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no more big misses

LPGA winner: If you’re trying to break 80, get rid of this club

June 11, 2024
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Breaking 80 is one of those major golf benchmarks that can be so hard to surpass. Just ask some of our staffers. If you’ve been on the cusp of breaking 80 and just can’t figure out what you need to do to finally sign for a number that starts with a 7, this tip from LPGA Tour winner Linn Grant might help.

“Any player that has a handicap over five shouldn't have a more lofted club than a sand wedge in their bag. I think that's a big issue,” Grant says. “People always tend to think that, ‘Everyone on tour uses their 60 degree, so I need a 60 degree,’ but from what I’ve seen, it causes way more problems.”

Digging into the sand, getting under it and not advancing the ball when you’re in greenside rough, sculling it across the green by having the leading edge too exposed, difficulty with distance control: the common misses with the 60 degree are common for a reason. Grant says that to be able to handle the extreme loft of the 60-degree wedge, you have to practicing with it a lot and a lot of amateurs simply don’t have enough time to do that.

Katie Dixon-Brady, a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher, agrees with Grant and says a lot of amateurs struggle with the 60-degree because they don’t know how to use the bounce.

“Many amateurs lean the handle too far forward, negating bouncing and causing the club to dig in the turf resulting in a chunk or thin shot,” Dixon-Brady says.

Instead of using a 60 degree, Grant says a 56 or 58-degree sand wedge can take care of a lot of the shots you’re trying to hit with your 60. In fact, for better results around the green, Grant says to use higher-lofted clubs whenever possible.

“If you have an easy chip where you don't need the height, that should always be a pitching wedge, maybe a nine iron,” Grant says.

Grant’s advice gets to a fundamental issue a lot of amateurs have around the greens: They make it too complicated. Hitting the easiest shot for the situation will take the big miss out of the equation, and help keep those big numbers off the card – which is necessary if you’re going to break 80.