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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Golf Academy
August 22, 2017

Knowing Your Wedge Distances
By Chris Foley

Anytime we have a wedge in our hands, it is a scoring opportunity. The closer our average proximity to the hole, the more pars and birdies we make. One of the reasons Dustin Johnson is currently the number one player in the world, is improved wedge play. In the last three years, his proximity to the hole inside of 125 yards has improved every year.

In many cases improving your wedge play starts with knowing how far you hit each of your wedges and having the proper gaping between each club. I find that there are a lot of players who believe that they hit their wedges further than they actually do. Many players base their yardages on the best shots they have ever hit, not their averages.

Having the knowledge and understanding of your wedge distances, allows you to walk into a shot and execute it with confidence. When we stand over a shot with doubt, we rarely hit the shot we are trying too.

With the players I coach, we measure each of their wedge distances using TrackMan. We have the player hit shots with their full swing, three quarter swing, and half swing to find the averages and to make sure the gap between each club is consistent. We then create a matrix showing them their averages.

As you can see, using the matrix, we have multiple club options for yardages. Having a knowledge of these options gives you the opportunity to adjust to the conditions that factor into the shot. Do you need to flight the ball down with a pitching wedge or hit it high and soft with a lob wedge? Do you have more confidence in hitting a full shot or making a half swing?

Knowing your yardages will help you eliminate doubt. When we can eliminate doubt, and increase confidence, hitting great golf shots becomes much more frequent!

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