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Club recommendation around the green


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Trying to find something easy to use around the green, say 20 yards or closer. I've got a 58 degree wedge that I just can't get comfortable enough to use with any success. I worry about sending the ball over the green and I hit it short. Worry about hitting it short and things go long. 

 

Would going to a 60 degree help? A chipper? Swing a 5 wood like a putter? Guess I'm trying to find a forgiving club for these short, short shots.

 

Or is it simply a case where I need to spend more time around the chipping green at the driving range...

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It is simply a case where you need to spend more time around the chipping green at the driving range...

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I prefer to use my 58* for most of my close chipping.

In my regular foursome I use my 58*. One of the guys uses his 50* gap wedge. Another guy uses his 7 iron. The other guy uses a chipper. 

When I started playing golf many years ago I used a chipper and loved it until I put in the time to develop a short game.. A chipper is an easy fix. The guy that uses the chipper in my group is limited to certain shots with it and lacks a lot of shots around the green.

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5 minutes ago, Mikey_HACKilroy said:

It is simply a case where you need to spend more time around the chipping green at the driving range...

 

Yeah... that's probably the solution. While a long shot, I was just hoping there was a perfect club for around the green shots.

 

I'm finding that's the hardest shot on the course for me these days. Admittedly, the other shots aren't picture perfect but I hit more worthy shots off the tee, in the fairway and on the green that I ever do at the short distances. I guess it's like most things golf, equipment plays a role in things but ultimately it's the player who determines if a shot is good or bad.

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I'd say it's a combination of practice and technique.  Inside of 20 yards, there are many many different ways to use a single wedge, where to play the ball in your stance, and how to use the bounce.  Lie is a huge factor in what type of short game shot you decide to play to give you the largest margin of error.

 

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My highest lofted wedge is 56d and has plenty of loft for me as I just open the face and using the bounce effectively with lots of practice.

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the last 2 rounds I've played I've been playing my 54 for nearly all shots around the green short of very short sided shots and short bunker shots or shots I need to get up quickly. playing the 54 has just been a bit more forgiving - and I've been averaging 4.3 up and downs for the past 3 rounds compared to my average of 3.0 in 2023. its just gotten me closer, more frequently, and having more makable putts.

 

but its also going to be about course management - try not to miss where a short sided shot is a huge stroke penalty.

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Its situational: I can use a 60/55/50/7I/4 Hybrid/putter for the same distance. Is there a forced carry to front of green? Fluffy or tight light? Green/pin location and pitch? 

 

There is no one club because there is no one shot.

 

Don't kid yourself: just because the distance is short does not mean its an easy shot.

 

Some folks (I used to do this) just like to practice with one club and manipulate it many ways for feel. Others like to use options. Figure out what you are and just work on it a bit but my advice is to use the clubs i the bag as we get 14 of them 🙂

 

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100% spending time practising around greens will improve things, but also try using a little less loft unless absolutely necessary. I tend to chip with my 54, but use my 50 where I have a lot of green to work with and will only use a 58 if I need to carry it most of the way. 

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Hours of practice.  I use both 58 and 54 depending on situation - sometimes even a 50 or 46.  Comfortable with any because of hours of practice.

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Unless I have to go over a bunker/water or the course is really wet I use a 7i anywhere within 20 - 25 yards of the greens. I use a cross-handed grip and basically use my putter stroke, no wrist break at all.

 

While you still have to practice to get the bump and run distance down. But once you do TO ME this is the most consistent way to chip. For the most part it will take out the chance to blade or chunk the ball.

 

I have been using this method for probably 20 years with great success. By far the strongest most consistent part of my game.

 

 

 

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For many, a 60 vs a 58 just means you take harder swings, making the ball go farther across the green if you thin the ball!

 

I think most are best off using the lowest loft that gets the ball on the green.

Can you bump and run the ball onto the green with an iron or hybrid?

 

As well as using course management to avoid needing to pitch the ball over a bunker to reach a short sided pin!

Shouldn't you have been aiming toward the other side of the green instead of pin hunting a dangerous pin location?

 

As a retiree with a natural high fade and good bunker skills, it makes sense for me to pin hunt and count on making an up and down if I miss. 

Helps justify carrying a bag with five wedges.  I got a wedge for that. 😀

Edited by ShortGolfer
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I have a 54 & 58, but the 58 rarely comes out of the bag. I’m old, and old school. I get the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible. I use my gap wedge a lot, and use a hybrid or putter when possible. Our course is closed for a major renovation, but our short game area is open. I’ll be practicing short game a lot more.

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Depending on where you live this can be a really frustrating time of year for the short game. We're playing on dormant Bermuda around here and it is a real challenge to get down to the ball without the club catching in the mud under the wispy tendrils of dormant grass. 

 

I like using a wedge with a little more loft and a little less bounce for chips and short pitches. In my case that's my Srixon AW 51* with 6-7* of bounce (8* bounce but club is bent to 50* loft).

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You have to determine what technique you want to use, learn it, and then practice. Reps only help if you’re practicing the shots correctly or you’ll be either engraining poor technique or still getting random results shot to shot. Practicing a handsy short game swing, for example, will not help because while you can get better at it and hit good shots that way when you time it up, results will be too random. 
 

I remember about 5 years ago a buddy and I went to Erika Larkin’s short game school at Creighton Farms in Virginia. Just us two as students and we split the cost. Half-day school. She is an outstanding short game player. So before we started we’re being typical wrxers, showing her our wedges, going over all the grinds and bounces and what we use them for. She listened patiently and when we finished all she said was, “The club doesn’t matter. You have to know how to set up properly and play the shot.” 

 

And then we got started. Learned so much. Well worth the cost and I left knowing what to practice and how to practice. Short game got a lot better. Below is the shot I like to play on short shots. 
 

 

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I'll play most shots within 5 yards of the green with either a 9 iron or pitching wedge. Low chip, run it to the flag.  If I'm further out or have a bunker in the way, it's a 56 hit high with little roll. 

 

If I have enough rough or high grass I'll hit the high 56 exactly like a bunker shot.  

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11 hours ago, Coppertop1880 said:

 

Yeah... that's probably the solution. While a long shot, I was just hoping there was a perfect club for around the green shots.

 

I'm finding that's the hardest shot on the course for me these days. Admittedly, the other shots aren't picture perfect but I hit more worthy shots off the tee, in the fairway and on the green that I ever do at the short distances. I guess it's like most things golf, equipment plays a role in things but ultimately it's the player who determines if a shot is good or bad.

 

I always like to have Mid-Bounce and High Bounce. I don't generally have lower bounce because the 8° I have is versatile enough to use on firm ground whilst still being usable in deeper grass.

Though, I've used both mid and high in both situations. Usually, it involves an adjustment of ball position (took that out of Nicklaus' book/videos years ago). Deep grass and buried, align toward right foot. Sitting up in the grass? Line up closer to center to left depending on the shot. Tight lies I always move right, but lower bounce makes for more optimal ball position.

That all makes it sound like I think I've mastered it. LOL. Nope. 🙂 I'm a student of the game just like you, but late last year those thoughts served me well before I took another break.

Edited by Mikey_HACKilroy
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Years ago i remember reading a similar post about this here and decided to become a one-club guy around the green. I almost exclusively use my 58* along with a couple Texas wedge shots mixed in here and there. Really, you just need to get comfortable with something, I'm not at a point in my life where i can practice enough to have every shot in my bag with every club so just streamlining it to a handful of seems to work for me. 

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12 hours ago, Coppertop1880 said:

 

Yeah... that's probably the solution. While a long shot, I was just hoping there was a perfect club for around the green shots.

 

I'm finding that's the hardest shot on the course for me these days. Admittedly, the other shots aren't picture perfect but I hit more worthy shots off the tee, in the fairway and on the green that I ever do at the short distances. I guess it's like most things golf, equipment plays a role in things but ultimately it's the player who determines if a shot is good or bad.

Sometimes it comes down to a golfer being uncomfortable using lob wedge for most touch shots like that around the green even with lots of practice.  If this is the case for you, it would be a good idea to find another club you're more comfortable with.  For me personally, I'm old enough to remember the days as a kid growing up pitching/chipping with a sand wedge since lob wedge wasn't even a thing.  As a result, Im more comfortable with it around the greens compared to lob wedge so will use it more often unless the shot calls for a forced carry that needs to stop quickly. 

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It depends on how fast the greens are. Nine times out of 10 I go for either the 60 or the 54 but not play it anywhere forward in my stance. However, this time of year our greens are saturated and require a 48 or a P wedge.

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