Learn From Your Sand Wedge

Joe Thiel, PGA

Problem Area: Fundamentals
Series: Instruction Feature

Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010 | 1:03 p.m.

This special golf club has the unique ability to teach you the simple swing fundamentals for the new player and also help the strong player recapture their slumping swing. Since the sand wedge is a shorter club, use it to establish rhythm. The head is heavier than the other irons and this alone makes it difficult to swing hard and jerky.

In my teaching I like the student to understand the leading edge of the wedge stays connected to the body's movement throughout the swing from address through impact. As you turn, the arms, hands, body and leading edge all travel in unison. With this understanding, your only job then becomes proper movement of your body. Assume a balanced address position and cross your arms, shoulder to shoulder. Make simulated swings into the right side, back to impact, then through to the finish position. With this movement, start making 1/2 and 3/4 wedge shots. Learn to feel the club moving in exact coordination with your body. After hitting several small wedge shots, move into a few 8-iron shots. Resist the desire to snap at the ball, but focus on the connection movement with perfect timing as with the wedge.

Try this ...