Golf Drills to Hit Wedge Shots (40-100 yards)
Most of the golf shots you’ll make during a typical round of play are within 100 yards of the green. Wedges are good for shots within this range. Regardless of your level, good wedge play can significantly lower your scores, help you save pars, and reduce double bogeys.
Wedge play is like an insurance policy or security blanket for your golf game. Unfortunately, many golfers ignore wedge practice to their detriment. Shots made using wedges are usually more delicate and require more feel and finesse coupled with a good swing rhythm.
Try out these top golf wedge drills to improve the quality of your wedge shots, lower your scores and gain a solid short game from 40 to 100 yards.
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1. Wedge Shot Distance Control Drill
This exercise helps you develop feel and finesse and teaches you how to control your wedge distances. Developing the right amount of feel to control wedge shot distance can take years of practice.
- Take 3 lofted clubs to the practice range; a sand wedge, gap wedge, and lob wedge.
- Grip down the club slightly and take a slightly narrow stance. Hit 10 full shots using the most lofted club while ensuring your club remains parallel to the ground behind your back. Pace out the average distance of these shots.
- Next, grip further down the club and take a narrower stance. Take the club back until your arms are parallel to the ground and hit 10 more shots. Remember to pace out the average distance.
- Finally, take a short backswing until your hands are at hip level or the clubhead at head level. Grip right down the club with the narrowest stance and take 10 more shots. Repeat the procedure for the other two clubs and pace out the average distances.
- You will now have 9 distances spaced out fairly evenly. You can memorize them or write them down to easily recall them on the golf course by judging your target and recalling the club used.
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2. Consistent Wedge Shot Drill
This drill will help you stop making flawed wedge shots by promoting a crisp solid strike every time. It teaches you how to take a short backswing and focus on accelerating through the ball to avoid scooping actions caused by decelerating in the downswing.
- Take a proper stance while gripping your wedge. Keep the backswing relatively short and compact, less than you think you need for the distance.
- To ensure your shot has the correct distance and power, really accelerate through the ball.
- A good rule of thumb to remember is that your follow-through should be twice the length of your backswing.
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3. The Clock Face Wedge Shot Drill
The clock drill can help you control your distance with all wedges and ensure you can approach any distance from 100 yards and in with precision and confidence.
- Take a proper golf stance and imagine you have a clock face around your golf swing. The 12 o’clock is right above your head while the golf ball is at the 6 o’clock position.
- You can use the imaginary clock face in judging the length of your backswing and follow-through. It also helps ensure you don’t decelerate in your golf swing by making the follow-through the same length as the backswing.
- You can also use it to control the flight of the ball. You can swing from 8 to 4 o’clock for short chip shots, 9 to 3 o’clock for medium shots, and 10 to 2 o’clock for longer shots.
- You will realize the ball can travel a difference of ten to fifteen yards for each hour difference. You can easily create a wedge chart for all distances from 40 to 100 yards which can take out the guesswork from your wedge play.
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4. The Ladder Drill
The ladder drill is excellent for improving your short game so you can land wedge chip shots on a dime. It will help you learn to control the landing distance of your chip shots.
- In this drill, you’ll need four alignment sticks or extra golf clubs. Start by placing your practice balls a few yards from the edge of the green.
- Place the first alignment stick or club one golf club length from the ball. Place the other alignment sticks or golf clubs one club length further apart.
- You should have created three zones 1, 2, and 3. Start the drill by landing two balls in a row to zone 1. Then do the same for zone 2 and 3. If you miss, you should start over from zone 1.
- The next step is to land one ball in zone 1, then zone 2, then zone 3, then zone 2, then zone 1 without missing.
- Repeat the drill with your gap wedge, sand wedge, and pitching wedge. Challenge yourself to finish within 20 minutes for each club.
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5. 3 Feet Drill
The 3 feet drill is an excellent exercise to train you how to stick your wedges close to the flag regardless of how close or far the hole is. The routine helps you practice chipping from different lengths so you can get comfortable hitting from any position.
- You’ll be using your sand wedge to target different flags on the practice putting green. Start by dropping 6 balls in the rough off the practice green and ensure they have a reasonably good lie.
- Pick three flags as targets if the practice green isn’t too crowded. Ideally, they should be at varying distances from your position.
- Chip 2 balls to each of the three flags. The first two towards the first flag, the following two at the next, and so on.
- Your goal should be to land the ball within 3 feet of the hole or within range for every chip you make.
6. The Bump and Run Drill
This drill helps you find the air-to-roll ratios of your wedges. Each of your clubs has a specific loft angle. This drill lets you know which club you should use when you just want the ball to land and roll the rest of the way.
- Ensure you carry your lob wedge, pitching wedge, and 7-iron to the practice green. Start by dropping a few balls just off the putting surface and place a marker halfway from the flag you’ve chosen as a target.
- Hit a few chip shots with your pitching wedge and see if the ball lands at the midway target. Take note of how short of or far past the hole the ball rolls. A proper baseline to remember is that a shot from a pitching wedge travels 50% in the air and 50% rolling.
- Take the lob wedge and place the marker at an 80% distance from the flag. Hit some shots with the club and note where the ball lands before rolling. With the lob wedge, your shot should travel 80% in the air and 20% rolling.
- Finally, take the 7 iron and place the marker at around a quarter of the distance between the flag and the ball. Hit some shots and see again see where the ball lands. With 7 irons, your shot should travel 20% in the air and 80% rolling.
- Knowing such ratios helps you determine which club is best to get within range of the hole.