Loft & Lie – Get Them Right

Bending a wedgeHave you ever gone out on the golf course or practice range and simply figured out a very important piece of information: how far do you hit each of the wedges in your bag? I’m not talking about to the exact yardage (100.5 yards to the pin!) since none of us can be perfect every time. But, within a couple of yards, try to figure out  your average length for each wedge in the bag. Many players today will carry either 3 or 4 wedges. For example, one of my students has a 48 degree P-wedge, but he also has 52, 56 and 60 degree wedges. Another goes the 48 degree P-wedge, and then uses 54-degree and 58-degree wedges for close-in wedge play and to get out of bunkers.

Why is this wedge array important in scoring low? Well, if you have 3 wedges in your bag, you may find some wide yardage gaps that are hard to overcome to hit the perfect shot. Some better players can throttle up or throttle down on their wedges, and may be able to easily hit a range of shots +/- of 10 yards or more with little trouble. So, if your 52 degree wedge on average goes 100 yards, you may be able to use it from 90 to 110 yards.

Unfortunately, not everyone can do that. So, I encourage my students to find the comfortable mid-range of their wedges (say 100 yards for a 52-degree wedge), and consider tweaking your wedges to deliver a little less or a little more based on what you usually find left to the target.

How do you do that? As the photo above shows, you can adjust the loft angle of a 52 degree wedge to make it play at 51 degrees, or bend it the other way and make it 53 degrees. That may add or subtract 5+ yards from your average carry with the club, making it somewhat easier to fill the yardage gaps in your wedge play.

So, start with hitting about 25 good shots with one of your wedges on the practice range. Figure out the average length you hit the club based on a tally of all 25 shots. Do the same with each of your wedges and plot those on a piece of paper. Then, see if you have any glaring yardage gaps that you can cover by hitting softer or hitting a bit harder without coming out of your shoes. If you can’t, then you may want to see if you can bend the wedge by a degree one way or the other to help you feel more comfortable over each shot.

Maybe this strategy will help YOU get closer to the hole and score low!