Todd Sones: Stick Those In-Between Wedge Shots

Scott Piercy has two Top 10s to start the year in large part because of his wedge play.
Scott Piercy has two Top 10s to start the year partly because of his wedge play.

If you like to use your range finder to measure shots inside 100 yards, why not use it when you’re inside 50 yards?

Golf Channel Academy Lead Coach Todd Sones is a Golf Digest Top 50 and Golf Magazine Top 100 Instructor who also serves on the Golf Academy of America’s National Advisory Board. He’s always taking his short game school students out onto the course and testing them with shots around the green.

In this video, Todd shows you how to nail down those in-between yardages with your wedges. I’ve attempted to recap it because the video will only be up for about a week. Of course, you can always gain access to this tip and others simply by becoming an Impact Golf Member at

Todd says the mini-wedge shot is probably the most misjudged shot on the golf course when he watches people play it. The problem is that it’s close to the green, but if the pin’s far away (tucked toward the back of the green), people misjudge the distance because they feel like it’s a greenside shot.

If you use your range finder and shoot the actual distance to the hole, it’s a lot longer than it looks. A lot of people wouldn’t know that by just looking at it. A lot of times, they’ll hit it like it’s 20 or 30 yards, and they end up woefully short.

You have to know your exact distances if you’re going to get close to the hole. Either walk the shot off, which a lot of people won’t take the time to do, or have a range finder and shoot the exact distance so that you know. That information tells your brain that you’ve got to make sure the golf club goes back a little bit farther. If you hit your sand wedge 90 yards for instance, and you’ve got a 45-yard shot, it’s going to take almost a half swing to get it back to the hole.

Most people leave themselves short on a shot like this and end up with a 20 or 30-foot putt. Know your exact distances, use a range finder to figure it out, and you’re going to score a lot better around the green:


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