On Course Approach to your Short Game

gkeller813

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As I search for a way to get more up and downs, I'm turning to you THP for ideas on how you approach your short game, specifically greenside shots. I know a lot is dictated by your lie, hazards, etc, but what is your on course approach to your short game?

Do you have one club you feel comfortable with and you use it from all greenside shots? Do you use 4 different clubs depending on what's in front of you, or how much green you have to work with?

Do you want to get it high and stop shortly there after, or do you want to keep it low and let it roll out?

Do you have a swing thought that has helped improve your consistency?

Let's hear what works for you, and if it doesn't work currently, maybe you can learn something new and improve!
 

ArmyGolf

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I try to keep my short game simple, and since simplifying it I've seen great results.

Motion is mostly a "hinge & hold". There is a small release but it doesn't feel like it to me.

If I have little green to work with I use the 60 PM Grind, always face opened.

If I have lots of green to work with I use 56* S grind. Face angle to suit situation.
 

gkeller813

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I try to keep my short game simple, and since simplifying it I've seen great results.

Motion is mostly a "hinge & hold". There is a small release but it doesn't feel like it to me.

If I have little green to work with I use the 60 PM Grind, always face opened.

If I have lots of green to work with I use 56* S grind. Face angle to suit situation.
I'm trying to be more flexible in club selection. I use my 58* for most all greenside shots. It works well if I have little green to work with, but I need to be better when I have a lot of green to work with. I don't get it close consistent enough in that situation.
 

dAS0

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My go to club for being just off the green is my 46* PW. I play a bump and run whenever possible. If I am short sided or in thick grass, my high bounce SW comes into play. I will use my 60* for flop shots, but that is only if absolutely necessary.
 

That post

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The Edel SMS 56º that I got chosen to test for THP is my go-to for anything inside of 50y. The consistency I have with that club is unreal.
 

ArmyGolf

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I'm trying to be more flexible in club selection. I use my 58* for most all greenside shots. It works well if I have little green to work with, but I need to be better when I have a lot of green to work with. I don't get it close consistent enough in that situation.
I used to use my 60 too much and got sick of coming up short too often. The 60 just bites unpredictably sometimes even out of damp grass.

Since using the 56 more the miss is probably 5 ft long rather than 7 ft short, but 5 ft comebacks are easier to make because you've seen the break, and quite often uphill.
 

golfboyblues

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If I am facing a shot where I need to pitch it over a bunker or a mound around the green, I use my highest lofted club and open the face.
When chipping I prefer the "low and let it roll" style. I feel I have a better chance to get the ball close to the hole with this method. Most chips I use my pitching wedge, but for longer rolls I have used my 8 & 9 irons.
 

gkeller813

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If I am facing a shot where I need to pitch it over a bunker or a mound around the green, I use my highest lofted club and open the face.
When chipping I prefer the "low and let it roll" style. I feel I have a better chance to get the ball close to the hole with this method. Most chips I use my pitching wedge, but for longer rolls I have used my 8 & 9 irons.
I just need to try this out more, the low and let it roll style. I come up woefully short too often with my 58* when I have green to work with.
 

CTRosarian

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I learned golf on an Executive course with tiny greens and nasty hazards around the greens. It is way too easy to end up in unplayable rough if one aims at the pin, so I made the decision to play most of the Par 3s as Par 4s! I aimed and hit target areas with my irons, leaving me makeable approach shots that would stay on the green. :)
I tried different things and found out what I'm comfortable with doing near the green. I prefer bunkers to leaves. Thick bermuda rough is the worst as it gets thick enough to hide the ball. And when I find my ball I often leave it short. I'd rather pick the ball off a tight lie. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and it takes playing to find out which is which.
 

Luchnia

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56 for most all green side shots. I used to use 3 wedges and realized how much better it is for me to simply use one and grow more confidence in my shots that way. It has made a difference for me. I do sometimes use my SW or other clubs for certain shots, but it all depends on the greens and the approach. The 56 gets the most workout for the short stuff.
 

Nick20UK

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I've had improved results lately by just keeping the wrists as still as possible with very little release. Still with some body turn, but just keeping those hands quiet.
 

USAF Ret in Wis

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I use my 54° wedge for all my short shots to the green. Tried mixing in my PW or 9 iron, and it got confusing.

I just focus on where I want it to land for each shot!
 

Davidhibler

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I used to go highest lofted for all shots. It started to get in my head and I started to blade my chips a few months back.

I've since switched to my 50* and try to keep them closer to the ground for everything inside 20ish yards.

I still go aerial for anything outside of that
 

DataDude

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I want the ball on the ground as much as possible because that is how I can control distance the best. In the air distance has to be controlled by launch and acceleration, on the ground it is just acceleration so that is less variance for me.
 

Chef23

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In general I want to get the ball on the ground and running as soon as possible. I believe this is easier if you use the least lofted club possible as your misses are better. Think about throwing a ball to a spot or playing bocce. You don't lob the ball up in the air and try to stop it there you roll it out. Your short game is the same.

The Off Course from last week with @Canadan and Blast golf the Blast guy (I forget his name) talked about collecting lots of data and realizing he was better using less loft and getting the ball rolling. I know there pros like Mickelson that use one wedge for everything and manipulate the face but they are way more talented than we are.

Club selection I use a number of different clubs from 7i to 58* wedge and even throw in a fairway wood sometimes off fringe to elevated greens.
 

Bernoulli

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I use different clubs depending on the shot that I want to hit. I always consider if putting the ball is an option.

I am also a firm believer in minimizing air time and maximizing the amount of time the ball will roll on the ground.
 

Raiderboost

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I pretty much use only my 54* from 100 and in unless a big flop is needed or out of a greenside bunker when I'll use my 58*. For a long time I only had a pw then 54 so that was what I used. I got used to it and feel like it's easier to just stick with one instead of trying to use multiple wedges. I can try to keep my hands back and the clubhead more forward to hit it a little higher or keep it back some for a little lower. Closer to the green my swing is much more like an elongated putting stroke with keeping my wrists pretty straight. The farther out the more wrist hinge I will get.

I think though the biggest thing for me when the short game is being committed and hitting the full chip/pitch. When my short game is off I tend either decelerate a little or just not hit the ball hard enough and come up short a bunch. It also leads to more chunked shots. When I hit it full I feel like my overall proximity to the hole is closer. I may run some by a little but I feel like those always have a chance to maybe check up a little more or get lucky and hit the pin/drop. Being short will never go in.
 

Slowmo

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I find myself more and more using different wedges as what I used to be very good at is failing me due to lack of practice time. I used to use a 60 for everything, toss is high to about 5ft from the pin and let it stop and was very comfortable with it. Not that I don't have time or a good facility to practice at this has suffered as it's just such a touchy shot.
 

mikeg_74

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My base rule is always use my 54* wedge. It can bump and run, hit higher pitch/chips, etc... If I want to keep the ball lower and play more run out I will pull the GW or PW depending on distance.

I try not to get too cute with opening the face or stuff like that. Just straightforward and live with the results.
 

russtopher

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I use my 54° wedge for all my short shots to the green. Tried mixing in my PW or 9 iron, and it got confusing.

I just focus on where I want it to land for each shot!
Pretty much the same here. Lots of practice with that club has given me a lot of shots that I can keep in my pocket.

I am 100% also in favor of chipping with a 6i or 7i if I'm further away and getting the ball rolling as soon as possible is the best choice.
 

Snickerdog

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I chip/pitch with my 50* wedge 95% of the time. I can get it up enough if needed or hit a low runner. I can also hit a low spinner that will stop after one bounce. Just takes a lot of practice and dedication to the club. I do use my 58* if short sided.
 

gkeller813

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Great discussions and ideas. I took the approach last year to get really comfortable with my 58*, and it worked well for the most part. But, I still think I'm lacking in getting up and down based on my data and where I want to be. I'm not expecting every hole, but more often than where I'm at now. My Up and Down from 0-25 yards is 35%. Would like to get up closer to 50%.

Some things I like to keep in mind. If I can putt, I putt. Thanks to a video from Kevin Kisner, I keep my club in line with my body, and move as one. Has resulted in a lot more solid contact shots, and less thins or chunks.

I definitely don't get fancy with flops, but I really think getting at least one more club involved around the green would accomplish:

- Keeping it simple. Not mulling over 5 different club selections
- Give me more options depending on conditions
 

ttucliffhanger

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Like some said, try to keep it as simple as possible, but there are a few factors that will decide what club I use.

1. lie
2. how much green do I have to work with
3. Wet or dry conditions

If it is dry and I don't have much green to work with I will use my 54 almost always. If it's fluffy and not a lot of green to work with I'll pull the 58 PM grind and open the face up. If its damp/wet conditions like it is a lot during the winter, I will use my AW. Less likely to dig and cause me to hit it fat. Also, if I have a descent amount of green to work with I will pull the AW. That being said, the biggest thing that has helped me has been picking a landing spot and not thinking about the rest (after I determine the upper 3 factors). Pick the landing spot and let your perception/club do the rest. You will eventually learn how the ball is going to react based on the club and where to pick your landing spot. I quit looking at the hole and just the landing spot right before I hit and it has given me a lot more up and downs than previously. If you don't have multiple clubs you are comfortable, that's ok too. Get one you are comfortable with and roll with it. Everyone has their own game. Pick a landing spot and go for it.
 

jdtox

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Almost always one club but sometimes I will use another. I think its better to know what the ball is going to do and I will change the shot based on where I am in relation to the pin.
 

gkeller813

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In general I want to get the ball on the ground and running as soon as possible. I believe this is easier if you use the least lofted club possible as your misses are better. Think about throwing a ball to a spot or playing bocce. You don't lob the ball up in the air and try to stop it there you roll it out. Your short game is the same.

The Off Course from last week with @Canadan and Blast golf the Blast guy (I forget his name) talked about collecting lots of data and realizing he was better using less loft and getting the ball rolling. I know there pros like Mickelson that use one wedge for everything and manipulate the face but they are way more talented than we are.

Club selection I use a number of different clubs from 7i to 58* wedge and even throw in a fairway wood sometimes off fringe to elevated greens.
I remember hearing this too, and it kind of started my ponder.
 

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