Welcome to Shaving Strokes, a new GOLF.com series in which we’re sharing improvements, learnings and takeaways from amateur golfers just like you — including some of the speed bumps and challenges they faced along the way.
How many times have you stood over a wedge shot and thought to yourself, You know, maybe I try opening the clubface a bit to really engage the bounce of the club? For most amateurs, the answer is probably a lot.
However, as someone who plays with a lot of friends just trying to break 100 for the first time, opening the clubface can be a difficult proposition — because, if done incorrectly, it often results in either a chunk or bladed wedge shot.
But to really take the next step in your short game, a golfer must understand how to open up the clubface, which means using the proper swing mechanics in order to hit beneath the ball, which can help put a little spin on it.
For those looking to do just that, GOLF Teacher to Watch Rick Silva is here to provide some tips.
How opening the clubface should feel on wedge shots
Although opening the clubface can negatively impact shots with the driver or with your irons, on wedge shots, Silva reminds players that it’s often the secret to hitting “that soft, delicate pitch or bunker shot, where we use the bounce of the golf club.”
As mentioned earlier, though, hitting the shot isn’t for the faint of heart — and Silva actually suggests that only highly skilled golfers should even attempt it. Here’s how a mid-to-high handicapper can learn the basics, though.
“Find the center of mass of the golf club,” Silva says. “If we just hold our finger there and balance the golf club, that’s more or less [how it should look and feel].”
As the video above shows, Silva explains how trying this different type of clubface control will feel during these wedge shots.
“If we grip the club in its normal, full shot orientation, rotate the golf club, set up to it, and now hit our traditional shot, the bounce of the golf club will be active, but it will feel more normal,” Silva adds. “If you’re an advanced player, go ahead and open [the clubface] all the way up, but it will feel totally different.”
So go ahead and play around with this different approach in practice prior to trying it during your next round. Once you dial in where your hands should be and the angle of attack when opening the clubface, you can get those soft wedge shots that every golfer dreams about.
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