Dial In Your Wedge Game Now

Master Those In-Between Distances

wedge game featured

QUESTION: Are you struggling hitting your wedges the correct distance? Here’s how to get your wedge game in shape for those tricky shorter shots.

While playing college golf at Austin Peay State University and then on the professional circuit, I found that it was imperative to make sure that the distances I hit my wedges were on point. From there I created a method that not only helped me become more consistent with the strike, but also, a lot more consistent with how far the ball traveled in the air.

Using the words and images below, I hope to help you to dial in your distances.

THREE ARM SWINGS

We will look at three arm swings with the same wedge, a 58-degree Callaway MD4, to help produce three different distances.

The distance the hands travel will dictate the distance the ball goes, almost as if you had an elastic band—the further you pull that elastic band back, the further the ball will fly.

  • Arm Swing 1 – Hip To Hip – My distance: 50 yards
  • Arm Swing 2 – Chest To Chest – My distance: 70 yards
  • Arm Swing 3 – Shoulder To Shoulder – My distance: 90 yards

SET-UP KEYS

Step by step keys to the setup for all three swings:

  • Ball position slightly back of center – this will help produce a downward attack angle of the club head into the ball.
  • Hands are going to feel slightly ahead of the ball (left arm straight down shaft line)
  • Feet slightly open to target
  • Left leg will bear about 60 to 75 percent of the weight through-out the entire swing.

Again, it’s very important to remember that the setup will stay the same for the three swings we are producing.

wedge game 1-3

THE HIP-TO-HIP ARM SWING

 Once set-up is complete, the first wedge arm swing we want to pro-duce is one that goes from our right hip to our left hip.

In Photo 1 you can see that my hands are in line with my right hip — note that the toe of the club is pointing up, which will create loft at impact.

Note that the left arm, hands and club are extended away from ball, which will help to compress the ball and not just “scoop” it into the air.

From there you are in a good position to start the transition into impact.

Impact

Photo 2 is what impact should look like – note that just like set-up, the impact position is the same for all three swings — this will help with an improved strike.

  • Hands are slightly more forward than they were at address – this will make sure the club goes down into the ball
  • Weight of the left leg has increased from about 60 percent at set-up to about 75 percent at impact.
  • My chest and hips have started to open up and rotate to the target
  • My head is in the exact same position as address.

Follow-Through

The most important aspect to the follow-through is making sure that the club extends to the target – with the toe of the club in an upright position just like it was in the backswing.

In Photo 3, notice that my hands are in line with my hips and in a very similar position to where they were in the back swing.

wedge game 4-7

THE CHEST-TO-CHEST ARM SWING

In Photo 4, my hands are in the middle of the chest with a little more hinge of  the club.

The left arm, hands and club are extended away from the ball to produce a downward attack angle of the clubhead.

I have a little more chest and hip rotation than in Photo 1.

Note: Toe of the club is in an upright position to allow the club to have loft at impact.

Impact

See Photo 2 for same impact position

Follow-Through

The most important aspect to the follow-through is making sure that the club extends to the target — with the toe of the club in an upright position just like it was in the backswing.

In Photo 5 my hands are in line with my chest and in a very similar position to where they were in the back swing.

  • Hips and chest are fully rotated to the target.
  • My right knee, right hip and right shoulder are ahead of where the ball is on the ground.

THE SHOULDER TO SHOULDER ARMSWING

In Photo 6 my Hands are in line with the right shoulder, with a little more hinge in the club than in Photo 4.

Again, to make sure the hands and club travel further we need to make more hip and shoulder turn than in Photo 4.

  • Left arm and hands are extended away from the chest just like in the other images.
  • Toe of the club is up to create natural loft on the ball at impact.

Again, refer to Photo 2 for same impact position.

Follow-Through

The most important aspect to the follow-through is making sure that the club extends to the target — with the toe of the club in an upright position just like it was in the backswing.

In Photo 7 my hands are in line with my shoulder and in a very similar position to where they were in the backswing.

  • Hips and chest are fully rotated to the target.
  • My right knee, right hip and right shoulder are ahead of where the ball is on the ground.

Anthony Bradley is PGA Head Golf Professional at French Lick Resort in French Lick, Indiana. Reach him at [email protected].com or visit the golf learning center at the Valley Links Golf Club at www.frenchlick.com

Leave a Reply

GOLF TIPS MENU