Most golfers only use one swing for their scoring wedges (i.e., their pitching through lob wedges), which makes it difficult to dial in the right distances on partial, short-range shots. One simple way to develop different wedge swings for different short-game distances is to base the length of each swing on where your hands finish. This is a three-level approach that will help you hit your numbers more easily and also vary the trajectory of your shots, making you much more lethal from short range.
SWING 1: HIP LEVEL (50% of your normal full-swing distance)
To hit the ball half the distance that you normally would, rotate your body about a quarter of the way back and bring your hands up to your hips. Only allow your wrists to hinge halfway. From this backswing position, you should be able to hit the ball 50 percent of your normal full-swing distance for that particular wedge. The ball should also come out on a much lower trajectory, which is good for attacking back pin locations. Remember to rotate your torso through the shot and swing to a full finish.
SWING 2: CHEST LEVEL (75% of your normal full-swing distance)
To carry the ball 75 percent of your full distance, rotate your body about three-quarters of the way back and bring your arms and hands to chest height. Hinge your wrists fully so that your leading arm and the clubshaft form the letter “L.” From this mid-length swing position, you’ll generate a little more clubhead speed and power and carry the ball on a medium trajectory, ideal for center pin locations.
SWING 3: SHOULDER LEVEL (100% of your normal full-swing distance)
To get the maximum distance (i.e., 100 percent) out of your wedges while maintaining a high level of accuracy, make a full body turn and swing your hands up to shoulder height—but no farther. Again, make sure to hinge your wrists fully and swing to a full finish. You can expect a higher-trajectory ball flight and greater stopping power, which makes it much easier to attack those difficult front and tucked pin locations.