Better wedge play is the key to improving your scores
- By Steve Whidden, SwingFix instructor
- Oct 16, 2012 12:00 PM ET
Do you have the correct clubs in your bag?
In today’s age of longer golf balls, tees that provide no resistance, and even a club named RocketBallz, people are falling in love with the notion of distance and power.
We are inundated with watching people on TV hitting 300-yard drives and 180-yard 9-irons. Unfortunately, if you have not realized it before, I’ll be the first to break it to you softly: most of you cannot do this.
The good news is that neither your scorecard nor your handicap knows how far you hit the ball, but what it does know is how many times you hit the ball.
It might come as a surprise to many that the average player typically does not hit one green in regulation in a round of golf. Yes, a lot of people hit a couple of greens and a few hit more, but not the average player.
The point I’m making is that most par 4s are unreachable in two shots for most golfers or they are hitting such a long club into the green that accuracy is tough to achieve. That leaves the short clubs as being most important when it comes to scoring.
When a student comes to me and asks if they need a 5-wood or a 7-wood or a new 3-hybrid, I first ask them how many wedges they own.
Usually the answer is that they have a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, the latter of which they only use out of the sand. I will let them know that if they have 180 yards or more to the green that probably neither the new 5-wood, 7-wood nor hybrid will reach the green, so instead we should look at adding wedges and getting good with them.
If you want to lower your scores take this advice: Do not invest in more power clubs but make sure you have at least three wedges and learn how far you hit them.
You need to know how far a pitching wedge goes, get a gap wedge that has 50-52 degrees of loft and learn its distance, and practice how far your sand wedge goes with both full and half swings.
This is how you will improve your scores and lower your handicap.
SwingFix instructor Steve Whidden was selected as the 2010 Southwest Florida PGA Teacher of the Year.
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