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Low, Spinning Wedge Technique

The low spinning wedge shot is based on the normal mechanics of the distance wedge, but emphasizes more of a body release through the ball. That combined with a fair amount of trail arm straightening through the shot helps to produce low launch (from shaft lean) but not create a steep angle of attack. That combination, when performed with a clean club and a performance ball, helps to produce the shot tour pros error on for hitting wedge shots.

Playlists: Specialty Shots, Master Your Distance Wedge

Tags: Speciality Shot, Pitch, Advanced, Intermediate

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This distance wedge video is looking at the low-spiny wedge.

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So the low-spiny wedge is kind of a really cool shot that a lot of four pros like to hit.

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Not everyone does it, but a lot of them default to this is kind of some of their standard

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40 to 60 yards or so.

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Where it comes in a little bit low, looks like it's going to bounce way off the green and

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then it lands once and then kind of grinds to a halt or lands twice and grinds to a halt,

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depending on kind of the distance that they're hitting.

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There's two things that are required in order to get this shot.

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You need low launch and high spin.

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Now I'm going to walk you through a little bit of the kind of details of how they're able

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to hit this shot, but know that it's layered on the finesse wedge.

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So, or sorry, it's layered on the distance wedge.

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So as far as the general pattern is going to go, we're going to tend to see a little bit of

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a upper and lower body shift towards the target, the entire stroke.

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You're not going to see a shift off the ball and then big through the ball.

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So during the backswing, that upper body is going to shift slightly left.

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You'll tend to see a little bit more of a cast pattern where everything kind of goes

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all together instead of having a really pronounced bracing strategy and sequencing.

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But we'll talk about a couple of the specifics that we're going to do for this shot that

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you don't necessarily have to do just the hit a good distance wedge shot.

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Okay, so most of these shots are going to be hit with your at least sand wedge.

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So 56 in above, I've got my 58 here and I'll demonstrate some at the end of this video.

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Basically what you're going to see is you have to, in order to get this to launch

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low, we have to do some things that are going to de-loft the club.

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But if my angle of attack is really high with a de-lofted club, I'm going to tend to hit

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too high on the face in order to get the spin.

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So to monitor your launch angle, this is a brilliant little setup that I first saw James

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Radiard in his program, the secret of the short game or the distance wedge.

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If you'd Google James Radiard and short game, you'll find it.

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But basically this is yardage stick that has some duct tape going across from it.

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And I've basically got it about twice the distance of one of these meter sticks.

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And so what that does is that creates a 30, 60, 90 triangle, which means that if I'm

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going to hit the tape, I'm roughly going to have about a 30 degree launch angle, which is

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about the optimum for where at least the guys who I've talked to who use a lot of track

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mandate, they'll tell you that 30 degrees, if it gets up around 40 degrees, they're not

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going to have high enough spin.

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So 30 degrees is where you get the low one that still spins enough.

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So how am I going to take my 60 degree or 58 degree wedge and get it to launch there?

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Well part of it is going to be wherever I set up.

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I want to have about 10 to 14 degrees of shaft lean somewhere in there.

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Now there are different ways to get shaft lean.

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We'll talk a little bit about how we're going to get it for this particular shot.

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But we want to get shaft lean, which is going to deal off the club.

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And the other big one, which is going to more relate to the spin than the launch, is we

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want to hit this low on the face.

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As opposed to hitting the ball, kind of high up in the middle of the club.

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What happens is if you hit it off the middle of the club, it's just going to ricochet off

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that sweet spot.

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If you hit it low off the face, it'll tend to slide a little bit more up the face of

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the club.

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And so you'll actually be able to impart more spin that way.

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So what ends up happening for this shot is I need to have lean, but I don't want to have

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that steep angle of attack, because that's going to move my contact a little bit too high

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up the face, typically.

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So I want to have a very shallow angle of the attack while still having the shaft lean.

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One of the big requirements for being able to do this shot, based on that criteria, is

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we can't have very much flip in the hands at all.

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So the cast is more from the arm in the elbow than it is from the hand.

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So what ends up happening is that cast pattern is going to look more like that right arm

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is going to extend.

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And for a lot of you because you're not going to flip the wrist, it's going to feel a little

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bit more like a punch shot.

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It's not, it's the specialty shot, but it's going to feel more like a punch shot because

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you're not going to have a big flip of the hands.

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So all other things are going to be fairly standard to what we were doing in the distance

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wedge.

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Other than we need a little bit more lean, we can't have any flip of the hands.

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And we need the hand pad to go a little bit more left through the shot.

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You're never going to see someone hit this low spinning wedge where their hands are going

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kind of in out and up kind of like that.

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Like you would see a little bit more with the longer clubs like the driver.

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What you'll tend to see on this shot is you'll tend to see the hands almost work straight

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up the shaft lean at impact.

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And following that body rotation just like so.

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So one of the ways that I like to teach players how to hit this shot is basically learning

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to get that shaft lean without stalling.

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So getting into that setup position and then finding where that impact is going to be,

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just going to be somewhere around there.

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And then from here, keeping the wrist about the same, just use that body rotation to take

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the club up that shaft lean.

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By doing so, what you'll tend to find is that you're going to have a little bit more

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of the speed coming from that right elbow extension as opposed to a really big body

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pivot.

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Now, this is why in my playing days, I didn't hit this shot a lot.

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I would air for more going with kind of slightly open face and lofted shot because

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I tend to, I still tend to get most of my speed from my hips and my lower body.

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And that's very hard for this particular shot.

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You want to have more of the engine, more of the power source being the arms and the

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shoulders.

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If it drifts down into your lower body, you're also going to tend to have trouble contacting

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it really low on the face.

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One last point, this, because we're trying to get a lot of spin, I should point out that

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equipment is incredibly important for this shot.

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I remember talking to Patrick Harrington's brother at a conference and he said that

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Padrik, similar to Phil Nicholson, would get new wedges every single week.

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That's not realistic for most people, but if you have old beat up wedges, kind of like

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this one, if you're hitting range balls, that combination, you're not going to get enough

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spin to actually make it grab.

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If you're hitting off of kind of shaggy turf or like first cut of rough, that's also going

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to make it harder to hit this shot.

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So you want to have relatively new wedges and you absolutely have to play kind of a spinny

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performance ball.

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All the technique in the world, you're not going to be able to generate the spin numbers

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if you don't have good quality equipment for hitting the shot.

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So you're going to, we'll just quickly recap, you're going to get that shaft lean by having

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your hands slightly forward an impact.

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You're going to have that body continue or support the movement of the body through

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the shot.

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Other than that, it's just going to be your standard ball position kind of in the middle

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to slightly back in your stance.

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Not very far back, because that'll get your angle, the tack too far up.

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So ball position middle, little bit of this reverse weight shift, power it more with your

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upper body.

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If you do that, you should be able to clip the tape, hit these low shots that have a high

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amount of spin and we'll demonstrate a couple for you here so you can see kind of what

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it looks like.

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That's close, that was actually really good.

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So lower body is going to be a little bit quieter.

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It's more of a torso arm movement in order to get the amount of shaft lean you need

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and not have the club just slam in the ground.

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Even though your lower body is quiet, your upper body has to keep turning through.

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And you don't want to have a really pronounced flip of the hands because the flip of the

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hands is typically getting to get you to contact it a little too high on the face to get

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the real high spin numbers.

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So it's not a shot that I think you absolutely have to have.

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But it's a fun shot to be able to pull off when you need to do that.

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Had a little bit high launch, but that was still enough spin that that would have held

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for the shot that I was turning to.

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