Correctly Hitting a Pitch Shot

The pitch shot is a huge part of my game. I am going through a transition phase of hitting the ball at 90% power inside of 125 yards instead of a full swing with my clubs. I have decided to make this change because of the greater control I have at 90%. This helps me hit my target better and helps lower the percentage of error I was experiencing with a full shot from in close. So the proper pitching technique is an area of focus at the time being. Continue reading

Adjusting to a Different Ball

As I mentioned yesterday, I have switched to my fall ball: the Wilson 50. It is a ‘no-brainer’ to make the move, but there is always a period of adjustment. It is not anything critical, but it something I must be aware of during the transition. Primarily, the greatest adjustment occurs in my short game. It takes about 15 minutes on the practice area to make the change and it is worth every second that I practice. Continue reading

Golf Infographic: What Wedge When?

Selecting the right wedge at the right time is critical to low golf scores. Over the years, I have adjusted my wedge use to what I believe is an 90% solution. Most of the time, my wedge selection is consistent and the results speak for themselves.

Beginners have a greater challenge. They understand that the different wedges need to be used at different times, but unfortunately there is a bit of confusion on when. The following infographic hopes to demystify what wedge to use when.
Continue reading

Chip, Pitch or Putt for Lower Golf Scores

Choosing the right club at the right time is critical to lower golf scores. It haunts all golfers because club selection is the holy grail of knowledge only gained through years of practice and playing lots and lots of golf. (the second part of gaining knowledge is my favorite)

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Chip, Pitch or Putt, what is your call?

A while back, I wrote an article about a situation where the ball was on the fringe and I was left with a choice to chip or putt.  There was many opinions and for the most part, choosing between putting or chipping was about 50/50.

Recently, I asked the same question without the picture and the response was different. I am not sure whether it was because the picture was not present, but the 25% increase for players wanting to putt was not really surprising.

Apart from the qualifying remarks such as: is the ball above the hole, is there a mound between the ball and the hole, what time of day is it, is the green freshly cut or how am I playing, most amateurs seem to agree that putting the ball when possible is the best option.

I generally agree, however it is important to have other shots in your bag for those times when either chipping, pitching or putting is required. My years of experience have taught me that relying on just one type of shot is not conducive to consistent low scores.

As someone who likes to always move forward, I like trying new methods to lower my score. My constant pursuit for improvement does not always meet my overall expectations.

Have you ever heard the saying ‘3 steps forward, 2 steps back’? That is what happened to me when I decided to putt more from the fringe. I focused all my attention on the flat stick and as a result, my chipping and pitching started to atrophy.

Although I had developed a new skill by putting more often, I lost my touch with my chipping and putting irons. Fortunately, with a little practice, my “feel” returned and now I have 3 solid types of shots when the ball is on the fringe. I am happy now at the end of the journey, but during the transition, I found it frustrating and sometimes wondered if I was on the right path.

Generally, when the a player is developing a new skill, there is a point of frustration when the new skill is not meeting expectations and their old skills are starting to rust. It is usually at this time when players stop learning the new skill and revert back to their old ways. As a result, the player concludes that the new skill is not worth the effort.

Golf is a challenging sport. It provides the opportunity for a player to be as good as they want. I believe that being a great golfer, we amateurs must find our own path to success. What works for me, may not work for you. I also believe that being a grateful golfer we need to keep trying to improve and be thankful for the journey to lower golf scores.

How do you handle learning a new skill? How much practice time do you devote to it?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Breaking 100 Through Chipping

Breaking 100 is the first major challenge for any golfer.  As discussed in my previous article, building a consistent putting stroke using the 3-6-9 putting drill will greatly reduce strokes and help develop confidence on the green.  For those whose who have a tendency to hit their approach shots just off the green, then chipping to break 100 is very important.

As a rule, keeping all drills as simple as possible is the key to success in golf.  Building on the 3-6-9 concept, will help tie a previously learned skill in to your growing arsenal.  To set up this drill, grab 12 tees and six balls from your bag.  No, you do not require clubs yet!  Set up the tees in the same pattern as the 3-6-9 putting drill.  For those who have not read the previous post; at 3,6,9 and 12 o’clock, place a tee at 3-6-9 feet from the hole.

Next, grab the six balls and walk anywhere off the green.  Ideally, you should start at least 15 paces from the hole.  You still do not require any clubs.  Now toss the ball towards the target hole.  Pay attention to how far you tossed the ball in the air and how far the ball rolls after it hits the ground.  Do this with all six balls.  The intent is to toss the ball within the 3 foot circle…inside nine feet will be ok since you already have confidence putting from that range.

Retrieve your balls and return to the same spot where you tossed the 6 balls. Now, roll the balls along the green without tossing the ball in the air.  Pay attention to how fast the ball is travelling to get within your 3 target.

Practice tossing and rolling the balls until you can consistently place the 6 balls within your 3-6-9 foot target.  Now, grab your 8 iron and a wedge (which wedge is up to you depending on your stroke – this is the time to experiment with which club is good for you).  Use the wedge to replicate the tossed ball and use the 8 iron to replicate the rolled ball.

Obviously, the goal is to chip the 6 balls in your 3-6-9 target.  Now once you feel confident and have achieved success move to a different location.  Eventually, you will not have to hand toss or roll the balls.

The most important and final step of this drill is to pace the distance from your chipping spot to the hole.  This step will help develop your distance gauge around the green.  Additionally, you will develop confidence with your chipping irons so you will automatically be able to assess your chipping and have confidence you will be able improve your up and down stats.

Using the 3-6-9 chipping and putting drill help,lower you scores and break 100.  I am a grateful golfer!  See you on the links!