There are very few feelings in a round of golf better than crushing a drive right down the middle of the fairway! There is almost no worse a feeling on the golf course than when you follow up that great drive with a horrendous short wedge shot! We all know the one. You’ve either laid the sod over your own ball or skulled the ball so horribly you send it sailing over the green and out of bounds. Not only does these terrible short wedge shots squander your great drive and turn birdie into double, they are usually followed by a playing competitor’s snickers or the inevitable “Touch em’ All!” quote we all love. Well fear not because with this simple setup tip I hope that you never have to suffer from awful short wedge shots again.
Most golfers who have played the game for awhile have heard of the “stack and tilt” method of swinging. Many golfers swear it is a poor way to swing, while others swear by its effectiveness. As with every swing, there are pros and cons and overall on tour there are very few PGA pros that are stacking and tilting their way to tournament wins. However, almost all of the great short wedge players on tour “stack” their short wedge shots setups. So since most great players “stack” their wedges, so should you.
What I mean by “stack” is that the majority of your weight (60-70%) in the setup is on your front leg, left leg if you’re a righty and right leg if you are a lefty. The key to having your weight forward is to shift your whole center (hips, core, shoulders, and head) laterally toward your front foot. (Picture 1) shows how this keeps your shoulders and spine angle level and allows for a clean descending strike of the golf ball. This type of setup is where the term “stack” comes from as you can see that it appears that my weight is stacked on my left side from head to front foot.
What you don’t want to do is slide your hips forward to move your weight to your front foot because as you can see in (picture 2) that causes my spine to tilt backward and my shoulders up. This creates an upward swing path at the bottom. This is the position that many golfers set up in and this is the reason for so many fat and thin short wedge shots.
By presetting your weight on your front foot it allows for the center of your body to be ahead of the ball at impact without having to transfer your weight from back foot to front foot as you would in a full swing. (See picture 3) Because of this, you don’t want to transfer your weight to your back foot at any point in the swing. (See picture 4) This lack of a weight shift simplifies the moving parts of your swing and this is how you can become very consistent with both contact and distance control. The saying “less is more” has never been more true than it is with short wedge shots.
Practice this setup, and in no time your chunks and skulls will be distant memories and your short wedge shots will be much better.
For golf lessons in the North Myrtle Beach area, contact Trevor Muffley at the Glens Golf Academy at Possum Trot. Call 843-272-5521