COMMUNITY: Dial in the wedges

Golf tip from Steve Charters

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Editor’s note: Steve Charters is in his 11th year as a pro at Twin Pines Golf Course. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Charters competed at Central College in Pella and has been a pro for 18 years in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

So you’ve reached that point where your close enough to the green where you can’t hit a full swing shot anymore, but not close enough to chip or put.

Now your wedges come into play.

I recommend players carry at least a pitching wedge, which will range from 45 to 48 degrees depending on the set, and a sand wedge, which will range from 54 to 56 degrees.Some players will add a gap wedge, 50-52 degrees, and a lob wedge, 58 to 60-plus degrees.

Regardless of the makeup of wedges in your arsenal, you’ll want to learn more than just the full swing distances with them.

Imagine when you set up to the ball that there is a clock going around you vertically. At address your arms are at 6 o’clock.With every wedge you have,I want you to swing your arms to 8 o’clock and record how far your hit it yardage wise. Then swing your arms to 10 o’clock and record the yardages, then full swing, or 12 o’clock, and record the yardages.

By doing this you’ll be able to dial in your non-full swing wedge shots more precisely. When you’re 50 yards out you’ll know that is you’re 10 o’clock sand wedge swing.

Instructor Dave Pelz says 80 percent of those shots lost to par occur inside 100 yards from the green. This will help you save more of those shots and not cast them to the wind.

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