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Ken Tannar, PGI Creator


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Probable Golf Instruction

Thanks for supporting Probable Golf Instruction. This is the fifth of my series on the shortgame; from putting to chipping to wedge play. If you have any specific questions related to the topic that you'd like answered, join my PGI Member Select Club. I'll answer all your golf questions related to your own, unique golf game in a prompt, thorough fashion. I'm just an email away at golfexpert@probablegolfinstruction.com.

July PGI Contest

Congratulations to Kelly Walls of Baker, LA, who won the June contest and a thousand Stinger Tees. If you'd still like to order some tees, you can purchase them from my site at a 10% discount (send me an email & I'll send you a special link), and you'll be entered into July's contest for Using The Mental Keys, an audio CD and $70 value. Or download any of my PGI Golf Tips or Reports. Buy a copy of the CD, Hit Down Dammit!, a supply of Stinger Tees, or some CaddyPatch Impressions.

After you make a purchase, just email me a message at probablegolf@yahoo.ca with the subject heading, "PGI Member." You need to be a newsletter subscriber to qualify.

You owe it to your game to make the best of your abilities; become " Master of Your Own Game". Stand out and improve, without hitting any balls!!

Here's to a long lasting life of great golf!

My latest study is finished. See some of the details of the reports HERE.

A Brief Message      July 19/04

  • Ken here from Probable Golf Instruction. Congratulations to Todd Hamilton for winning The Open. He was challenged by, and beat, the world's best players.
  • In my last newsletter, I explained how to read and handle various green contours. Review the newsletter here.
  • In this issue, I'll explain how I hit those partial wedge shots. Again, you can base it on pure feel, or, you can put a system in place to help.
  • If you recall my series on Distance & Technology, I mentioned how mishits (from center of club face) result in less distance. High handicappers have far more mishits than low handicappers.
    How close from the center of the club face do you hit it? You'd be surprised.
    I recently acquired some adhesive, leather club face patches that are used to show you your mishits. They're called CaddyPatch Impressions. Take a look at them here.
  • Do you want a low handicap or high handicap on your 4 Man Team?
    2 Man Team? What combinations of golf handicaps yield lower scores? On average, how many birdies does a low handicapper make? high handicapper? Get this detailed report based on real amateur golf scores to give you the advantage.
    Amateur Handicaps & Statistics.
The Short Game Part 5: Partial Wedges, All Feel?

Read other Parts from the Technology & Distance series and Short Game series here, Archives.

If you'd like one on one explanations about the topic, sign up for the PGI Member Select Club and I'll answer all your questions in a prompt, thorough fashion. Now on to this week's topic.

V. How do you successfully hit those partial wedge shots?

     In my first four newsletter in this series, I've focused on putting improvement. Today's newsletter will deal with hitting partial wedge shots.

     A short 40 years ago, the game of golf was totally a feel game. Players didn't even pace of yardages and know actual distances. They looked at their targets and selected their club based on the conditions and feel (how the target looks).

     Today, PGA pros know exact yardages and are much more scientific in their approach to the game. They know how far they hit each club, on average, and base full shot club selection on them. Partial shots, however, are different. Successful execution is more dependent on feel. How much of a swing should be taken? How much effort?

     How many partial wedge shots are you required to hit in an average round of golf? Quite a few I would assume. It is often said that 100 yards and in is what sets apart the great players from the mediocre players.

     If you are a low handicap player that plays quite often, you probably hit your partial wedge shots mainly based on feel. I used to do the same. Once I had a family, however, I know longer had the time to practice. I found my partial wedge game becoming more of a challenge.

So, I developed a system so as not to rely so much on feel!

     The concept is simple. Keep the swing simple by reducing its length, that's all. For partial wedge shots, I take half swings and 3/4 swings. That's it, only two different swings for all my partial wedges.

     On half swings, my hands go as far back as about waist high (my wrists are not fully cocked at this point). On 3/4 swings, my hands go as far back as about shoulder height.

     The only thing that varies is how much I choke down on the club. I carry two wedges: a 60 degree and a 50 degree. When I fully choke down on the 60 degree (my right hand index finger and thumb are close to the shaft), and I use a half swing, the ball travels 30 yards. A 3/4 swing hits the ball 40 yards. I don't feel at all taking a full swing when full choking down on the club.

     I choose to stick to a half swing whenever possible because I am more consistent with it given that it is shorter (I have more control). Below in the table is how I hit the ball various distances with my partial swings.

30 yd
40 yd
50 yd
60 yd
70 yd
80 yd
90 yd
60 degree
1/2: full
1/2: 2 in
3/4: full
3/4: 2 in
50 degree
3/4: full
3/4: 1 in
3/4: 2 in

Referring to the table above, for a 40 yd shot I prefer to hit a 60 degree with a half swing choking down so that my right hand forefinger and thumb are about
2 inches above the shaft (1/2: 2 in). If I were to hit a 35 yard shot, the swing length and effort would be the same but I would choke down so the my forefinger and thumb are about 1 inch above the shaft.

At 50 yd, I switch to a 3/4 swing fully choking down on the club (3/4: full). I could also attempt a half swing with no choke (1/2: 4 in), but I am not as successful with his option.

At 70 yd, I switch to a 50 degree wedge and a 3/4 swing, fully choking down. About every inch less of choking down equates to about another 10 yards of distance. I hit my full 50 degree wedge 110 yards.

      Your various distances will probably differ from mine. It depends on what wedges you're playing and what your swing speed is like with those wedges. Get out and experiment. Take 10 balls and hit them with a half swing and full choke. See how for the ball flies. Then choke up 1 inch and repeat to see how much further the ball goes. Then try the same with 3/4 swings. You'll get a good idea of which type of swing (1/2 or 3/4) you prefer to use for various distances.

     If you have any questions to clarify the method that I use for partial wedges, feel free to send me an email and I'll do my best to answer.

     Next time, I'll provide you with more great tips dealing with wedge play. How do you hit a high lob shot without a lot of wrist action?

Purchase my Longest Golf Ball Report (over 300 sold so far) in which I statistically analyze distances of over 90 different golf balls with differing constructions. The balls were hit using a mechanical hitting machine.

Play with my Driver Distance Calculator. You can input such variables as loft and clubhead speed to determine the optimum loft. I'll be adding to it soon so that you can input different golf ball parameters such as speed and spin.


A list of resources that have been used to produce this newsletter can be found on my website here.

The next newsletter's topic will be on wedge play. If you have any questions ahead of time, send me an email.

The focus of my site is to utilize science and math to lower your score. New technology is one way to achieve this, but to be honest, the technology is one small piece of the puzzle.

To actually improve significantly, we all need to:

1. Improve our swings using CD Interactive, Hit Down Dammit!

2. Learn how to swing simpler like the Iron Byron with the great coffee table book, Swing Machine Golf!

3. Improve our physical fitness and strength.
The Golf Trainer Power Performance Programô

4. Improve our mental games. Golf Mind Software

5. Improve our Probable Golf games. Learn how to make better choices on the course through knowing how shot patterns and reading the elements and course better.

Click on the links above to take a look at ways that I personally use myself and recommend you try as well.

Hope I provided some useful ways for to become better prepared for you best golf season ever.

Ken Tannar


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