Distance Wedges – PGA Professional Robin Symes demonstrates a system to predict the distance with your wedges.
A key distance to scoring is between 20 yards and 100 yards. It gives you a chance of making birdies in the par fives, or maybe you’ve missed a tee shot in the par four, and it will give you that chance of making your par save. Now, the key to playing these shots well is being able to control the distance. I was taught a very simple method when I was young, it was called the “clock face” system. And simply by being able to control the length of my back swing and the speed of my down swing, I could predict how far I could fly my wedge shots; my 50th degree wedge, my 52 degrees and my pitching wedge. So, I learned to swing to 8 o’clock, and then control the speed of my downswing. This ball would fly about 35 yards. 9 o’clock, again the same speed of downswing. It will fly about 55 yards. 11 o’clock with my left arm, same speed of downswing, I can get about 75 yards carry with this one. It’s very accurate and predictable. The only thing you really have to practice is being able to control the speed of your downswing consistently. The method I find, and the one that worked for me, once is high, I learned to make a consistent speed of downswing was that I used gravity and rotation. So, when I got to 9 o’clock for example, I would let gravity drop the club to the ground, plus some body rotation, and just that feel would give me a predictable speed of downswing and produce consistent carry distances. So, let’s say with my 58, I’ve got three distances. I’ve got my 35, my 55, and 75. I got a distance now where I’m somewhere in the middle of it, 65 yards in a par five, need to get up and down for my birdie. How can I work off these distances? So, I know my 9 o’clock is going to go 55. I know my 11 o’clock is going to go 75. So, when I practice swings I’m just finding somewhere in the middle, around about the 10 o’clock position. I’ve got my feet for my downswing, gravity, plus rotation and if I just try that, I know this is 65 yards to the pin. Carried it a few yards too far, but really with some practice, you can become very accurate, and if you’re controlling your distances within a few yards, which is achievable with some practice, really you’ll find you’ll make a lot more birdies in the par fives, you’ll make less bogey’s and as I’ve said, it’s a real key to scoring well.
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