Students in our Dave Pelz Scoring Game Schools ask all the time how to hit high, soft shots. The easiest solution is to put a lob wedge in your bag and practice using it, so you’re ready for situations that call for the ball to travel high and land soft.
Take this common scenario, for example: Your ball sits 40 yards from the pin and you have to carry a bunker with only a few yards of green to work with. You need the right tool for the job- a lob wedge- to hit the ball high to carry the trouble while still landing it softly enough to stop near the hole.
There’s a myth that lob wedges are only for good players. Truth is, anyone who wants to score better and routinely faces shots over obstacles to tight pins needs a lob wedge. In today’s game, green complexes are more demanding and we see so many fast, sloping greens, it’s important to be able to stop your shots near the hole. Think of it this way: the more greens you miss, the more you need a lob wedge.
The thing that is important to understand about hitting a lob wedge is that you must NOT decelerate during the downswing. This causes your hands to lag behind the clubhead at impact. If you hands are even or ahead of the ball at impact, you’ll find that high, soft shots are easier to hit with the lob wedge than with any other club.
The technique for the basic 40-yard lob wedge shot is pretty simple: Start with the ball in the middle of your stance and take a three-quarter-length backswing (With your arms pointing in the “Nine O’ Clock” position). If you play right-handed, let your left hand lead the club to the ball and accelerate through the impact zone as you shift forward to a full finish with your weight on your front leg. There’s no need to open the clubface until you’re comfortable playing a variety of shots with the lob wedge. The loft of the club will do the work for you. It’s easier to hit the ball solidly and straight with a square clubface.
Many golfers are now even putting a 64-degree wedge in the bag to combat the severe hazards, slopes, speeds and elevations found on today’s modern golf course designs. The only real “trick” to hitting these clubs is starting with a square club face and accelerating through the shot to a full finish. Knowing when to use these clubs is also important. Next time you need a quick, soft landing, reach for a more lofted wedge and swing with a square clubface instead of opening the face of a less-lofted wedge. See which method is easier and yields the best results most often. I think you’ll soon be a convert to the lofted and extra-lofted wedges designed to give extra weapons around the greens.
For more information on how technology and a better understanding of the game can help you, log on to www.pelzgolf.com. Good Scoring to You.
By Dave Pelz