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Nelly Korda

Top teacher: 2 things that make World No. 1 Nelly Korda’s full-swing wedges so elite

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Andy Lyons

April 24, 2024

There are many parts of Nelly Korda’s game to be impressed by. The 25-year-old became the third LPGA Tour player to win five tournaments in a row when she won the 2024 Chevron Championship. The only other two players to have done it are Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez. So while basically everything Korda does on the golf course is worth copying, this article will focus on just one aspect of her game: Full-swing wedges.

We talked to Dr. Alison Curdt, a Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher in America, about this full wedge Korda hit at the Chevron.

“The key to precise wedge play is not in speed and power, but finesse and tempo. In Nelly’s swing you’ll see a consistent tempo that is smooth and seamless from backswing-transition-downswing-finish,” Curdt explains.

A common mistake amateurs make here is trying to hit their wedge hard, or far. This leads to mishits.

You’ll end up typically sending it shorter due to increased spin,” Curdt says.If you want to hit your wedges more like Korda, Curdt says you need to focus on these three things: Swing with a smooth tempo.

“You may opt to take a lower lofted wedge so you can smooth the rhythm out and swing within ‘time,’” Curdt says.

1. Use a mental metronome

Metronomes are usually found alongside musicians, but they can help golfers, too. Tempo is just as important in a golf swing as it is in a song. Curdt says you can create your own metronome in your head “by saying to yourself back one-two, forward one-two.” First create that tempo in your head, and then swing to it.

2. Stop excessive lateral movement

Extraneous movement leads to inconsistency. It’s hard to move your body in tempo, repeatedly, if you have too much motion. To reduce your movements down to just the necessary, Curdt says to set up with more weight on your lead leg, about 60%.

“This will help manage low point control,” Curdt says.You might not start throwing darts like Korda right away, but follow these three keys and your wedge tempo is going to improve. The results will follow.