19 April 2021
SHORT GAME WEDGES By: Stephen Moriarty
The extra water in longer rough makes it harder to generate club head speed as there is more resistance through impact. This would affect your wedge play around the green, especially when the ball is sat down.
To better this, you must first be good at spotting difficult and understanding what lies requires the different shots.
You have three checkpoints when determining the lie:
- How wet is the grass? The wetter the grass, the more speed it will take out of your swing. This is important when playing during the wet season.
- What direction is the grain of the grass growing towards? If you are playing your shot in the direction of where the grass is growing, the ball will then come out quicker. However if you are hitting against the direction of where the grass is growing towards, it will dramatically slow your swing speed down.
- How thick is the grass? If you are playing on a course that has kikuyu, fescue, bermuda, paspalum or bent grass; it will reduce your club speed considerably compared to when you are playing on a course with blue grass or winter rye grass.
(Picture showing good lie and bad lie)
Now that you know the difference between a good and bad lie, you need to understand how your technique should be different for each lie.
- Good or a normal lie: you would select your usual short game shot from that position.
- If your ball is in a lie that is going to reduce club speed: determine if the lie is going to reduce the speed dramatically or not, and this will depend on how deep or how wet the grass is.
What this shot requires is a steeper swing angle which is very easy to create when you are in the correct set up position:
- take a wide stance
- grip down on the club
- push your weight forwards onto your front foot
- hinge the club in the backswing, this means increasing the angle in your right wrist
- narrow backswing
- open the club face for more height if needed.
(Pictures showing different backswings for these lies)
Note: if you are not trying to swing faster, the extra speed is created from a longer swing which is the result of you hinging wrists.
These points will help you steepen your backswing, resulting in a steeper downswing and much more success out of these lies.