Birdies with Brian (#16)

Learn How to Flight Your Wedges

There’s no secret that the easiest way to get better in golf is improving from 100 yards and in. Being able to not only hit greens from this range, but get it close, is what separates an 80s player from a 70s player. There’s a saying that the pros are so good because they’re able to hit their long irons high, and their short irons low. There’s a reason for this, and it boils down to one word. Control.

You don’t need to swing the club 120mph to be a good wedge player. However, what you do need are good mechanics and an understanding of what makes a good wedge player. Anytime you are within 100 yards, very rarely should you be swinging more than 90%. Your swing should be shorter, and more compact with fewer moving parts. At impact, all of your weight should be on your lead foot. This helps compress the ball but also gets the shaft leaning forward which de-lofts the club. There are several factors that help us control how high the ball goes. Ball position, and attack angle are certainly key elements, however the forward shaft lean at impact is the most important. Take a look at the picture below to see what I’m talking about…

It’s virtually impossible to be a good wedge player with the shaft being vertical or leaning back at impact. This creates way too much spin, and comes out with a very high launch angle.

One of the best drills you can do if you have this problem is to put all of your weight on your lead foot and try making 70% swings without putting any weight on your back foot. You should see the ball start out with a lower flight and less spin. After a correct shot, there should be a divot around the size of a dollar bill in front of your golf ball. If there’s a small divot or no divot at all that means the shaft was not in the correct position at impact.

The only way to get better with the wedges is to practice. Pick out specific targets are the range and try to see how low you can flight your wedge. I guarantee you’ll be a better player because of it.

Brian D. Joyner

Head Professional

Class A PGA Teaching Professional, Carolinas PGA Section
Atlantic Chapter

1(252)772-7022 ext 2