Today we’re going to focus in on how to get the most out of your short irons and your wedges.

Let’s face it — the closer you get to the hole the more important it is to hit great shots, and this is exactly why improving your short iron and wedge game is so essential to unlocking your TRUE potential on the course.

When it comes to short approach shots most golfers always talk about accuracy, but I’ve actually found that one of the most important parts of these shots is distance control.

As I’m getting closer to the green I often find myself in between clubs, and I can’t afford to end up short or long. In these situations it’s absolutely critical to know how far my ball is going to travel. That’s why I use a simple trick called “The Clock” to dial in my distance control

You see, since the length of my backswing controls how far the ball travels I simply think about taking my club back to different positions on the face of a clock. See the picture below to get an idea of what I mean…

A one-quarter swing takes me back to 8:00, a half swing takes me back to 9:00, a three-quarter swing takes me back to 10:00, and a full swing takes me back all the way to 11:00 or 12:00. I find that there is about a 5 to 7 yard difference between each different take-away, and on the course that can make all the difference in the world.

By practicing these different take-aways at my local chipping green I am able to really perfect my distance control with my short irons and wedges. This system also makes it easy to hit great shots under pressure since it gives me something comfortable to fall back.

Next time you head out to practice give this technique a try. It helps you have someone that can document your swings and ensure that what feels like 10:00 is actually 10:00 (you’ll be surprised at how far off you can be when you first get started).

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