How to Hit Pinpoint Wedge Shots

By Contributing Writer

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Next time you watch the top professionals play golf, check out their wedge play. Even the best miss quite a lot of greens in a 72-hole tournament. Next to the putter, wedges are the clubs they use most and they are incredibly good with them. Watching the tournament, check how often they hit the ball close to the pin from between 30 yards and 130 yards away, then hole the putt for birdie, or to save par. That's why they can score well even when their long game is off.
Imagine the difference it would make to your scores if every time you had a wedge in your hand, you hit it onto the green and often close enough to only need one putt on that hole.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Select the right club. Many professionals carry four wedges: pitching, gap, sand and lob. That means they already have four distances for which they can hit a full shot. If they learn three distances to hit each club, that's 12 distances they have dialed in. That is far easier than trying to hit one club 12 distances. Even if you don't carry four wedges, consider using two or three clubs on your approaches.
  2. Develop a standard set-up position for all shots. Position the ball in the middle of the stance with the feet slightly open. That will help you hit down and through the ball. Don't try and scoop up the ball; the loft on the wedges will take care of the high flight you need.
  3. Pick a spot just in front of the ball and line up the club to that spot. Then swing steadily and concentrate on hitting the ball straight over that spot. This will prevent you from lifting your head too early.
  4. Practice different lengths of the backswing on the range and see how far you hit from each position: full swing, hands back to the 11 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions. Keep the swing speed and set-up positions the same. The length of the backswing will determine the length of the shot. Having only one variable in each shot will make pinpointing the distance easier.

Tips & Warnings

  • Set your goals realistically as your wedge play improves. Have a target circle around the pin. Develop a whole range of distances you are comfortable hitting the ball to with various swing lengths and clubs. Make sure you measure these distances accurately on the range during practice drills.