By Louis DiToro 2:53 pm PST

How well do you hit your wedges? Mastering these clubs Chops strokes off your scores and takes your golf game to the next level. A good wedge shot can help you dominate even the toughest holes. Why are wedges so critical to pumping up your golf game? Stick a wedge shot from 100 yards and in, and you can turn three golf shots into two.

But shitting pinpoint wedge shot from 100 yards and in is easier said than done. The key is finding a system that can help you cover all the distances that limited area with a limited number of wedges. That’s a challenge.

The three-wedge swing system described blow is among the most popular approaches used by pro and club players. Using this system gives you room for carrying two fairway woods in your bag—a decided advantage if you lack distance from the fairway.

Here are seven keys to the three-wedge system:

  1. Make sure you have the right lofts
  2. Work on three swing lengths
  3. Match your swing lengths on both sides
  4. Keep wrist quiet in the backswing
  5. Keep your chest rotating through the backswing
  6. Focus on maintaining an even tempo
  7. Practice. Practice. Practice.

Many golfers take a full swing with their wedges while also attempting to control the amount of impact of the wedge on the ball, which leads to mishits and other ballstriking errors. If that sounds like you, try the three-swing system explained below:

Start by checking that you have the correct lofts on your wedges. You want three wedges with lofts evenly spaced, such as clubs with lofts of 48 degrees, 52 degrees, and 56 degrees. This combination of clubs eliminates any gaps in lofts that could hurt you from 100 yards and in.

Work on mastering three swing lengths at the range—half swing, three-quarter swing, and full swing. Make sure the swing lengths are the same on both sides of the ball. So, if you use a three-quarter length backswing, use a three-quarter swing on the follow-through.

Golfers call this approach mirroring. It lets you work on your swing tempo and still produce the distances you need without guessing. Below is golf drill that can help you master the three-wedge system:

Go to the range and work on hitting wedge shots at 15-yard intervals. For example, use a pitching wedge (48 degrees of loft) to hit 75 yards (half-swing), 90 yards (three-quarter swing), and 115 yards (full swing). Do this same exercise with your other two wedges.

Note the distances you hit each shot. Use the yardage markers on the range to help you gauge them. Once you’ve ingrained your swing from different distances, you’ll start sticking shots closer and whittling strokes from golf handicap.

Below is another golf drill that teaches you distance control with your wedges.

Wedge Shot Distance Control Golf Drill

This drill helps you develop the feel you need for hitting solid wedges. Plus, it ingrains the ability to control your wedge distances precisely.

  1. Take three lofted clubs to the practice range—a sand wedge, a gap wedge, and a lob wedge.
  2. Grip down a little on the club and adopt a narrow stance. Hit ten full shots using the most lofted club. Make sure the club remains parallel to the ground behind your back. Pace off the average distance these shots go.
  3. Grip down slightly more on the club and take a narrow stance like before. Go back with the club until your arms are parallel to the ground. Hit ten more shots. Pace out the average distance.
  4. Take a relatively short backswing until your hands reach hip level, or the clubhead is level with your head. Then, go down even more on the club and adopt a narrow stance. Hit 10 more shots using this setup. Do the same thing for the other two wedges you have. Pace out the average distance for these shots.

This golf drill teaches you nine wedge distances spaced out somewhat evenly. Memorize these distances or write them down somewhere you can see them on the golf course. Mastering your wedges will take your game to a whole new level.