The two most common mistakes players make when using wedges is shifting too much of their upper body mass and trying to hit the wedge too hard.
Shifting too much upper body mass onto your trail foot causes a multitude of errors. You can hit it thin, fat, short or skinny and have very little distance control. Hitting the wedge too hard also affects your distance control as well as ball flight and direction.
To improve your wedge play, start with your setup. Firstly, aim your feet, knees, hips and shoulders to the left (for right-handed players). Secondly, have slightly more pressure on your lead foot and the ball positioned in line with the middle of your lead pectoral muscle. Having a sound set up will let you hinge the club earlier in the backswing which means the club will travel on a steep backswing plane, allowing you to be more descending into the ball to create a more consistent strike with spin and distance control.
After setting up correctly, and knowing you are hinging the club earlier, allow the upper body to rotate back with the early hinge. You can also change the distance of shots with each wedge by increasing or decreasing the rotational speed of your forward swing after having the same length backswing as you would use on all your wedge shots.
Next time you are on the practice range, work hard on hitting different distances using all your wedges and adjusting your rotation speed. Being able to hit each wedge different distances increases your short-game shot choices and will ultimately improve your game.
My FlightScope launch monitor has a skills test program that I use with clients to hone their short-game skills. Check with your local PGA professional if their launch monitor offers something similar for you to use during your next lesson.
• Jason Laws is an Australian Golf Digest instructor and NSW PGA Teaching Professional of the Year recipient and if you have any questions for Jason, e-mail him at [email protected]