Controlling distance with wedges can be a difficult and confusing task without a system for adjusting to different yardages. Most golfers just get the yardage and try to feel it out instinctively. This may work sometimes but most likely will not be a way to consistently control the distance that wedge shots carry. Let’s look at a system that has been in use by top players for many years now – the Clock System.
The idea of the clock system is that the lead arm is the hand of the clock and that by controlling how far back the arm swings, you will be able to control the speed of the club through impact. We are assuming that the wrists will hinge at a constant rate, i.e. the farther back the arm swings the more the wrists will hinge. This would mean that at 9 O’clock, the lead arm is parallel to the ground and the club is vertical creating a 90 degree angle between the arm and club. By having different reference points such as 8, 9, or 10 O’clock and going through the different length swings with all of your wedges, you can create a system that will hold up better under pressure.
Practicing this system with feedback on how far each shot carries is also a vital part of creating the system. That feedback can come from a simulator indoors or out, or by practicing with a partner outside who can tell you how far the ball is carrying. Start off by attempting to master five yard increments such as 40, 45, 50 etc. Eventually, you can work your way down to smaller increments and see if you can feel the difference between 2 or 3 yards. Lots of strokes can be shaved off your score by mastering this simple system.