As golfers it would be fair to say that most of us at one time or another has experienced the pain of dropped shots because of a poor short game , this article gives some good tips on how to improve that part of your game, if you can do it successfully just watch your handicap drop.
By Steven Katz
Unless you have a laser sighted pitching wedge you will probably be like many other golfers and wonder why you are not getting as close to the pin as you would like as often as you would like.
This comes from the decision to pitch the ball onto the green or if you should choose to chip and run the ball.
A common misconception by many golfers who are starting out is that they should use the pitching wedge where ever they get the opportunity around the green. NO! I remember when Iworked out that using an 8 iron around the green and getting the ball on the ground fastercould mean that I control the final destination of the ball on the green.
Phil Mickelson explains techniques to chip from the rough. From Phil's "Secrets of the short game" dvd. I recommend purchasing the dvd for anyone looking to better their short game.
So lets take a look at the different scenario's and look at the options and the choices you need to make depending on the environment when you are playing :
Your ball is on the fairway and you have a clear view of the pin with a fairly straight putt just right to the pin will put you nice and close you are about ten feet from the green and 30 feet of green to the pin. A dry fairway means that this is the ideal situation to putt from off the green. Why would you want to lift the ball when you can control the complete direction and speed along the floor.
The same situation with a wet fairway would sway towards a chip and run as this would give you the option to flight the ball to a spot on the green that would then allow you to run the ball up to the hole. By playing over the wet area of fairway you can take out the unpredictable wet surface and roll the ball on the easier to read green.
When I play this shot my preferred club is an 8 iron, I stand with the ball back in my stance and close the club face slightly this gives the ball a lower trajectory and will allow the ball to run once it gets onto the green. When gripping the club it sometimes helps to hold further down the club grip than normal.
Your ball is on the fringe of the green and it is resting on the thick rough you have around 30 feet to the hole. Here is a completely different situation the back of the ball is not in a position where you could cleanly get the putter or iron to strike the ball making the direction of the ball movement more unpredictable, so it would probably be a better option here to pitch the ball. The fact that with a pitch you put more effort into the swing in an aim to get the ball up and down quickly means you have a better chance of making a cleaner contact with the ball. So here would be a good time to get your pitching or lofted wedge out.
With the ball further back in the rough but a good lie you would probably be able to get a good chip and run as long as you can see the back of the ball. Remember the softer you strikethe ball the more important it is to have control of the ball, grass between the ball and the club could result in the ball taking a route you don't want or not have the power you intended.
All of these scenario's are just that possible situations every shot is different and if you look at the shot before you decide what type of shot you are going to play you will have less doubt in your mind when you go to strike the ball. Practice makes perfect as with every golf shot, get out on the range and practice, those targets that are close by are perfect forpracticing. Try the chipping green make sure you test the different types and get used to the feel of the ball and how to get the ball to run.
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