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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: We asked, you told us – Part 2

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This week, I’m going to wrap up my review of your feedback from the survey we posted a few weeks ago. As I said then, and in my Part 1 wrap-up, the idea was to learn about your feelings and attitudes toward the game, with an attempt to try to determine whether you were more oriented to the “process” or to the “results” from each round of golf, and even from each shot.

In last week’s Part 1 review (which you can read HERE), I reviewed the demographic make-up of the nearly 1,000 of you who completed the survey and began to dive into how you feel about each sub-set of your set of clubs – driving, fairway woods, mid-iron play, short iron play and wedge play.  Your answers were enlightening, and probably surprising to many of you.

This week I want to explore a bit more deeply into your answers to the last few questions, as I think you will agree they are quite revealing.

In one question, I presented a short list of different shots, and asked which one you would enjoy the most. Easily the most popular answer was “a pin-seeking mid-iron shot” at 36%, followed 26% who chose “short iron or wedge approach that ends up really close”. What surprised me is that a “long straight drive” barely outscored both “scrambling shot that saves par” and “holing a long putt”, all earning less than 14%. Kudos to all of you for those process-oriented attitudes.

The next two questions revealed what you really think about distance. Your answers were nearly equally divided in the question about whether you would trade some driver distance or more accuracy, with accuracy slightly winning out. But when asked the same about iron shots, almost 75% of you said you would trade distance for accuracy. Maybe the irons makers don’t get this, as they are all still pushing distance as THE thing.

Following was the question about what is most important to your iron play, and it wasn’t even close. “More accuracy” was selected by 80% of you, with “better ability to work the ball” winning 3 to 1 over “more distance”.

Then I asked about what is most important after a round is complete. “Shooting a good score” (results) was exactly tied with “hitting more good quality golf shots” (process). The only other answer to get more than nominal response was “enjoying my playing companions” . . . definitely “process”.

The next to last question asked for the one improvement you would most like to make in your golf game, from a list of eight options. Though all eight got measurable responses, number one at 25% was “eliminate or improve my worst shots”, followed by “hit more greens” at 17.5%. The next two were about scoring – “improve my putting” and “improve my greenside scoring skills”. I promise to share more insights and ideas for both in the weeks ahead. “Improving my wedge and short iron play” tied with “become more of a shotmaker with my irons” and were notable.

Finally, I asked what you admire most about the games of those accomplished players you know personally (not tour players). “Precise play through the bag” was clearly the #1 answer, followed by “their avoidance of really bad shots” and their “scoring skills around the greens.”

I want to thank you all for participating in the survey, and I hope you have enjoyed seeing how your fellow GolfWRX’ers feel about the game of golf and their own games. Your answers have given me tons of topics to address in the coming weeks and months and I hope to help all of you, regardless of what you are looking to improve in your own games in 2021.

We are now in the “12 days of Christmas” so I want to wish you all a joyous season. Be safe and mindful of the blessings we all enjoy because of the true meaning of this precious time of year. I’ll wrap up this year’s columns next week with some Christmas wishes for all of us.

After all, we play this game for many reasons, but all of us want to leave the course fulfilled and with a heart full of pleasure. My guess is that those of you who get more out of the process than the results are the ones getting the most out of the game.

Years ago, I coined a phrase that “golf is not a game of numerical gratification,” meaning that your score is rarely going to be all that satisfying. If you understand that the handicap system reflects your best ability, not your average, you also realize that playing a round to your handicap is a rare thing indeed.

I encourage all of you who might focus on results too much to seek to find pleasure in the process and relish each and every shot that flies true.

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Terry Koehler is a fourth generation Texan, a native of a small South Texas town and a graduate of Texas A&M University. He has had a most interesting 40-year career in the golf industry. He has created five start-up companies, ranging from advertising agencies to golf equipment companies. You might remember Reid Lockhart, EIDOLON, SCOR, or his leadership of the reintroduction of Ben Hogan to the golf equipment industry in 2014. For almost 25 years, his wedge designs have stimulated other companies to slightly raise the CG and improve wedge performance. He has just announced the formation of Edison Golf Company and the new Edison Forged wedges, which have been robotically proven to significantly raise the bar for wedge performance. Terry serves as Chairman and Director of Innovation for Edison Golf, which can be seen at www.EdisonWedges.com. Terry has been a prolific equipment designer of over 100 putters and several irons, but many know Koehler as simply “The Wedge Guy”, as he authored over 700 articles on his blog by that name from 2003-2010.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Gaston Tuck

    Jan 20, 2021 at 2:22 am

    How would you like to see how you can start up your own online business selling stuff for commission payments? Have a look at: https://bit.ly/earn-cash-with-affiliate-marketing

  2. Brigette Washington

    Jan 8, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    At Last! Human Sounding Text To Speech 2020 (NEW). For a free demo. Reply to this email: [email protected]

  3. Gdb99

    Dec 17, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    I’m too results oriented. I need to change that.

  4. Gary

    Dec 16, 2020 at 11:52 am

    This data may have been better presented in graphs than words.

    • A. Commoner

      Dec 18, 2020 at 8:32 am

      They certainly would have enhanced the messages.

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Opinion & Analysis

Keep your golf body moving at home

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Over the past few months, I’m willing to bet that a lack of golf, limited access to gyms and spending more time at home in sitting positions will likely be having a negative effect on our posture.

This means certain muscles (pecs, abs, hip flexors) getting tight and short, thereby hunching us over, rounding our shoulders forward and tightening our hips. This combination can wreak havoc on our golf swings, particularly our ability to rotate efficiently.

This simple sequence of exercises, performed daily, will help maintain posture and mobility in the key areas that facilitate rotation in our golf swings. You can find these exercises and much more on the Golf Fit Pro app for iOS.

 

1 – Mid Back Massage – 1 x 90 seconds

Using a foam roller or tightly rolled up towel, aim to apply firm pressure through the mid and upper back whilst gently pushing out the rib cage and arching back. Move up and down the roller or towel to target different areas of your spine.

 

2 – Upper Back Extension – 1 x 30 seconds

Using a bench, box or chair, push the chest down toward the floor whilst keeping your abs / core engaged. You should feel this in your mid and upper back.

 

3 – Straight Arm Chest Stretch – 1 x 30 seconds each side

 

Find a wall, post or doorway, place your hand flat with elbow pointing to the floor and arm straight. Gently turn away from your hand until your feel a stretch in your chest and front of your shoulder.

 

4 – Step Up and Turn – 1 x 5 reps each side 

 

In a push up position, move your foot to the outside of your hand (or as close as possible) then rotate your upper torso with arm straight, aiming to point your hand straight up to the ceiling.

 

5 – Back Swing and Follow Through – 1 x 10 reps

Using a piece of rubber tubing or as pictured, the GravityFit TPro, get into your golf set up position pushing out against the tubing. From there turn into your backswing and then into your follow through. Aim to do the majority of the rotation with your torso, keeping your hands in front of your body.

 

You can check out more of Nick’s articles and services here:

Articles
Golf Fit Pro App
Online Training

 

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The Gear Dive: Talking new Callaway Gear with Dave Neville

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On this episode of TGD, Johnny chats all things new Callaway gear with Sr. Director Brand and Product Management Dave Neville. They go deep into Epic Speed, the new Cally irons, and basically everything else.

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: From “secret” to 5 basics for a better wedge game

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First of all, thanks to all of you who read and gave last week’s post such high marks. And for all of you who have sent me an email asking for me to address so many topics. Keep those coming and I’ll never run out of things to write about.

In response to so many of those who asked for more on the basics, I want to start a series of articles this week to address some of what I consider the basics as you move your wedge game from greenside chipping, back to “full” wedge distances.

While I certainly do not want to try to replace the skills and contributions of a good instructor, what I hope to accomplish over the next few posts is to give you some of what I consider the most sound and basic of fundamentals as you approach shots from the green back to 100-130 yards, or what you consider “full” swing pitching wedge distance.

So, to get this series kicked off, let’s take the most basic of greenside chips, where the ball lies in a reasonably decent lie 3-10 feet from the edge of the green. I know there are many theories and approaches to chipping the ball, from a “putt-stroke” to hitting them all with a lob wedge, but I’m going to focus on what I consider the most simple and basic of approaches to chipping, so here we go:

Club selection. For golfers who are not highly skilled in this shot and who do not yet want to try to exhibit tons of creativity, my theory is that it is much easier to master one basic technique, then choose the right club to deliver the appropriate carry/roll combination. Once you have done a little practice and experimenting, you should really understand that relationship for two to four different clubs, say your sand wedge, gap wedge and pitching wedge.

Geometry. By that I mean to “build” the shot technique around the club and ball relationship to your body, as those are static. Start with your club soled properly, so that it is not standing up on the toe or rocked back on the heel. With the ball centered in the face, the shaft should be leaning very slightly forward toward the hole. Then move into your stance position, so that your lead arm is hanging straight down from your shoulders and your upper hand can grasp the grip with about 1-2” of “grip down” (I hate the term “choke up”). I’m a firm believer that the lead arm should not angle back toward the body, or out toward the ball, as either compromises the geometry of the club. The stance should be rather narrow and a bit open, weight 70% on your lead foot, and the ball positioned just forward of your trailing foot.

Relax. This is a touch shot, so it needs a very light grip on the club. Tension in the hands and forearms is a killer on these. I like to do a “pressure check” just before taking the club back, just to make sure I have not let the shot tighten me up.

The body core is key. This is not a “handsy” shot, but much more like a putt in that the shoulders turn away from the shot and back through, with the arms and hands pretty quiet. Because of the light grip, there will, by necessity, be some “loading” as you make the transition at the end of the backswing, but you want to “hold” that making sure your lead shoulder/forearm stay ahead of the clubhead through the entire through-stroke. This insures – like I pointed out last week – that the club stays in front of your body through the entire mini-swing.

Control speed with core speed. I think a longer stroke/swing makes for a smoother tempo on these shots. Don’t be afraid to take the club back a bit further than you might otherwise think, and just make the through-stroke as s-m-o-0-t-h as possible. Avoid any quickness or “jab-iness” in the stroke at all. Once you experiment a bit, you can learn how to control your body core rotation speed much easier than you can control hand speed. And it is nearly impossible to get too quick if you do that.

Again, I am certainly not here to replace or substitute for good instruction, and I know there are a number of approaches to chipping. This is just the one that I have found easier to learn and master in relation to the time you have to spend on your short game practice.

Next week, we’ll move back to those shorter pitches up to about 30 yards.

And keep those emails coming, OK? [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

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