Winter Wedge Play
Most shots in winter seem more difficult that in summer. Wet and muddy conditions lend themselves to more heavy strikes, leaving you covered in mud having only advanced the ball a fraction of the distance that you had intended. With this in mind, you then try not to touch the ground and ‘thin’ the ball. It is important to be able to create an efficient strike where the contact is with the ball first.
One of the most common themes is that you should move the ball to the back of your stance and hit more down on the ball in order to strike the ball first.
In principle this seems a logical idea. Placing the ball back in the stance will help the downward blow to strike the ball first but will reduce the bounce and drive the club deeper into the wet ‘claggy’ mud.
I would change the angle of attack on the ball by making a more shallow attack into the ball. In my opinion, the lower you can keep the club to the ground, the more likely it is for you strike the ball properly in these wet conditions.
For me, this method would apply to hitting a quality struck golf shot. Instead of placing the ball at the back of your stance, place the ball in the middle, make the swing lower on the take away and feel that the follow through is taking a long but shallow divot. This will help to you keep the club closer to the ground through impact, leading to a more consistent strike.
Think about skimming a stone across a pond. Throw the stone from too high, it simply plunges into the water. From just above the water line on the other hand, can produce a long skimming stone that lightly skips across the surface.
It is a common theme for me to hear that as the weather changes golfers are ‘fatting’ wedges or hitting the ground too hard, then next shot not wishing to hit the soft and somewhat squelchy ground.
The change of season brings a different train of thought when it shouldn’t.
Many players hit into the back of the ball hard as the are worried that the contact will be poor this limits the follow through and produces a steep descending blow into the back of the ball.(punch type shot)
It is also common for players to put the ball back in the stance and put the hands too far forwards (pic ture shown) this creates a ‘shaft lean’ which in turn will change the bounce of the club into a knife edge and make the follow through restricted.
Using a club with bounce
'Normal Bounce' 'Shaft lean'
The bounce of the club is essential, especially in wintery conditions. A club must have bounce in soft, wet rough areas and heavily sanded bunkers. This will help the club head to ‘follow through’ and come out of the bunker naturally without being forced.
Follow through is key!
If the shot is not a full shot it is crucial to understand the length of swing you are trying to make. To work out your distances you must understand that the length of swing determines the length of stroke and although you can ‘speed up’ or ‘slow down’ you cannot control ‘miles per hour’
Correct club selection.
Ball position in the middle with not too much shaft lean
Concentrate on getting to the finish position of your intended swing for execution