Wedge it Close
The best golfers in the world are all incredibly competent wedge players. In golf, your wedges are considered your defense system. Whenever you miss a green with your approach you need to have a clear understanding of which wedge will best get you out of trouble. The keys are: The trajectory, the landing spot and how much roll to expect and the length of swing you will need to use. There are quite a few factors to consider so I would recommend starting with the basics.
First, you need to learn how far each of your wedges fly in the air with a full swing, a three-quarter length swing and a half swing. Go to your range on an off peak time and place towels, buckets, or Frisbees at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards from where you are hitting.
Set-up and swing
Play these shots with a slightly open stance, your hands on the inside of your lead thigh, and your weight favoring your lead side. Keep the ball slightly back of center for a medium to low trajectory. If you must hit it higher simply move the ball closer to your front foot. Your downswing should always approach the ball from inside the target line and you must take a divot!
Picture a clock face when you set up to the ball. The ball is at 6 o’clock. For a short wedge shot swing your hands back to a 9 o’clock position and follow through to 3 o’clock on the clock. Try to see where the ball lands in relation to the objects on the range. Hit three balls and write down your average carry distance. Do the same for the medium (10 o’clock to2 o’clock) and full-length wedge shots (11 o’clock to 1 o’clock).
Chart your distances, memorize them and match them to the shot at hand when on the golf course. This confidence will result in your scores dropping.
Cheryl Anderson, the 2006 National LPGA Teacher of the Year, is the Director of Instruction at the Mike Bender Golf Academy in Lake Mary, FL. She is the co-author of Teach Yourself Visually Golf. Cheryl can be reached at 407-321-0444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.