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hack2scratch

Favorite distance control technique?

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What's your goto technique for distance control? And why

Say you are in between clubs and decides to go more club.

Grip down?

Open face?

Shorter swing

Weight forward

 

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Grip down 1.5 - 2 inches and take the same swing. The ball will fly 10ish less yards and flight will be a little lower.

I almost always go with more club if I'm in between.

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Assuming an iron or wedge; my go to method is to play the ball up in my stance and stuff the club underneath the ball.  With the face square I can lose enough that I can just go ahead and whack it.  Can't say that I've ever tried that with anything longer than a 7 iron.  For longer clubs I try to moderate my tempo...feel the force

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Grip down.  It doesn't take much.  3/4 inch = 5-8 yards.  

Having said that, the vast majority would be better taking the longer club and simply making a normal swing.  They might actually get the ball close to pin high for a change...  ;-)

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29 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Grip down.  It doesn't take much.  3/4 inch = 5-8 yards.  

Having said that, the vast majority would be better taking the longer club and simply making a normal swing.  They might actually get the ball close to pin high for a change...  ;-)

You're right, I rarely see mid - high handicappers miss long unless they thin their shot.  At my home course I usually play with a combination of the same guys and on every Par 3 they land short of the flag and often short of the green but pull the same club and get the same results every time.  

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I like hitting a flighted shot. I do sometimes pull them but my distance control is good most of the time. I've done this with every iron in my bag.

 

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Mine are a shorter swing, gripping down, and the open club face. Of those, the shorter swing not so much. Other times a combination of 2 or 3 of them.   

Something  else I sometimes use is the course it's self. If there is a hill/ berm in front of me I might hit into it, and let the ball pop up, and over it, on to the green.  

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I used to be very good at gripping down and hitting the ball shorter, but now I either flight it or hit a big high push cut with a soft swing. 

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In general, I don't try to be precise enough to control the distance to within more than 10 yards on an approach shot. So, the answer is nothing. For example, if the pin is at 120 and the center of the green is 125, I'm hitting my 125 club instead of trying to adjust my 125 club to go 120. If that club goes anywhere between 120-130, that's totally fine by me. If I tried to hit that club 120, the odds are still that I'm not going to have a close putt, so what's the point? Aim at the center of the green, 2 putt for par, and get out of there.

That said, if I really need to control my distance (say I'm pressing for birdies in a tournament or playing a scramble), I have a couple of techniques:

  1. 1/2 and 3/4 swings with wedges. I'm not going to bother with this with anything above a pitching wedge, because we're not precise enough with longer clubs to invest time into learning those distances.
  2. Grip down a little bit. That will take maybe 5 yards off a club. Hard to know that for sure, because I do that once every 5 rounds or something.
  3. Flight a club like this (I use this technique more when I don't want a lot of spin with my wedges): 

I think trying to control distances on the range is a fun brain plasticity exercise or a good break from working on your priority piece. Nice to be able to pull out when absolutely necessary. Sort of like hitting a big slice or big hook.

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10 hours ago, David in FL said:

Having said that, the vast majority would be better taking the longer club and simply making a normal swing.  They might actually get the ball close to pin high for a change...  ;-)

This is so true. I rarely see anyone I play with (that didn't blade it) hit the ball too far on approach shots. As an alternative to trying to dial in 8 yds, I like to choose the club based on what my miss might be. If there's danger long, hit the shorter club. If there's danger short, take the longer club. If it's wide open take the longer club.

That is for everything down to a PW. With my wedges (partial shots inside 100'ish), I have yardages in mind based on back swing length. And, I think it's worth practicing those shots. For example: 9 O'Clock backswing with my 50 degree will go about 50 yds. Same shot with my PW will go about 60, and around 30 with my 56 degree. Then, I'll adjust based off of those starting points.

I should mention it's what feels like 9 O'Clock, not looks like. It actually looks longer on video.

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Great question!

When I am striking it well, I like to shorten the arc by gripping down and put a 90% swing on the ball with the longer club. I used to try to get cute and hit a cut, but I find a slight knock-down works better for me. If its a so-so day ball striking wise, I hit the longer club normally knowing that my distance will probably suffer a little bit due to me being a little off. 

Occasionally, if I am just a few yards shy of normal, I may put the ball back slightly and try to hit the 100% shot with the lesser club if its with a shortish iron. For reference, I try to keep my normal swing about 95% of what I feel is all out. Another caveat is that these percentages are really based on my feel, not scientifically measured efforts! 

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Note: This thread is 1232 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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