green in regulation

How to play the putting chip – get up and down

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We know from previous articles that the averagechipping a golf ball onto the green amateur golfer will achieve around three greens in regulation during their eighteen holes of golf. So for us to make any kind of reasonable score will will need to get up and down more often than not. By this we mean chip the ball close to the hole and sink the putt. In this article we will discuss a different way of chipping the ball close to the hole called the putting chip. This should give you more consistency and hopefully lower scores.

So what is the putting chip?

Many golfers find taking a standard chip shot from the fringe of the green a difficult task to hit consistently well. They set up over the ball and take a nervous backswing and stub the club behind the ball, or look up and thin it across the green. Either way the results do not give us a chance of securing a par.

What we would encourage you to try is the putting chip. As the name suggests take a six or seven iron and grip the club with your standard putting grip. Take a few practice swings gently brushing the grass in a sweeping motion. Now set up over the ball and focus on the back of the ball where the clubhead will make contact. You should find that this is a more comfortable set up and now all you need to concentrate on is the contact of the ball. Try this shot with a number of different clubs with the rule of the more roll you need the less loft you will have. For example, if you are hitting a longer chip and just need to get the ball onto the green and rolling then maybe a six iron would be the club of choice. If the hole is much nearer and you are looking for less roll then a pitching wedge maybe the club to choose. For you the grip and set up remains the same the only thing that is changing is the club in your hands.

If you think that this technique maybe of help to you then your next step is to take this to the practice ground. Spend sometime practising with a number of clubs to see what clubs works best at different lengths. Then you will be ready to take this onto the course and start lowering your scores.

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Course Management – Five tips for short hitters

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For many golfers we have to accept that hitting the ball a long way is not going to happen for us and try as we may, keeping up with the long hitters in the group will just make us feel frustrated. However, this does not mean that we cannot score well we just need to play to our strengths. In this article we will give you our top five recommendations of how to score well and not let yGolf 005our distance off the tee be a disadvantage.

First of all we need to accept that distance is not our key priority, accuracy is. For many short hitters are relatively accurate. What we need to concentrate on is consistent ball striking. So our first tip for the short hitter is to practise hitting crisp iron shots. A good drill to practise when on the driving range is to place a ball under you right heel and hit a few half shots with a medium iron. This should give you the crisp feeling of a descending blow and help you achieve the desired strike. Also remember to practise your pre-shot routine, this will help with consistent ball striking. For more details on how to develop a reliable pre-shot routine look in the back catalogue on www.golftalk.club

Our second tips is to look at your golf club selection and assess whether you have the right clubs in your bag for your local course. If you are playing a course that has a number of longish par fours then maybe the addition of a seven wood or a rescue club would be a good addition to your bag.  Longer irons are usually much harder to strike consistently well so try them out and see what difference it makes to your game. If you do decide to stick with your irons then ensure that you give them plenty of time on the driving range to help with your confidence and consistency.

You will find that you will be faced with a number of longer shots into the green so a good short game is a must for you to score well. Practise chipping from off the green and holing the putts to help you get up and down on a consistent basis. Also spend a little time on pitch shots of around twenty to thirty yards as you may find yourself just short of the green and as with chipping getting up and down from here is essential.

Also with regard to putting practise, spend more time holing out from three feet to take some pressure off your chipping. Develop a good, reliable stroke. Remember that even though you may not reach the green in regulation a good putter is a match for anyone. Keep a note of your putting stats with an objective to lowering your averages.

Finally accept that you will not reach some greens in regulation and that you will be forced to play some par four holes as three shots onto the green. This means that good course management is essential. Ask yourself how is it best to play this hole instead of immediately reaching for your driver. For example a par four hole with a yardage of four hundred yards maybe a driver, a five wood and a chip onto the green for you. Or you could play three six irons and achieve the same result. What type of play will give you more consistency?

Try these tips and see how they improve you score and enjoyment out on the course.

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How to develop a Perfect Pitching technique

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The average amateur golfer with a score of 90 strokes will hit around three or four greens in regulation. Even the pro’s shooting a level par round with only achieve 12 out of 18 greens in regulation. This means having a solid pitching technique is essential for you to get ‘up and down’ and save par. In this article we will give you a some practical advice on a perfect pitching technique that you can take out on the course with you.

Many of the golf professionals use a gearing technique to control the distance of their pitches. This gearing technique means that when they are faced with a 50 yard shot to the green they automatically know which club to hit and how hard. Enabling them to get closer to the hole and sink the putt.

What is the gearing technique?

What we want you to imagine a clock face, with you standing at 12 o’clock . Gear 1 is your backswing going back to 9 o’clock (for a right handed golfer), or a half backswing. Gear 2Clock is 11 o’clock or a three quarter back swing, and finally Gear 3 is 1 o’clock or a full backswing. This will give you three shots to choose from when faced with a pitch shot. Either gear 1,2,or 3.

Next we want you to practice these three gears with your LBW, SW, PW, 9 Iron, 8 Iron and 7 Iron. This will now give you 18 pitch shot options. For example if you are faced with a 30 yard pitch shot then all you need to think is gear 1 with a Pitch Wedge. This technique will also help if you have any hazards in front of you. An 80 yard distance to the green could be either gear 3 with a LBW if there is a bunker in the way or gear 1 with an 8 Iron for a pitch and run shot.

Spending some time on the practice ground is essential for perfecting this technique and will certainly help you get more pars and lower your score. Our advice is to hit 10 balls with each club, in each gear an note down the average distance. As you develop your pitching technique keep an ongoing record of your distances.

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