The Distance Wedge

Published on 01 February 2011 by in Blog


If you saw the end of the 2011 Farmers Insurance Open here at Torrey Pines, I think you’d agree it was a pretty good tournament ending. Bubba Watson having to really solidify his final putt and Phil having Bones tend the flag just in case he cans it. Nice ending.

And now that it’s over, I’m back to work on the lesson tee and the golf course probably teaching some of my students to hit a distance wedge of 72 yards like the one Phil attempted. Now it’s a relatively easy shot. What makes it difficult is to get it as close as Phil does. Amazingly he did almost hole it off the fly and then spun it back to about four feet. Now I don’t expect the majority of my students to do that but the fundamentals of the shot are not as difficult as one would expect.

First, ball position is important. Make sure you position the ball so you’re not going to hit it fat or skinny. That would probably be a little back in their stance for the majority of golfers. Then, by all means don’t over swing. A half to three quarter swing will be sufficient. The shorter swing will compel you have to accelerate the club through the ball.

The common errors to this shot are an over swing with a decelerated motion through the ball. Not good. Practice will help you to get it close. But knowing the fundamentals of the shot will at least give you a chance to hole the putt.

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