How to Hit a Wedge – 5 Tips for Beginners

No Comments

Among all your clubs, on average, you will hit your wedges the most each round. For that reason alone you should know how to hit a wedge solidly. That can help you shave off a few strokes per round.

Wedges are the most versatile clubs you have in your bag. There are so many situations where you can use them for so many different types of shots. Consistency is vital, and you must know certain things to achieve that.

Wedges by

Because of their versatility wedges come in so many different setups. There are longer hitting wedges like the pitching wedge and the gap wedge. Those have stronger lofts compared to the sand wedge or the lob wedge. Ideally, you get comfortable hitting all of them or at least three out of four. Below are some tips that can make your job a bit easier.

1. Use the Right Bounce

Now, when I started absorbing information about wedges this was the most confusing part. One question imposed itself right away. What is a bounce? In simple words, it is the area on the bottom of the club that hits through the ground upon contact with the ball. That translates into a very important part of your wedge which can help you based on your intentions.

All the major brands offer different types of wedges with different bounces. For example, the sand wedge will have different options for bounces compared to the lob wedge. The bounces have different shapes and different angle degrees. They are all made to help you with the exact kinds of shots you want to execute with specific wedges.

In case you are a more shallow swing player, there is one kind and if you are a more steep swing player there is another type. There are certain types of bounce for pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges, and lob wedges. If you want full wedge shots there are certain types, for finesse shots other types.

The most important thing is to know what you want to use your wedges for. If you know exactly what you want you can look up all the types and find the one you need. There is also custom fitting, which can give you some answers if you are in doubt. The right information is crucial to have the wedges that suit your game the most.

2. Know Your Distances

It is known that shots within 100 yards of the hole can lower your score a lot. That is exactly wedge territory. Obviously, you will not have the approach shot at the same distance for every single hole. This is where knowing your distances with each wedge comes in. It will help you lower your score in no time.

Having a stock shot for every distance is something you can benefit from quite a bit. It will not just give you confidence or make playing more enjoyable, but it will also improve the number on your scorecard. Take time when you go to the range and try to hit the ball the same distance until you get consistent.

Try different ball trajectories, swing lengths, anything until you nail that down. Do that for each wedge in your bag until you got it all. After that process, visiting the golf course will become way more pleasant.

3. Hit Through the Ball

As simple as this advice sounds, it is far from that. Hitting through the ball is something really important for any golf shot, wedges included. What usually happens with a lot of amateur golfers is they try to hit the ball. That leads to less power, bad contact, and less distance. It is equally important to do this correctly as any other part of the swing.

Imagine you were painting a wall and instead of naturally finishing the stroke you just stop halfway. That is almost exactly what happens when you do not hit through the ball. You should not be focusing on hitting the ball, you should be focusing on the target. The ball is basically just something you hit on the way while you are swinging.

One of the elements that can help you with this is the swing follow through. A solid follow through will almost guarantee good execution and contact. Therefore, it will mean you did hit through the ball. Once you start doing that on a consistent basis, your game striking will improve and your game will go to the next level.

4. Use Grip for Distance Control

You can control your distance in a few different ways, that is a fact. However, controlling the distance by where you grip your club could be an easy way to do it. Instead of having to adjust your swing length, you just grip your club higher or lower depending on how far you want to hit the ball.

Naturally, the lower you grip your club, the shorter your ball will go. This way you can always swing with the same intensity which leaves less room for error. It does not mean you do not have to practice this. On the contrary, if you want great results you will still need to put some time and effort into it.

5. Swing Shorter and Wider

Wedges are a bit different from your other clubs. To start with they are the shortest clubs in your bag. Second, they are the most lofted clubs in your bag. Third, they are the heaviest clubs in your bag. All those features mean they should be hit a bit differently than the other clubs. This is probably not the first time you read this.

In order to hit wedges consistently, you should swing shorter and wider. What that means is that you do not need the swing length as if you were hitting a long iron or the driver. Additionally, it means you do not need as much lag as with longer clubs. This means, your wrists can hinge less during the backswing and downswing.

What helps hit your wedge is your body rotation. Use your whole body during the swing with no arms or wrists activity through the swing. That is where your power will come from to reach the wanted distance on full, three-quarters, and half swings. The procedure is the same with all wedges.

Bonus Tip: Lower the Shaft for a Bunker Shot

This mainly concerns a greenside bunker situation, but can also be applied to fairway bunkers if you just have to get back in play. There are different ways to get out of bunkers and we’ll leave that for another time. Here we’ll address the time when a high trajectory is required in order to get out of a bunker.

Lowering the shaft while swinging will make your swing shallow which in combination with an open clubface gives you a good recipe for success. You do it by having a bit wider stance and standing further from the ball than usual. Make sure your feet are stable by digging them into the sand, it is very important there is no foot movement during the swing.

Once you are set up swing away and watch your ball go on the green or back in play. Bunker shots are hard and proper execution is needed for success. Even if you do not make it at first, don’t give up. Like everything related to golf you will need practice until you make it work.

Mangrove Bay Golf Course by CityofStPete
Image by CityofStPete

Master Your Wedges to Improve Your Score

All the golf elements are important for a good score. Starting from driving all the way to the green. Nevertheless, some of those elements can improve your score faster than others. Wedges fall into that category. They can give you a lot of scoring opportunities if you take the time to master them.

There are a lot of quality wedges to choose from on the market. As I mentioned earlier it is important that you find the one that suits your game. It is a very important first step toward a solid wedge game. When you have that part sorted out it will be all down to practice. It is fun to golf but is more fun when your game is better.

You may also like:

Basic Golf Tips for Beginners – Avoid These Mistakes

How to Hit Wedge Shots – Recipe for Clean Contact

Categories: Beginners Gameplay Wedges

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *