VIDEO GOLF INSTRUCTION: Dave Pelz on Hitting Wedge Shots in the Wind

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Short-game guru Dave Pelz plays most of his golf near his home in Austin, Texas.

“The wind can really kick up there,” he says. “I enjoy the challenge of adjusting my club selection and my alignment for it.”

Many golfers probably don’t feel that way. Yet Pelz wants them to have more confidence in windy conditions. In this video, he explains how to hit wedge shots in the wind.

“It’s often overlooked, but wind can play a huge role in how your wedge shots fly,” he says. “Here’s how to minimize its effect on your game.”

How To Hit Wedge Shots: Downwind

“When you’re playing downwind,” Pelz says, “position the ball back in your stance. Close the clubface a little bit … and hit the shot as crisply as you possibly can.

“You’re trying to produce a penetrating shot with a lot of backspin. This will make the ball fly lower to minimize the effect of the wind. But it will still stop short of any trouble behind the green.”

How To Hit Wedge Shots: Into The Wind

“Hit this shot with less loft,” Pelz says. “Use a 50-degree wedge or even go down to a 7-iron and make an easy swing.

“Hitting it easy will produce a lower ball flight and less backspin than normal. Again, we want to minimize the wind effect. You should land the ball well short of the flagstick, or even short of the green, and let it release and roll up to the hole.

“This is a much more predictable way to play than hitting a high-trajectory, high-spinning shot directly at the pin.”

How To Hit Wedge Shots: Crosswind

“What do you do in a crosswind?” Pelz asks. Then he explains two key things most golfers rarely consider.

“In the first half of the shot trajectory, the ball is actually flying against the wind,” he says. “You’ve got to hit more club on any shot with a crosswind than you would with no wind.

“The second half of the trajectory is with the wind. But the wind is not blowing [the ball]toward the target; it’s blowing it to the right or to the left, sideways to the target. The ball will turn with the wind the whole way, including after it hits the ground. It’s that last bounce and roll that often surprises golfers.”

Dave Pelz’s Htting Wedges In The Wind Recap

  • Downwind: Ball back in stance, slightly closed clubface, hit crisply.

  • Into the wind: Less-lofted club, swing easy, land the ball short of target.

  • Crosswind: Use more club, adjust aim to allow for ball moving sideways.

“Take this advice to heart,” Pelz concludes. “And remember, the wind affects all shots, not just the long ones.”

Dave Pelz has coached major champions such as Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Payne Stewart, Lee Janzen and Tom Kite. He is the author of Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible, a national bestseller.

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Neil Sagebiel

Neil Sagebiel is a golf writer and author of two golf books published by St. Martin's Press, THE LONGEST SHOT and DRAW IN THE DUNES. He lives in Floyd, Virginia.
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