or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Struggles of a former short game master!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Struggles of a former short game master!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Hi guys all over the world,

 

I'm a brand new user to the Sand Trap and I'm looking forward to hearing about everyone's views on the game of golf. I've been struggling with my game recently, especially my short game. I used to play a lot and got down to a 1 handicap, but haven't played in over 2 years. My short game is terrible!

 

Every time I try and play a flop shot I always end up thinning it. I'm using a Cleveland 60 degree wedge with 8 degrees loft. It's weird because this shot used to be so easy... do you think it's a confidence thing??? 

 

Any feedback would be great. What are your favorite tips out there?

 

 

Regards,

 

New Golf Addict 

post #2 of 20

Mess around with your ball position and set-up. I find that when my swing is off, it is due to the fact that I am coming out of my shots(Peeking and moving my eyes to follow the ball)

 

No expert but when I make sure to keep my eyes on the spot vacated by the ball, all swings benefit.

post #3 of 20

NGA, welcome to TST.  I'd say start by educating your hands again.  Once you have educated hands, you can play pretty much any golf shot with confidence... The flop shot included.  How do you educate your hands?  Practice.  Lots of it.  

 

One thing I like to do is take a ball - and place a couch pillow against the wall.  And just chip shots into the pillow from 5 to 10ft away from the pillow/wall - hard enough that the ball returns back to me on the carpet... And hit that shot over and over again.  It helps educate my hands so that I can feel that shot.  And when I'm on the course, it is the easiest shot for me to play because I've hit it thousands of times - just in my living room. 

 

post #4 of 20

no short cuts in golf....practice with right technique, and more importantly for the short game, feel and touch, comes only with practice....once you have this, you can hit the ball from anywhere in your stance.

in the short game...steer the club is FEAR....swing it....cheers.

post #5 of 20

Practice practice practice. I found what has helped me is the same thing that helped me in my putting. I think slow and smooth make a very deliberate slow swing with my wedges using the clock face to control distance. Anytime I have strayed gotten a little quick I skull them. So slow down make smooth steady swing. I hope this helps because short game is a stroke killer or saver. Good luck and Merry Xmas

post #6 of 20

Good advices here. I like the in-home practice and i use small carpet squares (rectangles really) and a wedge. Choke a bit and let the whole body be free to swing the club, keep the lower body steady, head quiet too. i aim to just brush the rug time and time again. If i go tight i feel the miss and often to not touch the rug, thus a poor stroke and subsequently imprecise contact with the ball. When the club head in too high at low point of swing arc the lowest point of the club head will strike the ball just below the ball's equator which is 'thin'.  BUT, at home on the rug i NEVER use any kind of ball or substitute as this lets me focus only on free body movement, quiet legs on backswing and maintaining head position.  Do this 3 mins in morn and night for 1 week then increase time spent on golfrug. 

post #7 of 20

I was having trouble with the flop shot and found a pretty awesome alternative technique to hitting them.  It's really wristy and a little tricky at first, but I use it if I have to get the ball vertical in a hurry.

 

You actually let your wrists break down just before contact and release your middle, ring, and pinky finger of your lead hand.

 

Here's a video of me doing it......not really a close up but you can see how loose the club is and how wristy I'm getting on the follow through.

 

post #8 of 20

Review pitching technique if you are thinning the shots.  I use the Stan Utley/Evolvr method.  For me, I focus on keeping my left knee soft and weight forward using the bounce of the club head.  I use a 58-12 for most pitch and flops shots.  I also want to feel the pressure point of my right index finger against the grip.  This is my key feeling in my hands and tells my what the club face is doing.  Lastly, I let the club wrap around my body after contact. Everything should feel relaxed.

post #9 of 20

."..let the club wrap around my body after contact."  Hmm.  Not the technique favored by many.  I think many top players prefer to let the clubhead travel on towards the target and not wrap around.  These shots are not distance demanding so full swings and dynamic body movements not always needed.  My experience is that after contact if the shaft travels outwards towards the target, not wrap, then accuracy of ball flight is increased. I think Tiger and Phil use the 'hold the line' idea. 

post #10 of 20

Maybe I didn't describe it well enough.  See below.  This is what I meant.

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/39411/quickie-pitching-video

post #11 of 20

Through many years of playing I have noticed that short pitches and chips are the shots that are the most sensitive to moving the head or looking up. As someone else suggested, keep looking at the spot where the ball is even after contact, and keep your head on the ball througout the swing. If you already have halfway decent technique, this will allow you to execute any kind of short shot - flop, dead hand, knockdown, bump n run, etc.

post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

Through many years of playing I have noticed that short pitches and chips are the shots that are the most sensitive to moving the head or looking up. As someone else suggested, keep looking at the spot where the ball is even after contact, and keep your head on the ball througout the swing. If you already have halfway decent technique, this will allow you to execute any kind of short shot - flop, dead hand, knockdown, bump n run, etc.

 

Personally I hate that advice.

 

Why?

 

Because keeping your head buried down slows the rates at which you can turn your torso through to the target. I teach a pitching motion that's very much based on soft arms and hands and body rotation through to the target. It's quite common when teaching people to pitch that they are asked to turn and look at me standing 30 yards away as soon as they reach the end of their backswing. I can hit pitches with my eyes closed - and you can too - your body knows where the club will hit the ground. Staring at the ball decreases the rotation and increases the "hit" instinct which has no place in a proper pitching motion.

 

I often feel like my head has rotated like Annika or Duval when I'm hitting pitch shots. In fact, here's a few freeze frames from the video that leads off this thread http://thesandtrap.com/t/60526/erik-hitting-a-few-chips-and-pitches .

 

10001000

 

 

Now, all that said, there are undoubtedly some people out there that will benefit from staring at the ground into their follow through, but I haven't yet met the person who absolutely has to do that in order to perform better when they understand how to pitch.

post #13 of 20

iacas, I don't mean a 'buried' head. I know some folks hunch down when told to keep their eyes on the ball..I keep my head nice and tall.

 

I actually turn my head to follow my putts, but I have tried the Anika/Duval motion on other swings and it was always NG for me. I have found my contact quality is far superior when I (try to) watch the contact and not look up until the ball is well gone. I could find thousands, maybe millions of pics of pros after contact with their heads still pointed down where the ball was. And yes, it is beneficial to have a flexible neck to keep the shoulder turn as unrestricted as possible.

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

iacas, I don't mean a 'buried' head. I know some folks hunch down when told to keep their eyes on the ball..I keep my head nice and tall.

 

This is a "buried head" to me: "keep looking at the spot where the ball is even after contact". I didn't say buried into your chest - I mean your eyes are buried into the ground, starting at a spot where the ball is or was.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

I have tried the Anika/Duval motion on other swings and it was always NG for me. I have found my contact quality is far superior when I (try to) watch the contact and not look up until the ball is well gone.

 

I believe you could probably learn to pitch better so that your motion is not so sensitive that it requires this of you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

I could find thousands, maybe millions of pics of pros after contact with their heads still pointed down where the ball was. And yes, it is beneficial to have a flexible neck to keep the shoulder turn as unrestricted as possible.

 

My neck is plenty flexible, thank you... :)

 

And I could find just as many photos (be real, too: you cannot find millions of photos of pros after impact hitting pitch shots) who let their heads rotate very quickly. Point remains that they dedicate a lot of time to practicing, and my method encourages good body action which works even if you haven't practiced very long. A PGA Tour player could hit great pitch shots standing on one leg biting their tongue listening to death metal passing gas with one hand on the club wearing a blindfold (so could I, except maybe the passing gas part). I can hit pitch shots keeping my head buried too.

You'll notice in my video my head hasn't rotated a lot. It's just not stuck staring at a spot on the ground until after the ball is gone. I've never particularly cared for that advice during a pitch shot, and think that people who need to do that to hit the shot well aren't doing it as well as they could if the quality of their shot is so sensitive. It encourages more "hitting" and less soft rotation.

post #15 of 20

I want to be clear about something, too...

 

I can hit shots with my head buried on the spot the ball was situated. But I almost never see the need to do it, because it tends to lead to worse things than letting my eyes and head and neck rotate through.

 

So what I want to be clear about is this: you CAN of course hit pitch shots, even with what I would call "my method" as described in a few threads here, with a head buried in the ground staring at the spot upon which the ball once sat, but you're less likely to perform that method properly if your head is buried instead of allowed to rotate gently.

 

Heck, sometimes when my torso isn't rotating quite well enough I'll hit pitch shots looking at the target the entire swing. It encourages my torso to catch up to my neck rotation and really pivot through the shot nicely.

post #16 of 20

Fair enough. I just know I was a big Duval fan and tried to emulate his swing including the head turn, and didn't start hitting the ball flush with consistency until I eschewed this and started 'burying' my head as you put it. Although, my skills and knowledge were not as developed back then either. I'll tell you what - next practice round I will try to let my head rotate naturally with the swing, and I will report back.

post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Shanks View Post

I was having trouble with the flop shot and found a pretty awesome alternative technique to hitting them.  It's really wristy and a little tricky at first, but I use it if I have to get the ball vertical in a hurry.

 

You actually let your wrists break down just before contact and release your middle, ring, and pinky finger of your lead hand.

 

Here's a video of me doing it......not really a close up but you can see how loose the club is and how wristy I'm getting on the follow through.

 

Mvmac showed me this shot earlier this summer.  This technique definitely works.  Totally something you would never - ever want to do with a full swing - but it indeed works as a flop alternative.  Cool video and nice shot! c3_clap.gif

 

The feel that Mvmac told me was to think my club head is going to hang on my left shoulder right after impact.  The only way you can get the club head up to your left shoulder after impact, is to break your left wrist (quickly) and get that club vertical immediately after impact. Definitely a great golf shot... But it takes practice.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by dak4n6 View Post

Fair enough. I just know I was a big Duval fan and tried to emulate his swing including the head turn, and didn't start hitting the ball flush with consistency until I eschewed this and started 'burying' my head as you put it. Although, my skills and knowledge were not as developed back then either. I'll tell you what - next practice round I will try to let my head rotate naturally with the swing, and I will report back.

 

We're not talking about the full swing here. Duval was just an example - for use in a pitch shot - of letting the head rotate early.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Instruction and Playing Tips
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Struggles of a former short game master!