Hello golfers and welcome to this weeks tips & tricks. This week we are going to look at controlling the flight of your approach shots into the green. Being able to control the flight of your wedges is crucial for good distance control and can help you land and stop the ball nice and close to the hole. If you struggle with wedge play and feel like you lose shots inside of the scoring zone then this one is for you. I have gathered some Trackman data to help you understand some of the important points for pitching.
There are many important factors when it comes to controlling the golf ball but the main ones are strike location, speed, and launch angle. Controlling all of these factors is the key for good distance control and if one of these goes the distance can change quite dramatically.
This can be how high or low on the face the strike is as well as the heel and toe. Anything that isn’t towards the middle of the clubface is going to vary the ball speed. Hitting lower on the face generally produces more spin and anything higher on the face, less spin.
Controlling how fast the clubhead moves through impact is one of the easiest factors to control. Controlling the length of the swing is the best way to change the speed. Try to find a good rhythm and accelerate through the shot when pitching. This will help increase the spin and stop the club getting caught in the grass.
Selecting an appropriate club for this type of shot is one part of controlling the launch angle. If you want to create more spin a lofted club is more suitable. Something between 56*-60* is best. The way that the club is presented to the ball at impact will then determine the launch angle. More dynamic loft will create a higher launch angle and less dynamic loft will create a lower launch angle. Changing the ball position is one way of potentially changing the launch angle. Moving the ball back in the stance can lower the launch angle and vice versa.
If you watch the video you will see that the length and speed of the swing stay relatively consistent. The strikes were good so the only thing that changed was the ball position. This changed the launch angle and consequently the distance the ball travelled. Being able to control the flight and hit it higher and lower into greens can be beneficial. Hitting into the wind or down the wind can be a major reason to manipulate flight. The speed of the green and pin position can also be reason for mixing it up. If you just struggle for distance in general you might just need to practice delivering less loft at impact so changing the ball position can help.
To keep it simple we need to be sweeping the ground when pitching. Using the big muscle groups through the middle of the body and preventing disconnection and flicking with the hands will help. We want to hit the ball on a descending blow and allow the ball and grooves to grip together for as long as possible to create spin. Spin can only be maximised when the variables are in our favour. We need a good golf ball, unworn and clean grooves, and a good lie.
If you don’t know how far your wedges go and you struggle to control the flight get working on it. It can cost or save you lots of shots on the course. You can rent Trackman or we can do a lesson or yardage gapping to dial you in. Practice with different lofted wedges at different ball positions to see how the ball reacts. The ground conditions are getting softer, the air is getting colder, the wind is picking up. The winter months are a good time to fly the ball right next to the hole and spin it like the pros. Also if your wedges are looking a bit worn we have some lovely new stock which could send your game to the next level.