Ever hit a bomb off the tee then mishit your second shot? If you have, you know how frustrating it is. Hitting wayward approaches after a great drive not only costs you par but also inflates your score and ruins your confidence. To break 80 consistently, you must hit good approaches precise wedge shots —the kind that hit and stick, leaving easily makeable putts.
But hitting precise wedge shots is a challenge. Just ask the pros. They practice hitting wedge shots for hours at a time to master them. Why put the time in? Because they know that hitting their wedges is the secret to scoring. Drilling a 3-footer for a birdie beats trying to drop a 30-footer for par anytime. Hitting precise wedges shave strokes off your scores and golf handicap.
Golf Tips on Hitting Precise Wedge Shots
To hit wedge shots, you must control distance, shape, and trajectory. Below are several golf tips on controlling all three when hitting wedges:
- “Dis-arm” your swing — Use your body to control your shot—not your arms. Let your wrists hinge naturally as you go back, stop at three-quarters, shift laterally toward the target, then turn your core. Cut your finish at three-quarters.
- Hit “dart-like” edges — Learn to hit low, dart-like wedges as well as sky-high wedges. Hitting dart-like wedges helps you fly under the wind and produces shot-stopping spin. To hit dart-like wedges, shift your weight to your front side and keep the back of your wrist flat and facing the target at impact.
- Learn to hit fades/draws — Some golfers find hitting perfectly straight shots a challenge. That’s okay. Hitting fades and draws works just as well. So practice hitting them at the range. You never know when you’ll need to hit one to reach a green. A couple of golf tips: If you’re hitting a fade, move the ball up at bit. If you’re hitting a draw, move it back a bit.
- Target-hunt in practice — Hitting ball after ball after ball in practice doesn’t work. To get the most out of practice, you need to go target hunting. So pick out targets when hitting practice wedges. Keep hitting practice shots this way until you’ve “locked in” the distances. Also, try to shape the shot. That way you can pull out the shot—fade or draw—when you need to hit it.
- Make solid impact — Making solid contact is critical to hitting good wedges. It’s also critical to controlling distance and trajectory. So work hard on hitting solid wedges whenever you can. Below is a drill that can improve ball striking:
Use your foot to measure the distance between a head cover on the ground and the ball in your stance. Now place a quarter in front of the ball. Practice hitting wedges where you miss the head cover coming down into the ball and clip the coin after impact.
- Work on staying in sync — Everything must work together to hit precise wedges. It’s called staying in sync. In other words, the action of your hands and arms must blend with your body movement to achieve accuracy consistently. Work on this drill to help you stay in sync:
Take your normal address position with a wedge. Place a rubber ball between your forearms. You can also stretch a towel across your chest and hold it under your armpits. Now make half-swings keeping the ball or the towel in place. After practicing without a ball, drop one and hit some pitches with the ball or towel under your arms. The hit some without the ball or towel.
Working on these six golf tips whenever you can. They’ll boost your ability to hit precise wedge shots—the secret to scoring. Striking your wedges leaves you with shorter, more makeable putts. It also eliminates the frustration that comes with hitting a great drive only to mishit your approach shot.