How To Hit Full Wedge Shots
A good full wedge shot is an excellent joker to have in your back pocket. It can rescue a player from a poor tee shot but also works great as a second shot of short par 4, where you need to hoist the ball far and long and bring it down with as little movement as possible. You can go long or short from a bunker or the fairway; mastering a wedge shot is undoubtedly worth the time and effort.
The full wedge shot is hugely versatile in golf but one that many struggle with, particularly over long distances. If that sounds like you, we're here to help. Here are some tips that will help you master that full wedge shot.
Top Tips to Hit Full Wedge Shots
The first point to consider is which wedge to use. There are four options available:
- Pitching wedge (45-48 degrees) - Used for medium-range wedges where the ball has plenty of room to move
- Gap wedge (46 to 54 degrees) - Those with a lower loft degree are suitable for fairways and firm surfaces, while clubs with a higher degree are better suited for bunkers and the rough
- Sand wedge (54 to 58 degrees) - Great for bunkers and when you need the ball to come to a quick stop
- Lob wedge (57-62 degrees) - Capable of a high loft but can be challenging for beginners to use effectively.
While the pros are generally good with any wedge in their hands, those not on the PGA Tour just yet will benefit from using a wedge that closely suits the situation. If you're looking to hit a full wedge shot, you'll probably be using a pitching wedge, which the pros can use to hit 140+ yards.
It can be tempting to grip your wedge like there's no tomorrow when lying up a shot - something that seems to come from playing this type of hoisted shot. In fact, you should be doing the absolute opposite. By loosening your grip and having soft hands, loose shoulders, and arms, you'll be able to feel the shot much more than if you were to have a strong grip.
One tip that comes straight from the pros (thanks to Ernie Els!) is to loosen the grip slightly of your weaker, non-playing hand - for most of us, that's the left hand. So instead of looking down and seeing 2 ½ to 3 knuckles on the left hand, try rotating it slightly to the right until you can only see 1 to 1 ½ knuckles.
For most golfing shots, you want to position the ball toward the center of your stance, but with a full wedge shot, ideally, you want to play the ball slightly back from center. You should then move your hands a little forward of the ball, which creates a backward shaft line and takes a bit of loft off the club, helping to bring the ball down quicker.
Length and Speed of Swing
Make sure that your body and arms match up during your swing, meaning both your torso and arms must arrive near the top of your body simultaneously. While a full wedge shot generally means you need to put plenty of power behind it, it's still less than your typical drive. Maintaining your form and club position is more important than going for all-out power.
Keep your arms low, with a relatively short and wide backswing, keep your weight over your front foot, and then accelerate through after impact.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Hit Full Shots With Wedges?
While there are times when you'll need to put plenty of power and length behind a wedge shot, generally, you shouldn't be hitting a wedge with everything you've got, and definitely not with the equivalent force of a drive.
Look Like a Pro While Hitting Full Wedge Shots— Shop Stitch Golf!
Mastering a full wedge shot takes time and plenty of patience, but that doesn't mean you can't look great while doing it. Now that you know all the basics that go into hitting the perfect shot, head over to Stitch Golf for all your apparel, bag, and accessory needs. When you're lining up that 140-yard full wedge shot onto the green, make sure you look your best.