Getting the right lift from your clubs

07-04-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie at World of Golf
07-04-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie at World of Golf

When you decide to change your wedges, choosing the correct loft option is fairly easy, but how do you know how much bounce you should be using?

If you are a golfer with a low shallow angle of attack, and take very little divot - then you require very little bounce. Seven or eight degrees should be about right.

07-04-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie at World of Golf

07-04-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. David Pirie at World of Golf

If however, you tend to attack the ball on a steep angle with lots of divot, then you will need thirteen or fourteen degrees of bounce.

Think of bounce as an insurance policy against chunking the club into the ground. Bounce allows the club to exit the ground on the way through. Take a look at the first picture, you will see that I am about to play a shot over a large bunker, from a rather bare lie.

Using my old Mizuno 58 degree wedge, with 8 degrees of bounce, I addressed the ball some two inches behind it; Similar to playing a bunker shot. So we shall call this one a grass bunker shot, as I am going to strike the ground at this point.

The idea now is to remove the turf before the ball and allow the bounce on the club to do its job, and exit the ground. With this method you don’t require to be too precise in terms of making good contact on the ball, as this is very difficult to do from a bare tight lie.

Now have a look at the second picture. This time as you will see the ball is airborne, as it climbs over the bunker onto the green. Note how steady my head is, with the same loft on the club now as I started the shot with.

The secret to playing this high risk shot successfully is to make sure that your body keeps turning through to allow the club to get the ball running up the face. If you are not fully committed to the shot, and stop your body turning then the hands/arms will drive the club, resulting in a thinned low shot over the green into trouble.

However when you master this shot, it will not matter how bad the lie is. As always spend some time perfecting it, before attempting it in the next medal. Good luck as always. Next week: Low chipping.