InstructionJune 3, 2011

Saturday Morning Tip: How Harmon handles the hated half-wedge

In the July issue of Golf Digest (on sale June 7, with Adam Scott on the cover), Butch Harmon, ranked No. 1 among America's 50 Best Teachers, shows you how to play one of the most dreaded shots in golf: the partial-wedge. Of course, it's best to not leave yourself in less-than-full wedge distance. But inevitably, you'll have a half-wedge or two sometime during your round. Here are Butch's three keys for hitting them close. You can follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.

*Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest*

1. Limit your backswing

From 50 or 60 yards, many amateurs make a big backswing and then have to ease off. They blade it or chunk it because they've taken the flow out of the swing. You want to be in a position at the top where you can make a firm swing at the ball--and not have to baby it. Take it back so your hands are no more than chest high.

2. Kick in your right knee

For solid contact, shift to your left side, and turn your body through; don't just swing your arms down. Try this trigger: Kick your right knee toward the target as you start down. This will transfer your weight and get your body turning forward.

3. Keep up the speed

Fight off the urge to steer or guide the club through impact. By keeping the backswing short, you've set it up so you can make an aggressive move through the ball. Feel as if your hands and arms "collect" your body on the downswing, and everything moves through the shot together.

More from The Loop