There’s more than one way to knock wedges tight. First things first: Locate the flag. Different pin positions demand different wedge-shot trajectories. And even if you’re a green-hitting machine with your stock wedge, you’ll knock “em even closer by calibrating to the pin location. Congrats—you’re about to triple your wedge-shot arsenal! Here are tips from GOLF’s Top 100 Teachers.
1. HIT IT HIGH – HOW TO ATTACK A FRONT PIN
Pin in front? Running it up to the hole won’t work, and your standard wedge might roll too far once it lands. So add loft, and use the steepness of the shot’s descent to stop the ball in its tracks. Using the highest-lofted wedge that can get you home, set up with an open clubface and play the ball a couple of inches forward of center. Use little wrist hinge and trace a wide, U-shaped arc through impact. The ball will soar, hop and stop. —Mike LaBauve
2. HIT IT LOW – THE WAY TO KNOCK DOWN BACK AND MIDDLE PINS
You can try to fly a wedge to a back pin, but the closer the ball is to the ground, the easier it is to control. So go low. Move the ball a few inches back of center and shorten your swing by half on both sides of the ball. Complete your swing in a “one-two” count. Catch it right and the ball will fly lower, hit, and bite like a junkyard dog. —Adam Schriber
3. GO WITH YOUR GUT – TO HECK WITH MECHANICS, FEEL THE SHOT!
Worrying about pin positions and trajectory can overcomplicate things. Here’s another method: Visualize the shot you want to hit, then feel the contact needed to pull it off. How? Make some practice swings until you lock in that sensation, then swing. Wedge shots are about feel, not mechanics. —Ed Ibarguen
FINE TUNING: At the range, hit 50-yard shots with your 9-iron. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to hit low, “biting” shots into the green.