Myrtle Beach Golf Tip from Mel Sole: How to Use a Lob Wedge

In this installment, Mel Sole of the Mel Sole Golf School at Pawleys Plantation Golf & Country Club and Resort Club at Grande Dunes demonstrates a handy tip in response to a viewer-submitted request for help with greenside pitch shots.

In my previous tip, I mentioned that I’d like you to send in some ideas for golf tips. Thanks to those people who’ve already sent in some ideas for future golf tips.

This month’s golf tip comes via request of Barry Melvin of Pennsylvania. Barry was telling me about when he’s close behind the bunker, and he has to go over it to where the flag is close and he doesn’t have a lot of green to work with, he has problems with this shot.

You need two things. First, you need to have a lob wedge. If you don’t have a lob wedge, this is a difficult shot. A sand wedge has more bounce, and when we open the club face like we have to do here, you create even more bounce and the bounce is likely to hit the ground and you wind up hitting the ball with the leading edge of the club. And that ends up not being a pretty shot.

So, a lob wedge is ideal. My lob wedge has 5 degrees of bounce – pretty low. What you have to do here is open your stance a little bit. What we’re trying to do here is keep the legs fairly quiet, and we’re going to slide the club under the ball so I’m keeping my head nice and steady.

But the reason I have this width in my stance is that with the normal pitch we use the body and turn. But here, by widening my stance, I’ve kind of stopped my hips from turning, and what happens is the club then passes the hands – and when it passes the hands, it adds loft. It’s not a scoop – what I don’t want is for the left (lead) wrist to break down. But you’ll see that when I go through, I’ll still keep that clubface open and the ball will have a nice, high trajectory.

So, yes, it takes a little bit of practice. Every shot in golf does. But once you’ve got this little shot in your repertoire, it really is a stroke-saving shot. So head out to the range, and practice this.

I’ve got my stance wide, I’m opening the clubface, and I’m just going to slide the club under the ball.

(Successfully executes the shot)

Now, look at that – nice and high. I don’t even know if the camera picked up how high that shot was, but it came down very softly and didn’t roll more than 2 or 3 feet.  It didn’t really have a lot of spin (you’re not going to get a lot of spin on a shot like this); how you stop it is with height.

Okay, so now that I’ve shown you how to play this shot, here’s a different angle – still going over the bunker to the flag. I’m going to open the clubface like we discussed, and take a couple of practice swings to get a feel for how hard I want to hit the ball.

(Successfully executes the shot)

Slide the club under the ball, and that’s the way to play this shot.

Go and practice this shot. This shot is going to save you some strokes around the green!

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