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One club around the green… 56,60?


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I'm not a good player, at least nothing like the level you reference, but I do have a good short game. I hit the majority (maybe not 90% but certainly 75%) with my 54 & only use the 60 when I don't have enough room for the runout my 54 needs. Not just for flops but if I need a little extra height I'll go to the 60.

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I was watching one of those Golf Channel playing lesson shows the other day. 
 

Patrick Cantlay said his short game improved when he decided to only use his 61* wedge around the greens, unless there was a unique reason to use a different club. 
 

I carry 50, 54, and 58 wedges. I rarely chip/pitch with the 54. I find myself using the 58 most of the time, but still like hitting low runners with the 50 when appropriate. 

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19 hours ago, Benoit61 said:

Do any good players (say KFT or really good mini tour guys) that use mostly one club around the green use anything other than their most lofted club? As in would anyone hit 90%+ of their green side shots with say a 56 degree wedge and keep their 60 degree for flops only ?

 

Does what those exceptional players use apply to you?  In my opinion it is easier to play a less lofted club (within reason) around the green because it is easier to commit to softer swings.  Where as the loft increases you have to swing just a tad harder which can cause us amateurs to second guess our stroke.  And that leads to bad things, lol.  I feel the 54 is just about perfect for me when it comes to committing to the swing.  Every time I pully my 60 out I have to be extremely deliberate because I have to hit it harder than the 54 to the same spot.  Some people may not have an issue here and some may find that the 60 gives them the best feeling.  The same can be said in reverse for getting too low a loft, it can be difficult because you think you will hit the ball too far if you commit.

 

The point is, find the loft that you feel connected with so you can commit to the swing without fear.  

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I play 99 percent around the greens with a 52 degree wedge.  Then I use a 60 degree wedge in the greenside bunkers.  The courses where I play the sand is packed down and the 60 with minimal bounce allows me to bring clubhead speed and not worry about doing the cool bounce off hard sand belly ball 40 yards over the green shot.

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23 hours ago, Benoit61 said:

Do any good players (say KFT or really good mini tour guys) that use mostly one club around the green use anything other than their most lofted club? As in would anyone hit 90%+ of their green side shots with say a 56 degree wedge and keep their 60 degree for flops only ?

I doubt skilled players, including pros, go with 56'.  That's not to say it isn't used it's just not the common club today.  I rely on a 58' for 75% of the shots inside 40yds of the green, and 52' and PW for the balance.  Better golfers are skilled with 58 or 60' so one or the other are used a great deal.

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Yes!  But I use 52 and 60 as they are my only wedges besides PW.

 

I try and hit as many with my 52 as possible, low runners or higher shots.  Then I use my 60 only when extra height or spin is needed.

 

52 is a high % club contact club compared to 60.  I stopped using lower lofted clubs for low runners so I could concentrate all my chippin practice into only 2 clubs...

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This depends on two things the greenskeepers do: manicure plan and mowing for week.

 

By manicure plan, do the greens keepers how area around edge of green to first-cut rough or maybe fairway-length run up areas? If so, it would be a lot of LW and 7i chip-and-run. But if they encircle the greens with rings of shaggy rough, the LW may invite pop-ups and snags. In that case, a 54* will get more club and force onto the ball.

 

Mowing for week: If it's been rainy and low spots around green have gone unmowed, again more shaggy lies - probably 54* vs. 58*...

 

Plus, if the grass remains damp, I'll got down one to a  more lofted club to make sure I don't lose yardage to the moisture resistance. Nothing more frustrating than a dead-straight LW shot that comes up 15 feet short.

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I've slowly moved towards using my 58 degree almost exclusively. I think it's been a mistake, honestly. When I played primarily with my 53 (now I have a 54), I was far more consistent. Back then, the 58 was more for instances when I needed tons of trajectory. I should get back to using the 54 more often. It has plenty of loft and getting the ball on the ground earlier has some benefit for me.   

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23 minutes ago, dvq9654 said:

I should get back to using the 54 more often.

 

Prior to the late 1980s, most of us mature (?) WRXers used SWs for greenside cut shots and mid-range pitches. Once upon a time, LWs did not exist.

Edited by ChipNRun
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On 7/28/2021 at 2:57 PM, jonsnow said:

I'm not a good player, at least nothing like the level you reference, but I do have a good short game. I hit the majority (maybe not 90% but certainly 75%) with my 54 & only use the 60 when I don't have enough room for the runout my 54 needs. Not just for flops but if I need a little extra height I'll go to the 60.

A mere 6-7, but just started using my 54 degree more on shots near the green even out to 30-40 yards (and especially out of rough) instead of my 58 degree and have been seeing some very good results and less error.

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Why would you exclusively use 1 club to play around the green? You play the shot that the lie dictates adding in the amount of green you have to work with. Once you can grasp this concept, your short game will improve.

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37 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

A mere 6-7, but just started using my 54 degree more on shots near the green even out to 30-40 yards (and especially out of rough) instead of my 58 degree and have been seeing some very good results and less error.

Good to hear. I think most of us who are not low single digit handicaps or better are better off with a little less loft around the greens. I know I have hit some great pitches with my 60 & have dumped my share into a bunker I was trying to flop over & made a bad situation exponentially worse. 😂

As Clint Eastwood said in Magnum Force, "A man's gotta know his limitations."

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8 hours ago, 5 O'Clock Charlie said:

 

This is why you are a 12.3 hcp.

 

Chipping is literally the best part of my game, and it's not even close.  🤷‍♂️.  It's 1000% not the reason I'm a 12.3 hcp.  Using a single club around the green is probably one of the reason I'm a 12.3 hcp and not a 16-18 hcp.  Wobbled between 52-56-60 for years around the green and did not improve until I started practicing with a single club and teaching my hands how to manipulate it.

 

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Add another holed in birdie this past Wednesday.  I believe that's my 8th holed in shot from around the green this year. Done it 3 times on the same par 5 for birdie.

 

Edited by sekrah
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+1 hcp, I don't use just 1 club around the green or even just 2 clubs.  My bag setup now has a 52*, 56* and 60*.  I will use each of those wedges around the green for chipping and pitches.  I tend to stick to the 52* and 56* because my course I try to avoid going long at all costs (it's death there) as the greens slope upward considerably from front to back.  Thus 60* chips and pitches tend to stop dead.

 

If I do go long and I'm just in the rough, I'm not afraid to chip with a hybrid.  The ground is usually too firm, the grass can cause the ball to rocket off the face or cause a flubbed shot and the grass is too tall for a putter.  So i'll chip with a hybrid in those situations.

 

For chips I prefer to use the Rule of 12 principle.  I can understand not liking to use a variety of clubs...although typically with the Rule of 12 you're only going to chip with 2, maybe 3 clubs 95% of the time.  But the principle of the Rule of 12 is to shorten your carry distance so if I end up chipping with a 7-iron, it's a very short and simple stroke where less can go wrong.

 

I've never asked the Tour players I've worked with as to what they use around the green.  I remember Dottie Pepper telling me she used to basically use 1 club almost exclusively.  Tiger certainly did not.  The tricky part with the Tour players is that they are so good that they won't have many situations where one could use the Rule of 12 and need an 8-iron to chip with.  A chip shot means that you barely missed the green.  But a chip shot with an 8-iron means that you barely missed the green but you also missed the flagstick by a considerable margin.  I can see that happening on par-5's, but not very often on par-4's and par-3's for Tour players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This seems to be the more common approach now, obviously there are situations where they would deviate but I think for a lot of better players they are playing a majority with their highest lofted wedge. I mix in my 54 for longer pitches were I am ok with the ball releasing but I predominantly use my 60. 

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1 minute ago, TLUBulldogGolf said:

This seems to be the more common approach now, obviously there are situations where they would deviate but I think for a lot of better players they are playing a majority with their highest lofted wedge. I mix in my 54 for longer pitches were I am ok with the ball releasing but I predominantly use my 60. 

 

Do you find more hardpan in Texas requiring the lower bounce of a 60?

 

Up here in the midwest, I'm finding I can use the 56 SW over 90% of the time because ground around the green is usually softer as greens are regularly irrigated. 

 

About the only issue we face is hard-pack sand in bunkers where lower bounce can help.  Also, we have a lot of clay for base soil up here, so when short of green, tight lies can be especially hard which also calls for a low bounce wedge.

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I think picking a club or more for your sidegreen shots is personal, and so is the loft you feel ok with.  After practice and experimenting you'll find the answer.  But the "less loft, more consistency" rule of thumb is the gold standard for these shots.  

 

I use a 54 most of the time, a 50 for long chips pin at the back of  the green and my 58 only when necessary and from bunkers.

 

There's a video of Curtis Strange from the bunker and he says he uses a 54 from most bunker shots.  Today most tv pros hit their 60 from tight positions and sand traps.  I think this is pretty much to do with how you've learned the game, too.  Many amateurs learned when the go to club was the pitching wedge and the sand wedge was just that.  So you got used to chipping and pitching whit PW, 9 or even 7 iron.  

 

These days you see a lot of amateurs short of the green faced with a run-up shot to a back pin and they hit shots that go high high high and end up 20 feet short of the hole.  

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9 minutes ago, games said:

 

Do you find more hardpan in Texas requiring the lower bounce of a 60?

 

Up here in the midwest, I'm finding I can use the 56 SW over 90% of the time because ground around the green is usually softer as greens are regularly irrigated. 

 

About the only issue we face is hard-pack sand in bunkers where lower bounce can help.  Also, we have a lot of clay for base soil up here, so when short of green, tight lies can be especially hard which also calls for a low bounce wedge.

 

I don't get a ton of hardpan in Houston, but I've always felt more confident with less loft off that type of lie. If there is some grass though I am probably using my 60. 

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My scoring improved significantly when I started leaving the 60 in the bag.  It still comes out in certain situations, but unless I'm short sided or need a flop I'm going with my 52 or 56.  I had the opportunity on an empty course last year to play almost all of my greenside shots with all 3 wedges and my putter if possible.  I found out that I'm terrible at putting off the green and should almost always use my 52 instead, and unless I need to get over something and stop it fast I'm way more consistent with a 56.  If I hit each wedge well the result was similar, so for me it was managing the less than perfect shots and mximizing chances for up and down

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Use a 56 degree almost exclusively from 100' feet in. More shot types not more clubs. Have standard pitch & chip, that is mostly used, have high & low derivatives of those. Old wedges were made for variety of conditions. New fangled ones have specialty bounces and such. My wedge is 30 years old, it's highly versatile, can play it off any lie, can add loft easily. Use a high spin ball, makes a difference around greens. Rather have a GW than a LW. Rather have two choices at 225 yards than at 25 feet.

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My two scoring wedges are Cleveland RTX4's, a 54 mid bounce and a 58 low bounce bent to 57. 

 

Increasingly I find myself using the 57 for all shots inside 50 yards unless it's a chip that needs to roll out.

 

If I'm in fluffy sand I'll use the 54 with more bounce. Other than that I find the 57 low to be extremely versatile. 

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