Hard '8' Or Easy '7'?
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy
Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the nuances of this game is that you are rarely faced with an approach shot that is "textbook" to your standard yardage with any iron. Most approach shots fall somewhere "in between" clubs, due to yardage, wind, elevation or other factors. In order to play your best golf, you have to be able to 'dial in' those distances that fall in between your textbook yardages. (I'm assuming you know what those are, OK?)
This topic for today is in response to a question from Eric E., a regular reader of The Wedge Guy, who asked;
Hi, I have a question about iron shots. When you are "in between clubs," do you find it is more optimal to hit, say, a "hard 7," rather than an "easy 8?" I find that I often have trouble hitting the "easy" shots consistently well because I am not taking a full, normal swing. All else being equal (i.e. you are not worried about being a bit long rather than a bit short, etc), what is the best way to play these shots?Well, Eric, thanks for reading The Wedge Guy, and sending in your question. Because I selected yours for today's column, you’ve won an EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge of your choice. With every wedge or set we ship, we include a complimentary copy of our booklet, "The SCoR Method – A Simple Way To Achieve Precision In Your Short Game." (The book is also available for $9.95 from EIDOLON Golf). I wrote this little tome to share my philosophy and method for hitting the “in between” shots, not just with every club in your bag.
The SCoR Method guides you through the process of learning your exact yardages with each club, and further dissecting that by altering your hand position on the grip – ½” down, 1” down, etc. It’s built around the simple fact that distance is affected by loft and club length, and you can vary the distance a shot flies by altering either. Irons are typically ½” shorter as you progress from the 3 to the PW. And the loft typically changes by 4* between clubs. So, if you grip down on any club by ½”, you’ve made the length of the next shorter club. Your normal swing will produce a shot that goes not quite as far, logically, and will generally fall somewhere close to halfway between the two normal distances.
This is a very simple methodology to learn and makes hitting in between shots so much easier. I never liked trying to hit any iron shot “hard”, and throttling back swing speed proves difficult for many recreational players. The SCoR Method simplifies the process. Here are some footnotes to this method:
1. When you grip down on the next longer club, you usually get a lower ball flight that when you hit that same club or the next shorter club“full”.
2. You can further alter ball flight by gripping down and opening the clubface a bit. Be sure to aim more left if/when you do this.
3. Gripping down on the next longer club, or even two clubs longer is a great way to hit boring, lower-spinning shots into the wind. I often grip down a 5-iron by an inch or more, when the shot would be a normal 7.
One more thing . . . you will very likely find that gripping down on the club actually improves your accuracy considerably . . . and that's not a bad thing at all. Let me know how this approach to the “in between shots works for you, Eric, and congratulations on winning an EIDOLON wedge.
* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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