Get Up & Down From The Edge Of The Green
By Paul Charman GP Teaching Professional
I’m a golfer in despair. My short game is costing me at least 10 shots a round and I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. Can you save me from turning that potential birdie into yet another bogey?
Chris from Salisbury (20 handicap)
Chris, throwing the ball underarm might seem like the work of a madman– but trust me, it’ll get you thinking about crucial elements to your technique. Most players obsess about how far they can hit their woods and long irons. Most players love nothing better than throwing a 60 degree lob wedge into outer space, with no regard to where it lands. And most players blame poor scores on bad putting. Here’s a thought – if you managed to chip the ball closer to the hole in the first place then you might never again have to mark your ball after missing a second putt. The whole point of this exercise is to get used to the physical action of putting the ball next to the hole and imitating that physical technique in the way you play your golf shot.
- When you’re just short of the green (and when the hole is cut to the front) the ball will need more flight and less roll. Trust your physical instincts – your body’s natural inclination when throwing the ball is to stand tall as you release it to ensure a soft landing. You’ll also notice that you perform a natural follow-through after the ball leaves your hand. The way your body behaves is a natural indication of how you play.
- Using a wedge, try and play the shots with the same tempo as you threw the ball. Be careful not to open the club face, or consciously get under the ball. Let the club face do the work. They key thing is to remember the follow-through you had on the throw. Whatever you do when the club’s in your hand, don’t quit on the ball.
- If the pin position is towards the back and there’s plenty of green to work with, you’re going to need some extra distance. The best approach is to keep your body position low to make sure you reach the hole with your throw and work with the countours of the green to get the ball within makeable distance.
- Take the club back and through the ball with the same feel and distance your arms travelled without the club. Always try to accelerate gently through impact. It’s fair to say that the majority of golfers underhit this shot (if they don’t thin it through the green, that is), so make sure you don’t. So again, don’t quit on your follow-through.
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