Titleist Tips: A Simple Wedge Shot to Escape Greenside Jail

In golf, playing away from danger is often the best course of action. But we've all been there, despite our best-laid plans – short-sided, tough lie, trouble short, trouble long, no margin for error. Some of us will take our medicine, get back into play and hope for no worse than bogey. Others will roll the dice and go for the hero shot, laying a lob wedge wide open, closing our eyes and swinging with all our might. The results in either case are almost always discouraging.

What if we told you, though, that there's an easier, higher percentage play that will invariably save you strokes when you find yourself in trouble areas around the green? Well, you're in luck, because Titleist staff member John Kostis has a solution - a simple visual aid that will help you set up correctly and use the bounce of your wedge properly – the big keys to hitting a high, soft pitch from tricky lies.

Give John's tip a try, especially if you're playing on courses with dormant bermuda this winter. And let us know if his image of keeping the butt of the club connected to your belt buckle turns out to be your “Get out of Jail Free” card the next time you find yourself on the wrong side of a tricky hole location.

A High, Soft Pitch to Escape a Tough, Short-Sided Lie

  • Address the ball with the shaft of your wedge neutral – 90° to the ground.
  • Grip the club with your club face a little bit open.
  • Position the ball in the middle of your stance.
  • For your visual cue, pretend that the butt of the golf club is stuck to your belt buckle.
  • Use your legs and turn your belt buckle back and through, keeping the bounce of the wedge under the club at all times. (The key for gliding through this type of lie is to use the bounce – if you get the shaft leaning forward, the leading edge of the club will dig in soft lies like dormant bermuda rough and your club will get stuck dead in its tracks.)
  • Use your hands to hinge the club just a little bit.
  • Un-turn and un-hinge as you swing down.
  • Feel like the club head drops and releases a little through the ball and allow your body to keep turning forward to support the club face. The result will be a high, soft pitch that allows you to escape a very difficult situation.


Thanks very much for the escape plan, John!

For more information about John and the instructional programs he offers at Grayhawk Golf Club, please visit the Peter Kostis Golf Academy. And for more great tips, make sure to check out JohnKostisGolf.com.

Team Titleist