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Hitting a shot that spins is a useful tool — and it looks cool too.
Hitting a wedge with spin is one of those shots that makes you look like a real player. It’s a great shot to have in your arsenal, not only because it can help you score, but also because it’s a shot that will wow your playing companions every time.
As a player with a “sweepy” swing, it’s always been difficult for me to take a divot, and hitting shots that zip back on the green has never come easy to me.
So at GOLF’s recent Top 100 Teacher Summit at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz., I asked instructor Brian Manzella for his advice.
The first thing you have to do is hit the ball the right trajectory, Manzella said. “It may not be the right spin at first, but you want to launch it under 30 degrees.”
With a 56-degree wedge, Manzella said that could entail tinkering with a few different things, including ball position, shaft lean and making sure you hit down on the ball and low on the face.
Once you can launch the ball the correct trajectory, Manzella said it’s all about clipping the ball in just the right away at impact. He likened it to shaving: “Imagine little bitty legs on the ball,” he said. “You’re trying to hit down on it, just like you were when you’re trying to de-loft your wedge to get in the right trajectory zone, but at the last second, you want to slide that club out the other side and whip your hands around, re-cock the club, and that’s what’s going to put the most friction on the ball. Friction is what causes the spin.”
So to recap: First, figure out how to de-loft your club so you can achieve the correct trajectory. Then, it comes down to practice.
“You need to learn how to fake-out the de-loft at the end, by straightening the right wrist and bending the left wrist a little bit at impact, and having the elbow sort of work around you, and getting the club to actually come upward after,” Manzella said. “That’s gonna make the club make a real sharp, C-shaped move down by the ball, and that’s gonna spin it as much as possible.”
There you have it. Manzella added there’s one final element that’s essential to pulling off the shot: “You have to have the nerve to try it.”
For more tips from Brian Manzella, click here.
As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Issue, which debuted in February 2018. Her original interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.
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