By Paul Myers

For many amateur golfers, the lob wedge is an intimidating club. Sure, it is capable of hitting a wide range of useful shots, but it can also lead to some embarrassing mistakes. Anyone who has ever slid their lob wedge right under the ball – and whiffed the shot completely – knows what can happen when a mistake is made with a 58* or 60* club. However, you can’t afford to just run the other way from your lob wedge because it does offer a number of advantages such as getting the ball over obstacles and stopping it quickly on the green. Learn to love your lob wedge and you will find yourself saving par from around the greens more frequently than ever before.

To get the most out of your lob wedge, consider the three keys below.

Key #1 – Read the Lie

The lie of the ball is the most important factor to consider when planning your lob wedge shot. Since the club has so much loft, you can go right under the ball if it is sitting up high in the grass. Many golfers think that a ball sitting up on the grass is a good thing – but it is actually a big problem when trying to use a lob wedge. As you get ready to hit your shot, take a close look at the lie and decide how close the ball is to the ground. If the ball is off the ground more than an inch or so, use a less-lofted club to play the shot.

Key #2 – Accelerate Through Impact

It is important to keep the lob wedge moving aggressively through impact in order to hit a quality shot. If you are somewhat afraid of using your lob wedge, you might find that you slow the club down through the hitting area in order to protect against a bad shot. Of course, this is not a good idea, and your lob wedge will never live up to its potential with this kind of tentative swing. Once you put the lob wedge in your hands, you need to be fully committed to the shot. To get rid of your doubts, hit plenty of lob wedge shots around the practice area to develop a good feel for the club.

Key #3 – Down Through the Ball

Another major problem that many golfers face with the lob wedge is hitting up on the ball instead of down. As you look at the wedge sitting behind the ball, it might not look like you could hit down through the shot and get good results. However, it is crucial that you do just that – hit down through your lob wedge just like you would any other iron shot. When you do this successfully, you will put plenty of backspin on the ball and the shot will float high into the air. It may take some practice to get comfortable hitting down on your lob wedge, but that practice will be time well spent.

Professional golfers rely on their lob wedges for a great number of shots all around the course, and you should learn to do the same. Trust your swing and don’t let the high loft of the club intimidate you. With some practice and plenty of confidence, your lob wedge can get you out of all sorts of trouble on the golf course.