of my life – over 50 years of it, anyway – I have always been baffled by why so many mid- to high-handicap golfers throw away so many strokes in prime scoring range.

For this purpose, let’s define “prime scoring range” as the distance when you have something less than a full-swing wedge shot ahead of you. Depending on your strength profile, that could be as far as 70 to 80 yards or as close as 30 to 40 yards. But regardless of whether you are trying to break par or 100, your ability to get the ball on the green and close enough to the hole for a one-putt at least some of the time will likely be one of the biggest factors in determining your score for the day.

All too often, I observe golfers hit two or even three wedge shots from prime scoring range before they are on the green — and all too often I see short-range pitch shots leave the golfer with little to no chance of making the putt.

This makes no sense, as attaining a level of reasonable proficiency from short range is not a matter of strength profile at all. But it does take a commitment to learning how to make a repeating and reliable half-swing and doing that repeatedly and consistently absolutely requires you to learn the basic fundamentals of how the body has to move the club back and through the impact zone.

So, let’s get down to the basics to see if I can shed some light on these ultra-important scoring shots.

  • Your grip has to be correct. For the club to move back and through correctly, your grip on the club simply must be fundamentally sound. The club is held primarily in the last three fingers of the upper hand, and the middle two fingers of the lower hand. Period. The lower hand has to be “passive” to the upper hand, or the mini-swing will become a quick jab at the ball. For any shot, but particularly these short ones, that sound grip is essential for the club to move through impact properly and repeatedly.
  • Your posture has to be correct. This means your body is open to the target, feet closer together than even a three-quarter swing, and the ball positioned slightly back of center.
  • Your weight should be distributed about 70 percent on your lead foot and stay there through the mini-swing.
  • Your hands should be “low” in that your lead arm is hanging naturally from your shoulder, not extended out toward the ball and not too close to the body to allow a smooth turn away and through. Gripping down on the club is helpful, as it gets you “closer to your work.
  • This shot is hit with a good rotation of the body, not a “flip” or “jab” with the hands. Controlling these shots with your body core rotation and leading the swing with your body core and lead side will almost ensure proper contact. To hit crisp pitch shots, the hands have to lead the clubhead through impact.
  • A great drill for this is to grip your wedge with an alignment rod next to the grip and extending up past your torso. With this in place, you simply have to rotate your body core through the shot, as the rod will hit your lead side and prevent you from flipping the clubhead at the ball. It doesn’t take but a few practice swings with this drill to give you an “ah ha” moment about how wedge shots are played.
  • And finally, understand that YOU CANNOT HIT UP ON A GOLF BALL. The ball is sitting on the ground so the clubhead has to be moving down and through impact. I think one of the best ways to think of this is to remember this club is “a wedge.” So, your simple objective is to wedge the club between the ball and the ground. The loft of the wedge WILL make the ball go up, and the bounce of the sole of the wedge will prevent the club from digging.

So, why is mastering the simple pitch shot so important? Because my bet is that if you count up the strokes in your last round of golf, you’ll likely see that you left several shots out there by…

  • Either hitting another wedge shot or chip after having one of these mid-range pitch shots, or
  • You did not get the mid-range shot close enough to even have a chance at a makeable putt.

If you will spend even an hour on the range or course with that alignment rod and follow these tips, your scoring average will improve a ton, and getting better with these pitch shots will improve your overall ball striking as well.

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Clement: Don’t overlook this if you want to find the center of the face




It is just crazy how golfers are literally beside themselves when they are placed in a properly aligned set up! They feel they can’t swing or function! We take a dive into why this is and it has to do with how the eyes are set up in the human skull!

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