Fool-Proof Club Selection for Partial-Swing Wedge Shots

Thursday February 22nd, 2007

If you saw a set of golf clubs in a pro shop for the first time and were told how far each one carried the ball, keeping all those numbers straight in your mind might be tough. But since you've played for a while, you probably don't have any trouble remembering your 7-iron carries about 140 yards. That knowledge is an important part of your game.

Now be honest: Do you know exactly how to hit the ball 30 yards on the fly? How about 60 yards?

If you don't, I've got an easy way to learn how, and take the guesswork out of selecting the ideal wedge and swing to hit for short game shots where no full swing club distances exist.

  1. Go to a practice range or a large, open area and hit 10 reasonably good shots (which might require a few extra swings) with your pitching wedge, swinging your left arm (for right handed golfers) back until it is parallel to the ground and the shaft is pointing vertically up at the sky. This is the 9:00 o'clock swing position (Your left arm would point to 9:00 on a clock face).
  2. Walk off the carry distances of your 10 solid shots, write down the how far they flew, add the numbers together and divide by 10.
  3. This will give you the average distance you fly your pitching wedge, with a three-quarter (9:00 o'clock) swing.
  4. Write this number on a small piece of paper and tape it to the shaft of pitching wedge.
  5. Do the same thing with the other wedges in your bag.

The next time you have any doubt as to which wedge to use-and exactly how large a swing you need (a little more or less than 9:00 o'clock)—you can look at the numbers on the shafts of your wedges (by the way, this is completely legal).

Do you have a question you'd like Dave Pelz to answer? E-mail him at askpelz@golfonline.com. We'll pick the most popular ones, and he'll answer them for you in future columns.

Dave Pelz is the Technical and Short Game Consultant for GOLFONLINE and GOLF MAGAZINE. For more information on the Dave Pelz Scoring Game Schools and learning aids, go to pelzgolf.com or call 888-DAVE-PELZ.

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