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How do I prevent an occasional thin scull with 8-PW?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

It seems that every round I have two or three very thin/scull shots into green with 8-PW, and it completely wrecks my score, since the ball will often sail well past the green with a lot of heat (sometimes into OB which means a 7 or 8). For example, I might have a 115 yd shot into the green with a 9 iron, I scull it and it sails 140 yds.

 

Otherwise, by short irons tend to sail very high and land softly. I might add, I do not take divots, but pick. I would love to get this terrible shot out of my repertoire.

post #2 of 39


I find my sculls are caused by me raising my head.

post #3 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post
 

It seems that every round I have two or three very thin/scull shots into green with 8-PW, and it completely wrecks my score, since the ball will often sail well past the green with a lot of heat (sometimes into OB which means a 7 or 8). For example, I might have a 115 yd shot into the green with a 9 iron, I scull it and it sails 140 yds.

 

Otherwise, by short irons tend to sail very high and land softly. I might add, I do not take divots, but pick. I would love to get this terrible shot out of my repertoire.

It could simply be focus or trying to swing too hard.  Skull shots can be due to not getting your weight forward at impact.  The club bounces off the ground behind the ball and hits thin.

 

For these shots, I focus on the weight shift and swinging at 80% max.  You can also try learning your distances with 3/4 swings with each club. A 3/4 8 iron may go your PW distance and contact will be better.  For a 3/4 swing, you are still swinging the same speed, but shortening your backswing.

post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post
 

It seems that every round I have two or three very thin/scull shots into green with 8-PW, and it completely wrecks my score, since the ball will often sail well past the green with a lot of heat (sometimes into OB which means a 7 or 8). For example, I might have a 115 yd shot into the green with a 9 iron, I scull it and it sails 140 yds.

 

Otherwise, by short irons tend to sail very high and land softly. I might add, I do not take divots, but pick. I would love to get this terrible shot out of my repertoire.

 

My best guess, you don't get enough weight forward at impact, and you flip at the ball. Also you might get early extension through impact. 

 

I would say create your own "My Swing" thread and post a video of your swing here, http://thesandtrap.com/f/4180/member-swings

 

Some information on posting videos, http://thesandtrap.com/t/38240/my-swing-video-threads-rules-please-read

post #5 of 39

What the preceding  two members above said...

post #6 of 39
Short irons need to be played in the middle of your stance, maybe even a bit farther back. My guess is the ball is too far forward. Since you're a picker, I think you are not getting down on the ball enough and hitting it at the equator instead of bouncing off the turf. That would tend to be a fat shot when taking a full swing. It's been my observations that most golfers don't flip at the ball. They have more of a cast swing where they start the wrist release early at the beginning of the downswing. Flippers tend to be golfers who haven't quite got the lag thing down. I flipped on last night.

I'd move the ball back a little and try more forward press in my address. Make sure you're not trying to help the ball in the air. Hit the ball with a descending blow. To fit any swing fault, practice with slow baby swings until you feel you understand what the club is doing. Then ramp it up. I agree with the 80% max.

Also, a friend of mine is notorious for the same sculling. He's a picker also. He tends to swing with his right arm too much. The left shoulder is the fulcrom. You can try a few easy practice swings with just your left arm. If you are flipping, you'll have a hard time with just your left arm. That helps me with my weight shift, too. practice in your back yard if you want.

Tell us how you make out.
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by vangator View Post

Short irons need to be played in the middle of your stance, maybe even a bit farther back. My guess is the ball is too far forward. Since you're a picker, I think you are not getting down on the ball enough and hitting it at the equator instead of bouncing off the turf. That would tend to be a fat shot when taking a full swing. It's been my observations that most golfers don't flip at the ball. They have more of a cast swing where they start the wrist release early at the beginning of the downswing. Flippers tend to be golfers who haven't quite got the lag thing down. I flipped on last night.

I'd move the ball back a little and try more forward press in my address. Make sure you're not trying to help the ball in the air. Hit the ball with a descending blow. To fit any swing fault, practice with slow baby swings until you feel you understand what the club is doing. Then ramp it up. I agree with the 80% max.

Also, a friend of mine is notorious for the same sculling. He's a picker also. He tends to swing with his right arm too much. The left shoulder is the fulcrom. You can try a few easy practice swings with just your left arm. If you are flipping, you'll have a hard time with just your left arm. That helps me with my weight shift, too. practice in your back yard if you want.

Tell us how you make out.

Many here would say that for regular shots the ball should always be middle of the stance or slightly forward. Putting it further back promotes flipping which has already been mentioned as a possible reason for what's happening. 

post #8 of 39

While it is ok not to take deep divots, taking no divots with short irons and wedges leaves you little margin for error and fails to give you feedback on whether the low point of your swing is behind, at, or in front of the ball.  Steve Stricker picks the ball as much as anyone on the PGA tour, but he still kills some grass with his short irons.  

 

The suggestions about about getting your weight forward and posting a swing video are good ones.  You could also try http://thesandtrap.com/t/35686/eriks-hips-forward-pre-set-drill-video

 

FWIW, while sculling a SW will give me much more distance than I am looking for, I can hit an 8 or 9 iron a bit thin (or even just a bit fat) and get within +/- 10 yards of the distance of a solid shot.  I can't remember the last time I sculled an 8 iron an extra 20 or 30 yards.  While I don't take really deep divots, I usually take at least a bit of a divot and you might find your consistency improves if you do the same.

post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 

I've never heard of flipping, and not sure I've ever done it. The issue at hand is nearly all my approach shots are fine, whereas a few per round wind up like line drive bullets. As I said, I tend to pick the ball, so perhaps that means I'm hitting on the upswing? Or maybe it means I just have a tendency to just brush the grass at the bottom of my arc?

My ball trajectory on a good clean pick is very high and soft, I usually repair the divot no more than a few feet from where the ball lies.

Could it be that I have little room for error if I am in fact hitting it thin, albeit with good results to begin with?

One thing I'm pretty certain is, I am not flippping my wrists at impact.

My irons have all the wear and marks from about 1.5 inches on down. There is no wear whatsoever on the top half of the blades.

Is there a simple trick to get a little more down without getting fat? That would seem to solve the problem.

Thanks for all the replies

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post
 

I've never heard of flipping, and not sure I've ever done it. The issue at hand is nearly all my approach shots are fine, whereas a few per round wind up like line drive bullets. As I said, I tend to pick the ball, so perhaps that means I'm hitting on the upswing? Or maybe it means I just have a tendency to just brush the grass at the bottom of my arc?

My ball trajectory on a good clean pick is very high and soft, I usually repair the divot no more than a few feet from where the ball lies.

Could it be that I have little room for error if I am in fact hitting it thin, albeit with good results to begin with?

One thing I'm pretty certain is, I am not flippping my wrists at impact.

My irons have all the wear and marks from about 1.5 inches on down. There is no wear whatsoever on the top half of the blades.

Is there a simple trick to get a little more down without getting fat? That would seem to solve the problem.

Thanks for all the replies

If it is a few per round, maybe there is something about the setup that leaves little room for error, or maybe you are tight/tense on a few shots -- not relaxed.

 

Maybe it is a process of elimination -- does it happen randomly, or with the ball below/above your feet, uphill or downhill lie? Any rhyme or reason?

 

Maybe hit the range and hit some typical approaches. On the ones you skull, were you tight/tense, or was your rhythm a bit off?

post #11 of 39
Since it's only a few per round (and you specifically mentioned it being on some holes with OB long) I would bet that it's you getting tense over a shot. I always hit it thin when my shoulders tighten up and I'm not exactly a picker! Since you would have a lesser margin for error on a thin shot though, I can see why it would make more of a difference. If you're going to miss though, I always feel like "Thin to win" is the way to go provided that it's a small miss.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremie Boop View Post

Many here would say that for regular shots the ball should always be middle of the stance or slightly forward. Putting it further back promotes flipping which has already been mentioned as a possible reason for what's happening. 

I agree the middle is probably best for position, but if the ball is too far forward, it needs to be moved back. Hitting a PW from slightly behind middle is not exactly bad, espacially if sculling is a problem. When I choose to do that, I hit the ball straighter, lower and with more spin.

I'm not an expert on flipping, but playing the ball back should not promote flipping. Having it too far forward would be more of a problem there. Flipping is getting your clubhead ahead of your hands at impact, so playing it back would tend to reduce that. Flipping could cause thin shots.

Greg Norman was a well known picker. Some say the best driver of the ball of all time.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post
 

Otherwise, by short irons tend to sail very high and land softly. I might add, I do not take divots, but pick. I would love to get this terrible shot out of my repertoire.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post
 

I've never heard of flipping, and not sure I've ever done it. The issue at hand is nearly all my approach shots are fine, whereas a few per round wind up like line drive bullets. As I said, I tend to pick the ball, so perhaps that means I'm hitting on the upswing?

It sounds like you might be adding loft to the club (hence the very high short irons), which is caused by flipping, which is caused by releasing the club too early. This doesn't leave you with much room for error so mis-hits can often lead to skulling the ball. You also lose a lot of power by flipping. I'm not sure if that's what's going on here, but it's just a thought. You should post a video when you get the chance.

post #14 of 39

Flipping --

 

I have no idea as to this flipping issue ... even I have the ball slightly forward of center for PW and still have a spin loft that is several degrees less than the actual loft on the club.

 

Heck, my 6i is 29 and my spin loft is 20, and the ball is forward in the stance.

 

And ball go high... Instructor said he did not see flipping, and looking at the numbers, I guess not  :-)

 

Maybe it's the shaft .... for me.

 

More on topic: As to the OP, I'd look at video or post it.

 

But if it's happening a few times per round, I've already posted about that potential issue. And I'm certain that, like all of us, you have swing issues. Some on here can help with those issues (not me, though, no, not me).

post #15 of 39

Thin and fat shots are caused by the exact same mistake, which is a swing bottom behind the ball.  You need to fix impact.

 

Quote:

The issue at hand is nearly all my approach shots are fine, whereas a few per round wind up like line drive bullets.

 

I disagree.  The issue is that you have a swing flaw.  Alot of times, you can compensate for it because you probably have good hand-eye co-ordination.  You are thinking about this backwards.  Your thin shots are the shots your swing produces that you don't save.  However, its very likely that you swing that way all the time and can generally save it with your hands at impact.  Its possible (just much less likely) that 2-3 times a round you swing completely different that normal, and I'm not sure how you fix that.  But, odds are, you have a swing flaw that you can save with your hands some of the time.

 

Quote:
 I might have a 115 yd shot into the green with a 9 iron

 

I don't mean to offend, but unless you have a significant disability or you are elderly (or I suppose very young) that is very short for a 9 iron.  This implies your impact condition isn't good.  It also provides further support that you have a bad impact condition most of the time, but save it by flipping your hands at the ball.  A downward, full strike that compresses the ball with the weight forward at impact should send a 9 iron significantly longer than 114 yards.  Now, we all have our foibles, and some are longer than others, but a 115 yard 9 iron implies something is wrong, IMO.

 

If you have an injury or you are older please accept my apologies for jumping to this conclusion.

 

Quote:
One thing I'm pretty certain is, I am not flippping my wrists at impact.

 

How do you know?

 

When I was about a 15 handicap I video'd my swing for the first time.  I was flipping like crazy.  Had you asked me, I would have said that I of course have my weight forward at impact (everyone knows you need to do that).  What you feel isn't what you are actually doing.

 

Quote:
Is there a simple trick to get a little more down without getting fat?

 

Yep, its called a "consistent swing bottom". When we figure it out, we'll let you know lol.

 

I would strongly suggest you video tape your swing from the side, especially at impact.  My guess is that you will find your impact condition isn't what you think it is.

post #16 of 39

What I know about sculling (topping) a shot is pretty much  about three problems. Raising the head up, swaying, or other wise raising the arc of the swing with other body parts.

 

If the golfer raises their head up to a point that the head also brings shoulders up, the fix is to focus on keeping a steady head. If the golfer can keep the distance from their nose to the ground the same through out the down swing, they won't lift their head. 

 

Raising the head up can also be attributed to straightening the knees, raising up at the waist, or even lifting the shoulders. A bad ball position can cause a "sort of" topped shot. A bad ball position is an easy fix. Just move the ball back in the stance a little, towards the low point of the swing.  Google "brushing the grass in golf" for a tip. 

 

I hear  a lot of folks tell a golfer he raised his head, when actually all he did was turn his head, after the ball has been struck, to see where the ball is going. Most of us do this. That to me is not raising one's head. It's also possible to raise the head up, but not raise the shoulders. If the shoulders are not raised, the golfers swing arc does not raise, unless the golfer bends their elbows, or straightens up at the knees. Now if the golfer raises his shoulders up, then of course their head will raise too. 

 

So if the golfer is bending their elbows before impact, that will raise the swing arc. Easy fix. Focus on keeping the elbows extended as they were at the address, and  take away positions.  

 

Straightening at the knees will raise the swing arc. Straightening the knees in the down swing, lifts the rest of the body, including the shoulders, which lift the arms and hands. The hands will lift the club head. The fix is to focus on keeping the posture as set at address, and take away positions.

 

Lifting at the shoulders is (IMHO) caused by trying to swing too hard, which causes tension. The golfer is looking at shot they are unsure of, maybe in between clubs, or anything else that makes them tighten up for a troublesome shot. The best fix I know of to fight tension is to focus on the same nice, easy swing they normally have. Myself I tend to practice on troublesome shots when ever I can so that I am not surprised on the course. My pre-shot routine also helps to stay lose in my swing. Tension was the main reason I topped shots until I made a change in my club make up.

 

If the golfer sways too much, that changes the swing arc by moving it either forward or backwards depending which way they sway. The low point of the swing changes. If the golfer sways to the rear in the back swing, with out swaying forward in the down swing, the low point of the swing will be behind the ball, and the club head will contact the ball on it's up swing, which is usually above the equator of the ball. This is what happens with a metal wood topped shot. With an iron which is usually on a steeper down swing, the club hit the top of the ball. The fix is to either not sway too much backwards, and if you do, don't forget to sway the same distance forward.

 

Take this info with a grain of salt as it is all I know, and understand about topping the ball. 

post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by vangator View Post

Short irons need to be played in the middle of your stance, maybe even a bit farther back. My guess is the ball is too far forward. Since you're a picker, I think you are not getting down on the ball enough and hitting it at the equator instead of bouncing off the turf. That would tend to be a fat shot when taking a full swing. It's been my observations that most golfers don't flip at the ball. They have more of a cast swing where they start the wrist release early at the beginning of the downswing. Flippers tend to be golfers who haven't quite got the lag thing down. I flipped on last night.

I'd move the ball back a little and try more forward press in my address. Make sure you're not trying to help the ball in the air. Hit the ball with a descending blow. To fit any swing fault, practice with slow baby swings until you feel you understand what the club is doing. Then ramp it up. I agree with the 80% max.

Also, a friend of mine is notorious for the same sculling. He's a picker also. He tends to swing with his right arm too much. The left shoulder is the fulcrom. You can try a few easy practice swings with just your left arm. If you are flipping, you'll have a hard time with just your left arm. That helps me with my weight shift, too. practice in your back yard if you want.

Tell us how you make out.

Totally disagree with this. The only clubs I play back are chips where I want to get the ball rolling quickly or If I wanna hit a low running punch shot thru wind. Just my opinion (and. My coaches) 😃
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by atxpkrgolf View Post


Totally disagree with this. The only clubs I play back are chips where I want to get the ball rolling quickly or If I wanna hit a low running punch shot thru wind. Just my opinion (and. My coaches) 😃

That's pretty much similar to what I do. I was recently told to have the ball middle or forward of middle for every shot.

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