Steep vs. Shallow Angle of Attack:  Letting out the Lag

Hitting a nice wedge shot close to the pin is one of the more gratifying shots in golf.  In this segment of On the Lesson Tee, Todd Kolb is back to help us with our distance control by explaining what a shallow angle of attack is, and showing us the proper technique to hitting better wedge shots.

Hello golfers, PGA Teaching Professional Todd Kolb here with another segment of On the Lesson Tee; and today I want to talk to you about hitting quality wedge shots.  There’s nothing more gratifying than hitting a nice drive down the middle of the fairway, you’ve got a wedge in your hand, and you stick it nice and close to the hole and you get a nice little tap in birdie and on to the next hole.

Tour Draw

How do we hit those shots?  How do we hit quality wedge shots?  Well, the first thing we need to know is that a good quality wedge shot is all about distance control.  How do we control the distance?  Well, one of the key factors to good distance control is what we call shallow angle of attack.  Now, what does shallow angle of attack mean?  It means this:  when the club is coming into the golf ball, we want the club to be travelling relatively shallow; so the angle that it’s coming through the strike is in a shallow motion, versus a steep angle of attack.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 3.34.04 PM

Shallow Angle of Attack: club comes in shallower, hands and club head “match up” at impact

So how do we do that?  Well, when you’re set up and you start to swing the club into the ball, I want you to feel like you’re going to let the club head catch up to the hands.  It’s what we call “letting the lag out,” or what I like to call Matching.  So at the moment of impact, the club head and the handle are arriving at the golf ball at the same time, and the club is nice and shallow.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 3.36.48 PM

Steep Angle of Attack:  club head has to catch up, causing the club to stab down at the ball

Let me show what that looks like.  So you take your regular setup, ball’s pretty center of the stance, backswing and I’m going to let the club out, match it up through the strike.  And when you do that, what you’re going to find is that the club shallows out; you take a divot, but it’s a nice thin divot.  A shallow angle of attack is  going to help you control your distance and help you become a better wedge player.