Jump to content
2024 US Open WITB Photos ×

Tips to dial in short iron and wedge distances?


Recommended Posts

I've had a heck of a time with respect to distance control on short irons and wedges. I had gotten some new irons and wedges at the end of last year and have had them dialed IN with respect to distances (granted these were dialed in from September to about May). I have lately noted that I have been flying greens seemingly left and right on shorter approach shots. I don't know if this is due to the heat, lies, wind, minor swing changes that have changed my strike, or what. (I play a MP20 blade, so it's not a speedfoam phenomenon...) I have found myself with zero confidence inside about 140 yards about how far I'm going to hit the ball, where previously I was pin high almost every single time. And I'm virtually always long now.

I know there are a lot of new launch monitors out there - is this a thing I should consider? Never wanted to drop the cash on one of those, but if it'll solve this issue it might be worth it. Is that even helpful with range balls on a range that isn't perfectly flat? Give me some tips, WRX... how do you dial it in?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No need to invest in a launch monitor. You my friend need a practice round on the golf course. It worked wonders for my short game as opposed to say hitting shots at the driving range. Head out to your local golf course when the crowds have died down and the course i.e. marshals or ambassadors arent around and play 9 holes. Main goal here is to play multiple balls per hole. I would typically hit a Driver off the tee or whatever I am trying to practice for the hole. When I get to my second shot, typically its inside of 150 or so, I would practice a couple of shots from varying distances. After say hitting my ball in with an 8 iron for example from 150 in, I would walk to 145 and hit a 9 iron and see what my result is based on yardage. If I am long, I would drop another ball and make an adjustment whether hitting a 3 quarter 9 iron or maybe go to a full wedge. Whatever it maybe to make sure I have a game plan at that yardage. So Im finding that Im hitting my 9 iron 145 with the current irons I am playing. Next I would hit a 9 iron shot with my hands at two positions. One at my ear, then hit a shot with my hands right at shoulder level. For me, I have established being able to hit full yardage, 3/4 and a little more than half swing. So with my 9 iron, I can hit anywhere between 145 all the way up to about 125 with my half swing 9 iron that comes at a lower trajectory versus my full swing Pitch wedge. So when I do this on every hole. I play about 3 holes from the fairway. Mind you, Im not sitting there in the middle of the fairway taking my time. Its a quick process that doesnt slow me down or makes me get in the way of players behind me if there are any. Next hole I repeat the same thing. I have 125 yards in, I play my half swing 9 iron to get me a low shot into the green, then I play a full Pitch wedge which gets me 125 yards at a higher trajectory. So same thing, I drop another ball and try to establish my 3 shots from 125 yards in. So every hole, I have a goal in mind. I might have 150 yards in but instead pick up my ball and walk till Im 100 yards in a work on my gap wedge. I typically play two wedges and play my gap from 110 all the way up to about 85 yards which is where my 58 wedge would coesme to into play. When I get inside 100 yards, . I take my 50 degree wedge and again play a 3/4 shot which for me is with my hands at my ears and see what yardage I get. Usually with that I hit about 100 yards. Then I would drop another ball and hit a shot with my hands stopping shoulder high. Sure enough, it lands short of the green at about 90 yards in. So going forward, I established a full 50 for me is 110 yards, hands at my ear is 100 and at shoulder high, it is right at 90 yards. You have to You gotta get out there and establish your yardages from 150 yards in or even 140 yards in. Best thing that will help you in my opinion. Give it a try. Hope that helps.

  • Like 1

Cobra LTD 9* TP6HD
Cobra Big Tour 14.5* TP7HD 

Cobra F6 Baffler 19* Kiyoshi Purple

Wilson Staff Staff Blades 3-PW Recoil I95 stiff 

Wilson PMP 52/56 Raw

Titliest SquareBack LA 135 

Vice Pro+ Lime Green Goodness

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a range near you that has trackman? my local range has trackman range which has been huge for me. I spent some time last week practicing a 9 o clock swing with all my wedges and 9 iron and then looked at my distances. all were really close i hit 5 shots with each club and then deleted the worst one or the abnormal one. Next time i go ill try again with a 3/4 swing say 11 o clock. my pw is perfect 100, 9 iron 110, sw 75 gap 85 etc.


If dont have access to this i would do the same on the course, go to 100 yards and hit 5-6 balls and work out a rough average, then you have a go to shot for that distance,. more you play will gain more knowledge and might need to change distances etc but has helped me alot the last couple of weeks in the past i would even hit my 7 from 130 was conssitent ball flight and would stop pretty quick on the green.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here’s what I do, but I do have access to a foresight. I take each club and hit 20 shots. The shortest 5 are eliminated. I find the AVERAGE for the other 15 and that’s my distance for each club. I expect to hit some shots long and some shots short. The difference between my longest and shortest of the 15 is probably 10ish yards. Keep in mind you’re effectively using a shotgun, not a rifle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Best thing for me was using the private range at our course, which is a bring your own ball range. Bring your gamer balls and a rangefinder/GPS. Hit 10 balls, shag em and get distance readings.

SIM 2 Max 9.0 turned 7.0
TM Sim2 Titaniu, 13.5
TM RBZ 19* hybrid

TM RBZ 22* hybrid
Mizuno JPX 900 HM 5-PW
Vokey SM7 48* F Grind
Vokey SM7 54* F Grind
Vokey SM7 58* M Grind

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The vast majority of golfers above 2-3 handicap that have trouble dialing in wedges, make too big of a swing and try to hit them too far. I see guys with 105 mph driver speed hitting PW from 135-140. Those are my yardages and I’m 120 plus.

The closer you get to 100% with wedges, the harder spin and trajectory control become. Which makes distance control even harder.


  • Like 1

All "tips" are welcome. Instruction not desired. 


The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have noted, you need to figure out your average distance with your scoring irons (8i to LW).
I spent time on both full and 3/4 swings with all of these clubs. Something simple and repeatable. The object is NOT to see how far you can hit that club, but to see how far it does with your default swing.
What you'll probably find (as @llewol007 suggested above) is that you have overlap at some distances. This will give you several options into a given green.
My PW carries 125, but I can also get there with a 3/4 swing of a 9i. My 54* goes 90yds, but so does a 3/4 swing with my 50*.
I've found those 3/4 swings go pretty straight, and since I'm not trying to jump on the ball to get max distance, the carry distance is pretty reliable.
You can start this process on the range, going after different targets. But eventually you'll need to do so on the course with your balls (not range balls) to be sure of the carry distance.
Hope this helps, and good luck!

Titleist TSR3 10*: LA Golf Olyss 65S

Titleist TSi2 16.5*: Aldila Rogue Silver 125 70S

Titleist TSR3 19*:  LA Golf Ozik Black Tie 105S

Titleist TSi2 22*: Aldila Tour Blue 105TX

Grindworks PR-202 6-PW: Nippon Modus3 120X

Edel SMS 48*V / 60*T:  Nippon Modus 125 Wedge 

Grindworks Barrett 52* / 56*: Nippon Modus 125 Wedge 

Scotty Cameron 2014 Select Fastback

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just find a 100 yd flag at your local range and hit entire buckets of 8 irons with the goal of landing on the flag. Work on different trajectories like high soft shots, low punch shots, fades and draws but stay with the 8 iron and maximum distance 100 yds.

It's a really fun and efficient way to practice because you will develop great tempo and contact that applies to every club.

If you stick with it you will probably start playing partial shots with everything up to your 5 or 6 iron and your accuracy and distance control will greatly improve.


For reference I swing driver 118ish and can carry my 40 degree 8 iron 165 yds but I still practice 100 yd 8 iron shots every time I'm at the range.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I became a good wedge player once I made it a rule that I never hit my 50/55/60 w 100% speed/intent. I used a launch monitor to figure out each wedge distance at what feels like knee/waist/chest swings. Especially in a club match when pressure is on, I just refer to my chart when I’m <110 yards for what shot to hit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know, we've all heard the old saying of never say never. Well, NEVER hit your Lob, Sand, or Gap wedge 100%. Rarely do good thing come from it.

If you really want to dial in the 7-iron to Lob wedge, grab your shagger, laser, and something for a target (an old ball cap or your shag bag will work). Go to an old field that's been mowed in the past week and go to work. The first thing to establish is what is a good yardage for you with each club. This means what is your sweet spot swing with each club and find out what that yardage is by setting your target at say 100 yards & hitting 30 balls each with all of your clubs with your most "comfortable" swing and write it down.

Now as Pelz espoused, you have at least 3 swing lengths (7:30, 9:00, & 10:30) and I contend you also have at least 3 swing tempos to go with those (slow, medium, and fast). So there are at least 9 combinations with each club that you can use. Again, hit 30 balls with each clock position and tempo and write it down.

Please understand this doesn't happen overnight and in fact will take time to develop and comprehend. And, you will probably be overwhelmed with information. But the time you take to document your results as specified will honestly tell you what you need to hit and should leave you with nothing more than a 5-7 yard gap from 30 to 140. And you and I both know you'll make that putt more often than you won't.


Put in the work and it will pay you at least X 2.



The answer to better golf is work your butt off and learn how to hit it better, farther, and make more putts.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, gotta connect it on the golf course. I’ve never been one for hitting shot after shot after shot at a flag. It does do wonders to have a couple of options on a shot. I remembered a Graham Mcdowell Video where he always has a high soft shot into the green and a low bump and run shot into the green. That’s why I love practicing on the golf course. Put the time into it and it pays dividends for sure!!!

Cobra LTD 9* TP6HD
Cobra Big Tour 14.5* TP7HD 

Cobra F6 Baffler 19* Kiyoshi Purple

Wilson Staff Staff Blades 3-PW Recoil I95 stiff 

Wilson PMP 52/56 Raw

Titliest SquareBack LA 135 

Vice Pro+ Lime Green Goodness

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read the Pelz clock method, and went to the practice area with the goal to have all 4 swing lengths. I also picked out flag distances and tried to hit those swing lengths those distances. I don't remember when Monty said, "Manipulating your hands is a disaster waiting to happen." But, I agree. Also, I found the "7:30" was too short for me and I began stabbing at the ball. So I changed up my distance dialing program and I believe it has helped for me.

I don't pick a flag, nor do I pick a desired distance. I pick a comfortable "easy" swing, a comfortable 3/4 swing, and then the full swing (which I try to not use with wedges). I will then hit 10 balls with a wedge, ignore the outliers, stand in the middle of the cluster and range find back to my bag. That's my distance. I do have a target in the distance I aim at, but I don't try to hit it there, I just take natural easy swings which I can then replicate on the course... I hope. If I try to manufacture a swing to hit my 3/4 56* 105 yards, then I am not getting a true distance reading, I am getting a 10 swing trial and error to hit it that far.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I've been working on this as well.  My biggest problem is that when I dial back a swing, I end up shanking it and losing confidence.  I have a launch monitor (SC300) and it does help with this but I have a hard time sensing where my hand position is at.  I always feel like I'm at 9:00 but then get wildly varying trajectories and distances on what I FEEL is the same exact swing.  This year, I've really embraced the bump and run approach and it has worked out well for me inside of 40 yards but between 40 and 115 or so, I am really struggling with consistency.  Do these carry yardages seem normal for a 9:00 swing or am I swinging too fast to maintain consistency?  




Edited by Hellstorm
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With short irons where you're taking full swings, you could use a launch monitor to help with that.  I wouldn't doubt if there's a gapping issue with your short irons.  Sometimes the gapping issues can just happen and you may need to tweak your loft (or even the lie angle) to get the gapping issues correct.


But you don't really need to buy a launch monitor.  Just rent one and use the gamer balls (or practice versions) and go from there.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Our picks

    • Tiger Woods - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Tiger Woods - WITB - 2024 US Open
      • 44 replies
    • 2024 US Open - Discussion and Links to Photos
      Please put any questions or comments here
      General Albums
      2024 US Open - Monday #1
      WITB Albums
      Tiger Woods - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Edoardo Molinari - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Logan McAllister - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Bryan Kim - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Richard Mansell - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Jackson Buchanan - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Carter Jenkins - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Parker Bell - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Omar Morales - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Neil Shipley - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Casey Jarvis - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Carson Schaake - WITB - 2024 US Open
      Pullout Albums

      Tiger Woods on the range at Pinehurst on Monday – 2024 U.S. Open
      Newton Motion shaft - 2024 US Open
      Cameron putter covers - 2024 US Open
      New UST Mamiya Linq shaft - 2024 US Open


      • 5 replies
    • Titleist GT drivers - 2024 the Memorial Tournament
      Early in hand photos of the new GT2 models t the truck.  As soon as they show up on the range in player's bags we'll get some better from the top photos and hopefully some comparison photos against the last model.
        • Haha
        • Like
      • 277 replies
    • 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Discussion and Links to Photos
      Please put any questions or comments here
      General Albums
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Monday #1
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #1
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #2
      2024 Charles Schwab Challenge - Tuesday #3
      WITB Albums
      Keith Mitchell - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Rafa Campos - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      R Squared - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Martin Laird - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Paul Haley - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Tyler Duncan - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Min Woo Lee - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Austin Smotherman - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Lee Hodges - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Sami Valimaki - WITB - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Pullout Albums
      Eric Cole's newest custom Cameron putter - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      New Super Stroke Marvel comic themed grips - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Ben Taylor's custom Cameron putter - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Tyler Duncan's Axis 1 putter - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Cameron putters - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Chris Kirk's new Callaway Opus wedges - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      ProTC irons - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Dragon Skin 360 grips - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      Cobra prototype putters - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      SeeMore putters - 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge
      • 0 replies
    • 2024 PGA Championship - Discussion and Links to Photos
      Please put  any questions or comments here
      General Albums
      2024 PGA Championship - Monday #1
      WITB Albums
      Michael Block - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Patrick Reed - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Cam Smith - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Brooks Koepka - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Josh Speight - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Takumi Kanaya - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Kyle Mendoza - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Adrian Meronk - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jordan Smith - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jeremy Wells - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jared Jones - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      John Somers - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Larkin Gross - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Tracy Phillips - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Jon Rahm - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Keita Nakajima - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Kazuma Kobori - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      David Puig - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Ryan Van Velzen - WITB - 2024 PGA Championship
      Pullout Albums
      Ping putter covers - 2024 PGA Championship
      Bettinardi covers - 2024 PGA Championship
      Cameron putter covers - 2024 PGA Championship
      Max Homa - Titleist 2 wood - 2024 PGA Championship
      Scotty Cameron experimental putter shaft by UST - 2024 PGA Championship
      • 13 replies

  • Create New...