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Unconscious Scoring: Dave Stockton's Guide to Saving Shots Around the Green by Dave Stockton

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Discuss Unconscious Scoring: Dave Stockton's Guide to Saving Shots Around the Green by Dave Stockton here.

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I reviewed this in the Equipment section http://thesandtrap.com/products/dave-stockton-unconscious-scoring-dave-stocktons-guide-to-saving-shots-around-the-green/reviews/4778

One question I have for TST members and forum leaders is Dave Stockton's (DS) approach for chip versus pitch.  DS generally will chip whenever he can get good contact on the back of the ball.  He will pitch when the ball has grass behind it and he can't make clean contact.

I have been doing the opposite mostly pitching except when the ball is down in the rough.  My worry on pitching when a ball sits down in the rough is not being able to make good contact because grass roots (not the band) will obstruct the club head. I will instead chip out and try to come in steeply.

What do others do?

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What do others do?

I chip when:

- I've got a lot of room to run the golf ball (or need to run it up a slope or something).

- I don't need to fly the ball very far at all.

I pitch when:

- speed is an advantage

- I need to stop the ball quickly

A foot into the rough, sitting up, with the flag 20 feet onto the green? Chip.

Sitting down in nasty rough in the same situation? Pitch.

Why? Pitches use more speed, so the clubhead is less likely to slow down very much if the rough is different than I anticipate (or if I anticipate that it's thick, I'm less likely to be off if it's not and the clubhead gets through easily).

For example, let's assume the same pitch (a foot into the rough, but sitting down, and the flag 20 feet away):

Chip Ideal Clubhead Speed - 12 MPH.

Pitch Ideal Clubhead Speed - 34 MPH.

If the grass is thicker than you believe, and the clubhead arrives at the ball having lost 3 MPH on the chip, and 5 MPH on the pitch (though in my experience you lose less speed pitching because bounce is less likely to "stick" than the leading edge, but I'm going with this extreme example to make my point) - the chip will come up 25% short while the pitch will come up 15% short.

Pitching tends to give you a margin of error - "forgiveness" - in TWO areas: quality of contact, and misjudgment of lie.

It's this speed that I think separates a lot of women players from male players - men are not afraid to use this speed (even if most of it comes easily from their core and rotation of their hips and torso, not from arm strength) while women are.

Now, if your ball is in an actual little hole, you have to chip, because you can't get the ball out with a very flat AoA. But that's a bit of a stretch to the topic, so I'll leave it at that.

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So with the ball down in the rough, I should use the Top Gun mantra, "I feel the need for speed."

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So with the ball down in the rough, I should use the Top Gun mantra, "I feel the need for speed."

That's my opinion, but I feel I've stated the reasons why fairly well. :)

I'll also state that virtually every shot exists somewhere on the chip/pitch spectrum. Almost none are "pure pitch" or "pure chip."

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OK I just went into the yard and worked on the pitch from 3" deep grass.  Speed is your friend!  I was easily able to get out of deep grass with nice high pitches.  Now I just need to work on feel for distance.

Do you have any rules of thumb for grass grain direction?  DS didn't really touch on that subject.  He talked of different types of grass.  My own experience is grass growing away from target line needs more speed than toward target.

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Do you have any rules of thumb for grass grain direction?  DS didn't really touch on that subject.  He talked of different types of grass.  My own experience is grass growing away from target line needs more speed than toward target.

I concur.

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He is doing a short game clinic at the course I play at a week from Saturday.  I hope he talks about this and demonstrates the lies for each because I make shot choice errors in this area too frequently.

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He is doing a short game clinic at the course I play at a week from Saturday.  I hope he talks about this and demonstrates the lies for each because I make shot choice errors in this area too frequently.

@turtleback ,

Did you go to the clinic?  If so, how was it?

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@turtleback ,

Did you go to the clinic?  If so, how was it?

I did go and I really enjoyed it.  I wish I had a video of the whole thing because there was about 6 months of things to try and to work on.  As it is I took away a couple of things I've been able to fool with and get some good results.  The whole thing about right and left hand control on chip shots has been really helpful.  Left-hand in control with a firm movement for a running chip versus right hand in control for slipping the club under the ball for a more lofted chip has helped me a lot.  The other thing I took away was not focusing where the leading edge of the club enters the sand on a bunker shot but focusing on where the bounce enters the sand.  I've been much more consistent since I started focusing on that.  I'm probably not explaining it well,

He also had a lot of great stories, both about his early career and about coaching some of the great players of today.  A wonderful 2 hours.  And it was free!

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