To Lob or Not To Lob?
As you might imagine, we get lots of questions at EIDOLON about which wedges to carry . . . set match pitching wedge vs. ours . . . and one that comes up very often is whether or not to carry a lob wedge. But this column is about answer YOUR questions and we got this one last week from Tom T., who is wondering whether or not he should add a lob wedge to his scoring arsenal. Here’s what Tom had to say:
"I currently have a sand wedge and a pitching wedge for my 100 yard and closer clubs. Last year I had an issue from about 35 yards on in to the flag. Is this an area that you would suggest a lob wedge?"Well, Tom, if you ask "The Wedge Guy" about carrying more wedges, you can expect an affirmative answer. Readers of this column know that I am a firm believer in more scoring clubs to lower your scores. And in your case, my advice is no different. But before we get to the key question, you need to know exactly what your pitching wedge and sand wedge are.
If your pitching wedge is a set-match to your irons, it is probable that you have a large distance gap on full swings between the yards that produces and the yards your sand wedge produces (I’m assuming it’s 56 degrees). Set match pitching wedges today can range from a high of 47 degrees to a low of 43, which is a full club difference. You can visit the manufacturer’s website or search online to find out what yours really is.
With that knowledge, you can begin a logical dissection of your lofts, but also don’t forget shaft length as a major factor on how far you hit a particular club. But we’ll have to deal with that later. Today, you asked about the lob wedge.
To start, and in very general terms, I think the right lob wedge of 58-62 degrees can be a great scoring tool. The right lob wedge can give you the option of hitting a higher, softer shot around the greens, which will also have more spin for ball control. The right lob wedge is a great greenside bunker club, especially when dealing with close-cut pins. But all lob wedges are not equal. The very early ones had a very big rounded sole and had very limited application. Many of the newer ones have minimal bounce, which makes them a horrible bunker club except for the most skilled players.
So, the only way you can know which is right for you is to try out several. Hit them from bunkers, tight lies, rough, typical fairway lies, soft turf, firm turf, hardpan . . . . wherever you think you might find your ball.
Lucky you, however, as you don’t have to do this at all, as you’ve won a new EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge for getting your question answered today. The rest of you . . . don’t buy anything without trying it out thoroughly.
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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FWIW, I love my Eidolon LW. Got it early last summer and it's probably my most oft-used wedge. My SW (56) and GW (50) are Vokey's. I used to carry a 3W and 5W on the other end. Ditched the 5W in lieu of the LW and haven't missed it one bit.
I would definitely recommend a LW, and an Eidolon at that. BUT .. it did take some practice to get used to it. I play the ball back in my stance with my LW. After a brief adjustment period, it became a must-have in my bag.
T, I think your Eidolon wedges look great, they are some rockin pieces, no argument from me there. I would love to get my hands on one to try it out sometime, maybe the next time your up in Dallas or something. FWIW I play a 48 PW, 52deg 7 bounce GW and 56deg 10 bounce SW. I think that average golfers such as myself can work out a lot of different shots by opening the face and moving the ball in their stance.
After playing with an old Wilson 60* this year that a friend was going to toss.
I became a firm beleiver that a good selection of scoring clubs is a must in order
for the average golfer to lower scores. I see that many pros only carry a couple,
but I don't have thier skills when I try to open the face etc. I was surprised at the saves that the 60* gave me. I am looking forward to palying with the set I ordered.
I've had a lob wedge in my bag almost since I started playing 2 years ago. I'm up to 4 wedges now, with the addition of my 48* Eidolon. My reasoning is that, as a new player, it was easier for me to make a full swing with a club to an approximate yardage than to try to make a half or 3/4 swing.
I do find that when I have time to practice, or play often my 60 is helpful
when I haven't played/practiced in weeks my 60 is a disaster, and it costs me shots
the thing that's tough for many players to grasp is the risk/reward of many shots, just because you have a 60 in the bag doesn't mean that a high flop shot is the best way to aim at the pin. Many times a lower or running shot is a much safer bet
(and easier for lower skilled players, myself included, to pull off)
the benefits of a 60 are often completely lost to some golfers because they try and flop everything within 40 yards of the green
Trevor Spring says:
I agree you can do most about everything with a 56. Once you have a good feel for hitting different shots with it, I would think about adding a 60 to the bag.
Again if you have had time away from the game, keep the 60 on lockdown! In my case it stays in the trunk most of the year.
I don't have any trouble with my lob on full swings. It works like any other club for me. If I haven't been chipping with it much, I'll have some issues around the green, though.
I chip with a 52 low bounce, flop and sand with a 56 high bounce (not in tight lies), and pitch with the 60 low bounce from 100yds in.
Previously, I had done everything with a 58 medium bounce. While either way can work, the pros of using multiple wedges outweighs the cons - once you get over the adjustment. Understanding the bounce can help minimize risk, but you have to make certain types of shots. What a 60plus has to offer in particular is that you can move the ball back in your stance and still have a nice amount of loft.
I had a problem with chunking short pitch shots, but can hit them further back in the stance now (hitting down into them and pinching them a bit).
Whereas, with the 52 I can close the face and draw it around a tree from 130yds out. Can't do all that with a 58.
A true lob shot may not be necessary for average courses, but get on a course with small hard domey greens and plenty of bunkers.....
While not a tough shot per say, it's often a pressure shot with water and sand lurking, coming out of rough, and the cup tantalizingly close.
A 60* is a must at the course I play most frequently. Its perfect for getting out of the deep rough (on a severe upslope) by the greenside water hazards. I just lean into the canal bank (upslope) and take a 1/2 to 3/4 swing and the ball comes out with a really high trajectory and stops dead on the green.
I can't wait to try my new 60 degree wedge!
I carry a PW that matches my irons, then 3 wedges (52, 56 & 60). I use my 52 for practically every shot 100 yards and in. Rarely use the 56 for anything else for the bunkers. The 60 gets used maybe once every other round when I can't figure out a way to use my 52. There isn't much to gain for me to use the 60 and it is a lot more risky. Catch it anything but pure and it will either be way short or way long. The 52 is perfect for full shots, chipping, etc. It's probable my favorite club in the bag.
Another reason I like the 60* is that it allows me to hit shots 30-50 yards without having to change the length of my swing. I just change wedges. Perfect in my case for some of the short Par 4s that I can't quite drive, but where my second shot is <50 yards, but too far to chip or I have something between me and the green (e.g. a Bunker).
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