Try this alternative grip if you struggle hitting half-wedge shots

Hitting a half-wedge shot can be difficult, but with this alternative grip, you can strike them with confidence and consistency.

GOLF.com

No one likes to lay up, but sometimes those tricky half-wedge shots force your hand. Sure, pushing the ball down towards the green would be nice, but if it’s at the cost of having an uncomfortable yardage into the green, laying back feels like the right play.

Analytics tell us that even though this feels like the “smart” play, it’s not necessarily the highest percentage choice. Hitting a full wedge into the green is great for your psyche, but that doesn’t mean it’s best for your scorecard. The closer you are to the green, the lower your expected score — period.

layup
These 2 charts show why laying up is rarely the correct play
By: Nick Clearwater, GOLFTEC VP of Instruction

With these facts in mind, it’s important for you to get comfortable hitting those tricky in-between wedge shots. If you want to maximize your scoring potential, you should have a few of them per round.

Half-wedges aren’t always easy to hit, though. Recreational golfers don’t have the proper tech to dial in their yardages to the nth degree like Tour pros do, so hitting the less-than-full wedge can be a guessing exercise. Worse yet, half wedges have prime shank potential.

However, there is a way to make these half-wedges easier to hit, and it all starts with your grip.

“One of the reasons they’re not very good at it is with your normal grip, your hands want to get a little more active,” says Scott Fawcett, founder of DECADE Golf.

To combat these overactive hands, Fawcett says he uses a “reverse-overlap grip.”

“It’s a way to just deaden your hands,” he says. “You can wind up taking speed off by your grip as much as anything. And you can take what normally is a 90-yard 60 degree and you can start hitting those 50- and 60-yard shots pretty easily.”

Use this grip trick and there’s no more need to lay up. Hit the ball as close to the green as you can, take dead aim, and card more birdies.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2022? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.