How to Copy Phil’s Wedge

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Contents -

What you can learn from Lefty’s short game

A FOR­WARD PUSH

“The first thing you should learn from Phil: He reads the lie be­fore de­cid­ing on what type of shot to play,” says An­drew Get­son, who teaches at Gray­hawk Golf Club in Scotts­dale. “Also im­por­tant, he says 99 per­cent of his body weight starts and stays on his front [right] foot. Most play­ers don’t fa­vor that leg as much.”

LEAN­ING INTO IT

Ball po­si­tion and shaft lean are two ways Phil con­trols con­tact, Get­son says. “That shaft lean at ad­dress and the for­ward ball po­si­tion al­low him to hit down on the ball solidly and get it up with­out hav­ing to scoop at it with his wrists like I see so many am­a­teurs do. They play the ball too far back to hit it high.”

HINGE AND HOLD

The sim­plic­ity of his tech­nique is ev­i­dent here, Get­son says. “Once he hinges the wrists, he main­tains that hinge through im­pact. This pre­vents poor con­tact.” Am­a­teurs should start this hinge early, Get­son says. “You don’t need a big swing arc here. Hing­ing nar­rows the arc and makes good con­tact eas­ier to get.”

RUBS THE RIGHT WAY

Phil cre­ates the back­spin for this check­ing wedge by forc­ing a lot of fric­tion be­tween the ball and the lead­ing edge of the club­head. “His hands take the club down into the ball on a fairly sharp an­gle,” Get­son says. His head also has ro­tated a lit­tle to the tar­get side. “He tracks the path of the club and ball,” Get­son says.

CAR­BON COPY

Stare at this swing at im­pact for a few sec­onds, then go back and see the photo of Phil at ad­dress. Look fa­mil­iar? “With the ex­cep­tion of his head ro­tat­ing, the two po­si­tions are vir­tu­ally iden­ti­cal,” Get­son says. “That’s some­thing to work on. Cre­ate a good im­pact look at ad­dress, and re­peat it when your club meets ball.”

EX­TEND AND ROTATE

His grip pres­sure is su­per light, Get­son says. “Soft hands let him keep club­head speed up on those short shots.” Also, a lot of am­a­teurs bring the shaft back around to their hip pocket to fin­ish the swing, “but his left arm ex­tends and his body keeps ro­tat­ing to­ward the tar­get for ac­cu­racy. It’s ter­rific tech­nique.”

SOURCE: SHOTLINK (2017)

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