In this putting video I tell you and show you what I know about putting practice, the substance of which comes from all my playing experience as well as my teaching experience.
There is one thing I can tell you that is for sure when it comes to putting: you better find a way to get the ball into the hole, because if you don’t you’re never going to shoot great scores, and you’re never going to be completely happy with a round of golf.
In this putting video I tell you and show you what I know about putting basics, the substance of which comes from all my playing experience as well as my teaching experience.
Here we look at how to pitch onto the green from the rough. When you miss a green and the ball is not in a bunker the first thing you will note when you come upon your ball is how it is lying in the grass. Next you look up and find the pin, note the characteristics of the green between you and the hole, and begin to configure a shot to play that will either go in the hole or leave you a tap-in for your next shot.
Here we have another standard play around the green, as we are close to the green but in enough proximity to the pin to require the ball to fly up in the air and land without rolling a great distance. The variations here from the longer pitch shots with the 58 degree wedge are the slightly extra open face and limited use of arm swing in the backswing.
The standard play here is our normal pitch setup (ball centered, open stance, weight slightly left, hands slightly forward) with the one change to a more open clubface. As you will see in the video the swing involves less arm swing going back (and very little body movement), more wrist cock, and still a significant amount of forward pivot motion (the standard 45 degree push).
Using the hybrid to run the ball onto the green from off the green is a relatively new (due obviously to the fact that hybrids are a relatively new item in the bag) technique. It is a great one to experiment with and learn though, because it makes easier a few annoyingly tough shots around the green.
For purposes of instruction and so that my students will not be confused about what technique to use from certain areas I separate pitching and chipping thusly: Pitching is any shot around the green that is struck with a swing that involves wrist cock and leg movement. Chipping, on the other hand, does not use wrist cock or leg movement.
It is my firm belief that a forward leaning, downward strike is preferable when pitching to any sort of “using the bounce” technique. Here we look at a pitch over a bunker from a tight lie. With the tight pin it is obvious that extra height is needed to have the ball stop close to the pin.
Now we take the 30 yard pitch technique and modify it for longer shots. I like to start with a maximum yardage for the most lofted club (my 58 degree wedge) and until I get to about 60 % of that yardage I will think of the shot as subtracting from full. In other words, since I hit my 58 a maximum of 85 yards in the air, if I have shots that are 80, 70 and down to about 60 yards I will feel the amount of swing as a percentage of the full swing. Thus, a 60-65 yard shot becomes in my mind a 3/4 shot, while a 70 yard shot would be a bit less cut off from full. 50 yards is about the furthest out I’ll get where I’ll try to get an exact yardage to carry.
Here we get a better view of the actual low pitch flying and rolling out to the pin. The ability to visualize the shot fly, land, and roll to the hole depends first on your ability to contact the ball the same correct way every time.