How to Hit Solid Wedge Shots by Correcting These Mistakes
Don’t Know How to Hit Solid Wedge Shots? The First Step is to Eliminate These Common Amateur Mistakes from Your Game.
Want to know how to hit solid wedge shots?
If your wedge shots aren’t as accurate or consistent as you want them to be, the solution is probably much easier than you think. In my twenty-plus years of teaching golf, I’ve seen it proven time and again that the biggest difference between good wedge players and bad wedge players is their ability to understand and control their shot trajectory.
To put it more simply:
The biggest mistake most amateur golfers make with their wedges is hitting the ball too high.
It’s true. You can see remarkable improvement in your wedge shots just by bringing the trajectory down. And I’m going to explain how you can do that by making three super easy adjustments to the way you hit your wedges.
Let’s get started.
What Makes a Good Player?
Great players have complete control over the and trajectory of their .
Have you ever seen a PGA professional like Jordan Spieth hit a ?
Whether he is using a flight by decreasing his speed. This allows Spieth to have complete control over the of his and it is much easier for him to connect with the sweet spot on the . or a , he lowers the
Now, tour professionals become good instruction. Also, they do so because they’ve spent hours hitting shots. However, there are a few things that nearly every professional golfer does that you can do to become a better player right now. players by having constant
- Make sure the grooves on your , and are clean.
- Work on your pitch shots around the green. This will help with feel and touch.
- Your Partial shots are easier to control and typically have less trajectory. should not be too long.
Good full with is your . players also have many different shots that they can hit. For most amateurs, the only that you should use a
full with a (especially in windy conditions) decreases your and accuracy. and direction become more difficult as you add loft and speed. The longer the is in the air, the more external factors come into play. Making a
Now let’s run over a scenario where a good player would show their skills:
They approach a par 4, and stripe their tee down the middle of the fairway.
Their second is 110 yards from the flag, but their is into the wind.
They then take out their partial that ends up 10 feet from the hole. In regular conditions they could hit their full around 130 yards. But by reducing trajectory and speed, they can maximize their precision. and hit a low flighted,
The average amateur would use their 110 yard club and try to hit a full rate. Even if the hits the in the sweet spot perfectly, the will likely fall short. with a high
Another aspect of a good player’s game is their decision making process. Using the correct club in the right situation is just as important as how the hits the .
For example, if a is presented with a that is on the fringe or just off the green, most players would choose to hit a .
In fact, the best option is usually to putt the rather than chip it. The phrase that I use with my students is “your worst putt is always better than your worst chip.”
When hitting a fat . The could also misjudge the length of their and the put on the . the could skull it over the green or hit a
On the other hand, a poorly judged putt is likely to still be on the green.
Of course, good game improve rapidly. players can control the trajectory and of their . However, they also know when to use certain wedges and when to not use a at all. Having this skill can make your
Tip #1: Club Selection
When a player asks me how to hit solid wedge shots, I usually start by telling them to select the right club.
I know—that seems a little basic . . . maybe even so obvious it doesn’t need to be said.
But here I am saying it, because it’s a mistake I see all the time. When most amateur players get ready to hit a wedge shot, they reach for the most lofted club in their bag—usually something around 58 degrees. Then they make a full swing at maximum speed. Here’s the problem with that:
A lot of loft + a lot of speed = a lot of height
Hitting a high-lofted wedge is going to heighten the trajectory of your ball flight, making it difficult to control ball spin and distance.
My advice is to start pulling out a wedge with a lower loft. Try something around 54 degrees. You’ll find that the trajectory comes down, helping you improve accuracy and distance control.
Types of Wedges
The sand wedge (54 degrees) is great around the green and at it’s best when used in a sand trap. The sand wedge has just enough loft to get the ball up in the air without sacrificing distance.
Your lob wedge is your most lofted club in the air, meaning it is the best option when you need to get the golf ball up in the air fast.
For example, a great opportunity to use your lob wedge on the golf course is when you’re off the putting green and chipping from in the rough. There is also not a lot of distance between you and the hole.
This is the optimal time to hit a high and soft golf shot that lands softly and rolls up next to the hole.
Another great opportunity to use a lob wedge is when you are hitting a pitch shot around 30 to 50 yards from the hole. Once again, you would generally be in a position where you do not have a lot of green between you and the hole. This would be a perfect time to hit a high backspin pitch shot with your lob wedge.
Your pitching wedge has the least amount of loft out of all of your wedges and can be used in a number of ways.
Firstly, it can be used to hit a golf ball an average distance between 90 and 130 yards (depending on how far you hit the ball).
Secondly, it can be used to hit a chip shot around the green that has little backspin and rolls out almost like a putt.
As previously explained, all of your wedges can be used for regular golf shots as well as when you are chipping around the green. Knowing when to use your specific wedges can dramatically help your golf game.
Tip #2: Ball Position
Optimizing your ball position is often the greatest and simplest change you can make to improve any shot.
Now, for a lower lofted club like a 9- or 8-iron, you want to position the ball in the center of your stance.
However, when you’re preparing to make a golf wedge shot, your best bet is to position the ball slightly back of center. Then, while your ball is in this behind-center position, move your hands slightly in front of the ball. That creates a backward shaft line, takes a little bit of loft off the club, and helps bring the trajectory down.
The swing weight when over the golf ball should also be slightly forward from center. More towards your lead foot (left foot for righties).
As a side note: When I work on ball position with my students, I like to use the Rimer short game trainer. It’s a great tool for ensuring accuracy and training the eye to judge your setup better. If you’re using the Rimer to work on ball position for your wedge shots, position each foot at an end bracket, position the slider at “I”, then line the ball up with the slider. Then you’re good to go.
Tip #3: Length and Speed of Swing
When you increase your clubhead speed—all things being equal—you get more height. This is especially true when you also get the kind of loft a wedge provides. In order to get a steady, controlled golf wedge shot, bring that swing speed down just a bit.
Just as important, look at shortening the length of your swing. We don’t think about length as often as speed, but this is a key component in bringing that trajectory down when you’re hitting your wedge.
Many amateur golfers use the same swing length with their wedges that they use with their driver. As a result, the ball pops way up into the air, compromising accuracy and distance control.
So then, what’s the correct swing length for golf wedge shots?
Let’s look at it like a clock. When you take a full swing, your hands typically go all the way back to an 11:00 or 11:30 position. For wedge shots, however, you should only hit about 10:00 at the top of your swing. That shorter swing length helps you hit a low, steady shot.
How to Hit Solid Wedge Shots: The Short Version
So let’s sum up.
The next time you’re on the course preparing to hit a wedge shot, you’re going to:
- Think about the club you’re using and select a wedge with a lower loft.
- Position the ball a little farther back in your stance—just behind center—and make sure there’s a little forward lean on the shaft at setup.
- Focus on shaping your swing motion so it’s about ¾ the length of your regular full swing.
- Your final swing thought should be making your best possible swing and trying to strike the ball in the center of the club face.
Make these simple changes and I promise you:
Your trajectory will come down, your speed will come down, and your ball will finish closer to the flag for shorter putts on the green . . . and fewer strokes between you and the cup.
Share Your Opinion
Do you feel like you have a better understanding of how to hit solid wedge shots? Have you been making any of these mistakes? Do you have a difference of opinion or some tips of your own to share?
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