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Video Tip: Finesse Wedge Training for Uneven Lies

In Part 3 of their finesse wedge training video series, Classic Swing Golf School's Ted Frick and LPGA Tour player Haylee Harford demonstrate the methods and rationale behind the proper practice techniques for hitting each type of uneven lie: ball below your feet, downhill lie, uphill lie, and ball above your feet.

Ted Frick:

All right. So, part of our day, when we're doing finesse wedges, which is almost every day, block training, drills, and then challenging ourselves with games or what we call random practice. You're going to see these tee markers here for when we do nine-hole challenges, trying to score ourselves, or when we do knockout punches, what have you, games we could talk about later.

All right, look, in this segment, uneven lies, ball below the feet, downhill, uphill, and then ball above the feet. Haylee's going to walk through the setup adjustments, the things that don't change the sequence or the pattern. All right, so, let's go here. We got a downhill lie. So, let's just go right through exactly what she's thinking about here. Our target is about 18 yards away, so she could talk to you about the landing area and the shot shape.

Haylee Harford:

Yeah. So, like Ted said, I think the most important thing with these uneven lies is making small adjustments in your setup and also making sure that you have the correct loft for the shot. So, with this being 18 yards away and the ball being below the feet, I think it's going to release out a little bit more, but it also requires a little bit more energy coming into it.

So, I'm going to take a 54-degree wedge here. And with this, I'm actually going to adjust my setup a little bit wider and open, but actually standing closer to the ball, which might feel weird, but it's allowing me to hit the center of the face and not let the heel bounce against the ground. And now, I'm going to feel in the swing a fade motion. And when I picture my shot, I see this coming out left to right. So, what I mean by fade is, in the back swing, feeling a little out and up, but on the way down, turning my chest hard-left and letting the club head release a little bit inside.

Ted Frick:

So, ball below the feet, think fade. Great shot. Okay. So, again, soft arms, stable lower body, throw them with the right arm. Let's go ahead and do downhill lie. So, a lot of management here. Now, this is a downhill lie, so go ahead and talk us through this.

Haylee Harford:

Yeah. So, because the ball is going to come out a little bit lower here, I'm going to try and take as much loft as I can. So, I'm going to switch over to my 60-degree wedge. And again, setup is important. So, I'm going to take a wide stance, but I'm going to get most of my weight here in the lead leg, and I'm going to adjust my shoulders to match the land, and then I'm also going to feel a fade swing on this one as well. So, I'm feeling out and turning through hard-left.

Ted Frick:

Great shot. Okay. Let's move on to the uphill lie. So, taking this finesse wedge swing, and then challenging yourself on these different lie angles, making adjustments in your setup first. But again, ball below the feet and a downhill lie, you're seeing fade first, see the fade shot first. Okay. Uphill now, here we go.

Haylee Harford:

So, these ones are going to change a little bit, because now I'm actually trying to think draw. And with the land being uphill, that's going to add some loft to the shot. So, I'm actually going to go down in loft and use a 54 on this one. And with the setup, I'm going to keep all things the same, but in the way back, I'm actually going to try and feel a little bit more inside and then out on the way through, kind of as if you were trying to hit a draw shot.

Ted Frick:

Arms soft, lower body real stable. This is just a standard finesse set up, so a narrow stance, weight forward. You can just hear the crispness of the shot and the way that ball checked up. All right, so now we're going to take it to ball above the feet. So, we're hitting all four of the uneven lies. So, now, this is a pretty neat shot here. This ball's well above her feet here, so what are we thinking now?

Haylee Harford:

Yeah. So, this is pretty severe. So, really, you're going to have to take less loft here to get through it good, but I'm really going to be choking up as well. And the biggest thing for this shot is making sure that I'm aiming the club face correctly, because this land could have us start aiming a little bit too far left and we don't want that. So, when I get in here, I'm really just going to focus on where my target is and where I'm trying to land it, and matching the club face to it. And I'm obviously going to have to choke down on the club so that way I can hit it properly.

Ted Frick:

So, is this think draw or is this think fade?

Haylee Harford:

This is also going to be thinking draw to go with the way the land is sloped. So, I'm going to try and go inside on the way back and then turning throughout.

Ted Frick:

So, it's an in-out path, a lot of body rotation coming through. Awesome. Again, soft arms. Excellent shot. Okay, hope you enjoy those uneven lies!