How To Practice Your Wedge Game Effectively With a Launch Monitor
Want to shoot better scores and lower your handicap? Then you need to become a better wedge player!
The good news is that improving your wedge play does not require as much work as other parts of the game such as your full swing. All golfers have the ability to improve their performance if they put the right kind of work in and learn proper technique.
In this article, we want to show you how to practice more effectively with the help of two launch monitors in particular. We'll also include some instructional resources that we recommend for further learning.
Why You Should Do This
The majority of amateur golfers are missing anywhere between 12 to 14 greens in regulation per round. That means on most holes they will be trying to get up and down for par with a wedge in their hand.
Additionally, many golfers throw away shots needlessly around the greens because they don't feel comfortable with a wedge in their hand.
This is an area of the game where you can see relatively fast results and lower scores with moderate time invested. Not all golfers have the ability to hit the ball as far as Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson, but all of you can certainly hit a wedge just like them if you put the work in.
Speaking of Dustin Johnson, he routinely credits working on his wedge distances with his launch monitor for the main reason he was finally able to reach #1 in the world. That means everyone needs to do this kind of practice no matter how good of a golfer they are!
So if you are struggling to break 100, 90, or even 80 - investing time in your wedge game can eliminate those double bogeys (or worse) and give yourself more realistic chances at making pars and birdies.
The Smart Way to Practice
Most golfers resort to hitting the same shots over and over again without any kind of plan. This is a form of block practice, which can be beneficial, but ultimately is not the key to transferring skills to the actual golf course.
If you are serious about becoming a better wedge player you'll want to do a mixture of block practice and random practice.
For example, block practice would be trying to hit the same target over and over again from 70 yards. The benefit will be creating the muscle memory necessary to execute that shot. When you are faced with it in the course you can recreate the feeling necessary to produce that distance.
However, the next step is even more important (and one of the main points of this article) - you then need to randomize your distances and test your skills. This is how you simulate pressure and build real skills. Additionally, some of the products we sell here at Shop Indoor Golf can make this kind of practice even more effective.
SkyTrak is the bestselling launch monitor on our site because it's accurate, provides plenty of useful data, and has a wide range of simulation software integrations (you can find out more in our complete guide).
One area where SkyTrak performs exceptionally well is with wedge practice. There are a few ways to work with their software to challenge your skills.
The first is the newly-released Wedge Matrix. This is a fun challenge that will allow you to lock in distances with all of the wedges in your bag.
For each wedge, you'll be asked to hit a series of shots (pitches, 1/2 swing, 3/4 swing, and full swing). You'll then be displayed your distances for each shot in a matrix. Going through this process will accomplish two goals:
- It will reveal certain shots you need to work on
- Give you the proper yardages so you will have a variety of shots to choose from on the course from each distance
Another practice feature you can use with wedges is the Skills Assesment. You'll be able to pick targets at various distances and then challenge yourself to hit it as close to the pin as possible. When you're finished you'll be presented with a score you can keep track of.
This video shows how it works:
Using both of these features is effective practice because it not only provides accurate data on your performance, but it gets you hitting a variety of shots with real pressure.
Lastly, one other game we have found to be fun with SkyTrak is to randomly pick a distance and try to land the ball as close to that number as you can during range mode. You'll be surprised how good you can get if you devote one part of your practice session to this!
Voice Caddie SC200
For golfers who are on more of a budget, the Voice Caddie SC200 is a great launch monitor that can be used for wedge practice. At only $350, it provides extremely accurate carry distances and can be used indoors.
There are two modes with the SC200 that are particularly useful for practicing your wedge distances.
The first is Target Mode, which will be a form of block practice. You'll select a distance and then try to land 10 shots as closely as you can. You'll be given a score out of 10 after each shot to track your progress.
Once you feel you have dialed in your distances, it's time to test yourself with Approach Mode. You'll be asked to hit to random distances for each shot and then you'll be given a score out of 10.
Help With Your Wedge Game
OK now that we have shown you a few ways to practice your wedge game effectively with launch monitors, let's discuss how to play these shots properly.
There are a few great resources out there for wedge play. Here are several that we recommend:
The Short Game Bible by Dave Pelz - this is arguably the most complete work on the wedge game ever written. The information still holds up today, and his clock system for wedge play can be a game changer for many golfers.
Your Short Game Solution by James Sieckmann - a great modern approach to wedge play from one of the best teachers in the entire game.
The Wedge Book by Brandon Stooksbury - this is a great resource for the beginner to intermediate player. A very easy-to-read guide that can get you pointed in the right direction.
Stan Utley Video Library - if you are looking for an online video course, this is worth checking out from Stan Utley. He is one of the best wedge instructors in the world, and his online course has a wealth of information.
Wrapping It Up
Wedge play is extremely important if you want to become a better golfer and lower your handicap. Being able to practice effectively and measure your results accurately will help you transfer real skills to the golf course.
If you have any questions about any of the products in this guide don't hesitate to reach out to the staff of Shop Indoor Golf, we are here to help!