Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Save strokes from just off the green
Open Face = Low spinner
Closed Face = Runner
To hit this shot, set up in your standard chipping position and make a normal backswing. The trick is to actually release the club through impact. As you swing down, let your clubhead, hands, wrists and forearms rotate through impact. The turning down of the clubface (much like hitting a draw on a full shot), will produce a shot that runs a bit more than a normal chip shot. As long as you’re careful to make good contact, this is a great shot to add to your short-game arsenal.
When faced with a shot over a bunker, many players think they need to hit the ball on a very high trajectory. Although this may be the case on some occasions, we don’t always have to play a “flop shot” like Phil Mickelson. Although hitting a high shot like that is fun, your goal is to control your ball, and the best way to do that is to try to hit it lower.
Even though I’m faced with a shot over a bunker here, I’m using my trusty 56° sand wedge. All I’m going to do is make a longer chip swing, hit down on the ball and see if I can pop it over the bunker. There are about eight paces from the edge of the green to the pin, so I can hit a medium-trajectory shot instead of trying to hoist it too high in the air. I feel better knowing that the ball will get over the bunker and release to the pin.
Experiment with this shot to see how different clubs produce different trajectories.
This specialty shot should be used when your ball comes to rest on the collar of the green but is up against the first cut of rough. (It’s very difficult to make good contact with a standard shot because of the lie.)
This shot basically requires you to use a putting motion but with a wedge. Grip down on your sand wedge for control. Set up to the ball like a putt, with your weight balanced and the ball played slightly forward in your stance. Hover the club just above the top part of the rough and make a putting stroke.
The goal is to make contact with the leading edge of your sand wedge on the top half of the ball. This produces a rolling shot. Even if you top the ball a little, it will bounce only once or twice and then roll out. This is a fun shot to play but you may want to practice it a little before you attempt it during a round of golf.
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