Playing your wedges well can make the difference between a good and great round. It can also be a differentiating factor in hitting the green and scrambling for par. But, like all parts of the game, nailing those all-important wedge shots is not easy. Here are some ways to perfect your wedge play and make that critical up-and-downs easier.
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it bears repeating. The only way to get better at anything is to practice, including wedge play. If you want to be able to stick those approach shots close, you need to put in the time on the practice range.
Not only should you be working on hitting full shots with your wedges, but you should also be practicing your chipping and pitching. Get comfortable with all the different lies and yardages so you can be confident when you have to hit those shots in a real round. To improve your technique, you can practice with the help of courses that teach finesse wedge sequence drills.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Flush It
When hitting your wedges, you should aim for the flag. You want to be aggressive and go right at it. That doesn’t mean you should be hitting it hard all the time, but you shouldn’t be playing for a fat shot.
One of the amateur golfers’ most significant mistakes is being too conservative with their wedge play. They think they need to leave themselves a 20-foot putt for birdie, but that’s not always the case. If you can stick it to 10 feet, go for it. You’re much more likely to make that putt than getting up and down from off the green.
3. Pick the Right Club
You must ensure that you pick the right club for the shot you want to hit. That might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s something many golfers struggle with. They either don’t trust their yardage or try to hit one club too many. To perfect your technique, you need to make sure you can hit all your clubs consistently. Then, when you get on the course, you can pick the right one with confidence.
If you’re unsure, err on the side of picking a club that’s too short. It’s better to have a full swing with a shorter club than trying to hit a half-shot with a longer one.
4. Up Your Spin Rate
If you want to hit it close, you must make your ball stop quickly. The best way to do that is by increasing your spin rate. There are a few different ways you can do that like:
- Use a wedge with more loft
- Use a firmer golf ball
- Change your swing slightly to hit down on the ball more
If you can get more spin on your wedges, you’ll be able to stick them much closer to the hole.
5. Know Your Distances
This ties in with the last point. If you don’t know how far you hit your different wedges, you’ll never be able to pick the right club. Get out on the practice range and hit a bunch of shots with each of your wedges. Find out how far you hit them when they’re well-struck, and also find out what kind of yardage you get when you don’t hit them quite as well. Once you have a good idea of your yardages, you’ll be able to pick the right club much more quickly.
6. Choose the Right Shot
Not every shot is a full swing. Sometimes you need to lay back off the green and leave yourself an easy chip or pitch. You might also need to hit a flop shot over a bunker. It’s important to know when to hit each type of shot and to have the confidence to pull it off when needed. Again, this comes down to practice. The more you work on your different shots, the better you’ll be at picking the right one when you’re on the course.
These are just a few ways you can perfect your wedge play. If you’re struggling with your short game, try implementing some of these tips and see if it helps. Wedges are tough clubs to master, but if you do the work, you’ll be hitting them close in no time.