There may be no handier shot in golf than the high, soft-landing wedge from 50 – 120 yards. During most rounds, you’ll inevitably face a handful of situations that require it.
Fortunately, the high wedge is one of the easiest shots to execute. The wedges, after all, are designed to lift the ball high in the air. (The low wedge shot is more difficult for most golfers, including low handicappers.)
Hit the high wedge any time you’ve got a flag in the front part of the green, tucked behind a hazard, or when you need to stop the ball quickly on firm greens. Here’s the basic setup and swing:
- Stand with your feet close together, no more than 12” apart, square or slightly open to the target line.
- Weight should be evenly distributed between your feet.
- Play the ball in the center of your stance, or slightly left (forward) of center.
- Your hands should be just barely ahead of the ball, with very little shaft lean toward the target.
- Open the clubface a few degrees if you need extra height.
- Make your normal swing, without attempting to “scoop” the ball into the air. The club’s loft will take care of trajectory.
- Be sure to take a divot, which means you’re hitting down on the ball.
If you’re not sure which wedge to choose for a shot – maybe you’re between a sand wedge and a gap wedge – go for the less lofted club and swing a little harder. The extra clubhead speed will add height and backspin.