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Swing Analysis Videos

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Analysis - Distance Wedge

The distance wedge is typically looked at as shots from 30-110 yards for most male golfers on tour. This is typically the range where it is not a full swing, but too far to judge it accurately just based on feel. According to James Sieckmann, tour golfers can generally judge the landing area to within 2 yards with proper practice and technique. In this video, we discuss a copule of the big keys to hitting these shots solid and controlling the distance. Ways to train the key movements can be found here in this section.

Tags: Pitch, Analysis, Intermediate

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In this analysis video, we're going to take a look at how the pros execute the distance

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wedge shot.

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So, we're going to look at the few major differences between the stock full swing and the

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distance wedge swing.

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The distance wedge swing is going to be much similar to the stock full swing than say the

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finesse swing, but there are some minor differences.

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So here we have Dustin Johnson and we're going to take a look at from the down line, we're

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going to take a look at the impact position and the sequencing they got him to it.

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So over on the right is his full swing and we'll take a look at the sequencing by looking

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at when the thighs are parallel to the target line.

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So he gets his thighs parallel to the target line, roughly when that left arm is parallel

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to the ground and we'll look at impact and we'll see roughly how much rotation and how

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much trail arm been.

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So how straight is that right arm and how much of his back can we see.

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So now here from the with the distance wedge.

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So you can see it's definitely not a full swing.

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You will see that his thighs get parallel right around there.

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Compare that to with his stock full swing and you can see that the stock full swing is going

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to be more lower body driven where for the distance wedge we're going to tend to use

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the whole body is kind of one unit together at the same time.

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So it'll feel compared to kind of a driver swing like it's a lot more arm based.

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So what we'll see is if we get them to impact, we can see that over on the left we don't

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see nearly as much of his lower body and we see a lot more of his trail arm straightening.

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So what we teach here in the distance wedge straight section is how to pivot your body slightly

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different so the upper body is a little bit more on top of the golf ball and the engine

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is going to be a little bit more in the shoulders and that trail arm straightening.

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So by having the arm straightened that adds a shallow element and so the upper body being

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more on top is going to balance that out with a little bit of a steep element.

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We'll look at a couple other examples from the down the line and then look at these pivot

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pivot differences from the face on.

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So now let's take a look at loop Donald former number one golfer in the world in a great

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wedge player and we'll see looking at those same two kind of checkpoints.

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We can see that the thighs get parallel pretty much between this frame and this frame.

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So again right around when that left arm is parallel to the ground.

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Or if we look at his distance wedge shot you'll see that his thighs don't get parallel until his hands

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are about waist height.

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So one of the ways I like to look at what's powering the swing is to just kind of scrub back

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and forth a few times and you'll look during transition that his arms are relatively passive and

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relaxed and you'll see that his body is very very active.

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If you look at this distance wedge through that same zone you'll see yes his hips are turning

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but you'll see that his arms are leaving his body and kind of contributing about as much as

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the hips are as far as creating speed in the club.

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So then if we get both of these swings down towards impact so we'll go just past impact to match those

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up. You'll see over on the left that there is a lot less body rotation than over on the right

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and if we get them to as close as we can get to impact you can see that there is a significant amount

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of trail arms straightening over in the one on the left. That's partly going to be due to

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this powering the swing more from the arms and partly due to or powering the swing more from the

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arms in the rib cage and partly due to the fact that there's not as nearly as much side bend

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or the upper body is more stacked and on top of the lower body.

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Now we'll take a look at one more example this is Steve Stryker largely regarded as one of the

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best wedge players on the planet and usually one of the first guys that gets mentioned any time

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you ask a tour pro about the distance wedge game. So what'll be interesting to see is that his

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full swing is a little bit more like a large distance wedge swing. So you'll see that if we look at

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that five parallel checkpoint he actually kind of matches them up and they're both closer to the

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distance wedge style of swing than they are to the full swing. If it was more like the stock

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full swing and his thighs were parallel earlier he would probably tend to struggle with the wedges.

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Now if we scrub back and forth you can still see that there's kind of a blend of arm movement

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with the body pivot where if we scrub here we'll see that it's a little bit more lower body driven

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and part of where that will really show up is if we get him pretty close to impact with both

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frames. We'll see that there is more of this lower body rotation and we'll see that that trail arm

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has more bending it with the with the driver. But I do think it's interesting to note that

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one of the best wedge players in the game who also happens to be a fairly accurate driver of the golf ball

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but not one of the longest by any stretch. His kind of stock full swing mirrors closer to the

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elements that we like to see in the in the distance wedge shot rather than everything that we would

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ultimately want to see in the stock full swing. Now from the face-selling camera we're going to be

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able to see some of this engine and sequencing stuff as well but we're also going to be able to see

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the relationship between the upper body and the lower body. We'll be able to see the amount of side

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bend the whole lot easier. So what we'll see from this wedge shot from Dustin is that as he comes

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down towards the golf ball you can see that yes this camera angle is not perfect but we can see

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that his upper body is more on top of his lower body and you can kind of see the angle of his shoulders

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as he's making contact. As a result of the shoulders being more level and powering it more with kind of

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a blend of his whole body rotating through you'll tend to see that trail arm match it and straighten

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sooner in the movement. Over here with the driver we're going to tend to see that right shoulder

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get well underneath the left as part of the upper body being well behind the lower body. As a result

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we're going to see the timing difference of when those arms straighten. So over here you can see that

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his right arm is kind of maxing out straightening right around there just before or very close to

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chef parallel to the ground. If we then switch to the wedge shot you'll see that that right arm

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is pretty straight just after impact. Again that's partly due to the sequencing issue and that's

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partly due to the positional difference of where the upper body is compared to the lower body.

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Now what you'll see if you start looking at YouTube and trying to find distance wedge shots is that

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the camera angles and the options are going to be very very slim. So if you find some great ones

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please send me some links. What we're going to look at here is that timing movement that we were

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seeing with Dustin. Now we know the one over on the left isn't a great camera angle. It's more like

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45 it's not even close to straight but what we'll be able to see is that timing of that trail arm

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straightening. So as we kind of go through you can see that his arms are getting fairly straight just

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after impact. So you can see kind of between these two is when that right arm is maxing out and then

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it just kind of rides the moment of the club through the rest of the release. If we look over here on the

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driver what we'll see is if we max out that elbow it's right about there so again similar to what

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we were seeing with Dustin where it's just short of parallel to the ground. You'll also be able to see

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if we had a true face on view that his upper body is much more on top of his lower body and everything

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has kind of rotated together. So as we talk a lot about the blend of steepest in shallows

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because the upper body is going to be more on top with the distance wedge swing that's a steepening

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so we're going to have to add a shallowing element to get a similar path for both shots. So what

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will end up happening is we will straighten that trail elbow to then balance out the difference

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in the position of the upper body. So now we'll take a look at loop Donald from the face on view

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and it'll be very apparent to see a couple of these relationship and positional differences.

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So one of the things that I want to key on is if we looked at where his upper body is and to make it

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really clear we'll put the line on the back of the golf ball just like so. Now this is trusting a

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decent camera angle but what you'll see is that his upper body moves forward during transition

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which is totally normal and then it tends to go more vertical or post up. You don't see a whole

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lot of backing up and you'll see that his arms upper body and pelvis kind of rotate through together.

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We're over here on the right if we're looking at the driver we will see that his upper body is

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well behind that line and yes it has kind of a similar little upper body shift during that transition

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phase but then what you'll see is as he goes into the release in addition to going up you'll see that

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his upper body and his head end up working away from the target. That helps to create this good

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um axis till to help us create a flat or upward strike with the with the driver. As a result of

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the timing and the positioning what you'll see is that as his arms extend you'll see that his body

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is all is almost stalling a little bit or bracing. There's not nearly as much of a brace in the distance

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where everything is kind of rotating through together. That rotating through together helps really

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control the bottom of the swing and the hand path as you release the club.

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So as you work on your distance wedge game you're going to be able to include a lot of the

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things that you learn in the stockful swing but it's important to recognize that while trying to get a

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really good path is important you'll see that with the distance wedge the golfers are going to

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tend to create that really good path or similar to path to what they're doing in the stock swing

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in a different way or with a different sequencing. Where if we get Steve Strikker here to impact

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we can see that there are very different body positions we can see that the amount of

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straightening or the timing of the straightening for the trail arm is very different. Those two are going

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to be the biggest factors as far as taking your stockful swing and using it to build your

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distance wedge swing. If you are normally pretty good at distance wedges and you struggle with

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the driver then you know that you're going to have to work on getting the timing of your arms to be

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later and powering it more with your lower body and creating more of this access to while still

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keeping a good face to path relationship. Conversely if you're a really good driver the golf ball

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but you hit a lot of fat shots with your distance wedges there's a very good chance that you're

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powering your distance wedges too much with your lower body getting too much access to and having

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too late of a timing for the arms. Now you're going to have to make little adjustments so that you can

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get a good face to path with these different timings but ultimately that's what builds the

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capability to to go from your driver to your mid irons and down to your distance wedges. In this

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section we will focus mostly on the positioning, sequencing and timings and movements of the distance

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wedge shot.

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