This post is a follow on from my ‘How To Play An Approach Shot From 50 Yards‘ back in May. I floated the idea of using a pitching wedge to basically drive to the ball softly to the green. It is working so well that I have expanded this type of approach shot out to 150 yards. It is not a difficult shot, but allows me to stay in control during adverse weather conditions. It is really working for me and it might for you as well.
Through the years, I have suggested that having a full swing was always the preferable position when approaching greens. However, over the past few years, I have found that it is time for me to remove the blinders and actually look at what works for my game. And right now, it is using a long club and swinging easier at the ball. It is not really an epiphany, but more of an expansion on my golfing mindset.
I use this process of hitting a half or three-quarter shot when close to the green or hitting out of trouble. It was not a difficult shot to perform as I have practiced it over the years. However, it never really occurred to me to use this type of shot from the middle of the fairway from 80 to 150 yards. Well, after some well placed shots, it does now.
To be clear, I do not use this shot all the time because a full shot is still my preferred go to on approach shots. However, as I hit from inside 150 yards, it does not hurt to take and extra club and chip the ball instead of pitch the ball. Of course there are many variables to selecting a chip over a pitch, but I think you get the point.
I will mostly use a chip shot if I there are not hazards to play over. I sometimes want to land short and roll up to the pin because the green is designed be more forgiving. As an example, the approach shot on the first hole is definitely a chipping opportunity because of the flat approach to the green offers little transition in elevation. However, the 9th green has to a pitch shot regardless of distance because of the sharp six foot elevation change from the fairway to the green surface.
I find that my GIR percentage does go up and that my chipping and pitching from 80 to 150 yards is improving. I still have plenty of room to shorten my first putt distance, but I needed to start somewhere. Getting the ball on the green in regulation was the place to start.
What is the farthest distance you comfortably chip from?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!