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Having recently returned from a trip from my hometown – the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne, Australia, I found myself reflecting on my wedge game and how the different grass types and conditions affected my scoring. There’s nothing better than playing golf at the Mornington Peninsula but now that I’m back here in Southeast Asia, it’s crucial that I adapt again to the conditions here.


Controlling distance involves a combination of technique, feel, course management and an understanding of the elements and the golf course’s conditions. Here are some key factors to help you improve your distance control with your wedges:

 

1. Swing Length and Tempo:

Consistent swing length and tempo are critical for distance control. You need to develop a reliable and repeatable swing that allows you to vary the distance by adjusting the length of your backswing and follow-through. I like to refer to my hand position in regards to backswing and follow-through, i.e. hands to waist, hands to ribs, hands to shoulders (refer to pictures below).


 

2. Grip Pressure:

Maintain a consistent grip pressure throughout your swing. Squeezing the club too tightly can restrict your feel for the shot, while holding it too loosely can lead to inconsistency in control.

 

3. Use of Body Rotation:

Engage your body in the swing by rotating your hips and shoulders in tandem. This not only provides power but also helps control the distance. Practice syncing your body movements with the swing to enhance control.

 

4. Experiment with Ball Position:

The position of the ball in your stance can affect the launch angle, spin rates, and thus trajectory. Experiment with different ball positions to find what works best for your desired distance and shot shape.

 

5. Club Selection:

Understanding the distance each wedge covers with various swing lengths is crucial. Develop a reliable set of distances for your full swings with each wedge, and be mindful of how partial swings affect these distances.

 

6. Mindful Practice:

When practicing, simulate on-course situations. Create target scenarios and practice hitting specific distances. Focus on hitting to different targets with various wedge swings to improve your overall control.

 

7. Understand Course Conditions:

Consider the course conditions when planning your wedge shots. Factors like wind, slope, and the firmness of the greens can impact how the ball reacts. Adjust your strategy and shot selection accordingly.

 

8. Understanding Bounce:

Understand how to use the bounce of your wedge effectively. Proper use of bounce can help you control the launch angle and reduce the likelihood of digging into the turf.

 

Consistent practice, coupled with a focus on these key factors, will contribute to improved distance control with your wedge play. It's a skill that evolves over time and with experience on the course. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss or work on your wedge game. We would love to help improve your scoring.

Brad McManus

Brad McManus

Brad McManus is Singapore’s former National Golf Coach and the Head Golf Coach of Singapore Sports School. Brad has coached players to over 60 tournament victories worldwide! Get to know him here!

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