Developing good distance control with wedges can be a very useful weapon on the golf course. Whether it’s saving par after an errant shot or trying to knock it close for birdie on a par 5, being able to control the distance of your wedge shots of all length swings is essential. Let’s look at a proven system to do just that.
The clock system has been around for decades and utilized by some of the best players in the history of the game including Tom Kite, Nick Faldo, and Rory McIlroy. The clock system simply means regulating the length of your swing by picturing a clock and controlling the swing of the lead arm back and through. For example, lead arm parallel to the ground back and through is a 9 O’clock (See Photo above) to 3 O’clock swing. With wrist hinge this will look roughly like a 90 degree angle between the club and lead arm at each end of the swing. This is a great reference point from which to work when hitting different wedges different lengths. In addition, having the shorter 8 o’clock position which is somewhere around club parallel to the ground can also be useful. The 10 o’clock position would be more like a three quarters swing.
Take time to practice these different lengths swings with different wedges and become more familiar with your distances. Setting out targets at different lengths to see how far the ball carries will help you to associate the length of swing with the carry distance. Record your numbers and take the system to the course.