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correct answer Grip down on the club to shorten your swing

Amateur golfers are most comfortable when they can make a full swing. Ask an everyday player to take something off a shot – to hit his 150-yard club from 140 yards, for instance – and hell have a difficult time making solid contact.

Its a commonly faced task, though, especially within 125 yards of the green. Thats why its critical to develop a feel for the three-quarter wedge shot, a par-saving weapon that will boost your success rate on par 5s, too.

Faced with a three-quarter wedge – say, a 75-yard shot with the club you normally hit from 100 – most golfers will use their normal setup, grip and swing length, then try to “baby” the ball the correct distance. Decelerating the club, however, just causes fat and thin shots.

The proper technique for a three-quarter wedge is simple. Just follow these steps:

  • Assume your normal address position, with the ball in the center of your stance.
  • Place a little extra weight on your left (lead) foot, creating more shaft lean toward the target.
  • Heres the key: Grip down at least an inch on the club. Experiment on the driving range to gain a feel for how different grip placements affect your yardage.
  • Make your normal swing. Leaning left and gripping down will naturally limit your motion, producing shorter shots.

As a rule of thumb for a three-quarter shot, your left arm should stop when its parallel to the ground on the backswing. Your mileage may vary, though, so work on these mini-shots – including half-wedges, etc… -- to develop a keen sense of distance.

Ladies and older gentlemen, watch these videos for tailored tips on playing this delicate shot:

Seniors: Correct Way to Hit Three-Quarter Shots

Women: How to Hit the Three-Quarter Golf Shot

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True, opening the clubface adds loft and generates higher, shorter shots. But few golfers have the confidence to make a hard swing from a short distance, leading to deceleration. Plus, hitting the ball super-high leaves shots vulnerable to the wind. The proper method described above will produce lower shots with plenty of backspin.

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For the millionth time… Deceleration is deadly on any golf shot, including chips, bunker shots, putts and pitches. A three-quarter shot should not be hit at 75% power, but with a swing thats 75% of your normal length.

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Make this mistake and you may hit the ball thin, fat or too high and short of target. Youll add unwanted loft to the club and fail to compress the ball, hurting your distance control. And any conscious attempt to slide the club underneath the ball inevitably leads to a scooping action – with ugly results.