Five Most Common Wedge Play Mistakes

5 Most Common Driving Mistakes
June 25, 2019
Five Most Common Putting Mistakes
August 10, 2019

image of a golfer playing a chip shot onto the green on a golf course in south africa

Wedges are great at helping you hit the ball close to the hole, as they set up birdie chances and quickly turn a bogey into a par. Many players fear using wedges because the play demands a steep, out- in path shot. The extra bounce makes it easier to hit the ball thin. While wedge shots may make you feel nervous about playing, here are five mistakes to avoid that will hopefully calm your fears over wedges.

  1. “High fiving” the shot. Many golfers make the mistake of swinging from low to high following impact (high fiving). With all of your swings, you’ll want to hit down and through the ball. This way, your hands are still below your waist in the post-impact position.
  2. A lack of setup. Many plays hurt their chances of making contact by failing to set up the golf ball, mainly with a pitching or sand wedge in their hands. Don’t stand too far away from the ball; many players tend to do this for some reason during wedge shots. Yes, it’s a short club, so you’ll want to stand closer and in an upright position. You won’t have time to move your left side out of the way, so you’ll want to play from an open stance with your front foot pulled back. Make sure your elbow is against your right side. If the elbow moves far away from the body, you will lose control of the clubhead and won’t have time to recover.
  3. Keeping an open clubface. It can be a disaster to leave the face of your wedge open without preparing for what follows. The extra loft makes it extremely challenging to determine if the wedge face is closed, open, or square. This becomes even more challenging due to golfers looking at the toe of the club to square the face to the target. Focus on the leading edge rather than the toe; it should bisect an invisible line that runs from the ball to the target.
  4. Failing to have yardage control. Exceptional wedge players know how to hit the ball to certain distances. You can too; all you need is some practice! Use a practice session to determine how far you hit each wedge with backswings that each stop at knee-high, waist-high, and shoulder high. This will help you determine how far to take the club back when faced with specific yardage. It is crucial to remember that the length of the backswing is what controls how far you hit a wedge, not the force of the swing.
  5. Having overactive legs. If you watch the professionals on TV, you’ll notice they all have one thing in common during a short-game swing – their legs don’t move. That’s because short swings don’t require a lot of leg movement. If the set up is completed properly with a slightly open stance, you shouldn’t need leg movement at all. With wedge swings, the power lies in the hands and arms. Try not to shift or flail your hips open, as it’s all about control.