Thursday, July 1, 2004
A tee-to-green guide to great score-saving plays
17. How To Play A Chip Vs. A Pitch
A chip rolls along the ground for 90 percent of the total distance of the shot and doesn’t require a hinge of the wrists on the way back. A pitch flies in the air for at least 50 percent of its total distance and requires a hinging of the wrists on the way to the top. Both shots need to have the weight focused on the forward foot at address, but only the pitch shot requires weight to move forward at the finish. Chip shots should be played off the rear foot, while the pitch can be played from a variety of positions, depending on the length of the shot.
18. How To Play A Bump-And-Run
Follow these simple rules and you’ll be the master of the bump-and-run: 1) Select a club with less loft (9-iron, 8-iron, etc.) to ensure that the ball comes out low with a fair amount of roll; 2) Close down the face slightly, aim slightly right and place the ball back in your stance, with your hands and body weight forward; 3) Make an abbreviated backswing, with a short, punching followthrough; and 4) Allow the hands to lead the clubhead through the impact zone. It’s critical to experiment with different landing spots to get a feel for how much the ball will release when it hits the green.
19. How To Play Extreme Uphill Or Downhill Putts
On extreme uphill putts, make sure you stand up slightly at address so your arms can swing easily under your chin without getting jammed too close to your body. If you’re too crowded, you’ll find that you tend to “stand up” through impact, and your putts will go weakly to the right. Stand up and stay still, and this won’t happen. On extremely downhill putts, address the ball off the toe of the putter and choke down. Striking the ball off the toe of the putter results in a gentler hit, and you’ll have a better chance of controlling the speed of the roll.
20. How To Play An Extreme Break
To play big breaking putts, focus on “the door and the speed of the ball going through this door.” What does this mean? If you look at a big breaking putt, you’ll see the apex of the break, which is the highest point on a line to the cup. This is where you should imagine the door for the ball to roll through in your mind’s eye. This door placement also is dependent on the speed at which you roll the ball. If you roll the ball through the door too fast, it will miss the cup on the high side; if you roll it too slow, it will miss on the low side. Choose your door according to how aggressively you like to roll the ball, and practice seeing the ball pass right through it.
21. How To Play Extremely Fast Or Slow Greens
In order to play super-fast greens, make sure your putter tempo and swing length is the same going back and through. This helps regulate your distance control, and provides you with more feel, as the ball will stay on the putterface longer. When it comes to putting on very slow or bumpy greens, allow your putting stroke to be short on the backswing and long on the through-swing. This will force you to accelerate through the ball and create enough power to get it to the hole. Also, you might want to get a putter with more loft for days when you know you’ll be playing on bumpy or slow greens.
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