Matt Fields is the Director of Golf at Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Several of Matt's former students play on the PGA and LPGA Tours.
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How my tip will help:
About 65-percent of shots in golf are played from 130 yards and in. If you are serious about improving your game, you must understand the importance of wedge play. Imagine if you could hit 36 different yardages with four clubs on demand. This may seem impossible, but using the practice chart described below as your guide, you will walk out on the course with more confidence to dial in yardages and produce lower scores.
Here's my tip:
The current PGA Tour leader of "Greens in Regulation (GIR)" is averaging 75 percent, or 13.5 greens per round. The Tour average is 64 percent or 11.5 greens per round. The average golfer hits about four greens per round.
The ability to hit a wedge a precise yardage is vital to scoring. At Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy, we encourage students to practice hitting different yardages using four different clubs (e.g., pitching wedge, 52 degree, 56 degree, 60 degree). The top image on the right (click the thumbnail to view full size) is an example of a practice chart we use to help students. As your yardages may vary, it helps to keep a log of your own.
When the left arm is parallel to the ground, a half-swing is equivalent to 9 a.m. on a clock. For a three-fourth swing, the left arm is at 10:30 a.m.
In the white column of the chart, the yardages on the far left reflect the distance each club will go with a one-half, three-fourth and full swing. In the yellow column, the yardages reflect when the student chokes down on the club, shaving three to five yards off total distance. In the blue column, the yardages reflect when the student chokes down and opens his or her stance, taking another three to five yards off each shot.
- Practicing each of the 36 shots to exact yardages will improve confidence and ability to "dial in" your wedges.
Brent Kelley, About.com Golf, says:For more of Matt Fields' tips, see this author index page.
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