WNY PGA Tip: Wedge issues might just be between the ears

Western NY PGA Tips

When you’re about to pull the 60-degree wedge from the bag, do you give the club a jaundiced eye, expecting disaster?

If so, you’ve already prevented a good shot.

Ridgemont Country Club head pro Andy Smith says lack of belief is a big problem for most amateurs with the high loft clubs, even if they should be trying to hit them.

“The biggest thing that I find with a lot of my students is they just don’t have a lot of confidence in that club. They’re almost afraid to swing it,” Smith says. “When you’re using a club with that much loft, confidence is key. You’ve got to trust the club and you’ve got to feel confident enough to swing it with a little speed.”

Although the 60-degree club shots are rarely full swings, they still have to be aggressive.

The ball should be mid-stance and the hands neutral. You can open the clubface up a bit to increase the loft.

The other tip Smith preaches is not to stop the swing on the way down. He makes a great analogy to basketball.

“I compare these shots to shooting free throws. It’s not a long shot. It’s not a three pointer. It’s shot that requires a little bit of touch. When you’re shooting a basketball, I was always taught to follow through. Same thing in golf,” Smith says.

“I tell people (the) follow through has to match the takeaway. You’ve got to finish. It’s important to get those hands up nice and high and, again, swing all the way through the ball and don’t let that club stop.”

Now, if only you can convince yourself to do it every time.

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