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Quietus

Just Can't Pitch/Chip Inside 60 Yards

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I can't figure it out. The local course here has relatively tight fairways and once my ball is inside 50-60 yards, 70% of the time I top the ball with a controlled SW shot. I've tried shallowing my AoA and different ball positions but it doesn't seem to consistently fix the issue. I'm thinking of just putting from that far out but some holes have greens going uphill and putting becomes a lot more difficult.

Would appreciate any tips on how to improve this aspect of my short game.

On another note, how am I supposed to improve my short game in general at a range with mats? It feels completely different from an actual fairway/rough. Are there any ways to still get better if I can't always go to the golf course for a round?

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Get some whiffle balls. You can use them at home in your back yard. Even in your house for that matter. That takes care of mat issue. 

As for topping the ball, Google, and read up on what the possible causes are for toppers. Then compare what you read with your own swing. 

Maybe read up on punch shots. Those can come in handy for 50-60 yards in the right situation.

How's your sand swing? If you are good at that shot, maybe try your sandy swing with a different club, with an open face. I hit 50-60 yard flop shots quite often. 

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2 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Watch this. It will help.

 

Thanks for this. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea of why you'd want to use bounce for tighter lies. I get how it'd prevent the common issue of having the leading edge come in steep into the ground and barely launching the ball forward. However, wouldn't using the bounce make it so easy for the leading edge to hit the ball and just skull it? In a fluffy lie, I can see the club going under the ball avoiding this issue but on a tight lie, it seems like I'd just end up skulling the ball nonstop (which is my biggest issue already)!

Could anyone explain why using the bounce would increase the margin of error for these shots? I don't really understand it from reading the thread.

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Bounce or glide is your friend on pitch shots. So for instance, I know @iacas has 17° of bounce on his 54° wedge... He can probably explain it better than I can. I'll keep it as simple as I can. The bounce is the angle between the sole and the leading edge. So for tighter lies, you'd want the skip the club across the ground, catching the ball at the same time as the ground.

Erik, could you take over? I'm trying to find that video of you pitching 4 balls at the same time while explaining how to use bounce, I think.

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12 hours ago, Quietus said:

I can't figure it out. The local course here has relatively tight fairways and once my ball is inside 50-60 yards, 70% of the time I top the ball with a controlled SW shot. I've tried shallowing my AoA and different ball positions but it doesn't seem to consistently fix the issue. I'm thinking of just putting from that far out but some holes have greens going uphill and putting becomes a lot more difficult.

Would appreciate any tips on how to improve this aspect of my short game.

On another note, how am I supposed to improve my short game in general at a range with mats? It feels completely different from an actual fairway/rough. Are there any ways to still get better if I can't always go to the golf course for a round?

Post a swing video.   The help is free.   Show everyone what's happening.

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12 hours ago, Quietus said:

Thanks for this. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea of why you'd want to use bounce for tighter lies. I get how it'd prevent the common issue of having the leading edge come in steep into the ground and barely launching the ball forward. However, wouldn't using the bounce make it so easy for the leading edge to hit the ball and just skull it? In a fluffy lie, I can see the club going under the ball avoiding this issue but on a tight lie, it seems like I'd just end up skulling the ball nonstop (which is my biggest issue already)!

Could anyone explain why using the bounce would increase the margin of error for these shots? I don't really understand it from reading the thread.

Bounce for tighter lies is one of those golf scenarios where opposites actually mean something. Just accepting it is alot easier than trying to understand it.

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12 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Bounce or glide is your friend on pitch shots. So for instance, I know @iacas has 17° of bounce on his 54° wedge... He can probably explain it better than I can. I'll keep it as simple as I can. The bounce is the angle between the sole and the leading edge. So for tighter lies, you'd want the skip the club across the ground, catching the ball at the same time as the ground.

Erik, could you take over? I'm trying to find that video of you pitching 4 balls at the same time while explaining how to use bounce, I think.

I know the one you mean, but can't find it either. The one below is good, as well:

 

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Find a different range? Take time out to practice your shot, not "just when you don't have time to play a round." Deliberate practice. Find a range or location that has the capabilities to hit those shot.

Get a higher lofted wedge is a option.

Technique is your issue and you will need to practice and pay attention closely to your swings that land where you want them. (and utilize the aforementioned information).

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14 hours ago, Quietus said:

Thanks for this. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea of why you'd want to use bounce for tighter lies.

Bounce doesn't mean the leading edge is half an inch off the ground.

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On 4/1/2018 at 3:35 AM, Quietus said:

Thanks for this. I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea of why you'd want to use bounce for tighter lies. I get how it'd prevent the common issue of having the leading edge come in steep into the ground and barely launching the ball forward. However, wouldn't using the bounce make it so easy for the leading edge to hit the ball and just skull it? In a fluffy lie, I can see the club going under the ball avoiding this issue but on a tight lie, it seems like I'd just end up skulling the ball nonstop (which is my biggest issue already)!

High bounce paired with the proper grind will allow you to expose the bounce without the leading edge being too high off the ground.

It's entirely possible that not having enough bounce is why you're skulling pitches to begin with. You might have developed improper technique from trying not to chunk your pitches.

On 4/1/2018 at 3:35 AM, Quietus said:

Could anyone explain why using the bounce would increase the margin of error for these shots? I don't really understand it from reading the thread.

The most forgiving hitting window occurs right around the bottom of the swing arc where it is shallower. The height of the clubhead is changing at a slower rate, giving you more room for error. It's also why you want to pitch with the ball forward in your stance.

Bounce helps by keeping your club from digging into the turf when you hit slightly behind the ball. The clubhead will "glide" across the turf instead of digging down into it. It's kind of the same way a range mat is more forgiving on fat shots.

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I can chip well, I mean good ball striking off of a tight lie, I just can't control distance very well! I'm either way short or way long, (not skulled). I know it is a matter of practice and I devote a good portion of my time at the range to chipping but to no avail. With no bunker in front of me I go more often to an 8 irons and bump and run it now, I feel I have more control over distance, (and I do). 

Hitting over green side bunkers is another issue. There you are usually not hitting off a tight lie but rather from the rough or semi-rough. Here I use a 58* Callaway wedge try to hit a flop shot depending on the amount of green to work with, but I usually hit it short or long as well.

I find I get timid around these shots and have been accused of peeking. I find the short game to be the hardest and I lose a lot of strokes.

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Agree with @Valleygolfer to stay AWAY from the 50-60 yard range whenever possible.  There's a good reason tour pros don't lay up to this range:  It's a really difficult shot for everybody.

I used to play scrambles with guys who hit tee balls to this range on par 4 holes.  They'd say, "okay Dave, stick one close!"  Sheesh!  How many times do you think I can hit this shot before I blade one over the green?

Tough shot.

If you do keep getting yourself into the 50-60 yard range, maybe learn how to pitch with lower lofted wedge or even a 9- or 8-iron using more of a putting stroke?  Tight lies indicate ball-first strike I believe.  Good amount of spin and let it roll out like a putt once on the green.  The obvious downside of this shot is you may get the bad bounce along the the way to the green.

Better yet, stay OUT of this range and back to a yardage where you can swing at least 80% of a lob wedge and fly it all nearer the hole taking out the possibility of the bad bounce.

Last Saturday, we're playing in complete mush conditions.  The last hole, a long par 4 was completely into the wind.  I had to lay up my 2nd shot due to bunkers that started 40 yards in.  Since it was a cart path only rule, I took a layup club (8-iron) and some shorter clubs with me.  Of course the layup shot was crushed leaving me closer to the green than planned.  I had a 50* gap wedge as my shortest club and had your favorite 64 yard shot to the pin.  3/4 easy swing with ball first contact and hit a once-bounce stop to 10'.  Missed the par putt of course, but was able to take enough off a club that usually goes 90-100 yards to hit it only 65 yards.

It's certainly possible to negotiate that distance if you're good with less than full shots with your wedges, but personally, I try really hard to stay OUT of that range.  The one I hit Saturday was likely as much luck as skill.

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5 minutes ago, dave s said:

Agree with @Valleygolfer to stay AWAY from the 50-60 yard range whenever possible.  There's a good reason tour pros don't lay up to this range:  It's a really difficult shot for everybody.

I used to play scrambles with guys who hit tee balls to this range on par 4 holes.  They'd say, "okay Dave, stick one close!"  Sheesh!  How many times do you think I can hit this shot before I blade one over the green?

Tough shot.

If you do keep getting yourself into the 50-60 yard range, maybe learn how to pitch with lower lofted wedge or even a 9- or 8-iron using more of a putting stroke?  Tight lies indicate ball-first strike I believe.  Good amount of spin and let it roll out like a putt once on the green.  The obvious downside of this shot is you may get the bad bounce along the the way to the green.

Better yet, stay OUT of this range and back to a yardage where you can swing at least 80% of a lob wedge and fly it all nearer the hole taking out the possibility of the bad bounce.

Last Saturday, we're playing in complete mush conditions.  The last hole, a long par 4 was completely into the wind.  I had to lay up my 2nd shot due to bunkers that started 40 yards in.  Since it was a cart path only rule, I took a layup club (8-iron) and some shorter clubs with me.  Of course the layup shot was crushed leaving me closer to the green than planned.  I had a 50* gap wedge as my shortest club and had your favorite 64 yard shot to the pin.  3/4 easy swing with ball first contact and hit a once-bounce stop to 10'.  Missed the par putt of course, but was able to take enough off a club that usually goes 90-100 yards to hit it only 65 yards.

It's certainly possible to negotiate that distance if you're good with less than full shots with your wedges, but personally, I try really hard to stay OUT of that range.  The one I hit Saturday was likely as much luck as skill.

Woah, woah, woah. Hold up, this is terrible advice. Get as close as you can to the hole and safely. Better yet, read LSW, which will explain all of this. From 50 yards away, you're far more likely to hit the green than you are at 100, 120, or even 70 yards.

Clearly, if there's a weakness, make sure you address that by practising your partial wedge shots at the range and get used to problem yardages. Even so, the ultimate aim must always be to progress the ball as far as possible, ensuring safety. Laying up at 120 yards is not good strategy and the stats (PGA tour through to amateur) prove it.

Also, @Valleygolfer's comment on finding a different range was (I believe) in reference to the OP finding it hard to hit off certain range mats compared to the course, not laying up further back. I.e. driving range rather than range in terms of distance.

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@b101 just beat me to it, but my thoughts below are VERY similar to his

 

22 minutes ago, dave s said:

Agree with @Valleygolfer to stay AWAY from the 50-60 yard range whenever possible.  There's a good reason tour pros don't lay up to this range:  It's a really difficult shot for everybody.

It has always baffled me when tour players lay back to 100+ yards when often there might be an additional 30 or more yards they could have gone and still been safe from hazards.

The data suggests that they are better off being 50-75 yards to the hole than they are 100-125.

For players that have 5 or more attempts for each distance this year:

Average proximity from 50-75 yds 15' 11"

Average proximity from 100-125 yards 20' 8"

The closer you are, the closer on average your next shot will be to the hole. 

22 minutes ago, dave s said:

Better yet, stay OUT of this range and back to a yardage where you can swing at least 80% of a lob wedge and fly it all nearer the hole taking out the possibility of the bad bounce.

IMO that is not good advice. Advance the ball safely as close to the hole as possible. Sure you might thin one of the 60 yd wedge shots, but from 100 yards out you can also chunk one that goes 50 yards, thin one 20 yards off the back of the green, etc etc. 

Think about it this way, which would you rather have, your worst shot from 60 yards, or your worst shot from 100 out? I'd bet the worst from 60 is almost always going to be closer to the hole than the worst from 100. 

Edited by klineka

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21 minutes ago, b101 said:

Woah, woah, woah. Hold up, this is terrible advice. Get as close as you can to the hole and safely. Better yet, read LSW, which will explain all of this. From 50 yards away, you're far more likely to hit the green than you are at 100, 120, or even 70 yards.

Clearly, if there's a weakness, make sure you address that by practising your partial wedge shots at the range and get used to problem yardages. Even so, the ultimate aim must always be to progress the ball as far as possible, ensuring safety. Laying up at 120 yards is not good strategy and the stats (PGA tour through to amateur) prove it.

Also, @Valleygolfer's comment on finding a different range was (I believe) in reference to the OP finding it hard to hit off certain range mats compared to the course, not laying up further back. I.e. driving range rather than range in terms of distance.

I still assert that 50-60 yard shots are difficult to hit with consistently quality results for many players. From a tight fairway lie or off a mat at a range.  As far as getting as close as you possibly can to the green, yes indeed.  Agree 100%.

Those who need help with that awkward half wedge shot should attempt to get better at it as you indicate.  Those who simply can't manage those shots might want to avoid leaving themselves in that predicament.

That's all I'm saying and it's not terrible advice, mate.  Consistently poor results from that range? Develop a plan to stay away from the shot.

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1 minute ago, dave s said:

Those who need help with that awkward half wedge shot should attempt to get better at it as you indicate. 

 

1 minute ago, dave s said:

Consistently poor results from that range? Develop a plan to stay away from the shot.

Those two statements contradict each other.

If you have consistently poor results, you should work to eliminate that weakness from your game. 

Once you have a wedge with the correct grind and bounce for your situation, a half wedge shot is relatively easy to become at least "acceptable" at. 

5 minutes ago, dave s said:

I still assert that 50-60 yard shots are difficult to hit with consistently quality results for many players.

I still assert that players of all skill levels will average a closer proximity to the hole from 50-60 yards than they will from 100 yards.

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