Learn how to Control Distance with Each of Your Golf Clubs

Updated January 20, 2022
Driving Range with yardages marked
    Driving Range with yardages marked
    Getty Image license

You have control over your distances with every club, you just may not know it yet. How do you control a 40 yard wedge? I do it by knowing where my lead arm is through my backswing.

Practice Control

How do you control the distance that you are going to send each ball with each club in your bag? When you are talking about the full swing you are talking about the set up and then you are making your maximum motion that you can to the top to produce the maximum distance that you can get out of each club. Well do we always play golf at the max? The answer is no. Let me play a little numbers game with you. I think you will find it fun but more importantly it will help you learn to control your distance with every club in your bag.


Backswing Like a Clock

When I make a full backswing my backswing is what I call five hours long. Here is what that means.

At address my lead arm is looking down at the ground, that is six o'clock and above my head is 12. When my left arm travels it travels in one hour increments, it can go less but for what we are speaking of one hour will be plenty. So here I am at six, seven, eight, nine, 10 and that is my full swing, eleven.

When I was much younger I would swing all the way up to twelve, but as time has gone on my swing has gotten shorter, so I have a five hour backswing.

Set Up for the Distance You Need

I happen to hit my 7-iron 150 yards on the fly, you do the math, five into 150 is 30, so each hour of my backswing gets me 30 yards. 

I might want to hit a 30 yard pitch and run. I would just take my lead arm, swing to seven, hit the shot and if you want to go pace it off it is very close to 30 yards. I can also hit it 90 yards, well three times 30 is 90, at address the arm is at six, as I swing my arm to nine, while I am doing this my shoulders are turning, I have a little weight movement, my wrists are cocking, but watch the lead arm. Six o'clock to nine o'clock, 90 yards of airtime. Then of course the full swing produces the full distance.


Play the Numbers Game

I go through my set up, I am at six, I will swing back to eleven, hit a full shot and that ball will have traveled 150 yards in the air.