Video Games Tutorials and News - My Game: Tiger Woods - Shotmaking Secrets. Episode 10: Distance Wedges. Golf Digest

Video Games Tutorials and News - distance wedges

Well, it's one if the lie is good, two, where's the pin, and you know if the greens are soft or not, and obviously I gotta factor all those into it and the number I have, what I want to do with it when I get back there or not, or turn it down, take the spin off of it, there's not one thing I go to, but it all starts with the lie, and so once I see the lights clean, the ball's not wet, that has a lot to do with it.

If I get a clean ball. I know I can spin it and control it, but if the ball has a little bit of dew on it, it gets a little picked up, a little water doesn't spin as well, so the control. I know it's not going to be as pinpoint. And so once I determine all that. I'm trying to feel it with my hands.

If the conditions are good, he's got a perfect lie, he's kind of feeling it, and then you're looking within six feet. That's kind of how dialed in he really is in terms of distance control and his wedge game.

The partial wedge

The partial wedge

I've got a partial wedge here. It's 77 yards. I'm already thinking it's my 60th. I normally hit my 60 from about 92 yards. This being 77, I obviously have to take a little bit off of it. I don't play by any kind of clock system, so I don't understand how people do that or even a percentage.

I'm seeing this shot as no trouble out there. I like to play a little soft draw with it. This shot is sitting up at 77 yards, slightly flighted. I'm going to feel 75. For me, I start seeing the shadow whether I want to play cut or draw. Trouble with water bunkers slopes tears But I'm starting to feel it in my hands back here behind the ball.

I still have a target that I've picked out on the aiming spot, but once I build the stance. Balls may go further, or if it's cold and I'm a little stiff, it's not going to go as far, so I'll make those adjustments as I get over the golf ball. I'm starting to get a feel for this shot being 77 yards.

I like to hit it with a little more arm and slide it down just a little bit, so I'll put the ball up in my stance just a touch and I'll flight it down with my arms and my hands. I didn't already know that I either pulled it off or hit a bad one. From this distance, we should know pretty much. As the club goes to the ground, I already know that I either pulled it off or I didn't.

In this case, I did a wedge shot where you're taking a little bit off. Is there one particular wedge that you use for that which you feel most comfortable with playing that little soft shot, or does it really depend on the situation? No, because I play with three wedges, so I have a 60, a 56, and a 51, and so my wedges I've had this basic setup since I was probably 11 or 12 years old , so I've got 70 yards here.

The high floater

The high floater

I'm going to take this ball up a little bit. The reason why I say I'm going to take the ball up a little bit is because the pen's in the front and I'm trying to add spin to the shot.

I see a back shelf on this particular shot, and so when I try and play a little softer shot, I tend to put the ball up in my stance a little bit. I do like to feel like my hands are undercutting it a little bit, especially my right hand. I connect the whole chop with my right hand, so, feeling this shot.

I would aim slightly right of the flag because I want to pull across it just a touch and add a little bit of loft to it. Normally, for a 70-yard shot and the normal average 70-yard shot. I would put the ball right about here in my stance because I want to undercut this, put a little more spin on it, and put it a little further forward in my stance.

Video Games Tutorials and News - fairway bunkers

I'm going to massage you further right so I can pull across it and add a little loft and softness. Well, I'm very happy with a 70-yard shot, putting aside 10 feet. This particular pin is front left and so my natural instincts are to miss the golf shot right. As I move the ball further forward, I'm not further right.

I naturally kind of instinctively saw that because the pins are front left, so I'm a little further right and hit it pin high. One of Tiger's great abilities is distance control. He tries to land the ball pin high. He's not trying to run it up there, he's not trying to, you know, spin it back hard or spin it hard left and right when it hits the green.

He's trying to almost throw darts. Especially with wedges, he wants it to get there, sit there, and stay. When you shape wedges, which scenario calls for which shape and why do I take spin off? I'd obviously better draw the ball and turn it down with my left hand, adding spin. I tend to run across it and put more spin on it.

Video Games Tutorials and News - golf

I've had to learn how to be good at both, and so I feel comfortable in both scenarios of drawing the ball or cutting it. Over my career, I've gotten better at cutting the golf ball, but there are moments when I really do, shape it well with my arms, take the speed off of it, and draw it in there.

If the pin is at the back, are you more of a fan of aggressively flying it all the way back there or using as much of the green as possible? It all depends on the softness of the greens. If the greens are firm, then it gets into my wheelhouse because I have a spinner golf ball and so I can land the ball short and get it back there to the back pin.

I've struggled when the greens are really soft and I have back pins with my spinning golf ball. I've had to either fly back there or I've had to take one full more club off and fly it, so it's been good and bad. When the conditions are firmer, I've tended to have my better tournaments. When they're super soft and with back pins with my spinner ball, even though I've been relatively good over my entire career, I've taken the spin off of it.

Sometimes hitting a nine iron like a 110 yard or a hundred yard gets a little hard at times. But I'd rather have that than not be able to do well on hard greens.

The low checker

The low checker

Yeah, I've got 88 yards here, so this is right at the limit of my 60. I hit it 92 yards, so with a bit in the back, I can hit a 60 and get it back there. I'm going to have to make slight adjustments to it. One, I'll put the ball further back in my stance.

Two, I'll put a little more speed in my hands and my arms into the ground to try and take some of that loft off of it, so right now I'm feeling 88. I'm going to fly it, so I'm going to probably hit it at about 84. I'm going to be in the back pin and kind of scoot it back there, so I'm trying to feel speed in my hands and my arms and keep that ball down.

I accomplished all that by hitting thousands of golf balls and building a feel for how far I hit the golf ball, but I'll make adjustments based on whether it's hot and humid or cold and damp or windy. I'll make those slight adjustments, but I'm making those adjustments behind the golf ball. My father taught me that the closest hand you should feel it with is your right hand.

As much as Tiger Woods has thrilled golf fans with his power and clutch putting, its his wedge game that has undergone the biggest transformation. His ability to control distance, trajectory and spin puts him among the best wedge players of all time.
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