Why You Need This: In today's video, I'm going to teach you how to master the 60 yard shot.
Anytime you can't take a full swing, it brings a lot of bad habits into play with your swing.
This can lead to heavy or thin shots on the course.
Before you know it, you've lost your confidence and it's a downward spiral from there.
In this video, you'll learn:
- the proper mechanics for these difficult half swings,
- the main killer that leads to inconsistency on these shots,
- the proper angle for your club face on these types of shots,
- and a few drills to get you hitting these shots consistent.
Let's get started.....
Golf Pros Featured:
Instructors Featured: Clay Ballard
Video Duration: 10:39
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Normally, this video in our step-by-step, course-based training is only available to our All Access Members...
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The dreaded 60-yard wedge shot, this thing can wreak havoc on people’s games.
If we’re inconsistent and we start to chunk this shot, it dribbles up short of the green, now we have to get up and down for another one, and it’s really embarrassing.
Your playing partners or your playing partner if you’re in a team game are looking at you like what the heck is going on?
Even worse, we get scared of that chunk, and now it’s OK, I don’t want to chunk it any more, let me try to go a little bit thinner, all of a sudden I catch the ball thin, it shoots 20 or 30 yards over the green out of bounds or in way worse trouble than if I’d chunked it. We can really get inconsistent.
Now the other side of this, if we can hit this shot close, it’s actually not very far. If we can get really good at these, we can have some really short putts.
If we’re on a par 5, we could knock it up there close and make a birdie, or if we’re on a par 4 after laying out for some trouble, we can save par.
On the top end, we can get pretty consistent getting it down in two strokes, where on the worst end, it can take three, four, or even five strokes to get down from here.
I’m going to talk about the three main keys, the big mistakes that I see players that struggle with this that they do incorrectly, we’re going to talk about the right way to do this so you can feel like a master of the short game.
All right, so piece number one, we get really arms-y with this. This really comes down from not rotating the body.
Now if I hit this shot correctly, what should be happening here is as I make a backswing, my hips, my shoulders, and my arms, are all kind of synched up. They’re all moving together.
On any of these shorter swings we want everything moving together much more than we do in a full swing shot.
We’re not trying to get distance with this, so we don’t have tons of lag, and really try to whip that club through contact. We’re trying to keep everything synched up.
Also in the follow-through, I want everything rotating on through. My hips are coming all the way around, my chest is coming all the way around nice and high, and my arms are fully extended as I’m coming through here.
So the incorrect way to do this would be to pick up the club with just our arms. So we’re keeping our hips still, they’re kind of locked in the ground, almost feel like cement are weighing us down.
Our chest isn’t rotating very much, and it’s very easy just to pick it up with our hands, arms, and wrist, and really get flippy or wrist-y with these kind of shots.
So if I’m just hitting this shot all arms, there I thinned one. If I try not to thin one, maybe I’ll chunk the next one. It’s just really inconsistent with that.
So it’s not that you can’t hit great shots doing that, I may very well have just knocked that ball up there to two feet, but then the next one I chunk, and the next one’s thin over the green, that kind of thing.
So what we need to do, the big key for this, all comes down to one simple piece, and that’s your right elbow. What I want you to feel here, is make some swings with just your right arm only, and keep that right elbow completely straight.
Now don’t think I need to keep my wrist locked. My right elbow stays straight, my wrist doesn’t have to be locked like this in a straight line.
I can go ahead and let my wrist hinge, so my arm is straight. If I had a kind of a cast over my elbow here, my arm could be straight, but I’m letting that club hinge and I’m letting it swing under its own momentum.
So make about 10 or 15 swings doing this. Go ahead and take your left hand, put it over top of your right elbow, and make some swings like this in your house.
What you’ll notice is I have to get my legs, my hips, my shoulders moving more to allow me to feel like there’s some flow to this. If I try to use all arms then it really feels bad.
I’ve got to let everything go back, and let the momentum of my swing build the momentum in the club head gradually.
So 10 or 15 swings doing that, then when you go out to the course, grab a golf ball and really focus in on that idea of soft wrists, so go ahead and let those wrists hinge, but keep those arms straight and let the body, the pivot of my body really do all the work.
All right, so on to the next piece. We’ve got the straight arm, we’ve got the body moving a little bit more. Here’s the real culprit that can lead to absolute disaster, and that’s decelerating.
I’ve got a great drill for you to really make sure that you accelerate through all these. What I want you to do is only take the hands back to what feels like knee high.
Now what happens when we decelerate is we just get a little loose with the backswing, we start taking it too far back, and before we know it we say OK, we’ll I’m stopping right here.
If we looked at it on camera, we’d be way back up here somewhere. Then we have to naturally slow down, as we slow down, that club face wants to overtake my hands.
It’s kind of like we talk about in some other videos how if you can imagine a fan blade, and I have this club tied to this fan blade, well as long as the fan blade keeps on spinning, and keeps on rotating, this angle is going to be retained.
So it’s conservation of angular momentum. But if I slow this fan blade down, what’s going to happen? That’s going to whip right on past.
Exact same thing happens in this golf swing. If I go too far back, I accelerate and then I have to slow down and that club wants to whip past.
As the club face starts to overtake the hands, the face gets really unstable, and there’s really no way to get control over that. So the trick to this is to get really exaggerated and what we’re going to do to make sure that we accelerate.
So again, like I said, we’re coming way back here somewhere and then slowing down, making a short finish.
What I want you to do is to have the feeling that you’re only taking your hands back to knee height, and then you’re really accelerating on through there.
Again, you’re going to have to use a lot more body, and I’m going to come all the way to what feels like a full finish.
The goal of this is to not hit great shots, you’re not going to stick these two feet from the hole every single time, but it’s going to kick the bad habit of making that long backswing.
So again, I’m going to feel like I’m high, hit that one pretty good. Right on the flag, so again, if you don’t
hit a good one, that’s completely fine. Do 5 or 10 of those to really break the habit. Now you’ll notice when you watch that video, I said I was knee high, but in reality I came much farther back than that.
You’re going to do the same thing too. So if we concentrate on making it just a little bit shorter, it’s going to keep going farther, and keep going farther back, and we’re going to struggle with this for days, for weeks, or even months.
Let’s kick the habit, try to go way, way short, and then really accelerate on through. That’ll force us to make a good swing.
Now we’ve covered the basics of this. We all know that we need to accelerate through the shot, and we need to make sure that we keep those arms a little straighter, that way we can rotate our body.
That’s the real fundamentals of this. Now let’s get a little bit more advanced. If you really want to have those high spin shots, we’ve got to deloft this club. The pros are delofting the club about 30 percent on these wedge shots.
So I recommend you can either 56° or a 60°, if you’re trying to get the maximum spin I’d probably go something closer to a 60°, a little bit less spin is going to be a 56°, but a little bit more controllable.
But here, I had my 56° because this green’s sloping back to me, it’s not going to be that hard to get the ball to stop, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to hit with 56° loft on this club.
If I did that, as I came down, the club shaft would be straight up and down. That’s the natural loft that’s designed on this club. That’s not what the pros are doing, though.
The pros are taking about 30 percent of that loft off. That would leave me with around 39° of loft on this 56° wedge at impact. That’s really the sweet spot there.
If I can get somewhere around 39°, 40° to 45°, anywhere in that ballpark there, what that’s going to do is allow me to get maximum friction on the club face. If I had the normal loft of the club face, let’s say that I’m hitting down into the shot.
You’re going to have to hit down slightly into all of these, so let’s say I’m hitting down at 5°, and I have 56° or this club is straight up and down at contact, what happens is that’s a very glancing blow.
If you want to imagine this a little bit more extreme, let’s imagine I had this club face wide open, 90°, there’s no loft on this club, or all the loft on this club possible is pointing right up toward the sky.
If I was to swing and try to hit this golf ball, the golf ball wouldn’t have enough friction on the face to really grab the face and start to spin, it would just slide.
It would come out very high, it wouldn’t really have a lot of spin on it though. As I start to deloft the club a little bit more and a little bit more, it gets more and more friction until it reaches its maximum friction.
That’s right around, if you have a good, clean lie, it’s going to be able to use it from every day use, that’s going to be somewhere around 40° to 45° of loft at contact when you’re hitting these wedge shots.
If I don’t have forward shaft lean, then I’m really going to struggle to get the zip and the spin on there that I want to have.
On these, we really want to make sure that that shaft is leaning forward as I’m coming to contact. There’s a couple key points with this.
The first one is, I want to feel like if I had a golf ball here, I’m going to be opening up to the target, and tossing that golf ball to the target.
As I open up more, that’s going to allow me to much more easily get my hands in front, and to have them leading the club head.
If I keep my body facing this golf ball, again, I have to use all hands and arms again, and I’m pushing across my body, and I’m going to tend to chicken wing, don’t want that left arm to fold up, and I’m going to tend to push that club head early and add some loft to that.
That’s the first piece here. I really want to feel like I’m opening up to the target. The second key is, I want to feel like I’m turning this club face down.
If you’re looking at my club face here as kind of half way in the downswing, I want to feel like take that face and turn it closed.
That’s going to bow my left wrist, we’ve seen good players, pros do this all the time. That’s going to do what you’d call cupping your right wrist, or feeling like the palm of your hand is down to the ground.
So as I do this, that’s going to take loft off this face. As long as I keep on opening up. Putting those two things together is going to get this ball that comes out low, it’s got tons of spin, and then it stops on the green.
Keep the arms straight, that way the body works more aggressively to keep you going through the shot and you’re less arms-y.
Feel like you really take a shorter backswing, and a more aggressive follow through to the finish, that’s going to keep you accelerating through the golf ball.
Then finally, if we can deloft this club, we’re going to hit some great high-spinning shots that launch really low, just like the pros.
If you’re a member of the website, I don’t want you to stop here. Now we could take this one tip, we could start to really improve our short game right away.
But if want to master the short game, if you really want to ingrain that to where you set up over this wedge shot, you just hit a couple good shots in a row, you don’t even have to think about it.
What we need to build that muscle member, build that repetition over a period of time. What I recommend you do now is go to the Top Speed Golf System, and go down to the Wedge Play course.
Start to work through those videos. As you start to work through one piece to the next, to the next, once we get in those reps, it just happens automatically.
What we don’t want to do is watch one single video, and say OK, this is a great idea, and then bounce around to different videos all over the place. We want to stay focused on that system. If we can work through that system, this is going to become really natural to you.