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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Quick Wedge Tip from Rickie Fowler

This is a really short post, but this is something I've used before and hearing Rickie say he uses the same tip convinced me to pass it on. It's from a new Golf Digest article on how Rickie has improved his wedge play this season.

Rickie Fowler at top of full wedge swing

The tip is on playing those partial distances you often end up with when you have a wedge into the green -- but it's not for the pitches and chips. Rather, it's how Rickie adjusts his distance on a full wedge shot. He says quite a bit about his technique, but check this out:
Now suppose your full gap wedge goes 110 yards and you’ve got 104 to the hole. To make that wedge fly six yards shorter, a lot of amateurs swing softer. They try to slow down a hair at impact, but that often causes them to hang back and flip their hands. Forget distance control—now they’re lucky if the ball gets in the air. A better method is to set your hands lower on the grip, then swing at normal speed. For me, gripping down an inch takes off five yards. Sometimes I’ll go down the entire length of the grip to take as much as 20 yards off a wedge.
Now it's quite possible that your numbers will differ from Rickie's -- after all, he hits the ball a fairly long way with his wedges. (The article says he hits a 62° lob wedge 90 yards.) But his rule of thumb here -- gripping down an inch takes off around 5 yards of distance, and gripping all the way down takes off around 20 -- is pretty close to what I've found, and I'm not nearly as long as Rickie.

So this little tip could give you an easy way to improve your wedge play. And can't we all stand to hit our wedges a little stiffer?

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