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Controlling your wedge shots.

Accurately controlling the distance of your wedge shots is a skill that can help set up birdies, save your pars and generally reduce your scores, writes Matt Chalmers.

When you are focused and confident, it is reasonably straight forward to control the distance of your full wedge shots. It is significantly more difficult, however, to control the half and three quarter swing wedge shots that are often required during a round of golf.

Let's discuss a method used to gain more control in the scoring zone!

On the practice range, select your pitching wedge and hit a few full swing shots towards a specific target. Note how positively you strike down on the back of the ball and how you sustain your body rotation through the ball to a full finish.

Write down your yardages with each of your wedges. Keep in mind, even though you will soon be working on shorter swings, the same positivity is required through the ball.

For the half-swing, using your pitching wedge, assume your normal set up and make a few shorter practice swings.

Make every effort to watch your backswing and pause when you can see that the shaft of the club is parallel to the floor. At this stage, you should feel minimal wrist hinge and the toe of the club should be pointing up into the air.

Now, close your eyes and try and replicate this position. If you practice this properly, you should find it easy to reproduce when you are hitting pitch shots on the course. Your follow through should be ever so slightly longer than your backswing and you should finish with your chest facing the target.

The three-quarter swing is even easier to achieve. This time, continue your backswing until you can feel (and see) that your left arm is parallel to the floor and you have created a 90-degree wrist hinge.

If you complete this swing properly, you should feel your body turn slightly away from the target and your weight load a little onto your trailing foot. Again, make a positive turn through and commit to a descending strike into the back of the ball. Note your yardages with each wedge as you progress.

If you work on this, you will soon be able control your body positions more accurately and produce more consistent distances. Remember, if you can regularly produce three yardages with each wedge and have three or four wedges in your bag, you have up to twelve yardages in your scoring zone arsenal to draw upon.

For details on this topic or to find out about my golf coaching services at Awali Golf Club, call 39761873 or visit

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:May 8, 2013
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