Tips and Trick for mastering Wedge shot – The short Backswing
The Short Backswing
The second most important part to getting your wedge shot accurate is a short backswing. Your backswing shouldn’t come above 9: 00 with your weight on the left foot as we’ve noted. An ideal wedge shot has a lot of wrist set but only a short and compact swing. While you’ve been studying for the right stance how high has your backswing been? 11: 00? 8: 30? Your backswing is equally responsible for determining the angle of attack, an important element in getting everything compact and soft. The perfect wedge shot backswing angle is between waist to chest high or almost 9: 00. You’ll want your body to lead the swing and finish forward for the best impact.
The Left Foot
By far the easiest way to shorten backswing is to increase the balance of your weight onto the left foot. Think about how you stand with your shirt buttons towards the front of the ball. About 70% of your weight should be on your left foot. By keeping this weight on the left foot, your body is forced to compensate to stay balanced – you simply can’t swing as far or you’ll topple over or compensate with a longer and looser swing. Keep your weight on the left foot for a more compact and shorter swing as well as being able to have a greater downward motion on the ball. This is essential when in the
Test the motion out. If you’re feeling a little cramped bring your lead foot back a little. An ideal angle is between 15 and 20 °. You can place another club on the ground perpendicular to one that measures the direction of the shot. Where the two intersect is where your ball sits. Use the clubs as a guide to align your feet correctly, moving your lead foot (left) back as needed to open the stance and make it easier to turn. Rule 14-3 of Golf forbids doing this during a round so you’ll need to have this down on the practice range before attempting it on the course.
Equally, you’ll need to control your downswing. Straightening the left knee while turning the right knee towards your target will help curb any lower body motion. As you turn the heel of your right foot should release off the ground but your hips should remain level. The pivot on the body here will also force you not to swing too hard as otherwise you’ll end up swinging the upper body wildly as a compromise to get a big swing.
Getting the Grip
Adjusting your grip can make a huge difference in the trajectory of your shot. Many will say that there’s nothing more important since the hands are the only contact the golfer has with the club. Just as with the shoulders you’ll see that moving your grip up will increase the trajectory while a lower grip will make the ball stay lower. Your shot will not be clean or crisp without the right grip. The grip should be the same as any normal golf shot apart from the distance up and down.
With the grip being low and short it’s almost impossible not to move closer to the ball. This is why you need the close foot stance discussed in the last chapter. The lower you grip your body will feel like it’s being forced to take a shorter swing. Actually adjusting the height of the grip limits the power of the swing to make it softer while still controlling accuracy. Try and press down with your right index finger, it will help keep the clubface shut during the backswing. Keeping your hands in front will help and forward pressing can improve that, especially if you have a tendency to go too deep. This will lose a little of the club’s loft and give you a lower trajectory without affecting the spin.
When you’re hitting half wedges you’ll also want to be careful not to roll your hands. By letting your hands hit after the ball you’re going to have too fast of a shot and it’s going to end up being either chunked or skulled. The hands need to remain fairly inactive in a wedge shot, simply holding the club and staying in front of the body. In other words, rotate the body not the hands for correct swing motion. The use of a normal, powerful grip often leads the golfer to put too much into a wedge and especially into a half-wedge. Try and remind yourself that even though you’ve got a normal grip this shot is about accuracy and not power.
Spin-Back on a Wedge shot
As seen the ball spin is a key element of having an accurate and powerful enough wedge shot. Too much spin and you’ll lose accuracy, too little and you might not get enough distance. To get enough spin, you need to make sure that you make contact with the ball before you make contact with the ground. Remember the divot and the grass? If you’re contacting the ball first you’re going to avoid the dirt and grass ruining your accuracy, but you’re also going to improve the spin on the ball. If you’re making chunky wedges then this is probably going to be hard for you. Forward pressing is going to be the only way you’ll get around that. By forward pressing you’re going to make the ball spin a lot but you’re also taking away the trajectory which should help.
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