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Short wedges around the green

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

This summer I've been working on a lot of aspects of my game, but one thing that keeps tacking on strokes is my game right around the green.  So like less than 25 yards out from the pin, usually in the rough.  I can't count the number of strokes I blow by blading it or hitting too soft and leaving it in the tall grass, essentially wasting a stroke.  Even if I get it on the green I rarely get it close enough to have a good chance at putting it in.  It's a problem.

 

I'm wondering, what is your strategy/swing for this type of shot.  I don't mean like a low loft, bump-and-run versus a flop shot, I mean like the mechanics of your swing.  I've watched a video or two or seen people swing with a lot of wrist, and I've seen people with a quicker, shorter, punchy swing with locked wrists.  Does it change depending on the shot?  Or is it just like any other iron swing?

 

Any advice or videos would be welcome, I'm basically looking for some stuff to try because I obviously have to change how I'm approaching it.  Thanks!

post #2 of 20
post #3 of 20
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the references.  Do you normally chip with that paint brush motion?  My swing is probably more like the older style demonstrated at the beginning of the second video mvmac posted.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gosly View Post

Thanks for the references.  Do you normally chip with that paint brush motion?  My swing is probably more like the older style demonstrated at the beginning of the second video mvmac posted.

 

I pitch with that motion which is almost all I do around the greens.  Pitching is using the bounce and having the ball carry a certain distance.  Chipping is using the leading edge and playing the ball more along the ground.  I rarely chip, it's just easier to pitch the ball.

post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
I rarely chip, it's just easier to pitch the ball.

Certainly you mean that as a personal "easier"

 

I always thought the hierarchy was:

  • putt if you can (close or on the apron - the pros chip more, but they have more practice)
  • else chip if nothing to hit over
  • pitching is the third choice

 

I love the pitch shot that video taught, super nice way to use the bounce.

 

I've been picking several distances and playing both pitch and chip shots - pretty consistently, I'm finding the chip to give a tighter distribution.  this is in the 20/25/30 yards from the cup type of range.

 

of course, there's a lot of 'depends' on the shot stuff, this is just in general

 

But I'm grateful for that video anyway (It's given me a really nice set of consistent pitch carry (20 and 30 exactly, and a feel for in between and around those) distances and understanding of how great that bounce is), one will always find a need to pitch over something.  And sometimes the distance is just needing a pitch (IMO 30 and out)

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

Certainly you mean that as a personal "easier"

 

I find it easier as well.  As long as someone is using the method correctly.  

post #8 of 20
I used to flub chips and pitches from 40 yards and closer the ones that required some touch.

I know it has its detractors but I'm going to recommend it anyway. Adding some hinge even on a short chip and pitches and then accelerate with your upper body through and you won't flub them anymore.

Phil Mickelson calls it Hinge&Hold. I found it very easy to use and it has transformed my wedge play. Knocked 12 strokes off after using it and finally now a sub 100 golfer.

Its up to you what method to decide on but it works so does the link to the pitching video that Mike posted. Experiment but commit to your choice
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

Certainly you mean that as a personal "easier"

 

 

 

No, it's overall easier I'd say.

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by anthony View Post

 

No, it's overall easier I'd say.

I like Bracchus's comment "experiment, and it's up to you" essentially

 

What I was alluding to is what's more accurate or gives a bit more control.  Not necessarily what's the easier swing.....

 

for me:

A chip doesn't really have a release - so the swing is easier to execute consistently - it eliminates that variable

A pitch (done Mike's way) uses the bounce effectively, so the easier part of that is minimizing the contact issues many have (blading, and chunking) with a nice pitch shot

 

I say the chip gives more consistency in that it get the ball rolling sooner.  I do appreciate, though, that I can carry very specific distances with my pitches (when I remember to allow just gravity to 'power' my release and no more, and to grip the club firmly and repetitively open my stance and club face the same each time).  that said, I have a lot more practice pitching than chipping, so maybe I'll get my carry dialed in later for the chips

 

that's why I'm experimenting with both from specific distances 

 

If I know the speed of the green - I'd chip more as I trust the roll out.  If not, I'd pitch to distance to minimize my roll.  I'll also choose to chip from hard dirtpack.

 

As always - YMMV

 

 

 

Mike - You stated upthread that the 'chip' uses the 'blade' of the club.  What do you mean by that?  chip or pitch, contact for me is still the face (hopefully).  My main differences are mostly the release, and how much I open the face (chip has no release, and the face is more square.....pitch has a soft release (as you guys showed) and a much more open face to get the bounce really in play)  so the difference in flight is lower and rolling for the chip vs a 'lob' flight for the pitch.

post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

Mike - You stated upthread that the 'chip' uses the 'blade' of the club.  What do you mean by that?  chip or pitch, contact for me is still the face (hopefully).  My main differences are mostly the release, and how much I open the face (chip has no release, and the face is more square.....pitch has a soft release (as you guys showed) and a much more open face to get the bounce really in play)  so the difference in flight is lower and rolling for the chip vs a 'lob' flight for the pitch.

 

He's saying what I say, basically.

 

I define a chip as something which primarily engages the leading edge of a club.

I define a pitch as something which primarily engages the bounce of a club.

 

Chips have stiffer arms and wrists, pitches have soft arms and wrists.

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

 

He's saying what I say, basically.

 

I define a chip as something which primarily engages the leading edge of a club.

I define a pitch as something which primarily engages the bounce of a club.

 

Chips have stiffer arms and wrists, pitches have soft arms and wrists.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rehmwa View Post

 

Mike - You stated upthread that the 'chip' uses the 'blade' of the club.  What do you mean by that?  chip or pitch, contact for me is still the face (hopefully).  My main differences are mostly the release, and how much I open the face (chip has no release, and the face is more square.....pitch has a soft release (as you guys showed) and a much more open face to get the bounce really in play)  so the difference in flight is lower and rolling for the chip vs a 'lob' flight for the pitch.

 

Yeah standard way to chip, weight forward, hands forward, then you almost make a putting stroke swing.  Can be a useful shot but it's not something you're going to play most short shots with (let's say 30 yards and in).  Mostly because the ball is coming in too low or you're not creating enough speed.  I may define chip and pitch differently than you and that's fine, but just trying to be clear.

 

So any shot in rough, sand, where I have to hit it over something, landing it on a downslope, any shot where I have carry it 3 yards or more, I'm going to be pitching it.  Again it comes down to having the most room for error.  I can hit pitch shots inches behind the ball and the ball still comes out fine.  And a lot of those pitches I'll play with pretty square faces.  Maybe think of it this way, chip is handle forward, putting stroke, pitch is handle neutral to slightly forward and making a mini swing.  Some guys adjust handle location to hit different trajectories, I like to change clubs.  I hit plenty of pitches with a 52* gap wedge or even my pitching wedge if I want to ball to run out more.

post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
I define a chip as something which primarily engages the leading edge of a club.


  I had read that as purposely 'blading' a shot.  So I'll take it I was misreading the statement.

 

 

answering Mike too - thanks for the clarification.  I misread some of the statements as well that people were advocating pitching over chipping for off the fringe, etc (very short carries)

 

so I'm pretty much in line, I'll chip for carries that should roll out, likely 3-4 yards carry (up to 15 for slow greens) and in.  you can have a 30 yard shot where the chips will carry 4 yards and roll out the remainder.....

 

any bigger carry, or over something tall when short, I'm with you guys pitching is the way to go

 

 

the decision really is more about how much, and what type of carry we need, not the total shot distance (carry plus roll out) as roll out is something that is worked out with either shot


Edited by rehmwa - 6/21/13 at 10:19am
post #14 of 20
I think pitches are higher chance of contact than chips. Utilizing bounce on a pitch and hit it fat= still good contact. Hit fat on chip=bad time.
post #15 of 20
I keep it very simple and tend to 1 thing only - how much effort is needed for the shot that I am visualizing.

Unless I have some sort of trick shot, I grab my 58 degree, quickly pick a line and trajectory, and only focus on the effort needed. I am a firm believer that focusing on mechanics during a round will lead to disaster more often than not. I also use 1 basic swing from tee to green so I don't get hung up on chip vs pitch - I simply swing smoothly just like I would any other shot. In my earlier days I would toil over club selection 56 or 60. So, I just spend all my time with a 58 and don't question it.

I tend to be the most consistent golfer among any group I play with.
Edited by tshapiro - 6/22/13 at 4:46am
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by gosly View Post

Thanks for the references.  Do you normally chip with that paint brush motion?  My swing is probably more like the older style demonstrated at the beginning of the second video mvmac posted.

Forget "old school" chipping.  :-)

 

Today, it's all about varying the flight of a "pitch" using various lofts and your setup so you are using the bounce of the club to help you.

 

You would not paint brush a low pitch. Using Mike and Erik's setup, or Utley, you can have a running pitch by turning over the club slightly, a normal pitch that runs out a few feet, or a paint brush pitch where you control the shot with high! trajectory. With 20 yard and less pitches, watch Erik and Mike for the "no hit" pitch (one paint brushes and turns without a hit). The key besides setup is soft arms.

 

You asked about out of the rough - Pat O'Brien (Zach Johnson's putting/short game guru) gave me a shot that I had never seen before - experiment at your risk on varying degrees of rough. Take your highest lofted wedge around the green in deep rough where the above pitching techniques may  not work, for example, where the ball is sitting down in the rough. Get into your pitching setup, vertical shaft, etc., and turn your wrists so the club is wide open at address. Do not regrip. Take a square faced club at address and open it up by turning your wrists. Now take your swing and release the club as normal. For some reason, it works. Experiment, and as usual, your mileage may vary.

post #17 of 20

I do things bit differently but with reasonable results. When I use to play more, I depended a lot on feel - now I just use math. I remember a golf series on tv  years ago pitching - whereas you learn what the PW, 9, 8 iron carry is for a horizontal to horizontal swing. I still use that to some extent sort of.

 

But what really helped my short pitching/chipping around the green has to do with distance of the ball to one yard onto the green and the distance from that spot to the hole. I pace the steps from my ball to one yard onto the green, lets say it 4 paces. Then I'll pace from that one yard onto the green to the hole, lets say that's an addition 12 paces. I divide the first number into the second - 4 into 12 = 3.  So if I have a 1-1, I use the PW, 1-2 ratio the 9 iron, 1-3 ratio the 8 iron. In this case I use the 8 iron and hit the ball enough to hit one yard onto the green and the lower loft (roll) will carry the extra distance to the hole. Then I just compensate for more uphill or downhill.    

post #18 of 20

I was fascinated by Erik and Mike's videos (above) when I first saw them.  Now I'm a believer.  When I'm within 60 yards of the green, out comes the 58 degree lob, no questions.  I'm not good enough to have too darn many different shots to try to master around the green, one basic one is enough.  For very short shots I sort of use a Stan Utley "chip" but it is really the same shot without much wrist hinge.  K.I.S.S.

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