Grow My Game

Going Deep with Your Short Game

By Jack Dillon
Published on

The more we play the game, the more we realize how complex it can be. That goes for our equipment, too
Back in the old days of the 1970’s, every set of irons sold had a pitching wedge. Then the wedge had a loft of around 51 or 52 degrees. After the iron purchase, the golfer then decided separately on a sand wedge, which had a loft of 55 or 56 degrees. So in the golf bag of the good old days, there were two simple wedges: one for pitching and one for sand play.
Fast forward to today, where sets are almost built one club at a time, and you have a selection of wedges that boggle the mind. Today there are around 9 unique wedge offerings beginning at 46 degrees and running all the way up to 64 degrees. Wow! Oh yes, and today’s pitching wedge has a loft of between 46 and 47 degrees.
Today, the better, more frequent golfer carries three or four wedges, double the number once thought necessary. They are each designed to lower scores. Is that really necessary?
Why would a golfer require 4 unique wedges for short shots?
For some, it makes perfect sense. The game from 60 yards in is difficult and complex. There are a number of shots to learn to play from all around this area of play. In your process of lowering your scores and building a better game, these precious shots are where you will save strokes.
Find out what is right for you
Before you add to your wedge arsenal or even change up a wedge or two, make an appointment to see your PGA or LPGA Professional. Let them know why you are there, and that understanding the total short game and the shot techniques are what you want to accomplish. The golf professional will assess your current wedges and then, based on your game, suggest the wedges to invest in.
Once you have the right wedge makeup for your game, schedule 2 or 3 playing lessons, concentrating solely on your short game. The variety of shots you can learn are endless, as are the shot-saving opportunities. It is about the right clubs, the proper technique, and finally, your ability to feel each shot, and to know which shot to use at any given time.
Having a great short game also takes the pressure off your long game, as now you have less fear and pressure standing over the ball back in the fairway, because now you trust your short game.
There are many ways to improve at golf, but in this game of a lifetime, building a great short game will provide you with decades of lower scores and much more fun!