How To Hit A Wedge Shot With More Loft - Clarkes

How To Hit A Wedge Shot With More Loft

If you want to be competitive on the course and eat away at your high scores, you’ll need a great short game.

It doesn’t matter how far you can go off the tee if it takes you 4 or 5 strokes to get close to the flag.

Mastering the wedge shot is a crucial component of your short game.

It can help you get more control around the green and give you more opportunities to putt for eagles and birdies rather than saving par.

In this blog, we’ll go through the fundamentals of when and how to hit a wedge shot and give you some tips for generating more loft on your shots when the occasion calls for it.

When should you use a wedge shot?

Wedges are the highest lofted clubs in your bag and can range anywhere between 45 degrees to 50 degrees on a pitching wedge to 58 degrees and 64 degrees on a lob wedge.

Typically, your wedge will be reserved for short shots when you’re approaching the green, usually within 100-120 yards for most golfers.

Professionals often use them in place of short irons, as they can produce distance while having extra control over the ball.

They’re also used to get out of bunkers (the sand wedge) or can be used for chip shots out of rough around the green or pitch shots over obstacles.

In practice, a wedge can be used for any shot when you want the call to come down from a higher angle, so it stops sharply (or generates more spin if you’re a skilled player)

How to hit a wedge shot

There’s a lot of conflicting information around when it comes to how to hit a wedge shot.

Everything from where to put the ball in your stance, to the width of your stance, to the length of swing to power - it seems everyone has different advice.

Our advice is based on the expert knowledge of our professionals who provide regular coaching and private lessons to golfers looking to improve their short game.

Here are the main things to think about:

Put your feet closer together

If you watch golf on TV, you’ll notice how players stand with their feet closer together for a wedge shot compared to other shots.

A wider stance is excellent when you need to generate more power as it makes it easier to transfer more weight through the swing to generate the distance.

However, it can also increase the possibility of losing the consistency between swinging your arms and rotating your body, knocking the club out of its swing plain and resulting in a miss-hit.

Putting your feet together makes it easier to balance your arm swing with your body rotation and create a smoother hit through the ball.

When it comes to ball position, you should sit the ball back in your stance, closer to in line with the big toe on your back foot. This means you’ll hit down and through the ball and generate the height you need.

Weight leaning forwards

One problem we see with some golfers is they’ll put their weight back in their stance because they think it helps generate more height.

In reality, leaning back on a wedge shot increases your chances of connecting higher up on the ball and sending the ball low and hard rather than high.

Instead, you should put more of your weight on your front foot (while ensuring you remain balanced) and lean slightly forward into the swing.

Having your weight forward means you’ll hit through the shot correctly.

Use a shorter back swing 

While you can use a full swing on a wedge shot, it’s not usually needed (it’s also a lot harder to hit than a short iron)

Instead, you should bring the club back a shorter distance (using your arms and body rotation) until it’s just parallel with the ground or slightly above parallel.

This will help you stay in control as you swing through the shot, helping you hit low on the ball and generate the loft you want.

Swing at the same speed as normal

Something we see with newer golfers is they’ll swing slower on a wedge shot than they will on a regular shot.

They do it because they think a slower swing helps them stay in control of the club - but it’s not often the case.

When you swing a golf club naturally, your body and swing rhythm, as well as the club construction, work together to put the club face in the proper impact position.

By slowing down, you can knock this rhythm out of your swing and end up with a worse result.

This is one of the big reasons golfers who slow their swing on a wedge shot hit the ball too high up.

When swinging a wedge, it’s much better to shorten the length of your backswing than to slow the speed of the swing.

Aim slightly behind the ball

You might think it would be better to pick a spot at the back and lower side of the ball and aim for that.

But it’s better to pick a spot just behind the ball.

By aiming directly at the ball, you’ll risk either making too solid a connection higher up the ball or potentially digging the club into the back of the ball and taking up a chunk of dirt.

By picking a spot just behind the ball, it’ll be easier to glide the club face through the bottom half of the ball and generate more height.

Slide and follow through

Finally, just like any other golf shot, it’s vital to follow through with the shot and not stop the club at the ball on contact when using a wedge.

Sliding the club through the ball and following through is what creates the loft and eventual soft landing you’re looking for. Digging in or just hitting at the ball will result in less loft.

How to generate more loft on a wedge shot

If you need additional loft on your wedge shot, there are things you can do to get some extra height and improve your landing position around the pin.

Here are the main things you can do:

Open the club face

Opening up the club face on your wedge can artificially increase the loft on the club and add some extra height to your shot.

One thing to note with this is that opening the face also reduces the reliable impact spot on the club, increasing the chances of skewing your shot.

Lower your grip

Lowering your grip on the wedge in your stance can also create more loft on your shot.

This can be particularly useful if trying to hit out a bunker where you might need to widen your stance for balance. Lowering your grip increases your control over the club and helps you get under the ball to create the additional loft.

Improve your short game at Clarke’s Golf Centre

At Clarke’s Golf Centre not only do we supply a huge variety of golf clubs, golf balls, trolleys, clothes and equipment, our professionals or always on hand to provide private lessons to help you overcome the problems with your short game and lower your scores.

Our 27-bay driving range is the ideal place to practice how to hit a wedge shot and get you prepared for your next round.

Browse our wide selection of golf equipment online or visit us at our dedicated Golf Centre in St Helens, just off the Rainford Bypass