This shot is reserved for you lower handicaps out there… if Phil Mickelson can do it, why can’t you? Occasionally, you are faced with a short shot that requires shaping, whether it be a slice or a hook. I find a hook much easier to pull-off, and I’d like to share with you how to do it properly.
First, it’s best to try this shot when you have a helping right to left wind (assuming you’re right-handed), Setup to the ball as your normally would, ball positioned in the middle of our stance. Obviously, keep in mind the position of your obstacles that caused you to consider this shot in the first place, whether it be a hill, tree or a tucked pin.
If it’s a tree, give yourself some room for error on this one. Hood the face of your wedge slightly, but not so much that you reduce it’s loft that much. Close your stance and then swing along your feet line – this will create a drastically in to out swing path – which is exactly what you need to pull this off.
Finally, focus on making solid contact with the center of the club, if you don’t, the club won’t impart the amount of sidespin you need hook the ball. If done properly, you can hit 50-75 yard shots that hook almost 15 yards. Vary the severity of your closed clubface and your swing path to reduce how much the ball hooks.
Keep in mind, upon landing, this ball will spin left.
Definitely give this shot a try on the range before giving it a go on the course. But it’s a great shot to have in the bag in tough situations!
Read More →
Here's the situation, you’re stuck in the fairway between a small lake and the green, you have 80 yards to the pin, and have about 15 yards to work with on the green. The ball sits on a slightly uphill lie. So, the good news is you have a fair bit of room to work with on the green, the bad, you're hitting a half-shot, so judging distance will be difficult. I would use a lob or sand wedge for this shot, you need the extra loft and spin to get close to the pin.
There are four things to specifically remember for this type of shot. First and foremost, you must accelerate into impact; slowing down or trying to finesse the shot will likely result in erratic distance control or even a chunk. Furthermore, accelerating will give you addition backspin to help stop the ball on the green. I see many players take those long full swings and slow into impact in a pathetic attempt to hit the ball softer. I’ll let you in a secret… it doesn't work. Use a half-swing for this shot.
Second, choke down slightly on the club for added control. Third, open you stance slightly and ensure the ball is centered in your stance. If the ball is too far forward with an uphill lie, there is a tendency for amateurs to slide their bodies horizontally into the shot. This destabilizes the whole swing and leads to skulls and chunks. Stemming from this ball position, keep in mind that you must rotate your hips and body like any other shot.
Finally, use a steady accelerating tempo. This situation requires a finesse shot, to do so you must be smooth and controlled, not erratic.
Remember, there’s nothing worse than coming up short on these shots, so make sure you hit the green. Finally get close enough to give yourself a putt at it. You should easily be able to hit 8 out of 10 of these shots on the surface within 30 feet with some practice.
With these tips you should have a much better chance of getting up and down on these dreaded half shots. Give it a try!
Read More →
Today, we take a look a really great question from a reader who was having trouble with his elevated greens at his home course… don't miss this one! Read More →
An incredible short game is what separates most of us players from becoming professionals. Pros spend the time it takes to perfect the shots that help lower their score the most… shots within 100 yards. Read More →
How many times have you been in perfect position after two shots on a par 5, you have a 20 yard pitch to the pin with nothing in your way but grass? Read More →
I have always found that when working on my tempo, hitting my driver was counter-productive. I found it very hard to keep swinging with my usual tempo when I got the big stick in my hands. My swing got quicker and off tempo, in my attempts to crush it. When this happens I always went back to my wedges and play slow simple shots to try and re-gain my tempo. Read More →