I the interest of full disclosure, Phil Mickelson offers a chipping lesson which definitely contradicts what I wrote a short time ago on how to chip. Of course, Phil has one of the world’s best short games, so I thought out it was important share his thoughts on chipping. Continue reading
The rules of golf allow each player to carry 14 clubs. Because of this limitation, selecting the right clubs for my game is critical to low golf scores. Repeatedly, I have espoused that my short game is where my scoring resides and I believe that is the same for everyone. Therefore, years ago, I chose to take out my 5 wood and replace it with a 60º gap wedge. It is a decision I do not regret. This resulted in carrying 4 wedges when I play, but more importantly, I consistently use all 4 wedges. Do you? Continue reading
Chipping is a difficult skill if you do not have a solid foundation. Though techniques vary from player to player, there are some fundamental similarities that all players should use. Over the years, I have worked tirelessly on my short game and it was not until two days ago that I realized I subconsciously had a visual cue that is critical to my chipping success. I experimented with it and drew the conclusion that club positioning is the key to better chipping. Continue reading
Lowering our golf score is the primary goal of most golfers. Everyone likes to talk about how they conquered the course on a particular day, but for some of us those days are rare. For example, over the past two golf seasons, I recorded 117 rounds of golf at Golf Canada. Although I did not record all my rounds for various reasons, this number is a good sample for our discussion. Of those rounds, 53% or 63 rounds were in the 70s. Of those, 1 was under par, 1 was par, and 4 were 1 over par. So the number of spectacular rounds worth discussing, in my view, is very small.
These numbers may seem impressive but in reality, the consistency of my game is due to two factors, using the correct wedge around the green and consistent putting. I can say that my improved putting is a direct result of playing the ball closer to the pin after an errant approach shot. Choosing the correct wedge around the green is the focus of this article.
How many times have you heard the question – should I replace my 5 wood with an extra wedge. In 1980, Tom Kite first pro to put a 60 degree wedge. He and Dave Pelz, a former NASA physicist, worked on creating the lob wedge to fill a gap determined by Pelz’s research. It is a famous story and if you want more details the story is in the February 2013 edition of Golf Illustrated has all the details. That unlikely team changed the face of golf.
Ultimately, there really is no right answer. Previously I wrote on this same topic. The response I received was 50/50 of using either club. I originally felt that higher handicappers should use the 5-wood and lower handicappers the lob wedge. I still stand by that assessment, however, my logic seems to have a bit of hole in it.
Many of the pros are carrying the 5 wood and an extra wedge! They are removing their 3 iron. The reason for this change is the dramatic increase in the use of hybrids. The first hybrid golf club was the Rescue by TaylorMade in the late 1990s. Designed to deliver the precision of an iron with the ease of hitting of a wood. Personally, I recommend hybrids because they add a dimension to an amateurs game that allows for options when choosing between the two.
Choosing between a 5-wood and wedge is a tough decision. I recommend that you experiment with carrying each separately and carrying both in a round. I suggest that you play at least 3-5 rounds with each configuration to ensure an accurate sample group. Make sure that you keep track of how often you use the club and that is your answer.
I use a wedge vice 5-wood. On a side note, I also use 3,4,5 hybrid. This combination works best for me.
What is in your bag? 5-wood or extra wedge or both?
I am a grateful golfer. See you on the links.