Lofts and Gaps
I’m going to start today by congratulating Rickie Fowler on his first tour win. It wasn’t on the PGA Tour -- it came in the Korean Open – but he beat the likes of Open Champion Rory McIlroy by six shots. A win is a win. Kudos, Rickie!
The interesting story to me about his win was that he made a significant change in his wedge selection in the weeks prior. For most of his brief career, Rickie has played a 47, 53 and 59 degree wedge. With his power, those 6 degree gaps left him with 20 yards or more between clubs. I’m consistent in expressing my belief that’s just too much to leave to chance and feel in prime scoring range.
Well, maybe he read a few WedgeGuy articles, because he recently added a fourth wedge to close up those gaps. His new configuration – which he used to win his first tournament – is 47/51/55 and 60. Those 4-degree gaps (except for the last) had to give him much better distance control inside 140 yards or so – however far he hits that 47.
I’m consistent in my preaching that most golfers are carrying too many long clubs and too few scoring clubs. No matter what your handicap, you’ll beat the golf course with your high-lofted clubs. Yet I see the strongest players carrying 5-6 clubs that go over 200 yards and only 2-3 that go under 135-150. That just doesn’t make sense, even on the long courses they play. If you will build your gaps to be consistent, so that your full swings deliver distance differences of not more than 12-15 yards between clubs, you will be much more effective in scoring range. Period.
And you do that by playing the exact lofts that will blend from whatever your iron lofts might be. In the market today, we see 9-iron ranging from a low of 38 degrees to a high of 44. You have to know what you have in your bag in order to build the exactly right set of wedges for you. In addition, having the right shafts in them will optimize your feel and performance and you should demand precise custom-fitting to your own personal specifications for length, lie angle and grip size.
If you will give the same attention to your scoring clubs that you’ve given to the drivers and putters you’ve purchased the past ten years, your handicap will come down. Guaranteed.
WARNING: Shameless Plug to Follow!
And I’m sorry, but I just cannot help noting that the article that shared this information about Rickie’s wedge change went on to say that he got those lofts – from the leading wedge brand in the market – by bending a 48 to 47, a 50 to 51 and a 54 to 55. Avoiding that kind of compromising of wedge designs is a core principle of our new SCOR4161 precision scoring clubs. We make every loft from 41 to 61 degrees, so you’ll always get exactly “what the doctor ordered” in the way of loft precision. No bending, no compromising. I invite you all to visit our website – www.scorgolf.com – to see what this revolutionary approach to scoring club set make-up is all about.
Thanks for letting me slip that in. Gotta pay the bills occasionally.
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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I know this is lame and all but I think the man spells it "Rickie".
No shame in plugging your business. I totally agree with this. I have been tracking precisely where I am losing most of my strokes and its around the green, the short shot's. No use bombing it 310 and getting to a par 5 in two (distance wise) if I am going to fluff the chip, 3 putt or over shoot the green from under 60 yards. Preach on.
Word. Two weeks ago, I was playing out of my dad's bag while on vacation and despite bombing it off the tee, I couldn't hit the green from 130 without my usual tools.
Your comments (and accompanying plug) make perfect sense. Now hurry up and start making those gorgeous wedgies for lefties! LOL!
you miss by 10% with a wedge, you miss by 10-15 feet and might have to two putt. you miss by 10% from 175-225 yards, you're adding a difficult chip/pitch, provided you miss the trouble that usually surrounds a target in this zone...that's a tough up and down for anyone, even if you don't get apenalty like you're setting yourself up to by not having that zone covered with the right assortment of fairway woods/hybrids.
a 10% miss with a wedge is a bogey...a 10% miss from 175-225 makes your job WAY tougher, even with four wedges.
a win against a neutered field in an anonymous event is not proof that 4 wedges works. if anything, id point to his performance at this year's open champ as proof that 3 wedges is just fine.
it is always fun to play with the long hitters who cannot pitch and chip. When we both get the same score, I have a big smile on my face!
I Need your help. I play Ping Tour W wedges 52* Gap 56* Sand 58* Lob I hit my Gap 105-115yds Lob 85-95yds with a nice swing. Here's the problem, I have to stand on my sand wedge to hit it 100yds. That is even after bumping the sand wedge to 55* from 56* Do you have any ideas how to get 100 yards out of my sand wedge without having to come out of my shoes! All wedges have Rifle shafts. Thanks. Rod
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