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Golf Is a Game Played on the Ground!

NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 5:  Tiger Woods works out of a bunker onto the 11th green during the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship held at TPC Boston on September 5, 2009 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Bob WillisContributor ISeptember 14, 2009

Golf is a game played on the ground! The further in the air that you have to hit a ball-the more room for error there is.

There are two methods to the short game. One is a chip; a motion without lever. The other is a pitch; a single levered swing (an immediate hinge of the wrists on your takeaway). A chip will have less loft and more roll. A pitch flies higher and stops more quickly. Always determine which method you are hitting before executing the shot itself.

Fig. 1

To set up for both methods: (see Fig #1).

  1. Open your stance (feet aiming 30° left of your target).
  2. Aim the club face at the hole.
  3. Have weight slightly forward in your stance (R/H players more on the left leg)
  4. Ball position inside right heel of stance.

There are TWO ABSOLUTES to both shots.

  1. Imagine that your arms create a TRIANGLE and swing your TRIANGLE without changing any position of hands or arms throughout the shot (see Fig 2 & 3).
  2. Finish with the clubface low (Fig 4)-allowing the face angle or loft of the club to strike the ball (DON’T try to lift the ball) and allowing the clubface to hit the ball in the air.

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Always get the ball rolling as fast as possible. Practice chipping with all your clubs form a 5 iron to a sand wedge. Therefore with one swing you will have 8 different distances. If you always use one club; you will need 8 swings for 8 distances! And practice. Spend at least half of the time you devote to practicing and on your short game and your scores will come down. I guarantee it.

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