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Question on Chipping:

I have been blading my sand wedge. How do I stop this?
--John S. from Milwaukee, WI

Hi John,

Thanks for submitting your question. Blading your sand wedge is absolutely no fun at all. It definitely makes us gun shy on future shots after we've bladed one over the green and gotten into trouble by landing in a bunker, water or the woods. The problem then becomes that as you get tentative, you will tend to decelerate more and more, actually increasing your chances of blading again.

Let's explore together what could be causing you to do this as there are multiple causes.

The first thing I'd like you to check is the amount of bounce on your sand wedge. It is probably o.k. as most average around 12 degrees, but some may have quite a bit more. It may be written on your wedge or you may need to check with the manufacturer or the store where you purchased to find out for sure. If you hold your sand wedge upside down with the head of the club in your hand and the toe of the club facing away from you, you will be able to see the bounce. Notice how the back edge of the club sits up higher than the leading edge. That's the bounce and it's ideal fro sand as the club will bounce and skim right through the sand preventing you from digging and getting stuck. If there is a large amount of bounce on your club, it will make hitting off the fairway or tight lies more difficult as the back edge (bounce) will hit the ground first and the leading edge will be angled up too high as it approaches the ball catching it near the equator or top. To properly hit down on a ball from a tight lie you need to make sure that the leading edge is going to hit the ground first.

The second thing I'd like you to check is your weight. It is common for players to get their weight too much on their back foot as they try to scoop or help the ball into the air when they are chipping or pitching. We actually should do the opposite and make sure to hit down, trusting the loft on the club face to bring the ball back up. It is important to have your weight over your front foot so that you can better make a downward strike on the ball. Be careful to not keep your head back too much as that will pull your weight back. That's a common mistake I see in lessons. Feel like your head is more over your front foot.

The last thing I'd like you to check is your release point or the point when you are uncocking your wrists. As long as your club head stays behind your hands it will still be descending. If however you uncock your wrists too soon (before impact) and the club head lines up with your front forearm, the club will then start ascending and you will hit up on the ball too soon. Make sure to lead with the butt end of the grip going towards the target as long as possible and feel like you are uncocking your wrists after impact.

As I stated before there are several causes of blading, but I'd like you to check these 3 things first. Let me know how your progress goes and be sure to check out our short game section for more drills that could help.

Also, I recommend you start entering your scores in the game tracker and set up your free practice planner so we can better track your progress.


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