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PW and GW-annoying yardage gap! Solutions?


RoyalMustang
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I have an odd yardage gap between my PW and GW.  I get pretty nervous with swings between 120-130 as I have a hole in my set there.

 

PW-MMC MP20 with DG120X shaft, bent 1 degree strong according to clubmaker measurements, along with the rest of the set. I bought them 2nd hand).  Carry 135 to 140 if I hit it perfectly.

 

GW-RTX4 50deg, Mid/10 bounce, S400 shaft.  Carry 115-120.  

 

I think part of it is I may feel more comfortable with the PW on full swings.  My full-swing 54-degree wedge is 105 or so.  But I am not really sure: right now I end up hitting my GW on those 125 shots and falling short, or choking way down on the PW to get the 125 distance I need.

 

Thoughts? 

1) bend the GW stronger, may be 48/49

2) bend the PW weaker (but the rest of my set won't match) and I end up with a 155 9-iron carry and 135 PW

3) get a stock 48 gap wedge

4) continue to choke down on the PW and swing by feel

 

I know that there may not be a "right" answer but perhaps there is a "not as bad" answer.  

 

I am not totally uncomfortable hitting the PW with a slightly open face and/or choking down. It feels quite natural, honestly. But, it can be tough to be consistent on distance this way, unlike a full stock shot where I know the ball will travel 125.

 

Is this an issue that others fall into?  I would think that a lot of decent players would have yardage gaps lower in the bag:

 

lob wedge 85-95 carry

54-56  100-110 carry

Gap wedge 110-120

PW 130-140

 

Those are close to 20 yard gaps between clubs, whereas I am 15 yards between a 9 and 8, for example (145-160 and 160-175)  So just cram another wedge in there and ditch the 4-iron?   

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Personally, I'm in the camp favoring option #4 - learn to hit those feel shots. No matter what club selection you have in your bag, there will always be some gap that isn't directly filled by the so-called "full stock shot". That's just the nature of the beast. think it's entirely possible, especially with wedges (but with most clubs, really), that having overlap in the ranges each club can hit is both realistic and learnable. And when learned, can be a great contributor to overall skill and scoring.

 

The changes needed to hit feel shots are not monumental, they just take some practice. Some folks buy far too much into the idea that these shots are hard to hit. They're not. No, it won't be ingrained overnight, but it won't take years of endless practice, either.

Edited by dubbelbogey
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How often do you have exactly your "stock yardage" on a shot?  My guess is not as often as you think and you are manipulating the club and ball according to distance/lie/turf conditions/wind anyway.  This is golf, you adapt to the shot you have in front of you. 

 

Why not just bend the set weak?  Then you don't worry about a gap with your 9i and you will close the gap between PW and GW.  The number on the bottom of the club is 100% irrelevant and you get irons bent to gaps you like/comfortable with and give you good gaping.

 

The alternative, learn to leave the ball in a distance that you aren't worried about.  This is something that you can for the most part control with course management and club selection.

Edited by PEI_Golfer
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I don't see your wedge gapping being out of the ordinary. Mine is similar. When the distance is in between clubs I let the shot condition determine whether to go with the longer or shorter club. If there's more trouble being long I go short, if there's more trouble being short I go long. I don't grip down to reduce distance, I shorten my backswing. One guaranteed fail is when I try to limit distance by not hitting as hard. When I shorten my backswing the rest of the swing is the same.

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I have a similar issue that no matter what set I use, my pitching wedge is always 20 yards shorter than my 9 iron.  

In traditional lofts it leaves me without a 130 club.  With modern lofts, its leaves me without a 140.  

 

Imo, until you get comfortable choking down, just take whichever club leaves you in the best position.  Most greens are at least 15 yards deep, play the front or the back depending on pin position or trouble. 

Edited by St Jimmy

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What is 54?make model. RTX4 may not feel that good to you.I love rtx2,hate 3, missed out 4,love zipcores...possibly rebuild gw add 5gram tip weight...more feel..

 

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35 minutes ago, RoyalMustang said:

Lob wedge 85-95 carry

54-56  100-110 carry

Gap wedge 110-120

PW 130-140


I’ve got a similar gap situation. The warmer the weather gets the bigger the gap... this time of year however, my gap wedge actually is useless! 


For example

43°- (9) - 155yds

47°- 143yds

52°- 125yds

 

18 yards between wedges, so you’re not totally out of the ordinary.
 

id say learn to hit a knockdown PW. if you can hit a 120-130 yard PW, you can do that with your 9,8,7+.


Practice that and more shots will develop in your game and depth to your abilities. You don’t need to hit it left and right, just control distance with height/spin/speed.


Your PW is a wedge at the end of the day, finesse is the key! Maybe a blade PW or vokey replacement might be in the forecast, not sure what your lofts are. 

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I would suggest leaving the PW alone and try getting the same shaft as your iron set put in the GW and see what that does. You could then have it bent 1 degree stronger if the is still a gap. The extra weight in the S400 might be the issue.



 

 

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1 hour ago, RoyalMustang said:

I am not totally uncomfortable hitting the PW with a slightly open face and/or choking down. It feels quite natural, honestly.

 

That's what you have to do to get your tweener yardages down. Also, you can pick up a few yards with the GW if you play it back an inch and deloft it. And, as per @Bye, put an iron-set shaft into GW since you hit it full a lot.

 

Whenever you match a set PW with a specialty GW, one club could have a hotter face than the other. This means that the expected distance gap, for say 45* to 50*, may be more or less.

 

1 hour ago, RoyalMustang said:

But, it can be tough to be consistent on distance this way,

 

Not if you practice. When weather warms up, you need a couple of practice sessions where you focus on partial wedges, and full-shot wedge matrix.

 

BTW, for your partial wedge shots, do you use a Pelz-style clockface matrix, or do you just rely on feel?

 

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Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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Make pw your favorite club. The rest always falls into place after that.  

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My wedges are new this season and I went with an “Eye2” grind 55*. It’s great out of the sand but leaves a huge yardage gap to my 51*.  I can only hit the 55* up to 90yds and my 51* is 115-120.  My old 56* was my 100-105 money club.  I think it has everything to do with the “eye2” grind.  It looks different, feels different and flies different.  I tried to learn the eye2 for a few weeks before ordering a standard glide 3.0  Unfortunately, it still hasn’t come in and I had to finish the season with the eye2.  
 

i got pretty good with the 51* in the end but will surely benefit when the new 55* comes in and the gaps close.  I’ll adjust the lofts to get them exactly where I want them.

 

So yeah, just bend your gapper a degree or 2 stronger 👍🏼

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Had the exact same problem and yardage gaps this year and not feeling as comfortable with the feel, 1/2 to 3/4 shots…

 

Like many have said, just learn hit these feel shots better…..cmon guys……of course that’s the simple answer lol, these shots are what separate the better players.  
 

I went with my PW at 46*, then bought a Cleveland cbx2 installed the same shaft as my set. It still leaves a little gap, but less so. More consistent feel on full shots and having a CB wedge added some forgiveness and couple extra yards.  The cbx wedges are really good! Considering getting a 54 as well to replace my zipcores(which are also really good).

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18 minutes ago, jgreer1421 said:

Like many have said, just learn hit these feel shots better…..cmon guys……of course that’s the simple answer lol, these shots are what separate the better players. 

 

A 3/4 shot isn't hard, 1/2 can be more tricky...  It is more about not having a higher golf IQ (everyone can always learn something regardless of ability).  No experience with a better player or taking an on course lesson (I'm a big advocate of these, more so later in the day with an empty course).  If self taught or from family, you are at the mercy of what they know and ability, which many better players that have been on a range and hear what is being 'taught' to new golfers is truly embarrassing.

 

While out of the industry now, when I taught and gave playing lessons, people were flat out shocked at how little they knew and how little they had via shot selection and imagination. 

 

No different than short game.  Taught to just go 'grab your 56*' and you play everything with that.  Rather then being shown the different situations and what to play and could be anything in the bag, not just 1 club for all.

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The course doesn't care what degree of loft you use. You can either put in the time and learn to hit touch shots or adjust your lofts to fit the gaps you need. 20yds between clubs is a  H U G E gap. Personally I don't start worrying about touch shots until < 100 yds of the green...unless you count 6 iron punch cuts out from under the tree lines. 🤣

Edited by rondre3000
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I'd go with an even further vetted out version of option #4: Learn the Clock System with your Wedges

 

The clock system was made famous by Tom Kite and its basically where you treat the ark of your swing like a clock (top of your head is 12:00, hips are 3:00 and 9:00, feet are 6:00) and you swing all 4 of ur wedges (P - L) to the same 3 points on the clock (completely up to you what 3 spots you pick as long as a you get a feel for being able to get to each one w/ your 4 wedges). As a result you'll get 12 shots and 12 yardages w/ your 4 wedges that if you practice enough you'll be able to hit it to the same # every single time.

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Did u verify the loft on the 50 .. just move it to 49 and maybe lengthen to match pw

 

by the way my Full PW is 140 and GW 125 …. Which works fine

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Learn a feel shot. 

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5 hours ago, bladehunter said:

Make pw your favorite club. The rest always falls into place after that.  

This is the way. My summer stock yardages for PW/GW are low 140s / 125, so almost a 20 yard gap. I get around this by absolutely loving to hit partial PW shots. Find out how much yardage you take off my choking up and shortening your swing by comfortable amounts. In reality you probably only need two less-than-stock swings/distances, assuming a few yards of variation.

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Another option that may satisfy some ho-ing is to test out other gap wedges 😁.  My last specialty GW was an RTX 3 50 that I thought was a little short and spun more than I wanted (vs previous worn blades and set wedges).  I just don't like fresh sharp zip grooves on a GW for full shots, especially when trying to hit one 125 and putting more spin that can pull it back.  I went back to a set wedge with a little less spin and don't worry about zipping back and coming up short as much.

 

Of course partial shots are the end game answer.  Personally I do a version of the clock.  Instead of the smooth swing that Pelz wrote about, I prefer staying fast (like a short Finau swing): 9 to 3, or cutoff backswing to full follow-through (9-12), or full backswing to cutoff follow-through (12-3), ball center or back for trajectory.  I like doing that more than choking down a lot or intentionally swinging slow.  Yeah I'll do the slower smooth swing sometimes - but gotta be a full smooth swing for me or else I'm coming up short if trying to finesse a partial swing.  YMMV 

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17 hours ago, CKaneb said:

The clock system was made famous by Tom Kite

The clock system is what Bryson uses to dial in distance with every iron, not just the wedges. What's key to the clock system with wedges is that in most cases whether you take left arm back to 3:00, 2:00 or 1:00 the swing still finishes at the same 'time', be that 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00. It's when you take it back to 1:00 and finish at 7:00 to shorten the shot that you get in trouble.

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10 hours ago, Billfitz said:

The clock system is what Bryson uses to dial in distance with every iron, not just the wedges. What's key to the clock system with wedges is that in most cases whether you take left arm back to 3:00, 2:00 or 1:00 the swing still finishes at the same 'time', be that 9:00, 10:00 or 11:00. It's when you take it back to 1:00 and finish at 7:00 to shorten the shot that you get in trouble.

I actually had no idea that Bryson uses it for all of his irons. I've seen that sheet he had on his bag but I did not know that was the entire bag

Driver: PING G400 LST 10° w/ Miyazaki C. Kua 59X Tour Issue

3 Wood: Titleist TS2 15° (@ 14.25°, A4 SureFit Setting) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8-X

5 Wood: Titleist TS2 18° (@ 18°, D4 SureFit Setting) w/ Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8-X

Irons: TaylorMade P760 (4-PW) w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

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A perfect example of the degree on the club not producing consistent #’s.  Different club heads with different shafts, CG’s, spin rates, etc lead to tons of different distance formulas.  I HAVE BEEN THERE!

1 — get the GW from the set in your specs
2 — (what I did) I went straight for the gap on FULL shots.  For me, it was a 48 degree wedge after my 45 degree PW…then I went 4 degrees in gap after.  The two degrees difference fit exactly.

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On 12/4/2021 at 2:12 PM, Cwebb said:

I would start by asking myself why my entire set is adjusted for strong lofts...and does this actually help to score better.

 

Then I would have every club measured for actual loft, to know exactly what each club really is (not just "strong")... and proceed to make a plan from there.

 

 

That's where I am, but I am an average golfer. My clubs had weird gapping in the area that should be my absolute 'go' scoring zone. So I eventually had to go with different lofts to make things easier. And also clubs with similar weight/feel in my wedges.

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On 12/4/2021 at 6:01 PM, CKaneb said:

I'd go with an even further vetted out version of option #4: Learn the Clock System with your Wedges

 

The clock system was made famous by Tom Kite...  As a result you'll get 12 shots and 12 yardages w/ your 4 wedges that if you practice enough you'll be able to hit it to the same # every single time.

 

 

image.png.20b2d521ac736b7c24ff8d2a92a4e547.png

Dave Pelz helped Tom Kite develop the Lob Wedge and clockface wedge system. Pelz, a NASA physicist and one-time Indiana U. golfer, eventually changed careers and focused on perfecting golf's short-game methods.

 

The 2000 Pelz book, Short Game Bible, has the details on the clockface Finesse Wedge system. Pelz has several short-game schools, and developed the Pelz Corner video series in partnership with Cleveland wedges.

 

 

<-- 2021 Update…

Note that 50°- 51° is now more in line with GW/AW, and PW is now often  45° or less. The gap wedge was just starting to appear about the time SGB was published.

 

 

 

 

Edited by ChipNRun
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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2021, post-MAX changeover)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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