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Mechanics Of The Distance Wedge Stroke

The distance wedge swing is the swing that you will most likely use from 40-80 yards. The goal is to make solid contact and control the amount of spin and height. To ensure solid contact, we are going to set up with a slightly narrowed stance compared to our stock swing and then lean toward so that our sternum (or chin) is about 2 inches forward of the golf ball. We want to make sure that it stays here, or moves toward the target during the backswing in order to control the sequence of the downswing. It is also important to understand that this swing will be more upper body (chest, rib cage, and arms) dominated compared to the swing used for the driver.

Playlists: Master Your Distance Wedge

Tags: Pitch, Intermediate, Beginner

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In this concept video, we're going to go over the technical components to the distance wedge.

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So, the distance wedge is going to be very similar to our stock swing with a few exceptions

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that will help us with consistency of contact and angle of attack.

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Two of the big things that we're trying to promote here with the distance wedge.

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So, I recommend that you build three swings for your distance wedge, but we're going to go over

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set up for all three of them first.

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So, if you remember from the setup video from your stock swing, you're going to take a step forward

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with your left foot and then a step back with the right foot.

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Now, most distance wedges are going to be just slightly ahead of centered so that when I'm

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leaning forward, the ball position is going to be kind of off of my right eye or if you were

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looking at where my sternum is, if you were to drop a line straight down, it would be a couple

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inches in front of the golf ball.

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Now, this is one of the big differences between the distance wedge and our full swing because

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by setting up forward like so, it's going to ensure that we make ball first contact, but

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it's also going to limit how much energy we're going to be able to create from the lower body.

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With a wedge swing, it's going to be a little bit more of an upper body dominant swing.

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Even though we're going to use our lower body, our hips or knees or ankles, we're going

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to use our lower body to help create the proper sequencing as well as the shift our way

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to get forward and create the proper delivery path.

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So, again, we're going to do the small step forward, small step back so the ball is roughly

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just ahead of centered with our body leaning slightly left and our shoulders are going to

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be closer to level than if I was trying to launch a 4 or 5, 6, I heard.

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We're going to take our normal grip and you're welcome to play around with experimenting

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with either the finesse grip with the right hand a little bit in a weaker position or just

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your stock and standard grip.

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Both of them can work and produce different slightly different ball flights.

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So, the set up position, let's go over real quick again.

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Start on the head of the ball, you're going to stay there during the backswing which

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is one of the big key fundamentals.

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There's not going to be a big weight shift back.

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Now in the finesse wing, we talked about how the center actually moves forward.

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You're up to body moves forward in the backswing.

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With the distance wedge, it is allowed to move forward but it's best when it just stays

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When I see on 3D that it's pretty close to neutral or maybe an inch forward, those

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tend to be the best distance wedge players I've seen.

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So in the backswing, it's going to feel like you stay a little bit more stacked and

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like you're leaning a little bit more left.

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This helps control and make sure that we don't hit behind the golf ball because we absolutely

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want to make sure with a distance wedge that we have enough shaft lean and that we're

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getting the golf ball first.

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So I recommend again that we build three different distance wedge swings to help control

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These will be your stock swings.

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One would be basically when the shaft is parallel to the ground.

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Some people call this a 730 swing, some people 9 o'clock to fence how you're looking at.

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But basically, shaft parallel to the ground will be my first swing.

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Left arm parallel to the ground will be the second swing.

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And then kind of a full feeling backswing will be my third swing.

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And so if I have a couple different wedges, this gives me a couple different or a whole

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matrix of shots inside a hundred yards.

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Dave Pell is the first person who I saw do this, but I've heard about it from James Seekman.

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I know, I believe Stanutley talks about a similar type pattern for controlling your distance

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So it seems to work and it seems to be the easiest way.

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And then it gives you a couple of reference points that you can then adjust your distance

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off of when you're practicing.

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Because your goal is to be able to know your distance wedge swings well enough that you

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can take a guess at how far it is and know exactly what swing to produce.

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Now that takes a significant amount of practice.

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But as long as you practice effectively, it's not quite as much as you may think.

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You don't need to hit wedges every single day in order to be good with them.

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You've got the ideas for the setup.

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As far as the backswing goes, it's going to feel like there's more of a left lean to it

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because that's what's going to help keep my upper body staying centered.

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And as far as the sequencing and where the energy goes from, we're going to have

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most of our power coming from turning our upper body as opposed to a rapid release of your

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wrist or having a massive lower body leg drive.

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The problem with this lower body leg drive is it creates this axis tilt.

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I don't want to ton of this axis tilt with these wedges.

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I'm going to stay much more stacked or vertical so that my chin, my sternum, my belly button,

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my pelvis are kind of all in a similar line like so.

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So it's going to be lean slightly left, work on either nine o'clock, 11 o'clock,

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full swing, however you want to call them, shaft parallel, three quarter, full swing.

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However you want to dial them in, hit 10 balls or so with some yarders markers, figure out

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those distances and then it gives you a good idea of where to adjust when you get on the course.

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So that's kind of the overview of the wedges.

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We're going to go through specific details in other drills.

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