September 30, 2021
GALLOWAY, NJ – Running the driving range in a professional tournament is always impressive. Unlike the shooting range at your local muni or country club, no shot is wasted and everything is done with a specific aim.
The way the pros hit the ball is also different. This may seem obvious, but until you see – and hear – a professional hit a shot at close range, you won’t fully understand how big the difference is. Sometimes it seems like they’re playing a completely different game from the weekend warriors.
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With no shot is this fact more evident than with wedge shots. While amateurs regularly flub and thin out the shorties, professionals consistently squeeze the ball off the lawn and control their distances with ease.
At this week’s Shoprite LPGA Classic, GOLF.com caught up with Paula Reto to get her tips on how to hit crisp wedges every time. Below are her three keys.
1. Lower body stacked on the left
Setup with less than full wedge shots is key. And for Reto this means that the weight on the address is very light on the front – about 60-40.
“Then I don’t have to think about shifting my weight with these small blows,” said Reto. “It makes it easier to be more consistent with distance control.”
2. Titled spine away from target
While your weight should be slightly forward, you still want your spine to lean behind the ball. This angle allows your swing to break through in the right place and make solid contact.
3. Upper body rotation
With the setup items nailed down all that’s left to do is take a good swing. And for the best turns on short wedges, you want to use the biggest muscles you have. This means rotating your body and keeping your wrists and hands still. Larger muscles are easier to control, so using these short punches will create punch-to-punch consistency.
“Turn, turn, turn,” said Reto. “You can use your larger muscles without having to bring other things, which makes distance control a lot easier.”
Are you ready to revamp your game? Find a suitable location near you at the GOLF subsidiary True Spec Golf.
Zephyr Melton is Assistant Editor at GOLF.com, where he spends his days blogging, producing, and editing. Before joining the GOLF.com team, he attended the University of Texas, followed by stints with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He supports in all matters of teaching and covers amateur and ladies golf.