Articles, Blog


September 8, 2019

– Well hello, Adam Bazalgette
here in Naples, Florida. I’m two-time PGA Teacher
of the Year award winner and founder of Scratch Golf Academy. Today’s subject, how to hit
half wedge shots in golf. Stay tuned. (intense music) So how to hit half wedge shots. What’s the definition
of a half wedge shot? We’ll get into that, club selections and things in your technique, etc. If you like the video, please subscribe to the channel, would love to get you more
free content coming your way on this YouTube channel
and is my home website. we have full courses in every aspect of the game there and I’d love you to go check that out. Okay, let’s get started. So half wedges, how would
you define a half wedge? Well, here’s some of my definitions. First off, I would not
use a pitching wedge. Today’s pitching wedges
have about the loft of a nine iron 30 years ago. Just not gonna have enough loft and spin, unless the conditions are
unusual to really do the job. So I like a 58, you
might like a 56 or a 60, but something in that neighborhood. Pick that and sort of stick with it for the sake of the shot
we’re talking about. Need a little bit of height
and spin as you go in there. And for me the simplest definition, within 20 yards of the green, let’s say, to me is kind of a greenside pitch. I can hit this on a full
shot about 90 yards, maybe 95 if I get lucky there. So I’ve kind of got that gap, and 55 yards is about right in the middle of my 20 to 90 yard gap. So I worked on the shot a little bit, and I find for myself if
I can take my hands back between belt and chest
height, somewhere in here, with some wrist cock and something approximately equal on the front end. For me that’s gonna go about 55 yards. Let me pop one out here. (club makes impacts with ball) Yup, that’s a pretty decent shot. I’ll show you a couple of shots from this angle here in just a moment, so that gives me a really nice benchmark. We’ll talk about this a
little bit later in the video, but it gives me a gap that’s pretty equal between full and greenside shot. Now, a couple of words of caution here, these are very important. nless you’re hitting the ball solidly, unless you have pretty
consistent trajectory, even if you have the same length swing you’re not gonna have
that good of a result. So very, very important,
we don’t wanna make this per se a swing lesson, this is more about
gapping and half wedges, but when you go through impact, the handle has to be
ahead of the clubhead. Club shaft has to be leaning a little bit. You don’t wanna get it like this, but you’ve gotta tilt the
sweet spot onto the ball and drive the ball a little bit. That helps you with contact, and secondly you’ve gotta hit
it at a consistent trajectory. There’s so many golfers come in here and their hands are active at the bottom. Even if they do hit it solidly, and that’s challenging
when the club’s unstable. Sometimes you’re hitting it with a lot more effective
loft than other times. Your distances just
aren’t gonna be that good. If you go to a PGA tour event, watch the guys warming up. The first five minutes usually they’ll grab a sand wedge or something, and just hit some little
three quarter shots. You see how consistent that trajectory is on those shots, its amazing. So that’s a benchmark for
you when you’re practicing. Are they coming off at
about the same height? And of course one of the keys to that is, as you go through, if your
hands are gonna be less active, your body’s gotta be pretty dynamic. So I feel my core and my trunk
really working at the bottom. I feel my wrists and arms
nice and stable and firm. It gives me a certain
stability in the golf club that helps me regulate trajectory, and it’s a critical ingredient. Let’s have a look from this angle. So here we are at 55 yards,
I’ll try a little shot here, see if I can dial in that yardage. (club makes impacts with ball) Just pulled it just a smidge, but took a kind of a hard bounce, but that’s right in the
neighborhood of 55 yards again. And to be honest with you, as little as I play these days relative to when I was a junior, it is great to have a
benchmark yardage like that. Now, two little thoughts that
you might through in there, ’cause there’s always room for
some personal interpretation, and that is you might decide
to take a slightly open stance, just a little bit aimed left of target for the right-hander. This does a couple of
things that you might like. Number one, a little bit of an open stance will shorten your backswing slightly. It adds resistance in your lower body, and makes it shorter. And of course, number two, it’s a little easier to turn through. So some people really like that, and they find this helpful for them. If 55 yards is kind of a yardage for you, you might experiment a
little bit with that, and as I say, It’s open to
personal interpretation. Another thing that some
players like to do, and it helps them out a little bit is choke down on the club some. I’m not recommending way down
to the bottom of the handle when we’re hitting it this far, maybe up around the green. But choking down on the club will take off a little bit of distance, and you might like the feel, you might like the added
control it gives you there. You just have to factor
it into your recipe. So, if choke down’s in the mix, it may mean a slightly longer swing, so just experiment with
these couple of variables. The alignment of your stance,
and how far down you choke. I like to choke down a fraction. My stance stays fairly
square on the these shots. Let me try one more. Maybe just the barest tiny bit open. (club makes impacts with ball) I hit that just a little
hard, I could tell. Yup, I hit that probably
25, 30 feet past the hole. So, I’m used to this shot enough now, just a little panicky coming down, and jammed it a bit, that I have a good feel
for my own distance. So some concluding thoughts here. When you put a set of clubs together, if you’re doing it properly, you’re trying to get equal
gaps in your yardage. You don’t want your 5 or 6 iron, your longest iron going say 160, and then the next wood you have going 200, that’s too big a gap. And it’s the same when you
start to hit your wedges. A lot of people say I’m
gonna hit a half wedge, but it’s actually 80% of a full wedge. Get a gap, because,
listen, if I can hit it 55, I know how to hit it 90 on a full shot, 20 is my greenside. I can start to find those
middle gaps a little bit. I have a benchmark, and
I can adjust from that. Now Dave Pelz, pretty
sure it was Dave Pelz was the one that came of with it. He came up with system of
multi swings on a clockface, sort of shaft parallel, arm
parallel, shoulder high etc. And then you can even
add to that multi wedges, and all of a sudden you get
all these different benchmarks. If you like to practice
a lot and you’re wired up that way that might be a good system. At least though, If you’re a
pretty enthusiastic practice, maybe get two benchmarks. Maybe have your 90, maybe your sort of 60, your 40, and your 20,
or something like that. And you just have to learn
how to hit those shots. And again in terms of set makeup, you might wanna have 2
or 3 different wedges, but let me just say this to you. If your a guy or gal that
hits a lot of long drives, gets a lot of sort of 40 to
90 yard type shots into green, that could be great for you. If you’re not such a long hitter, and you might hit a lot of fairway woods, but probably when you get 80 or 90 yards it’s not really a wedge, it
might be a 8 or a 9 iron. So if you’re a short hitter, maybe concentrate your set makeup on some really effective
fairway woods, and hybrids. So I hope these thoughts help, and with a little bit of practice you’ll have that consistent trajectory, you’ll have a benchmark,
you’ll have some gaps, and you get those balls close to the hole. So if that helps you with how to hit half wedge shots in golf, or at least if it gives you some ideas about how to benchmark it etc. There’s a lot more to it than that. You could go to, my home website, we have full courses in every aspect of the game, and really break the technique down there. And of course this YouTube
channel has a lotta content, I would love to have
you subscribe to that. Thanks so much.


  • Reply Ljmrules TNT April 12, 2017 at 6:01 am


  • Reply Carlos Melville April 12, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Thank you Adam, great video, such a beautiful golf course, immaculate,

  • Reply Jack Simpson April 12, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Short Game lets me down massively most important part of the game

  • Reply James Tepedino April 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    how many wedges do you recommend exclusive of the PW. i have a 56, 60 (lob) and a 64, is that too much?

  • Reply Robert Dickson April 12, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    Great content again Adam. Top notch tuition. Thanks.

  • Reply Philip Martin April 13, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Are you from the uk???

  • Reply Ant April 15, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Great video. I'm wasting too many good drives at the moment, either to heavy or thinning the second shot. Any advice?

  • Reply Rocky Lincoln April 18, 2017 at 4:51 am

    Another great video Adam, excellent instruction, plus short and to the point!!!

  • Reply Steve Pedroza April 18, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Good Vedio Adam I'm 78 yrs old and I hit my irons say 6,7,8,9, 10 to 15 yards difference, should I be able to get more?? if so what can I do to get more distance? Steve

  • Reply Daron Lapping April 23, 2017 at 8:15 am

    great video sir. Thank you for uploading.

  • Reply mansoor bajwa May 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    You are my new mentor, as following you I am learning a lot. Thanks for such simple instructions.

  • Reply Leon Meleisea May 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Fantastic videos!

  • Reply Linda Hicks May 22, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Why do I "shank" so often on my half wedge shots Bob

  • Reply lovetogolf June 8, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    Awesome Adam, I'm at this yardage all the time, it's nice to be close to the green but the wedge has to perform..:)

  • Reply David Marks June 13, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I like the idea of the clock face to control distance. I am using club speed, but its tricky to control well.

  • Reply Jose Flores June 25, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    I love your content Adam! You do a GREAT job explaining the technique. You are one of the most sound teachers.

  • Reply Prykiel Ziggy July 28, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    very good

  • Reply Prykiel Ziggy August 9, 2017 at 4:17 am

    very good ta

  • Reply M Busch August 29, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Great stuff. Nice concise presentation. Thanks!!!

  • Reply Adewale Adekoya September 18, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Very great video Adams. I love the way you break down all the technicalities on the use of wedges. Great job.
    Babatunde Adekoya.

  • Reply R Bann October 3, 2017 at 1:06 am

    I use the same swing with 7i for 138-145yds low flight with lots of bite…

  • Reply Brian Pope December 18, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    AKA Bazelgettem'! My boy!

  • Reply Tony February 22, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    All I can say that you are an awesome teacher.

  • Reply Scratch Golf Academy April 26, 2018 at 3:37 am

    ⛳ Grab your "Short Game Secrets" course here:

  • Reply Sean Go June 30, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Just found your videos……subbed.

  • Reply Roy Newman August 31, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Great video!!! Im a long ball hitter. An i always used a duel wedge from 120yds on in to the green. Just broke that wedge an bought a 52degree gap wedge today an cant wait to try it.

  • Reply e james November 23, 2018 at 12:18 am

    I have three shots with my ping stealth 2 lob wedge around the greens. All three of them with the same grip and stance AND SAME BACKSWING. Nothing changes except hand position. For the low gripper ,I simply press the hands forward and keep them low following through. The standard lob shot has the hands neutral, which is slightly forward with the ping brand and finishes medium height. And the high shot all I do is bring the hands slightly back at address and release the right hand under the ball. But the point is….the grip ,stance and backswing are all the same . That simplicity helps me pull these shots off at will, whenever they come up.

  • Reply Salvatore San juan December 22, 2018 at 12:21 am

    great video Adam! I actually started using half wedges into the greens for distances like 95 (half G) to 120 (half 9) yards. My full G flies about 115 – but I feel contact is more assured with what I call my "9 o'clock" swing. My only problem is although contact is easier – I find there are days that I tend to pull the ball to the left. Would you have any idea why this is so? Thanks!

  • Reply Chris Hoebich January 16, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    This man has got to be one of the world's finest golf teachers alive. Outstanding instructional video on the half pitch. Like the fact that, even though he overshot the green on one shot, he didn't try to hide that fact — for golf is not a game of perfect.

  • Reply Leland Hopkins May 15, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    I bought a Swing Caddie 200..I use to get the distance I'm hitting that day..I use the clock method..From my 60* to 6 Iron, I do full swing 10 to 2, then half swing, 9 to 3, 9 to 2….I write these distance down in my made up yardage book I carry in my back pocket…so if its windy, or I'm just playing around, I'll hit half shots to flight the ball down,….. Just keeping it fun……. Leland

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