When around the green, there are 3 wedges shots to use for getting the ball close to the hole; the bump and run, the low checking shot, and the flop shot. Which shot you use depends on the situation. Here’s how you can hit these 3 wedge shots with ease.
The Bump and Run
The easiest of the 3 shots, the “bump and run” gets the ball airborne enough to carry onto the edge of the green and roll to the pin. It’s a perfect shot to pull off when there’s nothing between you and the green and the pin is across the green.
In a nutshell, it is simply putting with an iron. Take a lower lofted club, such as an 8 iron, set up just like you would for a putt. Place the ball back in your stance with your hands forward, creating an angle in the shaft. From there, simply imagine you are putting the ball. The angle of the shaft causes a downward blow to the ball, lifting it into the air long enough to get on the green, before rolling out toward the cup.
Another good tip is to switch clubs based on how far you want the ball to go. With a little practice, you’ll be able to repeat this stroke and determine how far the ball goes with each club.
The Low Checker
The next shot is one often seen from about 50 yards and in. A player hits a low shot that lands on the green, hops once or twice, and then checks. The interesting thing about this shot is that it’s executed by hitting the ball slightly thin.
To hit this shot, set up with the ball in the middle of your stance and your hands only slightly ahead. Hit the ball slightly lower on the clubface with more speed through impact than you feel in necessary. On the follow through, don’t release the club. Finish with the club about waist high and the shaft pointing straight at the target. I recommend using a sand wedge for this shot.
It takes a bit of practice to get comfortable with the faster swing and lower contact on the club face. Once you’re comfortable with it, the low checker is a great shot to have in your arsenal.
The last of the popular wedge shots is the flop shot. Hit this shot around the green when you need to hit it high and land it soft. It’s the most difficult shot to hit correctly and consistently but, with the right technique, it gets you out of trouble.
The setup plays a large role with the flop shot. Set up with your feet aligned well left of the target and open the clubface so it points at the target. Take your grip after you have lined your feet and the club. Base your grip on your feet alignment, not where the clubface points. This is important to execute the shot properly. I see too many players grip the club normally, set up their feet, then open the clubface by turning the club with their hands already on it. This results in a normal grip as opposed to a “weak” one and the club returns to square at impact, causing the ball to shoot off low and left of the target.
From this position, take a longer backswing and let gravity bring the club back down to the ball. Make sure to execute a full finish with the clubhead traveling above your head. This allows the club to slide under the ball with an open face, launching it high and soft.
Again, practice is needed to get comfortable with such a long swing from such a short distance.
Now It’s Your Turn
You now know how to hit these 3 popular wedge shots. Take this knowledge to the course, hit the ball closer and watch your scores drop. Also, leave any questions for our PGA Professionals in the comment section.
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