Short and Wide

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Golf Life -

I carry four wedges: pitch­ing, gap, sand and lob. The lo s are 47, 52, 57 and 62 de­grees. For me, a full swing with a pitch­ing wedge flies 140 yards, and a full lob wedge goes 90. What all great wedge play­ers can do, of course, is dial up the ran­dom “tweener” yardages the course throws their way – 121 yards, 107 yards, 84 – what­ever’s awk­ward given how far their full wedges carry.

The first step to dis­tance con­trol, Butch says, is match­ing up the arms with the body. That means your trunk and hands ar­rive at the top of the backswing at the same time. In this photo, I know I’ve done that be­cause you could draw a line from my chest straight out to my hands. (An un­matched backswing would show my hands out-run­ning my chest and dri ing be­hind me.)

With the longer clubs, like a driver or 5-iron, it’s okay to have a longer backswing. To be free and rhyth­mi­cal and get more power, you can let your arms go back a lit­tle fur­ther a er your body stops turn­ing. But with wedges, never get loose at the top. Think short and wide. Your goal is to pro­duce a con­sis­tent amount of power, not max­i­mum power.

BACKSWING

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