When To Shorten Your Swing

By | on February 10, 2023 | 24 Comments | Array


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password


Author Description

Avatar photo

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

24 Responses to “When To Shorten Your Swing”

  1. I’m often caught in between on these shots. I have PW, a 56 sand wedge and a 60 lob wedge. What degrees would a gap wedge be?
    Do you think I still need one?
    Thanks again.

    • David ,It all dépends onhow many wedges you want to carry in YOUR bag :the PW ‘s loft is Usually 47° or 48° :take steps in 4° and you get 48 (PW) ,52( Gap Wedge ,56 -Standard SW – 60 – Lob Wedge .I strongly feel 4 Wedges is too much ( For me ,personally) ,and I carry 48- 52-58.With this set you CAN play any short shot needed .Paul showed in a récent video lesson how to open the clubface by 10° or 20° for the in between shots .

    • David,

      Your Gap wedge would usually be 52 degrees. Need to fill the gap for sure.

  2. July 13, 2015



    This one is great and my golf buddies are noticing how I can dial it in so much better now. Keeping it simple until inside of 60 yards or so is definitely the way to go and the ‘hinge-turn’ drives my confidence on those short shots which I executed a good half dozen or so very well my last round. Keep the reminders coming. 🙂


    • Kim,

      Very good. Your buddies should be asking how he can learn to do it too. They will eventually.

      • July 14, 2015


        I told them all about your site/teaching…they’ll catch on and join in if they are serious…


  3. I really like your pitching technique but help me understand WHY you hinge right away on the full swing pitch technique but that’s not what you teach for your full swing. When to do it and when not to do it. THANKS AGAIN

    • Bruce,

      You are hinging right away because you need some kind of power with a very short backswing. If you didn’t hinge you wouldn’t hit it anywhere.

      Your full pitch is your full swing. I just want you thinking HINGE so you set it the right length in the backswing.

  4. The best way to teach yourself pitching to short distances is to lay down targets on YOUR lawn at home ( If you have one ) for example with pièces OF Cloth ot towels and pitch to them balls and balls again and again .You have to get the ” feel ” and Forget about the swing .If you don’t want to spoil YOUR lawn ,use a golf mat . Do So with différent lies ( there are golf mats with différent grass lengths .if you pitch to three feet ,you’ll make your put in ,if you pitch to 6 feet ,you have only 50% chances to put in .

    • Raymond,

      So you want people to guess and spend hours and hours practicing. This is the whole point of my pitching technique. You do not have to guess and it takes very little practice to be great at it. I have hit more pitch shots in 1 year trying to hit targets than you have hit in your life. My technique would have saved me so many years of having to practice I can count. Every pro I have shown it to is amazed at how well it works. So think technique instead of not thinking technique. This comments is really not helpful.

  5. There’s nothing as effective than practise and feel for the short game : SEVERIANO BALLESTEROS who grew up as a ” poor ” kid in SPANISH GALICIA had only a Few clubs at his disposal ,one OF which was a 3 Iron :hé taught himself to play any short shot with this 3,Iron .I saw him with m’y own eyes getting up an down from avdeep bunker with this 3,Iron

    • Raymond,

      Yes, he was great. He spent years practicing it because he was very inconsistent. The less fairways you hit the better your short game. This is a waste of time. People do not have years to practice. My way gets you great in days/weeks not years.

  6. August 31, 2015


    I don’t disagree with the value of having a gap wedge in your bag, but since you are only allowed 14 clubs and might not want to take out a hy-brid or whatever I was wondering why you couldn’t just swing a FULL pitching wedge at the three different turning speeds to fill in that gap. I can’t figure out what club I could do away with in my bag that wouldn’t create a different gap in my distances.

    • August 31, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      If the number work you can do it that way too.

      My clubs:

      3 wood

  7. September 1, 2015


    I think I will pick up a gap wedge and give it a try. If it goes well I’ll figure out a longer (non scoring) club to take out of the bag. The gap wedge could do more to help my scores.

    • September 1, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      True. I use mine at least twice per round. I am always getting this distance. I may hit 3 iron once in a blue moon.

  8. September 7, 2015


    This is a great tip and reinforces my belief that it is always better to play a full shot where possible. I went through a stage where I was just using a PW for all the shots 130yds and below and swinging shorter, I was all over the place really, it’s impossible to judge without endless practice. I found it also led to many thin shots as I was wanting to look up too soon to see if I had got it right. I now have 4 wedges which I know go 65yds, 90, 110 and 130 with full swings.

    • September 7, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      Very good. I wasted many years practicing the wrong thing. If I can stop people from wasting their time that’s a good thing.

  9. September 13, 2015


    I did get

  10. September 13, 2015


    I did get a gap wedge for my Ping G10’s. Now I have a 50 degree club which fits in perfectly between my 46 PW & my 54 SW. Not only is this working well on full shots, but it has the added benefit of working well for a chipping gap as well. I use the SW for a 1 to 1 ratio & the PW for 1 to 2. The GW works nicely for 1 to 1.5 or for a slightly uphill 1 to 1 chip. Glad I got it . . . THANKS !

  11. April 10, 2017


    Hi Paul,

    I’ve been striking the call pretty well, and basically trying to avoid any shot between 30-70 yards. My confidence crumbles in this range. I’ve been shanking pitches, especially short pitches (30-40). I don’t shake medium pitches (butt to the ground, 50 ish yards) but have to line up 5-7 yards right of target as I’m always left of my setup line.

    So short pitches-shank
    Medium pitches – pull
    Full wedge- on target and pretty consistent yardage with my 54 and 58.

    I’ve been on the range trying to figure out what’s up and trying to hinge – turn. I assume I’m laying the club off or possible tugging it down w my right (bottom) hand.

    Chipping is good-even your chip/pitch move is wirking…but if I try to get any more backswing than just past my knee I shank it.

    Thoughts? Thank you!!! -Craig

    • Avatar photo

      April 11, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Come on … you’ve got this shot.

      So short pitches-shank (You are not standing tall enough) (need to stand tall even on the short ones).

      Medium pitches – pull (hitting with arms shifting weight too soon to left leg) (remember – body tilt affect direction – need to stay behind it more)

      Full wedge- on target and pretty consistent yardage with my 54 and 58. (great) (the shorter swings are shorter variations of this swing)

      Shank. Leaning forward onto your toes. Stand tall. Let me know.

  12. February 10, 2023


    Paul great tip
    Need to know when we fire our lower body
    Are weight on the front should it be on front outer
    Of the heel or the inner of heel also feel like I’m a little thin should I tilt more thx for your time

You must be logged in to post a comment.