Advanced Technique for Half-Wedge

From Dr. Rob Neal, Trillium Rose On August 24, 2022
Titleist staff member Dr. Rob Neal has spent years studying the best golfers in the game and how we can learn from their example. Recently, Doc's fellow Titleist staff member Trillium Rose invited Rob out... to Woodmont Country Club. There, Trillium asked Rob to dissect a very challenging shot – a down-wind, 40-yard pitch from a tight fairway lie. This shot gives many golfers fits, but with some insight form Doc and Trillium, you'll greatly improve your odds of getting up and down from this tough spot.

For this shot, you need as much spin as possible coupled with the right launch angle and landing angle. If the trajectory is too low, even with a lot of spin, the ball will come in too hot and bound forward, releasing past the pin. Too high and you won't generate enough stopping spin. The ball will land softly but keep rolling away from your target. You have a very narrow window and you need to practice this shot a lot to find your best combination of launch and spin.

What the Pros Do:

• Played with either a sand wedge or lob wedge.
• Approximately 10 degrees of shaft lean at impact.
• Club face slightly open.
• Club path slightly out-to-in, cutting across the ball.
• Weight stays toward lead side - no backing up away from the target on this shot.
• Face contact towards the toe and slightly low on the face of the wedge for more spin while deadening ball speed.
• A relatively short swing, but the body rotates aggressively through impact.
• The lead wrist flexes (bows) on the downswing, de-lofting the club through impact.
• Very much a hit-and-hold shot, with an abbreviated finish.
• Use a Vokey wedge with fresh clean grooves and a premium golf ball like Pro V1 or Pro V1x.
Titleist staff member Dr. Rob Neal has spent years studying the best golfers in the ... game and how we can learn from their example. Recently, Doc's fellow Titleist staff member Trillium Rose invited Rob out to Woodmont Country Club. There, Trillium asked Rob to dissect a very challenging shot – a down-wind, 40-yard pitch from a tight fairway lie. This shot gives many golfers fits, but with some insight form Doc and Trillium, you'll greatly improve your odds of getting up and down from this tough spot.

For this shot, you need as much spin as possible coupled with the right launch angle and landing angle. If the trajectory is too low, even with a lot of spin, the ball will come in too hot and bound forward, releasing past the pin. Too high and you won't generate enough stopping spin. The ball will land softly but keep rolling away from your target. You have a very narrow window and you need to practice this shot a lot to find your best combination of launch and spin.

What the Pros Do:

• Played with either a sand wedge or lob wedge.
• Approximately 10 degrees of shaft lean at impact.
• Club face slightly open.
• Club path slightly out-to-in, cutting across the ball.
• Weight stays toward lead side - no backing up away from the target on this shot.
• Face contact towards the toe and slightly low on the face of the wedge for more spin while deadening ball speed.
• A relatively short swing, but the body rotates aggressively through impact.
• The lead wrist flexes (bows) on the downswing, de-lofting the club through impact.
• Very much a hit-and-hold shot, with an abbreviated finish.
• Use a Vokey wedge with fresh clean grooves and a premium golf ball like Pro V1 or Pro V1x.
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