Assess the Lie

How does the ball sit?

Buried? Perched? Nestled?

The lie determines what part of the wedge is integral to use during impact. It also dictates the hand action needed to pull off the shot.

Buried lies demand skillful use of the leading edge. It is important to get the club digging into the ground to best extract the golf ball from the buried lie. Similar to hitting an explosion shot from a hard packed bunker—use the leading edge to dig. Feel the handle hinging on the way back but unreleased as you get to the impact spot just short of the ball (hinge and hold or chunk and run kind of feeling). Feel the leading edge dig. A bit of shaft lean at address helps sharpen the leading edge for digging purposes when returned properly at impact.

Perched lies are tricky because the wedge can go right under the golf ball if the player fails to recognize this unique lie. Firm wrists and a chipping stroke often allow players to advance the perched lie with a descending blow. Ball first contact is key! Ball should roll up face and this will provide a less than flush feeling.
If club hits ground first it will go lower and the face may travel under the ball causing a whiff!

Nestled lies often allow the player to use the sole plate (bounce angle feature) of the wedge to move under the ball. Player will feel the head of the club sliding past the handle as it enters the rough and slides through the grass getting the ball up and out. this is similar to the feeling of a sand shot from a fluffy bunker. Player should feel a hinge on the backswing and an unhinge on the downswing to promote the release of the backswing angle. Really get the head of the club to feel like it passes the handle. A neutral (or even negative) handle position at set up will accentuate the amount of bounce on the club and promote this head sliding action.