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Greenside Scoring - Favorite Club Or Variety?
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy

Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at askme@thewedgeguy.com.

There are two very distinct schools of thought when it comes to hitting all the variety of up-and-down shots around the greens. Stan Utley, who I greatly respect, is an advocate of using your sand wedge all the time, and learning how to do a variety of things with it. He's got lots of good company in the teaching community who share that viewpoint. The other side of the "argument", maybe most popularly expressed by Dave Pelz, is that you should know multiple shots with each of your wedges to bring the ultimate precision to your short game. I'm on this subject today as a result of a question from Travis M., who asked:
I have been researching short game play and have been watching many online instructional videos on pitching. I have heard a couple of the top instructors mention you should only pitch with your sand wedge. What are your thoughts?
Well, Travis, in my opinion . . . for the recreational golfer at least . . . we should do everything we can to make this game easier and more fun. And knowing that the typical recreational golfer has limited time to practice his or her short game, I’m a proponent of using all your scoring tools and learning one or two basic pitch/chip techniques. Then you can rely on the simple swing or two that you know and trust, and choose the club that will give you the results you are after . . . with that swing.

To my way of thinking, that makes this game so much easier. I’ve covered the basic pitching and chipping swing techniques here so I won’t go into detail again, but if you have the ability to execute the basic pitch, chip and lob technique, and can apply that to any club, then you have a full arsenal of scoring shots:
1. If you have short-sided the green, you can use your lob swing and your lob wedge to pop the ball up quickly and limit its roll.

2. When you have lots of green to work with, or the pin is on top of a slope, the basic pitch executed with a pitching wedge or even 9-iron will allow the ball to roll out and is much more reliable.

3. For a mid-range pitch into the wind, dropping back to a gap or pitching wedge will limit height and spin and prevent an “up-shooter” that comes up way short.

4. For a ball sitting up in the rough, the gap or pitching wedge will be less likely to get too far under the ball and come up short.

5. For greens that are firmer, the sand and lob wedges will allow you to have more spin control.

6. On uphill pitches, the lower lofted wedges can often produce more reliable results.
The list of applications can go on and on, but I suggest that is much more reliable for the average golfer to learn 2-3 basic swing techniques in the short game and then choose the club that will produce the results they are after. In one or two sessions around the practice green, you can learn what each club will deliver with each of your swing methods. And that will cut strokes off your score very quickly.

So, Travis, congrats on winning a new EIDOLON wedge of your choice, and I hope this helps you find a method you can believe in. Keep those questions coming, boys and girls, as The Wedge Guy is here to help all I can.


* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

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The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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