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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hitting a Wedge Off Hardpan

With the PGA Tour players facing rock-hard fairways at Chambers Bay this week, I went looking for some help on playing bump-and-run shots. After looking at some different ones, I decided this clip with Chris DiMarco hitting wedges off hardpan would be more help for most of you.

I've grabbed a couple of stills from the video. See the green square that Chris DiMarco is standing on? (That's Charlie Rymer supervising.) That's a piece of plywood. The ground doesn't get much harder than that!

DiMarco sets up on a piece of plywood

DiMarco first hit a shot with the club face open, the way most of us would. The ball went dead right like a shank. We spend a lot of time working to use the bounce when we hit wedges but when you hit a wedge off hardpan you want to use the leading edge. Again, this is NOT what you do most of the time because you'll chunk a wedge shot if the ground is soft. This technique is for hardpan only.

DiMarco's keys are:
  1. Take a narrow stance.
  2. Get your hands forward, ahead of the ball.
  3. Keep the club face square.
Here's another still, this time showing his setup.

Close-up of DiMarco's setup

Chris and Charlie go into considerable detail about:
  • how a properly-struck hardpan wedge should make a single sound, not a double sound as the ball bounces off the ground and into the ball, and
  • how the amount of bounce on your wedge affects this shot, even though you're focusing on using the leading edge.
You'll want to take the time to watch the entire video, perhaps several times, to make sure you understand the mechanics of this shot.

Relax, it's only about 4 minutes long.

Please understand that hitting wedge shots off hardpan and hitting bump-and-run shots are NOT exactly the same thing. There are two primary differences:
  1. Bump-and-run shots aren't played with wedges; rather, you use short to mid-irons to play them. For example, you might use a 7-iron for a 50-60 yard bump-and-run.
  2. Your followthrough is much shorter on a bump-and-run, perhaps as little as 12-18 inches past the shot. As you can see in the video, DiMarco's finish is much fuller, waist high or more. The difference is that the bump-and-run is a low running shot while the hardpan wedge flies higher and stops quickly.
But otherwise the techniques are roughly the same so if you can play one shot, you can probably play the other without too much difficulty.


  1. I played more bump and runs on wet ground Tues and missed many of them


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