putting

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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The Golf Talk team

 

 

Want a lower score? – Here is three quick ways to sink more putts

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If you ask any golf professional whats the quickest way to lower your score they would tell you to ‘get better at putting’. We know that for the average mid to high handicapper spends around half of their time on the greens so getting better at putting will definitely improve your score overall. In this article we would like to share with you three quick ways you can sink more putts an improve you score.

  • Practise, practise, practise. It is with putting as it is with mGolf player at the greenany things in life ‘Practise makes perfect’. The more you practise your putting stroke the better putter you will be. We would encourage you to practice a range of putts from all distances, practise putting from off the green and practise reading the green. This is a sure fire way to gain your putting confidence and get more into the hole.
  • Get into a putting routine. Watch the pro’s on TV and you will see them have the same routine after every putt, no matter what the distance or break. Having a solid routine will help you hole more putts, especially the pressure putts because you will be forced not to rush and make a bad stroke.
  • Try a new putter. As we all know golf is a game of confidence and if you are simply not holing as many as you deserve then maybe changing your putter ( or getting it re-gripped ) may have a positive effect on your confidence. Also putters are the clubs in our bag that we probably change the least, so you may be upgrading your putter to a newer technology that could help you hole with those off centred strokes.

Putting is a vital part of the game and if you are putting well then you will usually have a good round of golf and a more enjoyable time on the course.

Try these tips to improve your putting and please share any successes you have … good luck!

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The Golf Talk team

Course management – The key to breaking 90?

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It’s the question that most new golfers want answered, how can I break 90?

Golfing couple high fiving on the golf courseIf this is you and you are scoring in the mid 90’s now, then great, this information should be of help. The good news is that you can obviously hit a reasonable ball if you can shoot in the mid 90’s. Where we see most mid to high handicappers fall down is with their course management.

Course management is often an over-looked part of the amateurs golf game because hitting a 7 iron off the tee for safety is not as exciting as a 250 yard drive. Every golf professional on the planet will analyse the ‘risk and reward’ of each shot to see if it is worth going for. What do I get if I pull the shot off? and what happens if I don’t?

So what is course management?  We define course management as the ability to play the course as the course designer intended. Hitting a variety of different shots and avoiding the hazards.

Course management can be divided into three main categories.

  1. Tee shots
  2. Approach
  3. Putting

Tee Shots – Don’t automatically reach for the driver. When on the tee, look to see what hazards the course designer has placed in front of you and work out how best you can avoid them. For example, can you play short of a bunker with an iron instead of hitting a great tee shot with a driver only to run into the hazard?

Also, do you have a favourite distance for your second shot into the green? It would make sense to try and leave yourself this shot instead of a distance that you are less confident to reach. For example, if you were to play a 4 iron tee shot to leave you your favourite 9 iron shot then you may have more chance of reaching the green in regulation.

Approach Shots – Now you have hit the fairway and avoided any hazards you need to think about your approach to the green. The golf professional will look for a safe area, somewhere – if they were to miss the green – where they would have a better than average chance of getting ‘up and down’. So where is your safe area? Usually the middle of the green is good enough however, we still go for the flag even though a miss may leave us with a very difficult third shot and a potential 5 0r even 6 on the scorecard.

Also, with your approach shots consider how well you have been hitting your clubs on the day. If you are not striking the ball particularly cleanly then it may be advisable to club up. The worst that can happen is that you strike the ball well and finish at the back of the green.

Putting – In an average round of golf almost a third of the shots taken are with the putter. Your goal should be to two putt every green. This means an approach putt that will leave you an easy ‘tap in’. We see many amateur golfer try to hole every putt which can sometimes leave them with a difficult return and a 3 putt on the scorecard. Also, when on the practice green do spend time trying to hole the 2 – 3 feet putts. on the scorecard they count the same as every other shot you take.

Using these course management tips will undoubtedly take shots of your score. Why not give them a try?

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The Golf Talk team