Bust Bad Habits!

Lose bad habits and start shooting lower scores right now!

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Wedge and hybrid shots don't have a whole lot in common, but a thin wedge and a thin hybrid shot generally come from the same mistake. In both instances, they come from trying to scoop and lift the ball into the air. With wedges, this type of mistake is even more penal, since the loft on the wedges are so great, you really run the risk of placing the leading edge of the wedge into the back of the golf ball.

To stop hitting thin shots with your wedges, you first have to stop trying to lift the ball in the air, and instead, be confident in your wedge's loft and hit down and through the golf ball. Often, when golfers try to scoop the ball, they flip the hands in an attempt to add more loft a split-second before impact (as though 60 degrees isn't enough). Doing this means the club bottoms out behind the ball, leading to skulled shots and even fat shots more often than you'd like.

To eliminate this bad habit, remember this. First, keep the body rotating through the shot. To do this, it may mean that you don't need as big an arm swing as you think. Keep the arms closer to the body and rotate more. Second, as you swing, be sure you hit the ball off your left side. Although it may be a soft wedge shot, like any other shot you play,
always hit from your left side. To do this, it's perfectly acceptable to stay on your left side during the entire wedge shot. Hey, if that's what it takes to prevent the thin wedge shot, then do it. Stay left, rotate and finish with the hands ahead of the clubhead.


When it comes to bunker play, there's a lot of bad advice out there. One of my least favorite ideas is that to be successful in the sand, you have to be very aggressive in the sand and hit down hard with the arms with no release and push the sand up. And while that may be true for some lies, generally, it's better to adopt a smoother, shallower swing in the sand with a full release of the hands through the shot.

To practice a better bunker swing, find a practice bunker and start making some small bunker swings, barely clipping the sand at the base of your arc. I want you to let the hands release and start feeling as though the wedge is bouncing off the sand, not digging into it. With practice, you'll start to develop that sound you sometimes hear when you watch your favorite players on the PGA Tour hit from the sand. When they hit a good shot, there's a noticeable "thump" as their wedges hit the sand and bounce back up. Swing a little shallower, activate your hands more, and practice making a "thump" and not a "thunk." You'll quickly see that better bunker shots are a lot easier than you once thought.

Notice how I'm making a real swing here.
As I swing, I try and keep my weight centered and allow the hands to speed up.

Although I hit down on the sand, I still release my wrists. This is key for success in the sand.


Too often I see amateurs try and control their wedge shots with their hands. This causes a lot of problems with consistency and accuracy, and it's actually the opposite of what I think you should be doing from short range to the green.

Instead, the next time you hit a wedge shot, don't get obsessed with hitting down on the ball with your hands or making a steep swing. Allow the body to rotate and widen out your wedge swing. Think of your wedge as you would a longer iron and don't feel as though you need to finish in a high hand position. Practice rotating through with soft hands, and keep them low and away from your body through the finish.

It may be a short wedge shot, but I'm clearly not afraid to make a full backswing turn.
Check out how much I've rotated through impact. My hands are actually quite passive here.

A nice finish over my left leg, with the hands away from the body.


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