How to Hit Wedge Shots – Recipe for Clean Contact

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Golf is such a wonderful game. That is true especially if you can play it at an enjoyable level. It does not have to mean you have to be a scratch golfer by any means. However, there is something you should know at any level you play. That is how to hit wedge shots. By that, I mean to hit them good most of the time.

Sounds so simple, right? After all, wedges are the smallest clubs in your bag. How hard is it to hit them consistently well? Turns out it is hard, much harder than you would think. If you think about it there are so many different wedges with different lofts and bounces. You do not have to have them all, but it would be good to master the ones you do have.

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Why Are Wedges Important?

This question has many answers but put into simple words, they are among the most used clubs in your bag. First of all, you can use wedges in so many different scenarios. They can get you out of some tricky situations including bunkers. You can play them in so many different ways. This means finesse shots, half swings, full swings, open face, chips, pitches, etc.

Most importantly, wedges are your scoring clubs. Whenever you are in a wedge range, the ball is expected to land close to the hole. They give you a chance for a better number on the scorecard. You will use your wedges on average more than other clubs in your bag not counting your putter. Those are the reasons wedges are important.


Like for every other club in your bag, the setup is going to depend on what you want the ball to do. Sure, the general setup is going to be the same, but there are going to be adjustments depending on the intentions. In a lot of ways, it is going to be a setup that you are familiar with from other clubs except your driver.

To start with, when it comes to wedges your feet are going to be closer than usual when you hit longer clubs. Again, that width is going to depend on the type of shot you want to execute. Shorter the distance closer your feet will be. This goes from about a foot apart for full swings to an inch or so on short chips.

The ball position will generally be around the middle of your stance, toward your lead foot if you want to add height, or slightly toward your trail foot if you want a lower trajectory. It is mostly recommended by golf pros and coaches to have your weight toward your lead foot. Now with all that in line, you are ready to swing away.


It is quite important that you get good at chipping as it can shave some strokes off your scorecard. This does not mean you have to be able to hit all possible types of chip shots. However, it would be good if you identify a few that work for you for different scenarios and master them. You can chip with different clubs, but it will be mostly with your wedges.

There are a few important things to pay attention to when chipping with wedges. Depending on the situation you find yourself in there will be slight differences. One thing that is going to be consistent is that the weight should be more on the lead leg. This will help you with solid contact at impact.

If you are going for a low bump and run chip, you should keep your wrists quiet through impact. When you want to add a bit of height to the flight, you will have a bit of hinging in your wrists. Always make sure the follow through is a copy of the backswing, the same style with the same start/end height.

Open your body slightly towards the target at the setup with your lead foot a bit flared toward the target. Your feet are going to be only an inch or so away. When you are swinging use your whole body, not just the arms. That will help you with consistency and contact.


Both chipping and pitching mostly rely on the feel. That does not mean you can’t have some stock chips and pitches. Some golfers will find one more challenging than the other. They can be tricky but not impossible to master. Pitching, like chipping, is an important part of the game that can influence the score a lot.

Pitch shots have a higher trajectory and a steeper angle of descent. In general, that will make the ball stop quicker on the green. There are similarities with the chipping setup. One of them is the weight slightly toward your lead side. You can also slightly open your body towards the target.

How high you want the ball to fly will determine a few other things. Opening your clubface will help the ball go higher up in the air and will add more spin. It is not the easiest hit and requires a lot of practice. Moving the ball at setup can also add height by moving it toward your lead foot.

Another thing that can help with height is adding some wrist hinge during the swing and throwing the club at the ball. All that requires good contact in order to work properly.

Full Swings

Wedges are clubs you will use the least for full swings, but when you do you will want to make solid contact. There are certain similarities with your regular irons swing and some differences as well. This means execution is going to be crucial for the desired outcome. Otherwise, it can all go wrong.

Some of the most important unique points for wedge swings are related to the swing length, wrist hinge, and swing width. In general, your full wedge swing is going to be shorter than your usual full swing. Your wrists are going to hinge less compared to other full swings, and you will be swinging wider than your usual full swings.

All that will contribute to more solid contact and a better outcome. You can manipulate your shaft lean depending on how much spin you want to add to your ball or the flight trajectory you want. Another thing that adds spin is speed. The faster you swing through the ball more spin and height you will add to the ball.

Have the Right Wedges

Having the right wedges for your game is very often overlooked. Wedges are sold with different specifications and if you have the wrong ones it can mess up your game. There are a few key things to pay attention to when buying new ones. The first thing is the loft, then the bounce, and finally the sole grinds.


Depending on what wedge you are buying, you will want to choose the right loft. It is important for two things. What do you want to use the wedge for and what is the loft of the next club in your bag. If you are buying a gap/utility wedge, you will want to make sure it is 4 degrees more lofted than your previous club (pitching wedge). In the same way, you will want your sand wedge to be at the same 4 degrees difference from your gap wedge.

The 4 degrees difference between clubs is recommended but is not a rule. What you will want to make sure is that that difference covers the gap you need it to cover for your distances.


The bounce is the bottom part of the wedge that makes the contact with the ground at impact. There are low, mid, and high bounce wedges out there. Low bounces are made for firmer playing conditions and golfers who swipe the ball on impact. The mid-bounces are more neutral and can be used in different situations for different swing types. High bounces suit softer playing conditions for players that have more of a digging swing.


These are differently shaped wedge bottoms between the wedge heel and toe. Nowadays there are a lot of different grinds to select from, and they all suit different types of golfers. The grind will depend a lot on the loft degrees, and not all grinds are available for all wedges. It can be overwhelming to choose the right wedge, and unless you know your game really well, fitting could be a good option.

Practice and Practice

As simple as it sounds, practice does make perfect. That is clearly under the condition you found the right wedges for your game. Tiger Woods pointed out how he would spend hours hitting different shots from different situations around the green. You don’t have to do that, but at least try to practice some unusual shots sometimes.

The golf course is often unforgiving, and only being familiar with different situations will help you. The more shots you have in the bag, the better player you become. It will take time and patience, but the results will be there.

You may also like:

Golf Chipping Tips for Beginners – Scramble Like a Pro

How to Chip Better – Improve Your Game Around the Green

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