Lou Stagner's Newsletter #33

Chip Shots - Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge

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On a par 5, if you put the typical 5 index player in the fairway and 250 yards from the hole after their tee shot, the chances they make birdie is about 15%. What are the chances they make bogey or worse from that spot?

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Chip Shots - Lob Wedge vs Pitching Wedge

You are in the rough, just off the edge of the green. There is plenty of green between you and the flag.

Which club will perform better, a lob wedge or a pitching wedge?

The data below, from the massive Arccos Golf database (Use code DATALOU15 to save 15%), provides details on chip shots from the rough when there is plenty of green to work with. There are no bunkers to carry, nothing in the way… These are just shots that have a few yards of rough and then a lot of green to work with.

You can see that for every handicap, and each of the distances shown, the pitching wedge performs better across all metrics.

(** Think of the column on the far right as the proximity of the really bad shots.) 

My Thoughts

On the course, shots are rarely exactly the same. Something like quality of lie will impact the club and type of shot you would try to play, and the outcome of that shot. That could be an influence in some of the info above.

Having said that, every single way I look at this, when players have a lot of green to work with, they tend to perform better when not using their lob wedge.

I think the biggest takeaway from this information is that if you are player that is typically only grabbing one club all the time when you are around the green, especially if that club is your lob wedge, you need to experiment with different clubs.

Learning how to hit different shots around the green using different clubs will give you options. I encourage you to work this into your short game practice!


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    Have a great week!

Lou Stagner