Jack Nicklaus reveals the key to the mid-range wedge shot

Jack Nicklaus gives golf tip

Chipping yips are an affliction as old as time and as frustrating as any within the game of golf. The prickly discord between mind and body we call “yips” is so taboo, many players are afraid to use the word in public.

On this week’s Flashback Jack, Nicklaus explains the origins of one kind of chipping yips—the medium pitch shot—and breaks down how to fix them.

“There are quite a few ways that the average golfer has trouble with the middle length pitch shot,” Nicklaus says. “I think the most common is that it takes too full a swing and eases off into the shot, resulting in the inability to spin the ball or inability to control the ball being aggressive.”

Jack Nicklaus reveals the perfect bunker shot technique
By: James Colgan

The medium-length shot is a brutal one. Players are forced to rely upon feel without sacrificing their tempo or swing. Nicklaus says, if you’ve had problems with this before, your focus should be twofold.

“Well first of all, you need to get clubhead speed to get spin,” he says. “Secondly, he doesn’t want the ball to go very far, so he needs to reduce the length of the club by going down the shaft.”

First, keep your swing and tempo consistent with that of a full-length shot. Then, choke down on the club to keep the distance short. Keep those keys in mind while standing over your next mid-length pitch shot, and your yips will fade into the past.

“This combination, along with quick feet and your head right over the ball, should produce a nice, crisp middle-length wedge shot for better control,” Nicklaus says.

Golf Magazine

Subscribe To The Magazine

Subscribe

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.