This article is mostly going to cover attack angle on a stock mid range wedge. For the YouTube clip Click Here. In the wedge game you can get away with a low point in front of the ball, at the ball, or slightly behind which would be a club landing slightly behind the ball. That is as long as the club is coming down like an airplane that is going to do a touch and go instead of one that is too steep and would crash. For a stock shot it is good to have an attack angle from 4-10*. The reason for this is to reduce the amount of interference between ball and club. Also when you are in the rough the steeper attack angle will not have to go through as much grass as a shallower club. Less interference will help create more friction, launch the ball lower, and increase the spin on a stock shot.
Now let’s take a look at a drill that will give you instant feedback. Place a golf ball 1 grip behind the ball you are going to strike. The goal is to land the club in a manner that the club will miss the back ball and not dig into the ground. Sounds easier than it is if you are someone that has a tendency to want to try to help the ball in the air.
Below on the left is a successful attempt and the one on the right was not. At shaft parallel to the ground you will notice that the butt of the club is closer to being over the ball on the left. That is setting up the steepness needed. When doing this drill or hitting my stock shot I feel as if I am going to miss the ball 2-3″ in front of the ball.
As the club starts to release to be shallow through the turf strike the handle is now in front of the ball.
Drawing a circle around that point you will see that the low point, where the yellow line is, varies. On the left it is in front of the ball and on the right it is slightly behind. If the back ball was not there I might have gotten away with the right shot. The more grass behind the ball would have shown the club down more and more as well as reducing the amount of speed transferred to the ball.
On the left the club is slightly pass the yellow line, or low point, and starting to travel slightly up. The orange arrow is from where the ball started and where it is going. You can see that on the left side of the circle the club was still traveling down and through. A lot of golfers do not understand this and they want to try and help the ball in the air not trusting the club to do the work.
Outside of shorter wedge shots we are looking for the left image more consistently. The reason is that on the right the ball will be deflected too high and not out enough. The right photo with the club arriving more vertical at the ball gets into high technique where the club actually lands behind the ball, projects it more upwards, and uses the landing angle to stop the ball instead of spin.
Also remember to change your wedges when needed, play a premium ball, and keep the grooves clean, and club face dry in order to create as much friction as possible. I tell a lot of students that play Vokey wedges to replace their main wedge when each new model comes out which is roughly 2 years. Their other wedges could be done every 2 cycles or 4 years or sooner if needed.
For the YouTube clip Click Here.