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How To Get Wedge Shots To Check In Short Game

One effective strategy to get wedge shots to check in the short game is to utilize a new wedge with advanced technology. The design of the club face is crucial in generating the desired backspin on the golf ball. The golfer should be mindful of his or her alignment and stance, ensuring they are properly positioned to execute the shot. A shallow swing plane, accompanied by a slightly open club face, can help create the necessary conditions for the ball to stop and spin upon landing.

Additionally, the golfer should focus on striking the ball with a descending blow, enabling the grooves on the club face to grip the ball and impart backspin. Practicing this technique regularly can help the golfer refine their ability to get wedge shots to check, ultimately enhancing their short game skills. It is worth noting that consistency and control are key, as different grass and weather conditions may require adjustments to achieve the desired outcome.

How to get wedge shots to check for beginners

In order to achieve successful wedge shots that check for beginners, there are several key factors to consider. Firstly, it is crucial to have the right equipment, such as a new wedge, suited to the golfer’s specific needs and preferences. To begin, the golfer must ensure they are using a golf ball with sufficient spin potential. Backspin is imperative in making the ball stop or check upon landing.

Next, proper technique is essential. The golfer should aim to strike the ball with a descending blow, compressing it against the clubface to generate the desired backspin. Additionally, the golfer should experiment with different ball positions within their stance, as well as adjust the clubface angle to influence the spin.

Lastly, it is important to practice consistently and develop a repertoire of shots around the green. By honing these skills and dedicating time to improve, beginners can gradually enhance their ability to get wedge shots to check in their short game. 

Choosing the Right Wedge

Selecting the proper wedge for the shot at hand is one of the most important factors in promoting check and spin. Here are guidelines based on distance from the green:

  • 120-100 yards: Go with a 52 or 56 degree sand or lob wedge to get the ball up quick. The wide sole will prevent digging.
  • 90-70 yards: A gap or sand wedge around 54 degrees can be used to flight shots lower and apply ample spin.
  • 60-40 yards: Trust a 56 or 60 degree wedge to really bite into the green if you make clean contact.
  • 40 yards and in: Use the highest loft wedge in your bag, ideally 60 degrees, for the steepest landing angle.

In wet conditions or soft greens, you can get away with using less loft than normal since the ball will already check aggressively. On firmer greens, higher lofts are a must to impart spin and fight through the green’s resistance.

Grip Pressure and Wrist Hinge

Light grip pressure is vital for getting crisp contact and clean wedge shots. Hold the club gently to allow the wrists to hinge and whip through impact naturally. Too much tension will restrict proper wrist action and strike the ball thin and low. Focus on keeping the trail wrist bowed inward on the backswing, then releasing fully through the ball.

Line up square to the target and don’t open your stance in an effort to hit big cut shots. Allow the loft of the wedge to work the ball towards the hole. Gripping down an inch on the handle can also promote a more upward strike for higher shots.

Swing with Power

While you want a smooth rhythm, accelerating the clubhead speed through impact is key for generating spin with wedge shots. Maintaining clubhead lag going into the downswing will maximize velocity as you sweep the ball off the turf. To ingrain this feeling, practice hitting wedge shots where the clubhead snaps through the hitting area aggressively. You should feel some real zip and crack at the bottom.

It’s fine if some shots fly a few yards past the pin during practice as you swing hard. You need to learn how to throw hands and clubhead speed at the ball fully while maintaining strike to get the most check. Power promotes spin which will kill the roll out quickly on the green.

Strike Down with Consistent Contact

For wedge play from 50 yards and in, you must strike the ball first then take a divot with consistency. The descending blow compresses the ball against the turf to apply backspin. If you flip or scoop at impact, the ball will launch too high and without enough revs to check. Practice connecting with the ball first, then the turf. A slight mistimed shot still imparts some spin versus a total chunk or skull.

To shallow out the strike, feel like the handle moves towards the hole with a slight downward plane shift during the downswing. Brush the turf and descend with speed through impact. While you don’t have to take a huge divot, contact needs to be sharp and compressed, not just clipping the grass. Hand and body rotation ahead of the ball also enhances spin and penetration.

Optimal Ball Positioning

Consistent ball position from different lies gives you your best chance to make crisp contact and enhance check backspin

  • Tee shots: Play the ball just inside your left heel with driver and woods to hit up on it
  • Irons: Position off the inside of the left armpit for descending compression
  • Fairway woods: Up near left instep for sweeping impact
  • Hybrids: Align centre to forward in stance depending on situation
  • Wedges: Centre of stance for full swings, forward for partial swings

Keeping the ball position for each wedge setup shot where you can consistently bottom out your swing arc is key for crisp contact. From fairway or rough, err towards centre or even slightly ahead to ensure ideal compression. Punch shots from poor lies require back in stance ball position.

Precise Distances

Learning exactly how far you hit each wedge is imperative to judge trajectories and backspin performance into greens. During practice, hit shots with each wedge to dial in distances from 50, 75, 100 yards based on full, three quarter and half swings. Understanding your wedge yardages in 10 yard increments will give you the ability to hit your spots on the green.

Altitude and temperature will affect wedge distances so you have to monitor performance in various conditions. Uphill and downhill lies will require adjustments to strike and trajectory. Write down your shot distances from different situations to have a very clear gameplan on the course.

Reading the Green

Properly assessing the green’s condition before taking your shot will also impact your shot selection, particularly when using a wedge with a higher loft. Take into account the incline and speed of the green when determining your desired landing spot. Does the putt veer towards the left or right or does it have a combination of both? How much give should you allow for in the landing area?

Observe the shot trajectory of professional golfers when they aim for pins that are difficult to reach, using backspin. They mentally envision the precise location where the ball should land and anticipate its behavior after impact. In certain situations, it may be appropriate to aim 20 feet beyond the hole if the green slopes downwards, as the ball will slow down and move to the left. Experience will aid in determining how different wedges will roll or stop based on the unique characteristics of various green complexes. 

Wind Factors

The direction and strength of the wind always plays a role in shaping wedge shots into greens. A heavy downwind will cause the ball to come down very steeply, so you can be aggressive with a high ball flight and spin. Into the wind requires a lower flight and allowing for extra rollout after landing. Crosswinds will push the ball offline and require adjustment in aimed trajectory.

When faced with different winds, you might club down from your normal wedge, choke down an inch or two, or modify alignment to compensate for push or pull. Always keep the wind in mind as a key influencer of how your wedges will perform. The best players adjust flight and spin perfectly by sensing windspeed changes.

Quality of Strike

In the end, crisply struck wedge shots will always check and stop faster than mishit ones. You can do everything else correctly, but a chunked or thin strike ruins spin and back up potential. Grooving technically sound fundamentals under pressure leads to consistent wedge play. When you mishit, accept it, then refocus on your pre-shot and swing keys.

Sticking greenside shots tight without fanning or skulling them requires ingraining proper technique. Work tirelessly on your alignment, posture, ball position, swing plane, speed, finish, and balance to master wedge play artistry. This builds trusting your instincts inside 100 yards to go pin hunting with confidence.

Practice with Variety

Hit all kinds of wedge shots in practice to expand your creativity and precision. Play off different lies, hit high and low shots, try draws, fades and straight shots, practice distance control, and spin shots into targets or holes. The more situations you experience and varieties of shots hit, the more natural wedge play becomes.

Grooving fundamentals by hitting the same shot over and over definitely helps initially. But learning trajectory control through experimentation will make you the best wedge player possible. Don’t get stuck hitting just full lob shots every practice session. Mix up the distances, targets, shapes and demands to bring it to the course fully ready.

Pre-shot Routine

Implementing a consistent pre-shot routine builds confidence in pressure situations. From choosing the right club, assessing wind, and reading the green to visualizing the shot shape and committing, always follow the same flow. Get your yardage, trust your feel for the shot, and hit without overanalyzing.

Quiet your mind by taking 2-3 practice swings to feel the proper motion then address the ball and go. Don’t second guess your choice of wedge, landing spot or method right before pulling the trigger. Stick to the routine, hit the shot and accept the result to stay focused in crunch time.

Course Management

Sound course management and decision-making often lead to simpler and higher percentage wedge shots into greens. Avoid unplayable lies, aim away from water, try to putt whenever reasonable, and leave yourself desired approach angles. Think your way to tidy wedge setups where you only have one reasonable shot to hit.

The best wedge players minimize risk and put the pressure on opponents by leaving routine up and downs. They control trajectories and spin perfectly from the fairway or just off the green fringe. You don’t have to go pin-seeking on every hole. Smarter strategic thinking sets up easier wedge shots that check consistently.

Accept the Challenge

Finally, embrace the challenge of owning your wedge game rather than avoid it. Many average players lack confidence and short side themselves into hard pars instead of birdie chances. They fear mis-hits and don’t work hard enough on this scoring aspect. Take responsibility for your wedge play and dedicate effort to significant improvement.

Be the player that wants the ball in hand from 100 yards and in. Rush the hole with positive aggression on scoring holes. Hit enough quality wedge shots in practice to walk up to any short shot believing you’ll hit it close. Stop fearing this part of your game and see it as a chance to go low.


Why am I pushing my wedge shots?

Pushing wedge shots (hitting them to the right of the target for righties) usually stems from an open clubface at impact. This can be caused by an overly strong grip, holding the face open through impact, or swinging too much out-to-in. Make sure your grip is neutral, release the clubface, and shallow the downswing to eliminate the push.

What does a flighted wedge mean?

A flighted wedge refers to a club that is designed to produce specific shot trajectories. For example, a lob wedge has the most loft and will produce the highest shots. A gap wedge has moderate loft to produce mid-trajectory shots. Flighted wedges help you control shot height based on distance from the green.

How do you hit lower ball flight?

To hit wedge shots with a lower ball flight, use less lofted clubs like a pitching or gap wedge. Position the ball back in your stance, make a slightly steeper downswing, and ensure your torso is behind the ball at impact. Keeping trajectory low allows for more roll-out on tighter pin positions.

Why am I pulling my wedge shots?

Pulling wedge shots left of target typically comes from a closed clubface and path through impact as well as shifting weight too early onto the front foot. Maintain spine angle and neutral path, delay hand roll release, and keep weight centered in downswing to correct the pull and hit straight shots.

How do I stop pushing wedge shots?

To eliminate pushed wedge shots, check for a too-strong grip and grip pressure. Make a flatter shoulder turn and allow the clubface to close naturally through impact. Shallow the downswing and avoid manipulation through impact. Practice draws to neutralize your club path and aim left to correct the push.

How do you play short wedge shots?

For short wedge shots around the green, position the ball back of center in your stance. Make a narrower stance and lighter grip pressure. Use more wrist hinge and play the ball off your back foot. Swing smoothly with your body rotating ahead of ball to compress the shot crisp and lift it higher with more spin and precision.


When your wedge play reaches a point where you can flight the ball at different trajectories while imparting the perfect amount of spin, scoring and success will follow. Use the tips in this article to start hitting checked and controlled wedge shots with consistency. Evaluating lies, dialing in yardages, reading greens, and smart course management will lead to dialed wedge play and lower scores. Put in the practice reps with your wedges to master the many nuanced shots required to get up and down or go flag hunting. You will gain confidence and reduce pressure knowing you have the tools to attack pins and recover beautifully. So embrace wedge shots as opportunities to shine and watch your scoring potential come to life.

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