How to Stop Thinning Wedges

Short Game Nightmare: How to Stop Thinning Wedges

Are you ready to learn how to stop thinning wedges? If so, you’re in the right place.

Let’s face it, hitting thin wedges (aka, skulled shots) is incredibly frustrating. There’s nothing worse than bombing a drive and thinking you’ll hit a good wedge for a solid look at birdie. Only to thin it over the green and sometimes in big trouble.

Thin wedge shots can happen around the green too, which are equally frustrating. So if you’re tired of blading wedges inside 100 yards, we’ll help address this issue fast with five proven fixes. Plus, help you with shots around the green and answer the most common questions about these issues. 

How to Stop Thinning Wedges 

To hit the golf ball properly, it’s important to remember that the loft is your friend. 

The loft of a golf club will get the ball airborne, you do not need to help it! Too many golfers try to “lift” the ball, which actually is one of the major causes of thin shots.

Wedges have between 45–64 degrees of loft, depending on the type of wedge. Don’t feel like you need to help it up, let the club do its job! 

Key Takeaways

  • Thin shots occur from hitting up on the golf ball, whether you’re hitting full shots or chip shots around the greens. 
  • To fix this ball striking issue you want to address your setup, specifically ball position, as it might be too far ahead.
  • Your alignment and wrists could also be to blame and we’ll provide some easy fixes below. 
  • If you’re thinning chip shots, you’ll want to check ball position and weight distribution.  

Keep reading to overcome this frustrating shot and start playing better golf fast.

Ball Position

Before changing your swing, the first thing to always look at is your ball position. If you’re hitting pop up drives, pushes, pulls, fat, or thin shots, ball position might be to blame. 

Ball Position Golf

When it comes to hitting thin shots, you need to remember why this happens – you’re hitting up on the golf ball. An upward angle of attack might be caused from a ball position that is too far ahead in your stance. Instead of hitting down on it with forward shaft lean, you’re hitting up on the top half of the ball.

With full shot wedges, the ideal ball position is in the middle of your stance. 

Stance and Weight Distribution 

If your ball position is good, you also should check your stance width.

One of the most common issues is having too narrow of a stance. This can make it hard to transfer your weight properly and lead to hitting up on the golf shot.

You’ll want a narrower stance than irons or woods but make sure it’s still a solid base. The ideal stance with wedges is just inside your shoulders. You also want more weight (55 to 60%) on your lead leg to encourage a downward strike on the golf ball. 

Improve Alignment 

The third thing to look at before you ever swing the golf club is your alignment. This includes your feet, hips, and shoulders. 

If your lines are crossed, this can lead to a lot of complications and compensations in the downswing. For example, when I used to hit a lot of thin shots, my feet were right and my shoulders were left. This led to a steep downswing with an open clubface that made it hard to achieve forward shaft lean at impact. 

Make sure you’re aimed properly at your target. During practice, record your swing to make sure your lines are all correct toward your target. 

Weight Transfer Golf Falling Back

Transfer Your Weight Properly 

Once you’ve addressed the big three of your setup position, let’s focus on what’s happening during your swing. Specifically, how you transfer your weight in your backswing and downswing. 

If you’re hitting thin shots, your weight is typically on your back foot at impact (in most cases). This leads to changing your bottom point and hitting up on the golf ball vs. a downward strike. 

Try out a training aid like the WhyGolf Pressure Plate to learn the proper move. This device is great for full swing shots and can help with short game shots too. It makes it simple and easy to finally learn how to transfer your weight properly. 

Improve Wrist Hinge 

The final thing to consider in your swing is your wrist hinge during the swing. If you’re hitting thin wedges, you might hinge at the wrong time or not have enough. 

When I got a lesson from a top instructor, he mentioned that you want to feel like the left hand (lead hand) is turning down in the middle of your swing. This will help get the club face pointing at the sky at the top of your swing, which makes it easier to create lag, shallow, and clear your hips.

We used the Hanger training aid to feel the proper wrist hinge and it made a big difference in ball striking. This easy to use device gets your hands hinging properly and you can hit balls while using it. Or, you can use it at home during the offseason to train the proper wrist hinge as well. 

You also want to avoid hinging the wrists too quickly, like you do with a chip shot. This can lead to hitting it fat and thin. 

Thinning Wedges Around the Greens 

Hopefully the above fixes will help with your full swing wedges. But it’s common for golfers to hit thin shots around the greens, too. 

Addressing ball position and weight distribution are key to success. If you’re still having issues, try out these simple fixes. Also, don’t forget to read our guide to fixing the chipping yips here

Understand Short Game Tempo 

Did you know that your short game tempo should be different from your full swing tempo? 

In the book, Tour Tempo, the author found that all great players have a 3:1 tempo for their full swing. This means their backswing takes three times as long as their downswing. 

Golf Short Game Tempo

After the successful release of the book he realized that short game (chipping, pitching, bunkers) have a different tempo. In the followup, Tour Tempo 2, he found that short game shots (anything inside 60 yards) have a faster, 2:1 tempo.

Sometimes golfers thin shots because of a timing issue. Try to speed up your backswing for a faster swing and hopefully better contact. Don’t forget to check out the Tour Tempo app as well. 

Learn more about short game tempo here

Use the Right Wedges 

Another common reason you might thin shots around the green is from playing the wrong wedges. When your wedges don’t match your swing type and playing conditions, this can lead to some strike issues.

If you play firm conditions and/or have a “sweeper” swing, less bounce is best. If you play soft conditions and have a “digger” swing, you’ll need more bounce. Plus, it’s always good to have a mid-bounce wedge for maximum versatility in all playing situations. 

Think Soft

You want soft hands, soft grip, and soft arms for short game shots. Tension will make it hard to have the right tempo and lead to an “armsy” swing.

When you remove excess tension, it’s easier to make a proper body rotation. With full wedges and even short shots, you do need to rotate your body. It’s not as full as an iron, hybrid or wood, but you need some rotation to keep your upper body connected through the shot. 

This YouTube video from Aussie Golf Pros shows this perfectly. In the video he demonstrates how to accelerate on these shots, the proper setup, and the best ways to execute them consistently. 

FAQs About Wedges 

Do you have more questions about hitting wedges more consistently? If so, keep reading through the most frequently asked questions and answers now. 

Why do I always thin my wedges? Why am I blading my wedges?

Thinning wedges usually happen from the wrong ball position. You don’t need to play the ball up in your stance to get the ball airborne. The loft of the wedge will do that for you!

Start by making sure the ball position is in the middle of your stance for full shots. With chip shots, experiment with a middle-back position. Try to keep more weight on your leg for a downward strike as well. 

Skulled Golf Shot

How do you prevent thin shots?

If you’re hitting thin shots with full distances and/or around the greens, check your weight distribution. It’s common for golfers to leave their weight on the back leg, which doesn’t allow a downward strike on the ball. 

How do I keep golf chips from thinning?

Play the ball more in the middle-back of your stance when hitting chip shots. Also, make sure you have a little forward press with the shaft and the majority of your weight on your lead foot. This will help promote a descending blow and better contact (aka, no more skulls over the green). 

My Experience

If you’re hitting thin shots with full wedges or around the green, trust me, I can relate. But with the proper adjustments – mainly to your setup – you can hit it pure and have confidence around the greens. 

Having the right mindset is key, but you need the right technique too. Spend a majority of your practice time with wedges and inside 125 yards to see a big improvement in scoring potential. 

Final Thoughts  

Make these changes fast so you can start hitting wedges better than ever. When you have the right technique and a good pre-shot routine, you will become unstoppable.

Don’t let a few bad shots get you down, stick with it and you’ll fix the issue in no time. If you need more help, it might be time to work with a golf instructor for some extra assistance.

Picture of Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard

Michael is an avid golfer of 25 years who played in high school, college, and now competes in Arizona amateur events. He is a full-time writer, podcast host of Wicked Smart Golf, and mental golf coach.