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Golf Lessons : Sand wedge shots

12 July 2012

Whether you enjoy the occasional game of golf to relax, are a frequent amateur player or destined to join the pro golfers, everyone can benefit from a tip or two on the green. In our series of golf lessons at Caddyshack Rentals we address various aspects of the game that can sometimes catch you out.

Today we’re going to look at two short pitches that teaching professional Jim Flick regularly uses as  part his training techniques;

1. Pitch from tight lie: This year at the US Open, several chipping areas were created around the greens. If your ball ended up there, your best bet was hitting a soft pitch from a very tight lie. To make this shot,  play the ball slightly forward of centre in your stance. Lay the clubshaft back to use more of the wedge’s bounce, but don’t open the clubface. During the swing, use very little wrist hinge; think of it more as an arm swing – That’s how you make good contact and hit the shot softly.

2. Pitch from deep rough. Another shot more typical in US Open conditions but still beneficial to all round game play – What to do when you find your ball sitting down in heavy grass but fairly close to the green. The first thing is getting the golf club more vertical when going back. Open the face to increase the loft on the wedge; play the ball back off centre in your stance. Then when you swing down, be aggressive, but be careful to limit your follow-through, holding the face open past impact. Be sure to use a tighter grip pressure so you can keep the face from closing in the taller grass. Think of it as a bunker shot; it’s OK for the club to hit the grass behind the ball. The ball should pop up fairly softly, but allow for some roll-out! If you’re really close to the green, say a foot or two from the fringe, play the ball off your right foot, lean left, and close the clubface. Chop down on the ball and allow for a lot of run-out.