If there is a blindspot that most amateur golfers have when hitting the practice area, it is the mid-range shot from 70 to 120 yards when entering a green.
Most don’t consider how crucial the wedge or high-iron into a green is on the final score.
A well struck median shot can set up the amateur for the rare birdie or create a high percentage opportunity for the two-putt par, yet most spend very little time working on their accuracy and distance with the clubs needed to execute this shot.
The shot we are specifically trying to target exists between 70-120 yards. For most golfers that means anywhere from a lob, sand or pitching wedge.
The goal of this specific practice is gaining a sense of confidence in the club needed for the distance ahead, but also overcoming any obstacles you may face around the green.
When Would You Use the 70-120 Yard Wedge Shot?
For example, you could have an 80-yard entry shot into the green. But this shot becomes difficult because you see a bunker guarding the green and the pin is close to the bunker, leaving little room to land the ball.
Now, you may feel most comfortable from 80 yards with your sand wedge. But after practicing on the range with your lob wedge you know a full swing with the club gives you 80 yards of distance.
To clear the bunker protecting the flag in front of you, the full lob is necessary to give you the loft needed to land softly and potentially get a birdie.
Now, when working on wedge distance it is important to realize that you are focused solely on the distance the golf ball carries. This is not a bump-and-run shot you are working on.
The 70-120 yard wedge shot needs to be anywhere from a half-swing to a full swing depending upon the club selected. And this is where you need to pay attention.
Golf Short Game Drill to Master the 70-120 Yard Shot
The drill is simple.
Find an area on the range where you can freely walk out and put markers, such as upside-down range buckets, at the yardages you are looking to improve upon.
Start with one at 70, another at 85, one at 100 and the final one should fall in the 115-120 yard range. These are suggestions, feel free to mix and match accordingly based on your desired level.
Start out by taking the lob wedge and hitting five shots at the 70-yard bucket. Remember you are trying to carry the ball to the marker.
Don’t worry about what happens after it lands.
If your club has freshly sharpened grooves and remains clean throughout your round, then the spin will take care of itself.
What is vital, however, is noting how far in your backswing you take the club to consistently get the yardage you desire.
Are you taking the club back to shoulder height? Is it shorter or, perhaps, even a full backswing?
Make note of where your club takes you to achieve the distance.
And as always, make a solid follow through to encourage club speed through the golf ball.
After you work the lob wedge, use the sand and pitching wedge at the same distance marker. Note the loft and speed of the ball as it comes off the club face.
With shorter yardage you will undoubtedly drift toward the higher-lofted clubs, but for deeper greens where you may feel more comfortable giving the ball a bit of run, then it’s wise to work with clubs like the pitching wedge.
As you can probably guess, after you feel comfortable with the 70-yard mark, move on to the 85, 100, and 120-yard areas accordingly.
This simple drill, although seemingly obvious, is usually overlooked by the weekend warrior when spending time on the range.
By gaining faith in different clubs at different distances, you assure that your scores will improve with each appearance at your local club.