How to Hit the Pro Wedge
Growing up in Shreveport, Louisianna, I learned to stay out of the hot sun whenever possible. I used to practise in the shade of a big oak tree just off the driving range at my old home course, Palmetto Country Club, but the tree didn't have any grass growing around it.
If you tried to scoop the ball off the packed dirt, you'd most likely hit a chunk shot. To hit it solidly, you had to keep your hands ahead of the clubhead and your body moving through impact - in other words, you had to 'pinch' the ball off the turf.
That's how I developed a punch-style wedge shot that I call the 'skipper'. It's a low-flying shot that usually bounces a couple of times on the green and stops dead. Now, on the PGA Tour, I rarely get a dirt lie, but I still look for opportunities to hit my skipper. It's the easiest way I know to make solid contact and control distance with my wedges.
If you're like most amateurs, you try to pitch the ball high, hoping you guess right on the distance. Instead, try my skipper from 30 to 100 yards. It stays under the wind, bores at the flag, takes two hops and pulls up next to the hole...