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Steep vs shallow pitching - what about when the turf is muddy?


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My home course (southern hemisphere, currently winter) is typically really damp and soggy at this time of the year and the turf is quite damp and muddy, with the grass cover being really patchy 

 

Im struggling with how best to approach pitch shots, especially where height is needed on the ball.

 

I’m stuck between playing a high bounce wedge and come in shallow to maximise my margin for error, versus being steep to try and guarantee ball first contact

 

I find with the turf conditions described above, the high bounce makes it harder to make crisp contact and even a half inch behind the ball strike will just be a chunked shot that goes nowhere. It feels so counterintuitive to be getting steeper when the conditions are wet…

 

My current lob wedge is a 58 vokey d grind with high bounce and a lot of camber. I notice that the best players at the club tend to use very low bounce in the lob wedge 

 

I’m interested in hearing from others who face similar conditions how you approach pitch shots. I’ll take some pics next time I’m out to illustrate the type of lie I’m talking about 

 

Thanks !

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All soft conditions, for the public, merit higher bounce wedges.  A person has to be skilled and stable to use low bounce in soft conditions. 

 

Even though I rely on a Vokey T58.4 and open the face often, if it's really soft, I may use F52.12 and open the face.  With wedges, I do NOT adjust my AoA.  You need to be steep, to increase spin.

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38 minutes ago, Pepperturbo said:

All soft conditions, for the public, merit higher bounce wedges.  A person has to be skilled and stable to use low bounce in soft conditions. 

 

Even though I rely on a Vokey T58.4 and open the face often, if it's really soft, I may use F52.12 and open the face.  With wedges, I do NOT adjust my AoA.  You need to be steep, to increase spin.


yea, low bounce is difficult to use on your wedges. I’ve got a lob with low bounce and I don’t care for it all that much. It’s like a knife with the leading edge, easy to slip it under the ball so there aren’t many shots I use it on. 

Edited by MK7Golf21
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1 minute ago, MK7Golf21 said:


yea, low bounce is difficult to use on your wedges. I’ve got a lob with low bounce and I don’t care for it all that much. It’s like a knife with the leading edge, I’ve slipped it under the ball more than once. 

Using low bounce is all about the users' hands and stability.

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3 hours ago, Pepperturbo said:

All soft conditions, for the public, merit higher bounce wedges.  A person has to be skilled and stable to use low bounce in soft conditions. 

 

Even though I rely on a Vokey T58.4 and open the face often, if it's really soft, I may use F52.12 and open the face.  With wedges, I do NOT adjust my AoA.  You need to be steep, to increase spin.


if there is zero margin for error in terms of hitting catching the ground slightly behind the ball, what is the benefit of high bounce? 
 

sometimes it feels like you’re trying to catch a ball clean out of a bunker - even a tiny bit behind and the shot is ruined 

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22 minutes ago, gentles said:


if there is zero margin for error in terms of hitting catching the ground slightly behind the ball, what is the benefit of high bounce? 
 

sometimes it feels like you’re trying to catch a ball clean out of a bunker - even a tiny bit behind and the shot is ruined 

Despite a person's swing, more bounce prevents the clubhead from digging to China, allowing the person to hit further behind the ball and realize a good result.  In a green-side bunker, depending on sand quality, how close I get to the ball depends on how far I need the ball to fly.  

 

Another benefit of high bounce, you don't have to open the face up flat; thus if you enter the sand at the right point, high bounce does the job for you.  Because I use a low bounce wedge, how much I open the face depends on the sand condition and how I want to impact the ball.  Firm or hard pack sand I don't open wedge face as much because I don't need bounce.

 

The only time I intend to catch the ball clean out a bunker is if my ball is in a firmer fairway bunker, where catching it clean is the only way to get club distance.  A tiny bit behind, and the ball is not flying as far as expected.

 

Recently, after 2nd shot on a Par 5, my ball was in a fairway bunker 90yds from a front Red pin just behind a false front.  I pulled 9i, opened the face maybe 1/2 way, swung away.  Stuck the ball 5' behind the pin, saved par.

Edited by Pepperturbo
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I prefer a bare lie with the no grass between the ball and club face.  I'll pull my 58/6 thin sole lob wedge and pick the ball

On a wet fairway lie, I'll use a 58/8Z grind.  I find that I have enough control over the club that even if my swing is fat, it is close enough to get useable contact that moves the ball to roughly where I want it, even if the path getting there is ugly.  I think I learned not to give up on a swing but to follow through to the end. 

Though, if I'm using my 8H, it works much better if I stop when it hits the ball and not try to follow through.  I guess I like having a choice for different lies and club styles.

 

If I'm in the rough, I find that standing close to the ball and using a toe down swing generates the most reliable ball contact.  It wasn't so great last year when I first learned it, but my last few sessions at the chipping green have been great.  Somehow I found the magic to make it work!

 

Last year we got a ton of water.  Standing water in the middle of the fairway.  Taking free drops out of the rough onto the fairway!

Edited by ShortGolfer
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My course is a mud hole for 3 months or so every year.  No chance of using the bounce and hitting behind the ball on many lies that I get during that time.  I find that I don't usually need a particularly steep swing but just enough to make sure that the ball is hit first before the mud.  Also it can help to use less loft and chip and run so that a thin hit is not so bad.  On really bad lies I will do the old chop swing that my dad used where I chop down on the ball and leave the club stuck in the ground.  LOL whatever works.

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Just now, MountainKing said:

If you can't hit a shot from a soupy lie with high bounce,  you'll have no chance with low bounce.


I guess what I’m asking is if bounce is any help at all from such a lie or if the focus needs to be on ball first contact at all costs, in which case the bounce doesn’t make a difference as the ball is gone when the club would interact with the ground 

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24 minutes ago, gentles said:


I guess what I’m asking is if bounce is any help at all from such a lie or if the focus needs to be on ball first contact at all costs, in which case the bounce doesn’t make a difference as the ball is gone when the club would interact with the ground 

 

If you are steep, the bounce won't matter much.  But if you are shallow, high bounce can act as a "rudder" through the soft stuff, keeping the club from diving into the muck if you are slightly fat. So unless there is something preventing access to the back of the ball, I think the best approach is to use a high bounce wedge with a shallow swing and focus on making ball first contact.

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You for sure want bounce on that,  at least I would.   it'll give you some forgiveness on the wet surface.   That might be s tough lie to get a ton of height on, but you could probably get a hell of a spinner on that with a square face chip.  

Edited by MountainKing
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