Approach Shots

Why you don't have to fear the 50-yard wedge shot

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If you're anything like the majority of golfers, those 50-yard, half-wedge shots into the green are usually anxiety inducing. But they don't have to be.

Jeff Ritter, a swing coach and founder of Make The Turn, says a good approach to these shots is to take some practice swings that brush the grass on the target-side of the ball. You want to hit the ball with a shallow cut, making a minimal divot. Taking a few practice swings that focus on brushing the grass towards the front of the ball will help ensure that you won't chunk this shot.

When you're ready to play the shot, be sure to put the ball in the middle of your stance at address and put your weight a little forward.

A common mistake many golfers make in the actual hitting of this shot is taking it back far and having a short follow through. Actually, you want to do the opposite: take it back short and have a long follow through. This will help you make better contact and keep that nasty thin shot at bay.