The Art of Hitting Flighted Wedges

The Art of Hitting Flighted Wedges

Have you ever noticed that most guys on the PGA Tour don’t hit a lot of full wedge shots? Most of them prefer hitting flighted wedges for optimal control and predictable spin.

How to Hit Flighted Wedges

First off, why should you hit flighted wedges vs. full wedge shots?

Two reasons:

  1. More control: Hitting a shot less than 100% leads to a more fluid, repeatable swing that should lead to more greens in regulation.
  2. Predictable spin: Is there anything worse than hitting a great wedge only to watch it zip back off the green? One moment you had a birdie putt, now you have to scramble to save par. Flighted shots spin less so they hit and stop on the dance floor.

Playing flighted wedges adds more consistency to your approach shot game. Here’s how you can take shallow divots like a slice of bacon (not pork chops) for closer birdie putts.

5 Steps to Saucy Wedges

  1. Take a little extra club. For example, if you hit a gap wedge 120 yards and that’s the distance you have to the pin, club up to a pitching wedge. Then, choke up about one inch to shorten the club and reduce total distance.
  2. Narrow stance ever so slightly. We are talking about an inch narrower than a normal wedge shot.
  3. Play the ball slightly back in your stance. We are talking about 1-2 inches back from the usual location. (Don't put it off your back foot as you’ll likely come down too steep leading to chunks / pushes.)
  4. Shorten your back swing. Feel like you are hitting an 80% shot. Control the backswing so you stop short of parallel.
  5. Finish with your hands below your rib cage. Doing this will allow the hands to stay ahead of the ball at impact position. When the handle is learning toward your target you will compress the ball and hit purely.

How to Practice Hitting Flighted Wedges

Before attempting this shot on the golf course, make sure to spend time practicing on the range.

Grab your wedges and hit 5 shots with club. Follow the steps above and determine the following for your new flighted wedges:

  • Carry Distance
  • Total Distance

This can be a fun exercise to do in a simulator as you can easily understand these numbers and see how much your spin rate comes down with the flighted wedges as opposed to your full wedges.

Closing Thoughts

Flighted wedges are the way to go low and score more consistently, especially in windy conditions. Try to rarely hit full wedges on the golf course to save shots every single round.

These types of shots will create straighter, lower shots that will attack the flag. When they hit the green they’ll hit and stop and shouldn’t spin back away from the hole.

    About the Author
    Michael Leonard

    Michael Leonard is a full-time writer, author, creator of Wicked Smart Golf and +1 handicap amateur golfer. He left his corporate, national sales career in 2017 to pursue entrepreneurship and professional golf; since then, he’s competed in 160+ tournament days and went to Q-school in 2019.

    Now, his mission is simple -- help more golfers play better without swing changes. Learn more about his book, Wicked Smart Golf, to play better golf without changing your swing on Amazon now!


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