Do you carry a 64-degree wedge? If not, you may want to reconsider that decision. A 64-Degree Wedge is a game-changer. It’s a stroke-saving weapon that can bail you out of tight situations and set you up for easily makeable putts. Once mastered, the 64-degree wedge enables you to hit a higher-lofted Shot that can help you tame the slickest of greens. Hitting higher-lofted shots is also a good option when you need to clear an obstacle like a greenside bunker on down- sloped green, or you’re hitting from behind the green.
But hitting a 64-degree wedge is a challenge. So, you’ll have to master it before using it on the course. That involves using the right technique and practicing at the range. Put simply, you’ll need to hit shots every time you go to the range until you master hitting the wedge. Learning to hit higher-lofted wedge shots, however, pays off. It can save you a ton of strokes and help you shave strokes from your scores and your golf handicap.
Need for Higher Lofted Shots
So why carry a 64-degree wedge? It’s because greens are getting faster and faster these days. Unless you can stop shots as quickly as PGA and LPGA players, you’ll need maximum loft to stop the ball on many greens. Superintendents are also being pressured to keep greens in tip top shape. So, they’re tucking pins near the edge of the green more and more these days to protect the putting surfaces. If these trends haven’t hit your area yet, they will eventually.
To hit and hold slick greens like this, you’ll need to hit pin-seeking shots that fly a lot higher and land a lot softer than your typical approach shots. That’s where the 64-degree wedge comes in. It will let you hit shots that go higher and land softer whenever you need to from short distances. So, if you’re not carrying a 64-degree wedge, you’re doing yourself a disfavor.
Keys to Hitting Higher-Lofted Shots
Hitting a higher-lofted shot takes practice and the right technique. Below are six keys to hitting a higher-lofted shot from close to the green using a 64-degree wedge:
• Set up with your weight balanced
• Play the ball forward in your stance
• Make a bigger swing than normal
• Let the club pass through your hands
• Clip the grass beneath the ball
• Finish with the clubface facing the sky
Set up with your weight evenly distributed on both feet and the ball positioned forward in your slightly open stance. Make sure the clubface is open just a bit more than usual when addressing the ball.
Now take a nice fluid swing. Make sure the clubhead passes your hands through impact. Be careful not to make a chipping motion. Instead, try to clip the grass beneath the ball as you swing through the shot.
This shot needs a lot of wrist action to pull off, so don’t be afraid to get your wrists into the swing. If you try to hit this shot without using any wrist action, you’ll probably skull the ball past the hole and off the green. Finish with your clubface looking at the sky.
You’ll have to expose the club’s entire loft through impact to elevate the ball high enough to come down softly on the green. Hit the shot correctly and the ball will pop almost straight up and come to rest softly on the green.
Higher-Lofted Shots: A Dangerous Option
Hitting a perfectly executed higher-lofted shot in the right situation is a thing of beauty. No doubt about it. There’s nothing better than seeing a higher-lofted shot hit the green and roll close to the pin. But it’s also a dangerous option. If you catch the ball thin or heavy, you can pay a steep price—one that can see you card a double bogey or more.
So, you need to master the shot before adding it to your arsenal. That takes practice. If you’re not hitting at least a dozen practice shots with your 64-degree wedge at the range every time you go out, you’ll never acquire the skill—or confidence—to hit a higher-lofted shot when the pressure is on. Once mastered, hitting higher-lofted shots with your 64-degree wedge can really pay off.
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