Master Your Short Game with 5 Proven Drills

Master Your Short Game with 5 Proven Drills

Improve your short game with 5 simple but super effective drills created by biomechanics expert Tyler Ferrell.

Regain confidence in your short game with 5 simple but super effective drills.

Free Drills to Transform Your Short Game
Free Short Game Drills
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How to Hit Your Wedges Better: 12 Actionable Tips to Improve Your Wedge Game

Amateur golfers miss greens. It comes with the territory. With this being the standard for amateurs, it’s really important to have a strong wedge game.

If you hit your wedges better, your entire game from 100 yards and it will be more accurate and lead you to lower scores.

These tips to improve your wedge game deal with everything from wrist action to weight distribution, but they all combine to ensure you end up closer to the hole with a tap in putt.

How to Hit Wedges Better (Key Takeaways)

If you don’t have time to read through all of our tips on how to hit wedges better, here are a few that you can walk away with right now. Bookmark this so you can come back and try these tips the next time you head to the driving range.

  • Keep your weight positioned more on your lead foot; you’ll get more accuracy and control.
  • Learn the wrist position for pitches and chips. It’s not exactly the same, and you’ll need to understand it if you want consistency.
  • Maintain a forward press with your hands through impact to create that proper angle of attack and improved acceleration through the ball.
  • Remember visualization in the wedge game; it’s just as important as it is with any other club in the bag.
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12 Tips to Improve Your Wedge Game

1. Get Your Weight On the Lead Foot

To hit your wedges better, position your weight more on the lead foot. This slight change of weight will ensure you strike the ball as the club is traveling down.

This can apply to full swing shots with the wedge and greenside shots.

Most golfers aim for a 70/30 weight distribution, but you can experiment with different amounts that work for you.

2. Narrow Down the Ball Position

Golfers love to say things like “put the ball in the back for the wedges”.

However, this is not always the smartest thing to do.

When the ball is positioned too far back the strike is typically not as clean, some players also hit these shots out to the right.

Placing the ball too far forward can result in thin and fat shots. It’s best to take a more narrow stance and leave the ball mostly in the middle of your feet.

HackMotion golf training aid wrist sensor
Wrist Action: Your Key to Mastering Short Game

Improve your game in two weeks, even if 'wrist mechanics' sounds like rocket science.

3. Wedge Bounce is Your Friend

Wedge bounce helps ensure the wedge slides through the golf ball and does not dig too deeply into the turf. You’ll be able to make contact with the ball without feeling like you are going to chunk it.

In addition, wedge bounce helps you glide through bunker shots with each. This is not to say that more wedge bounce is best.

In fact, having a variety of bounce options throughout your wedge set is often the smartest option.

Here’s a look at some wedge bounce options and how to customize them based on course conditions.

Lie/Turf ConditionRecommended BounceDescription
Firm Turf / Tight LiesLow Bounce (4°-6°)Ideal for golfers who play on firm, dry turf with minimal grass, promoting cleaner contact.
Normal TurfMid Bounce (7°-10°)Suitable for most turf conditions, offering versatility and forgiveness for various shots.
Soft Turf / Fluffy LiesHigh Bounce (10°-14°)Best for soft, wet conditions or fluffy lies, preventing the club from digging too much.
Bunker PlayHigh Bounce (10°-14°)Helps the club glide through the sand, making it easier to escape bunkers.

4. Accelerate Through Impact

The club head needs to be accelerating through impact if you want to have success with your wedges.

With the acceleration, you’ll notice a cleaner strike, a more square clubface, and better spin and control.

The mistake most golfers make is to slow the club down through impact to try and control the ball. If your wrist action, swing length, and setup are correct throughout the wedge shot, there is no need to try to manufacture control through the ball.

Thinking about a one third backswing and two third follow-through is a great way to get this done.

5. Work On Wrist Extension and Flexion

The wrists work differently in chipping and pitching.

For a great chip shot, the lead wrist should be flexed through impact with a good amount of shaft lean. This creates a stable, slightly lower, and straight ball flight where the ball can roll out to the hole.

You’ll notice more of a flat wrist position through impact for pitch shots. This helps add additional loft through the impact zone.

HackMotion can help you narrow down the exact wrist positions for chipping and pitching. You can compare your wrist action with that of the professionals.

HackMotion wrist sensor used by golfer

Many amateur golfers struggle with ensuring they don’t add too much hinge and wrist movement throughout their wedge shots.

Wrist movements can be exaggerated at times, and when this happens, you’ll notice inconsistency and poor strikes.

6. Grip Down on the Club for Control

If you are having trouble controlling the distance you get with your wedge shots, you may want to grip down on the club.

Gripping down can give you a little extra control and make you feel as though you can stop your golf ball where it needs to stop on the greens.

Standing too far from the ball and gripping at the top of the club often cause issues with distance control.

7. You Can’t Forget Tempo with Wedges

Tempo with wedges is just as important as it is with a full swing iron shot to the green or a driver off the tee box.

Make sure your tempo is smooth on the way back and through the golf ball.

Not only is it easier to ensure a consistent strike, but you will also notice better distance control and accuracy in your shots.

8. Practice Different Length Swings

Do you have difficulty dialing in shots that are not full swings? Maybe it’s a 50, 60, or 70-yard shot and you just can’t get the yardage down.

One of the best ways to deal with this is to work on different length swings. Take out each of the wedges in your bag and learn to hit a full, ¾, half, and quarter swing shot with each.

Record these distances so you have a general idea of how far they go.

Now, you can use these different numbers the next time you are on the course without having to worry about those “in between” or awkward yardages.

9. Choose the Right Loft for The Job

Stop using the 56 degree wedge for all of your short game shots. It’s not built to handle everything.

Golfers who are more particular about which wedge to use and when have a much better wedge game. Golf wedges with higher bounce and more loft are great for soft lies, sand, and rough.

Wedges with less bounce and less loft are better from clean or hard lies on the course. If you keep trying to use the wrong loft and the wrong wedge for the job, you’ll have poor results.

10. Visualize the Shot

To hit your wedges better, start visualizing the shots you are trying to hit. Picture where you are going to have the ball land, how it will continue to roll towards the target, and even how you expect the putt to break.

Proper visualization helps you make the correct movements in your swing. The mind is a powerful thing.

Try adding visualization to your pre-shot routine when hitting wedge shots. Before you even set up to hit, make sure you visualize exactly how this shot will play.

11. Practice from Different Lies

Most amateur golfers put golf balls down around the green in a perfect position and start practicing their chip shots.

How often during your round is your golf ball left in a perfect position? Probably not too often!

Practice from a variety of lies, including:

  • Sand
  • Slopes
  • Thick rough
  • Short grass
  • Plugged lies

12. Maintain Lower Body Stability

The lower body is active when hitting wedges. There is a slight turn, and this turn and stability in the lower legs will help ensure the club strikes the ground and the ball goes up in the air.

The mistake many wedge players make is making too big of a turn or not turning with the lower body. When you do this, the strike has a lot of inconsistency.

Hitting some shots while standing on just the lead leg can help you get this feeling and determine how much movement is necessary.

Drills to Help Hit Your Wedges Better

Here are a few additional drills to help you hit your wedges better. Practicing with the wedges can be fun because there is some versatility and variety here.

Pelvic Punch Drill

If you tend to slow down through your wedge shots and slow the club down, this pelvic punch drill could help you clean up that impact position.

With the Pelvic Punch drill, you take the club back just so it’s about knee high and then really work on that acceleration through the ball.

Experience the Brush Drill

We know that concept of brushing the grass with your wedges before you strike them.

However, in this video you can get a more in depth understanding of how that should look and how you can make sure it works to get you proper distance and accuracy.

Alignment Stick Short Game Drill

This video from Chris Ryan Golf will help you get the path of your wedges perfect.

Many golfers have a hard time getting the club on the proper path and tend to take it too far inside; this drill should get it right back on the plane.

Final Thoughts

At this point you have a variety of strategies to finally hit your wedges better.

You’ll notice that most of these focus on using the proper setup, getting the wrist action correct, and creating some consistency in the strike.

Use the HackMotion to help you with setup in hand and wrist position and your tempo in your short game. Proper short game technique will lead to lower scores on the course.

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Brittany Olizarowicz
written by Britt Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz is a golf professional who has played the game for more than 30 years. In addition to loving the game of golf, Britt has a degree in math education and loves analyzing data and using it to improve her game and the games of those around her. If you want actionable tips on how to improve your golf swing and become a better player, read her guides.