Instruction
May 07, 2012

How He Hit That: Rickie Fowler's killer wedge

*Editor's Note: Every Monday Kevin Hinton, Director of Instruction at Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, N.Y. and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, tells you how a tour player hits a key shot. This week, Kevin analyzes the pinpoint wedge shot from 131 yards that Rickie Fowler hit in the first playoff hole on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Championship. He bested World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points to claim his first victory on the PGA Tour.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest

Twitter: @RogerSchiffman*

By Kevin Hinton

Twitter: @KevinHintonGolf

Here are a few thoughts on hitting great short-iron shots, as well as what you can take from Rickie Fowler's unique, but extremely effective, golf swing. Check out the video here and notice how Fowler keeps his weight left throughout his swing, and flattens the shaft on his dowswing.

3. Steep stinks. Rickie's extreme flattening of the shaft in the downswing is one reason he is such a good short-iron player. This shallow approach into the ball is great for accurate wedge play. Tour players don't like to see huge, gouging divots on these shots. Rather, a smaller, shallower divot implies that their angle of attack was not excessively steep. While you certainly need to hit down on these shots (which will happen automatically when you follow point No. 1 above), doing it to excess makes it hard to control the spin and the distance the ball flies. Take note of the size of Rickie's divot from the video. It's not very big. Many great iron players throughout history have had similar looks--re-routing the club to the inside or flattening the shaft on the downswing. Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Nick Price and Hubert Green are all great examples.