Pitching and chipping off of "Thin" fairways

DrPatSr

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Yesterday I had an 70 or so yard shot to the pin from the fairway. It's been a wet, sloppy winter around here, and many of our fairways are just coming back with pretty thin growth of bermuda over the dirt. So picture the top of a balding mans head. You see some hair, but the scalp is clearly visible.
I used a SW from a "Super Game Improvement" set of irons. I skulled the shot, and the ball went off the back of the green.
I came back home, found some similar ground and tried hitting 10 balls with two different SW's for comparison. The SGI SW was harder to get the ball up and "over" with to the target. I missed about 4/10 with that wedge. The R-11 SW got all but one of the 10 up and over. Flight and distance also more consistent. Everything else was the same.
Anyone else have a problem with SGI wedges on very thin turf?
Thanks.
 

Schweitzer_07

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I seem to have a problem with almost ALL shots from really tight fairways. When I played in Florida last year, I hit almost every iron flush and incredibly well. At the time I had no idea why. After I got home and started playing the courses in my area again I immediately realized what the difference was. Every fairway shot I had in FL was from beautiful lush grass, whereas the fairways here are not even close to that.

I'd like to see what tips you get as far as that goes, as I routinely struggle with a full shot from a tight lie.
 

Hawk

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I don't like hardpan, but I do like a tight mown fairway. I can see a big sole like that causing issues, even if it is just mental.
 

JF

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I dislike anything less than a full shot from the fairway. People call me crazy but if I know I don't have a good shot at the green I'll aim for a good patch of rough around the green to try and leave myself with a 30 yard chip from the rough. It's one of my favorite shots. I just always have trouble chipping or pitching from the fairway. This also explains why I putt from the fringe 100% of the time.

Sometimes I even "chutt" as mikedean would say.
 

#Cookie

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I play off of many thin/hard fairways here in TX. The chip/pitch you are describing is best played for me using a 50 or 52* wedge (not from a SGI set) with the ball back in my stance. Able to play a low-mid flight shot that will usually release out pretty good depending on the greens. I play this shot landing it short of the green if nothing is between me and the flag.

70 yard pitch over a bunker from this lie is much more difficult as you can't play it back as much so it is more difficult (for me) to pick clean from the middle of my stance.
 

DrPatSr

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Oh, and Bump and Run wasn't an option due to bunker and uneven hills in front of the green….
 

MarcH

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That SGI wedge probably has a ton of bounce on it. Wedges with lower bounce will be better off of tight lies. Higher bounce will work better on wet lush lies.
 

DrPatSr

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Ordinarily I love using my Gap R-11 wedge. That's a great suggestion. Yesterday they messed with us and had a very forward pin placement on a green fronted with grass and sand bunkers.




Thanks for the reply
I play off of many thin/hard fairways here in TX. The chip/pitch you are describing is best played for me using a 50 or 52* wedge (not from a SGI set) with the ball back in my stance. Able to play a low-mid flight shot that will usually release out pretty good depending on the greens. I play this shot landing it short of the green if nothing is between me and the flag.

70 yard pitch over a bunker from this lie is much more difficult as you can't play it back as much so it is more difficult (for me) to pick clean from the middle of my stance.
 

TC

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That SGI wedge probably has a ton of bounce on it. Wedges with lower bounce will be better off of tight lies. Higher bounce will work better on wet lush lies.
Yep!

I think it's important to really assess the lie you're dealing with. When it's tight like that, I like something that has a sharp leading edge and a smaller profile. I will also make sure to keep my hands in front of the ball (even a little more extreme than normal) to ensure that I hit the ball first. That's pretty important. I've never owned a GI sand or lob wedge so I'm not sure what to say about that. I have an old Vokey in the basement that I practice hitting into a net off the concrete. It really promotes ball first contact.
 

Mardin

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I used to have a SGI set that I hated when it came to the lower irons. I like something with a blade look and feel, for nothing more than maybe even a little confidence. I've never hit an all hybrid set, so I could only imagine what that feels like on tighter lies.
 

JesseO

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This is why now club companies are making progressive iron sets. A touch shot from a lie like that with a wide sole is impossible

Tappin!
 

jefrazie

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I like you have had problems using my GI irons to chip off of a tight lie, I have found as others have mentioned, that a blade wedge with a lower bounce tends to help off of hard-pan lies. Play it back in your stance and focus on contact.
 

DrPatSr

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Good stuff!! Thanks all.
Love the idea of practicing on concrete with a Vokey to promote ball first contact.
The Titleist and Vokey guys are putting a bounty on your head right now. ;-)
 

Hawk

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I do what cookie does. I like a straight leading edge, but don't get carried away with too little bounce. A nice mid-range bounce will work fine too and you won't dig trenches when you take full swings. Just my opinion, of course.
 

pjcedog

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Try using a punch shot off a real tight or a hardpan lie. Doesn't work very well if there is trouble in front of you but if you can run the ball up it is basically just a long chip shot. Take the club straight back from the ball with firm wrists and then rotate your body fast through and you will generate a lot more power than just hitting with your arms.
 

KellyBo

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I had a G15 sand and lob wedge. Our course has a ton of hard pan on it and I struggled with the SGI wedges too. I ended up getting Cleveland wedges and had better success. However, I still use the gap wedge in my Adams A120S around the greens quite a bit.
 

DrPatSr

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Will have to get someone to show me the "Punch" shot. Sounds handy.
Oh no, KellyBo. I called Blind 9 about 2 hours ago and cancelled the Gap and Lob I had on order to go with the a12OS set. I still like the set, but the Hybrids are where the money is I'd say.
I'm going to try continuing to use the R-11's on the hardpan for now. Maybe as the warm weather increases the fairways will thicken up a little more. What irons was OG playing before he got RBZ'd?

ps-compared the Hybrid 3 a12OS with the Mashie M3 today-head to head on range. Mashie is a great club, but it's in second bag now.
 

tnc200

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I demoe'd the scor wedge and I think this type of lie is their fort'e. Great reps and fair prices too.
 

milehighgolfer

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I've been faced with alot of these shots lately and have moved away from my 56* sw since the bounce makes it hard to get clean ball first contact. I use a 8i to my 50* depending on distance and flight it lower. It has taken some practice to get the distance control down, but I am better now from those distances. Find a good chipping practice area and get creative with the rest of your bag instead of reaching for the sw. I spent an hour today hitting high lobs, low runners, mid level spinners from 50 yards. I think I enjoyed that more than the round I played.
 

roswellj

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when it is tight packed like that I enjoy using my 50* or 62*, opening it up and really smaking the ground right behind the ball. It basically bounces the club into the ball from behind and gives a very high predictable ball flight for me. I have no idea if there is anything technical behind this idea I've just found it works for me from trial and error. I would never use the Di11 SW though, way too much bounce, I'd just blade it across the green.
 

DCSerafin

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Oh, and Bump and Run wasn't an option due to bunker and uneven hills in front of the green….
There is certainly no give with this shot, there's no trick or method other than hitting the ball first. I compare this to the "toughest shot in golf" the long bunker shot, say issue. Practice, practice, practice.... Good luck
 

thedue

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This is possibly the thing I like most about my Cleveland CG14 wedges. They have a very sharp leading edge making it much easier to "pick" the ball. From longer distances I really struggle with other clubs.
 

Golf 'N Gator

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Yesterday I had an 70 or so yard shot to the pin from the fairway. It's been a wet, sloppy winter around here, and many of our fairways are just coming back with pretty thin growth of bermuda over the dirt. So picture the top of a balding mans head. You see some hair, but the scalp is clearly visible.
I used a SW from a "Super Game Improvement" set of irons. I skulled the shot, and the ball went off the back of the green.
I came back home, found some similar ground and tried hitting 10 balls with two different SW's for comparison. The SGI SW was harder to get the ball up and "over" with to the target. I missed about 4/10 with that wedge. The R-11 SW got all but one of the 10 up and over. Flight and distance also more consistent. Everything else was the same.
Anyone else have a problem with SGI wedges on very thin turf?
Thanks.
I've never had any luck or liked a higher lofted wedge with a fat sole. I like my pitching and gap wedge to match my irons, but I like my sand and lob wedge to be thinner soled. Pretty easy to skull a fat wedge from a really tight lie.
 

DrPatSr

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So do your Ping Tour wedges work pretty well on thin/hardpan lies?
I'm about ready to take an old wedge to the grinding wheel in the shop to narrow the sole.

I've never had any luck or liked a higher lofted wedge with a fat sole. I like my pitching and gap wedge to match my irons, but I like my sand and lob wedge to be thinner soled. Pretty easy to skull a fat wedge from a really tight lie.
 

DrPatSr

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I'm going to try to pick up a used CG 14 to try.
Think their sole is thinner than a Vokey?
This is possibly the thing I like most about my Cleveland CG14 wedges. They have a very sharp leading edge making it much easier to "pick" the ball. From longer distances I really struggle with other clubs.
 

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