Aug 082011
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Most golfers start off with a pitching wedge and a sand wedge and even those quite often are from different makes with no relationship to each other. As agolfers knowledge of the game improves, he realizes that the short game needs tobe paid attention to. 63% of a golfer’s shots are within 100 yards of the green.If your short game is great, you can hit your approach shot close to the pin andhave a very good chance at birdie or par. A good short game is the best recipefor lower scores.

Dave Pelz, the short game evangelist and author of the book ‘SHORT GAME BIBLE‘ is a proponent of the 4×3 method. Great book. Ifyou haven’t read it, you are missing a great resource. Under the 4 x 3 method,you use a set of four wedges at three different power levels, 7:30, 9:00 and10:30 to give you three precise shots, thus 4 x 3 = 12 shots. You write youryardages with theseshots on a tape and stick it to each wedge. Next time you are within 100 yards,you check your yardage and see which wedge and which shot gives you the bestchance of getting close to the pin.

If the clock reference confuses you, think of yourself as a clock. In addressposition with your club head resting behind the ball, you are at 6:00 o’clock.7:30 would mean a very short backswing and your wrists cocked. 9:00 would bearms parallel to the ground and the wrists fully cocked. And so on with 10:30.Do not forget your wrist cock. Without it, you will loose leverage andsub-consciously you will start flipping your wrists to help the ball up. Don’tdo that.

The emphasis is on keeping the swing constant, i.e., the same grip, the sameforce, the same rhythm – only the length of the backswing changes. You practiceall three shots with every wedge and average them out. That gives you your 7:30,9:00 and 10:30 yardage with every wedge. If you are playing with three wedges,that gives you 3 x 3 = 9 precise shots. If you have four wedges, that gives you4 x 3 = 12 precise shots.

The objective is to land your ball within 8 feet of the pin. Statistics showthat you have a better than 50% chance of holing out (one putt) from thatdistance.

Should you get just any three wedges? That will not be a good idea. Just likeyour irons, it is recommended to keep a 1/2″ difference between your wedgesin terms of length.However; that is not necessarily a hard and fast rule. Some vendors will let youcustomize club length.

What lofts should you get for your wedges? If your 9 iron ends at 46 or 48degrees, your pitching wedge should start at 52 or so and have a 4 degreedifference with the next club. Say your pitching wedge is 52, then your sandwedge should be 56, lob wedge 60 and ultra lob wedge 64.

I personally play with a set of four wedges, 52, 56, 60 and 64. You can only carry 14clubs in your bag so if you have a hard time throwing a club out, go with a setof three wedges. Our most popular wedge sets are:

  1. Acer XB USGA compliant wedges – available in eight different lofts
  2. PO 690 Black. Set of 4 wedges.
  3. PO 690 Silver/Satin. set of 4 wedges:
  4. Acer XC set of 3 wedges.

Once you switch to a graduated set of wedges, you won’t go back. It makes abig impact on your score and who doesn’t like a lower score.

Good Luck!


PS: Feel free to add your tips and ideas below in the comments.

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