Dial in shots within 50 yards by building a wedge system. Here’s how
Welcome to Play Smart, a regular GOLF.com game-improvement column that will help you play smarter, better golf.
As a mid-handicapper, there are plenty of things that I could do better in order to drop my scores.
The first thing that comes to mind is putting, but the problem with simply zeroing in on that is complicated — because if I’m not getting shots close enough to the pin with my wedges, then there’s a higher likelihood that I’m going to either 2- or even 3-putt!
So, yes, I need to improve with the flatstick, but it might first make sense to implement a wedge system in order to give myself opportunities for shorter putts. By doing so, I’ll get to know my wedges better, while also identifying both my strengths and weaknesses with each.
If you’re someone who can relate, take a look at the tips below from GOLF Teacher to Watch Monique Thoresz, who shares the benefits of building a wedge system for shots within 50 yards — along with the best way to build one.
How to start building a wedge system
“One of the things that defines great players is their ability to score low even when their ball-striking isn’t up to their usual standards,” says Thoresz.
“Sure, a scratch golfer can hit more consistent shots than an 18-handicapper, but there’s no reason why an average golfer can’t improve their short game by several strokes with a bit of knowledge and effort.”
A good place to start is understanding how far you carry the golf ball from key distances, including shots from 50 yards and in.
Adds Thoresz, “while players can use a variety of methods to achieve this, it’s easy for a mid- or even high-handicapper to get started by using a wedge system.”
According to Thoresz, one of her players started with this simple system and went on to win the club championship.
“When this student first came to me, she wasn’t sure how far her wedges went, and she was confused about how hard to hit them or how big of a swing to take.
“So we chose an initial distance of 50 yards — a common distance that comes up often on the golf course. She tested out each of her wedges with full swings and half swings to see which club and which swing size resulted in a shot of 50 yards. She settled on her 56-degree sand wedge, using about a three-quarter swing.”
By testing out various clubs and swing sizes in order to get the proper carry distance (which is the target distance, not the total distance), Thoresz’s student was able to identify the exact plan of attack on these 50-yard shots — which only increased her ball-striking confidence.
“Once she became confident with the club and swing type from 50 yards, her short game started to flourish and her scores improved dramatically,” adds Thoresz.
“The system was easy to ‘scale up’ — when faced with a 60-yard shot, she could either increase to a full swing with the same club, or take a gap wedge and make the same size swing.”
If you’re looking to shave strokes by getting in better position while putting, trying a wedge system is a great way to start. So give this type of practice a go and get smarter with your shots when approaching the greens.
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