End of the Week Tip: Short Game's Tight Lies

The technique used to get the ball close to the hole from a closely mown lie can be very different from when the ball is in taller grass.  Follow these tips to make sure you perform your best when you find yourself in a closely mown area around the green:

·       Club selection.  My first rule when around the green is to use your putter if at all possible.  Closely mown areas around the green can offer several opportunities to use your putter.  But sometimes the shot is either too long or you need to carry the ball over a steep slope or obstacle.  In this case, you want to select a club that will create your desired ball flight.  Just make sure whichever club you pick is one that you’ve spent time rehearsing in practice.

·       “Land” the club on the ground like an airplane. In Andrew Rice’s “Wedge Project” he discusses how your club should stay as close to the ground as possible for as long as possible through impact.  This means trying to hit down on the ball is a bad idea that will result in inconsistent contact.  “Landing” the club on the ground through impact can be achieved by using little to no wrist hinge in the swing and rotating your upper body to swing the club.  You will also notice that there is little to no divot when you execute this shot properly.

·       Go for the draw.  In order to “land” your club it needs to come in shallow and from inside the target line.  The draw, curving right to left for the right handed golfer, is created with a swing path that is from the inside and shallow.  Practice this by placing an alignment rod in the ground on the target line about 10 feet in front of the ball.  Make the ball start just right of the stick then slightly curve left back to the target (opposite for left handed golfers).