6-8-10 Chipping Method
The past few years we had some very successful Short Game Clinics. $10.00 for a 90-minute Chipping, Putting & Wedge Game Workout....typically for 12-20 participants....is the best $10.00 one can spend on their golf game. Becoming proficient from 100 yards in and around the green can make up greatly for iron and wood deficiencies. We don’t always walk on the course and/or have our best swing; therefore, we need to have the ability to scramble a bit and save a lot of strokes just by utilizing a simple and higher percentage strategy around the green. I use it! I believe in it! I guarantee with some practice you can make the game more enjoyable and shoot better scores.
6-8-10 Chipping MethodThe golden rule in chipping is: fly the ball in the air as little as possible and roll the ball as much as attainable.
CHIPPING PROCESSWith that in mind, it is important to understand the air-time/ground-time ratios of shots hit with different clubs. The selection of the correct club is vital. You can chip with anything from a three-iron to a sand wedge depending on the situation, but you must know the following formulas to decide which club is required. When you chip with a 10 iron (or pitching wedge as it's commonly called), the ball will fly 1/2 the distance & roll 1/2 the distance to the hole. When you use an 8 iron the ball will fly 1/3 and roll 2/3. And, a 6 iron will fly 1/4 and roll 3/4.
FORMULASThese formulas are based on a normal-paced, level green (a situation we don’t often find on the course), so if you are going uphill you would need to go up one club and downhill requires going down one club. If the green is fast, you again will need to go down one club and if the green is slow, you will go up one club. I know this may sound odd at first, but once you understand the basic formula it really is common sense from then on. Below are 3 different chipping situations. Always try to land the ball approximately 3 feet onto the putting surface and let the ball roll the remaining distance. The ball will be more consistent rolling rather than bouncing towards the hole.
Meet the Wedges
Jay’s Tips - Meet the WedgesWedges are the highest-lofted clubs in a set of golf clubs, designed for short approach shots (for most golfers...120 yards and in), strokes played out of sand, chip shots and pitch shots, and generally any shot for which the golfer wants the ball to ascend and descend sharply. Wedges are also irons, but golfers think of wedges as a sub-set of irons, or as specialized irons. They are often thought of as their own category of golf clubs, in other words. From the 1930s forward, up until the latter part of the 20th century, it was common for even the best golfers to carry only two wedges...
Sand Wedge: Designed specifically to make hitting shots out of bunkers easier. Abbreviated SW.
In the late 20th century, as more specialization entered golf, golf companies began making additional wedges. Today, the other two wedges that are common are...
Gap Wedge: So-named because it falls in-between the pitching wedge and sand wedge in loft. The gap wedge has more loft than a PW, less loft than a SW. Lob Wedge: Usually the highest-lofted club a golfer will carry. The lob wedge creates a very steep angle of ascent and descent, for shots that must get up very quickly (perhaps, for example, to get over a tree) and for shots that you want to hit the green with a minimum of roll.
The Characteristics of Wedges
Wedges feature the shortest shafts and highest lofts of any golf clubs. In fact, wedges are often identified by their loft rather than their name. A lob wedge might instead be called a "60-degree wedge," for example. Sand wedges were invented (generally credited to Gene Sarazen) to make shots out of sand bunkers easier. Typically, sand wedges have lofts from 52 to 56 degrees. As lofts on irons have decreased over time (e.g., a 5-iron today might be lofted at 26 degrees, whereas 30 years ago a 5-iron would have been lofted at 32 degrees), it has become more popular to carry additional wedges. A typical lob wedge might have a loft of 60 degrees to 64 degrees. As its name implies, a lob wedge allows a player to "lob" the ball high into the air, from where it will drop steeply down onto the green, with little or no roll. With pitching wedges typically lofted from 42 to 46 degrees, the gap wedge is so-called because it closes the "gap" in loft between the pitching wedge and sand wedge. A typical gap wedge might be lofted from 48 to 54 degrees. The gap wedge also goes by the names A-wedge, attack wedge and approach wedge. All irons, including wedges, feature a design property known as "bounce angle," often just called "bounce." Bounce is a physical property of the sole of a golf wedge. And bounce is a concept that even golfers who have been playing for decades may not understand, or may misunderstand. So no beginner should worry too much if he hears other golfers talking about "bounce" and doesn't have a clue what it means. You're not required to at this point. The short version....the amount of bounce a wedge has can make the club more or less resistant to digging into the turf when the club hits the ground in the swing. Different golf course conditions, different uses for the wedge, different types of golf swings require more or less bounce. You can dig into the details, if you wish, in our examination of the role of bounce in wedges.
When to Use a Wedge for a Golf ShotAs for the appropriate time to use other wedges, that will, of course, be determined primarily by the yardage of your shot. On full shots from the fairway, a typical recreational male golfer might hit a sand wedge about 65-75 yards; women, 45-60. A lob wedge would be 40-50 yards for men, 25-40 for women. A gap wedge would fall in between your pitching wedge and sand wedge yardages.
And these clubs will, when properly struck, produce a very high, arching shot. So if you need to get over a tree, for example, a wedge comes in handy. Or if you're off the green with a big bunker right between you and the flagstick, a high, arching shot with a wedge is a good choice. Because wedge shots have such a high trajectory, they tend to roll very little once they hit the green. More accomplished players can produce a great deal of backspin with a wedge, causing the ball to back up (or "bite") once it hits the green.
Any wedge can also be used for chipping around the green but remember the 6-8-10 chipping method increases your chances of leaving your chip or pitch shot close. One word of caution when swinging a wedge....I recommend one should not make a big swing with a wedge. Wedges have higher degrees of loft and therefore have less room for error. Wedges are valuable tools but some caution is needed to hit it square and carry it the yardage your expecting it to fly. Find your distance with a ¾ swing with all of your wedges and increase your accuracy. If it won’t get there with a ¾ swing go back to your bag and get a less lofted wedge or 9 iron or more. Lastly, ball position is very important to the height and distance of your golf shop. Play them forward and they will fly higher and shorter. Play them towards the back of your stance and they will fly lower and farther.
Hope to see you on the greens!
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
1. Find a comfortable grip that gives control of the putter face but not too tight.
2. Line the putter face up square to the ball, not angled, during set up.
3. During the back & forward stroke, keep the putter straight as possible.
4. Focus on feeling and watch how far putts roll to learn about speed/distance control.
5. Putting Practice Gadgets: A) putting mirrors are cheap and great tools. B) Heavy putters make it easy to get a consistent path working. C) Ruler with tape every 4“ for length of stroke control.
6. We want to keep our putter moving the same speed at all times and control distance by the length of stroke. The longer the putt, the longer the stroke. Also, on long putts we want to stand tall and utilize more leverage by holding the putter on the very end of the grip. Lastly, eyes over the ball so you look down your line. (Putting mirror helps)
Drill #4: Left-Handed Putts Repeating the same golf drill from above, use just your left hand to stroke 3-foot putts to a target you’ve selected. One handed putting drills make our list of the best golf drills at home because of their simplicity, but also their effectiveness.
Drill #5: Putting to a Tee One of the best ways to practice putting at home is simply working on your control of the putter face. Set up a golf tee so that it’s upside down. Starting 3-feet away, putt a ball to the tee trying to knock it over. Then move back to 4-feet, 5-feet, and so on. Try to work your way back to 20-feet away and still be able to knock the tee over. You’ll gain amazing feel of your putter’s face and know when you’ve closed the face or opened the face during the putting stroke since you’re hitting to a super small target.
Drill #6: Putting to a King of Hearts Grab a king of hearts playing card from a deck of cards and lay it on the carpet or floor several feet away from you. Attempt to putt the golf ball with enough speed that it stops on top of the king of hearts. This is a challenging putting drill that will improve your putting distance control before you know it. And, using a playing card helps simulate a golf hole since it’s small. You’ll also work on your putting accuracy by making sure you’re aligned to the target properly.
Drill #7: Three Ball Distance Control For this putting practice drill you want to create a 1-foot long box or zone using tape or some sort of distance marker. The goal is to putt all 3 balls into this zone with each ball going slightly further than the previous ball, but the 3rd ball can’t go beyond the 12 inch zone. It teaches you putting distance control by forcing you to feel each putt and try to replicate that distance but slightly further without over hitting the ball so that it rolls beyond the 1-foot long zone.
Drill #8: Star Drill On a putting green place 3 tees in a line every 18 inches from the hole. 3 uphill. 3 downhill. 3 sidehill. And 3 opposite sidehill. 3 putts holed consecutively then move back 18 “and as long as you make them progress from one set of tees all the way around the hole. Miss one putt and start over from the first location.
Remember, one can be the best striker of the ball, but if you can’t putt you can’t score!!! Finally, there are multiple lines one can use to make a putt based on the force that you use. Low line with less break require more hit, middle line with more break and less hit, and high line least amount of hit but the most amount of break.
Hope you've enjoyed Jay's Tips and see you on the greens!
Navigating the Golf Course
Jay's Tips For Navigating The Golf CourseAs we look at our ability to navigate the little white ball around the golf course we need a plan. When that plan is altered and the ball winds up in a different spot than intended, we need to be able to execute shots that may not have been envisioned making our plan. Golf is a tough game and requires consistent swings and a knowledge of our own shortcomings and being realistic when it comes to picking a shot to execute.
My three keys to a making the ball fly where I want are Alignment, Ball Position, and a Straight left arm for righties or a straight right arm for lefties throughout the entire swing!
When we are not at our best or things start to go haywire on the course, work like a batter with two strikes at the plate. Shorten the swing up and make good contact. Most balls travel crooked because of an off center strike and a clubface that is not square to our intended target. When we are having a great day and we have a habit of crumbling on the last two holes - again, shorten things up and make good contact. If we always hit the ball into the same trouble area on a particular hole, find a way to play it differently to break that habit. Hit a different club off the tee and change the way we play the hole.
When you keep coming up short with your approach shot, take an extra club and hit it past the hole so you know what it feels like to get it there. If it takes perfect contact to fly the distance you need or you have to swing hard, you have the wrong club in your hand. Jack Nicklaus said he only hit 3 or 4 really pure shots a round. If you happen to hit it pure those 3 times, you get to putt back to the hole; but more importantly on the rest of the shots we don’t hit perfect the extra club allows us to still get on the green.
Golf is a game that should be viewed going forward. The shot you hit is over and you have the results ahead of you. Forget the bad ones! We all will have them. Think about what shot will be the highest percentage shot to play to be successful and be committed to it. If there is doubt, step back and readdress with a better mindset. Every time you address the golf ball you have another opportunity to hit a good shot. And you need your focus to be on the shot at hand so it can be given its due to turn out well.
When all else fails, we know we can rely on our 6-8-10 chipping method and newfound trust in our putter. When the rubber meets the club, be happy for success and look forward to another opportunity to perform our best shot when things go awry. FORE!
Hope this helps and see you on the course!
Let's Talk GOLF BALLS!So often golfers ask 'what ball is good for me?'. Well, the answer is....there isn’t one ball that fits your game for all days and all courses. Hard fairways with fast, receptive greens can narrow one’s choices; but launch angle, ball speed, trajectory, and most importantly, swing speed are key metrics to consider when finding the right ball for you on a particular type of course in certain weather conditions. The golf ball options are seemingly limitless, so I would point you to mygolfspy.com to start. It is an unbiased informational website that tested and provided data for golf equipment, accessories, and yessssss....golf balls!
It is complicated to dial in what ball may suit your game. To start, one should know where their swing speed might be on their driver, a middle iron, and a wedge. Are you a highball or lowball hitter and do you have a part of your game that needs more attention? Typically, one could start from the green and work backwards in evaluating ball characteristics and needs. If you’re looking for more distance, you can find a hard ball and hit it as far as you can and then figure out what to do with the next shot....that’s my theory. No company makes a bad golf ball anymore - some just have vastly different playability factors and suit a variety of golfers and their golf ball needs with golf ball costs running the full gamut.
Check out the mygolfspy.com data and you may not see much difference in outcomes with Ball A or Ball B. Data has been put together with Iron Byron hitting all the shots. So keep in mind...in order for you to benefit from a particular ball choice one must be hitting as consistently as possible. Just as I tell my students before a lesson - you need to play, practice, and develop some tendencies; otherwise I can’t fix what you may be doing because it is not the same for every shot. You can’t look at golf balls unless you’re playing and have some valid benchmarks by which you can compare balls and shots.
If you find a ball and play well with that ball, even if you think it doesn’t quite fit what you’re doing, the confidence you have in a certain ball or company’s line of balls means a lot. We only have room for a few key swing thoughts and knowing you have chosen a ball that has worked in the past takes a variable out. As far as golf equipment goes, the golf ball is played on every shot so choosing the right golf ball is of the utmost importance! It’s truly rewarding when you find something that makes your golf game better. Fore!
Stop in the Golf Shop and check out the many golf balls we offer!
Check your Equipment
GOLF EQUIPMENTGolf Equipment is expensive and breakable. Prone to wear and changes. It’s important to take care of your equipment for it to perform at it’s best.
GRIPS: One should receive approximately 50 rounds from a set of grips. If we practice a lot, maybe less. The driver and wedges get the most use and will wear earlier than the rest. If we take our driver, 6 iron, and 9 iron to the range all the time, they will wear quicker; therefore, I suggest rotating the clubs for the range. Grips need cleaned occasionally with soap, water, and a toothbrush. And, don't forget the grooves! They need cleaned to perform. In addition, I like to run a groove cutter lightly in the grooves during the Winter to make sure they are clean.
FERRULES/CLUB HEADS: Regularly checking the ferrules and club heads to make certain they are tight and haven’t creeped up the shaft is a good habit to have. Leaving the clubs in the car all Summer is not a good practice. The trunk or back seat get terribly hot possibly breaking down the epoxy that holds the club on the shaft. Iron and wood covers keep them looking good without a bunch of nicks from bag chatter.
GOLF SHOES: Shoes need wiped down and brushed after every round and a coat of polish once in a while keeps them shiny and performing well. Spikes should be taken out and put back in yearly so they don’t get permanently stuck and can’t be replaced when needed. Good shoe care is appreciated by the dogs if you have foot issues.
GOLF BAGS: Bags need to be cleaned out and wiped down at the end of every season. You might find your long lost watch or at least get rid of a few extra scuffed golf balls that make it too heavy to carry from the car to the cart. Same for the pull cart. Wipe it down after each round and check the wheels and bearings. Sometimes we play in the rain; therefore, it's important to wipe off the bag/clubs and allow the head covers to dry out.
ACCESSORIES: Rangefinders and bluetooths have become a necessary part of our round. Be certain to replace the batteries each year. It's wise to label your accessories with your name & phone number, in case they are misplaced.
GOLF GLOVES: Gloves have a relatively short life span. I like to use multiple gloves during a round. Keep a couple on the cart roof support to air out after using for a few holes.
FYI: Most major grip companies make jumbo, midsize, standard, and undersize grips. It may feel good to have jumbo grips, but the bigger the grip the less hand action through the impact area. If you have arthritis/big hands and need the bigger grips, then by all means. Many folks benefit from the larger size grips. Grips also have different textures/feels and are made with different materials so some last longer than others and are more appropriate on certain clubs. Get the grip that fits.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, & More PRACTICE!“Practice!!! We talkin bout practice!!!” Yes, we all need to practice more. We need a practice plan just like we have a plan playing on the course - whether you are warming up before a round or just have one hour to spend at the driving range. It doesn’t do us any good to go to the range with just our driver in hand or get 4 buckets of balls just to hit them.
First, stretch or warm up for a few minutes to prevent injury. Start with a wedge or low iron to warm up - get a rhythm going before working out any kinks with a longer club. Remain disciplined and committed with every swing! Attach an alignment stick to your phone and film the session from the side as well as the back to see what your swing looks like. Learn why things feel the way they do by seeing your swing path and body movement.
If it’s a practice session only, start with a wedge and hit 3-7 balls with each club until you get to the club you want to work on. Once you get to that club, be it a 5 iron, hybrid, or driver, hit 10-12 balls. Then go back to the wedge & dial things back a bit. Hit 2 or 3 balls and work your way back to the club you still need work on. As you swing it is natural to start smooth and rhythmic. As we progress it is easy to hit it harder and harder taking us out of our smooth, rhythmic swing causing the golf ball to fly all over the place or farther than we want with a normal tempo. Fixes are easier to make with a short club and shorter swing than a long club and longer swing. The best ball flight is caused by hitting it in the center of a square clubface which requires a repeatable, sequenced, smooth golf swing. Hit it farther by hitting it squarer!
If you want to hit extra wedges, have at it. One can’t hit enough wedges on the range. Finding your distance and flight pattern with the scoring clubs can improve your score quickly. Pick out a distance and hit to the right side of the pin, then the left, then short, and finally past the pin. Use wedges, 9 irons, even an 8 iron to gain feel and confidence. Again, commit to every shot! For longer shorts hit a few 7 irons to your intended distance, then hit it 10 yards shorter, then 20 yards shorter...do that with all your clubs to get a feel for hitting clubs with less effort and being more efficient.
Finally, to finish your range session save 5 golf balls to leisurely hit to a target with very little effort to cool things down. Stop at the chipping and putting green and practice our 6-8-10 Chipping Method and finish with some putting. Practice is not only fun, but can help with your confidence and allow you to address the first tee knowing your going to play well and enjoy your round.
GOLF COURSE ETIQUETTEGolf Etiquette is everything when playing a round! Lets begin with the pace of play. It’s important to be aware of one’s pace of play. Some play fast, others slow. Some walk, some ride. And some take 6 practice swings before they hit, whereas some step up and hit it without practice swings. The point is…everyone is different. It is important to be aware of your own comfort for pace of play, allowing you the most success without waiting or rushing too often because of others on the course and their pace of play. If you have a foursome and 2 people are behind your group and there are open holes ahead of you, etiquette requires letting them play through. Also, this is better for your pace of play because you don’t want to look back and feel rushed. If you are playing in a threesome with a foursome ahead of you and no open holes ahead of them, you must slow things down a bit and take a little more time, so you aren’t speeding up to your ball and waiting.
We always encourage ready golf. If your partner is checking their rangefinder or looking for their ball and you are ready and not going to disturb anyone, go ahead and hit your shot. When you are riding with your partner and both of your golf balls are somewhat close to each other; check your yardage, pick out a club, walk over to your golf ball and be ready to hit when your partner is done. This will give you some exercise, prevent you from waiting for them to hit, keeping you active, and your round fluid.
On the green, typically the farthest golfer from the hole putts first and the golfer closest to the hole will tend to the flagstick, if required. It’s acceptable to putt with the flag in the cup, so if your group chooses to leave it in, it’s ready golf. When the golfer farthest away is putting everyone else should be looking at their line so they are ready when for their turn.
When riding in a cart keep the cart away from the green and on the cart path. After hitting your tee shot or second shot, travel down the cart path and once at your ball proceed 90 degrees to it and back to the cart path. Don’t ride down the middle of the fairway! The turf is already under stress from weather, etc. so let’s be certain to travel on the fairways as little as possible. Some golfers need consideration due to a health condition. When arriving at the green keep your distance and park the cart towards the next tee on the back of the green…keeping the turf healthy and pace of play moving.
Once your group has finished the hole, please go to the next tee box and write down your scores while your partners are teeing off, as not to hold up the group behind you.
Replace your divots! Rake the traps! And fix your ball marks! Please don’t push it down with a half-hearted attempt with your putter. Use a ball mark repair tool or a tee spending 10 seconds to fix it correctly. If not fixed correctly, the grass can die before the end of the day. If everyone fixed their marks, our putts won't veer off line!
Thank you folks, friends, & fellow golfers! FORE!!
Pre & Post Short Routines
PRE & POST SHOT ROUTINEWe have adopted habits that we feel help us prepare and aid us to hit the golf shot we envision. We watch the Pros go through an array of gyrations that take 45 seconds and portray Houdini to get in the positions we see them in. First, we only have room in our alleged minds for a couple key swing thoughts. I personally am a deliberate player, so I try to make sure I am ready to start my pre-setup routine as soon as my playing partner is finished with his shot. Consider the wind, moisture, temperature, your lie, along with the ball of choice and the distance of your shot when choosing your club. Sand traps, water hazards, out of bounds, and pin position need consideration for the best opportunity to succeed. Take enough club to get you there! Even if you don’t hit it great, you will be better with more club.
In Jack Nicklaus’s mind's eye, he saw himself making the swing and the flight of the golf ball before he hit his shot. Lee Trevino would get in his setup look once at his target and make a swing. He didn’t want to be consumed by his target and wanted to give more consideration to making a good swing. Tiger likes a couple rhythmic swings then finds his alignment from behind his ball and moves slightly back and forth at address, making sure his balance is proper before he starts his swings. I like to make a couple rhythmic swings then stand behind my ball and find an intermediate and short-range target to hit my ball over. I then set my grip and get aligned with the proper ball position then waggle the club a couple times and make a good committed confident swing.
Find a flat spot on the tee box and set up on the right side for faders and on the left side for drawers. On Par 3’s, find a divot that is aligned with your target and tee up just behind it helping with your alignment. When in the fairway or rough take your practice swing near your ball so you can get the feel for the turf and length of grass and determine whether you have a sidehill or downhill lie. Especially in thick rough around the green, test the interaction of the grass with your club head.
ACTIONS BEFORE/DURING BACKSWING:
- Forward press to start
- Drag the club on the way back
- Take the club back with your arms
- Straight left arm
ACTIONS BEFORE/DURING DOWNSWING:
- Start with the legs or hips
- Pull with the left arm
- Hold the angle and quiet the hands
- Belt buckle to the target
Be aware pre shot routines for putting are somewhat different, but every bit as important to playing your best. And remember, we are playing ready golf so be ready when it is your turn!
Lastly, one should be methodical in approach without taking too much time doing so. The longer it takes for one to make a swing the more tension one gets in their hands and arms - tension is a distance killer. If you are gripping it too tight, things won’t work in the right sequence. Hit it longer and straighter by hitting it squarer, not necessarily by swinging harder. Once that shot is hit, forget about it and start getting ready for the next shot.
Thanks folks, friends, & fellow golfers! Fore!!!
Check In Etiquette
Check In Etiquette
Please call ahead for a tee time. Even though we are a 36-hole golf course, unfortunately we don’t always have tee times available for walk-ins.
- Check into the Golf Shop 20 minutes BEFORE your tee time so all necessary tasks (i.e. the flow of the tee time sheet).
- Prior to paying for your round, please have your Green Card number and your name ready.
- If you schedule a tee time for 2 golfers but brought additional players, please call ahead and update your tee time schedule. There are many times when we are extremely busy and made need paired with other players.
- Purchase your beverages/food and load your golf cart in a timely manner so all players arrive at the assigned tee box 10 MINUTES EARLY in case the prior players were able to tee off earlier than scheduled.
- For 9 holes, please at a 2-hour or less pace.
- If there is an open hole ahead of you and the group behind you is waiting, let them play through.
- When your game is finished, please park your golf cart back in line and dispose of any trash or containers from your cart.
Thank you for your past and future patronage at BHGC! We are excited about the new season and hope to see you on the greens!
Recently we have seen a lot of the best players in the world experiment with and implement using alternative grips while putting.
Once upon a time people would only experiment with their grips if they had the dreaded yips. It started in the 80’s when greens became fast and undulating with the modern designers. Tour pros that carried some yippy baggage started putting their lead hand or the left hand for righthanded golfers lower on the club than the right hand or what became known as cross handed or Johnny Miller’s incarnation “left hand low.” It helped lengthen the back stroke and square the face more regularly.
Putting is a neverending head game that must be controlled. Confident strokes make for success and if you need to use left hand low, the paint brush, or the claw or any variation of them please go for it. Some of these grips allow those of us who may not be lead hand dominant to find a better performing putting style.
You must get comfortable by spending some time on the practice green and experiment if things aren’t rolling your way. I personally change things up quite often then go back to my original and it feels better. Do not be afraid on the greens folks. That 3 footer means just as much as the 275 yard drive. Good luck my friends.
Good Winter Activity
Good Winter Activity
I have recently played some simulator golf. I believe it is a good winter activity. Staying loose has it’s merits. It also appears with a screen that is 5 yards away and a visually very small window with a take dead aim target line approach. When standing over a shot, we are not looking at the right side of a 60 foot wide green, increasing our room for error, and increasing your feet away because of it. Hit it through a visual tunnel to your target. Visualize in your mind your shot flying through that tunnel to conclude your pre shot routine. Then take dead aim and make your best swing. Hitting it straighter gives you more chances to hit better shots. Good luck my friends.
Hope to see you on the greens!
Jay's Hit the Ball Straight Tip!
If you want to hit the ball straighter you want to hit it lower. The lower the shot typically the less side spin is imparted on the golf ball. Playing the ball back more in your stance and hold the angle through impact before you release, will help lower your flight. Forward shaft lean with less loft utilized as a result will lower your launch angle and produce straighter shots. Drag the club back lower and be careful not to get too steep folks as this can produce a steeper attack angle causing potential heavy hits with the club digging more than usual. Remember we want the golf club’s path to look like an egg laying down not an egg standing up. Good Luck my friends.
Hope you've enjoyed Jay's Tips and see you on the greens!
Jay's Tips For Different Golf Courses
Jay's Tips For Different Golf Courses
You all have heard the term "different courses for different horses". Some courses suit players with different skill sets better than others. Wide open courses better suit long hitters that aren’t as accurate. Courses with larger greens may see the advantage go to the better putters that have better speed control. Courses with a lot of sand require different skill sets than those without sand.
Take advantage of our strengths and protect against your weaknesses. When traveling to your golf destination, evaluate what clubs you are carrying. Longer courses may require an extra hybrid instead of an extra wedge. A course with a lot of sand may benefit you if you have wedges with a higher degree of bounce. When playing a short course with tree lined fairways, one may benefit by carrying a low lofted 3 wood that can be hit off the tee or an old favorite reliably straight driver that may not fly as far as your new fangled next generation driver. Courses with large greens could allow one to benefit by bringing their old trusty heavier mallet head putter.
Hit it in the fairway, stay out of the sand traps, eliminate 3 putts, and most importantly get the errant shot ball back in play, costing you only one extra stroke, not more. We have many options when choosing set makeup, golf balls and shot selection. At the end of the day your choices will impact your score. Choose wisely.
Hope this helps and see you on the course!
Let's Talk Greens Play!
Let's Talk Greens Play!
One of the most important things we do on the golf course is reading greens. It is also one of the toughest things we do. Some folks can plumb bob utilizing the putter shaft and your dominant eye, other folks look at the putt from behind the ball, while others go to the opposite side and look. I like to look at my approach to the green and see what I can as far as the break, so I have a starting point. I also keep an eye on other folk’s shots and get whatever information I can from what they are doing.
In the words of our friend Brad Bender, let’s break it down. When putting short 3 footers we don’t want to play a lot of break and barely get it to the hole. Hit it firm and take out the break. Keep the ball lined up inside the hole whenever possible. Of course on a downhill putt we need to be mindful of the consequences of a miss if we are slamming it. On a 15-20 footer we have a legitimate chance to make it and should give it a run again, being cognizant of speed control in case we don’t make it. Outside of 20 feet I like to putt to a three foot hole, guaranteeing a two putt.
In the modern era, course designers have been more creative making greens more undulating and faster with new greens tending techniques and hybrid grass options. When negotiating different levels of greens or putting up or down severe slopes, we must read greens by looking at different portions of our putts, not the putt as a whole. If you have a 40 footer and the first 20 feet have a three foot break then straight down hill for the last 20, putt the ball to a spot. Always remember shiny turf is down grain (faster) dull turf is against the grain(slower). It is getting a little precise but some greens may have different grasses on them. Poa annua is faster growing and bumpier than bent and slower, as bent grass has narrower blades. Bermuda grass is primarily in the south and is slower than bent also.
Bottom line utilize all available information and be committed to your line and length of stroke. Lastly but most importantly do all your calculation and observation when everyone else is putting or chipping, so when it is your turn to putt you are ready.
Wedge Score Card
Wedge Score Card
In order to evaluate where your game is, you need to be able to develop ways to identify strengths and weaknesses or just overall tendencies. Keeping stats on putting or not hitting fairways or greens, measures where you are. Staying with my theme of short game importance, below is a wedge score card. You can download these from Ralph Maltby.com in the learn drop down menu. After your round this card will help you quantify just where you are, and monitor your daily or weekly progress. For continued improvement, this process will allow you to know what part of your game needs worked on. I used to do this in my early days, but now its time to do it again. It doesn’t take much effort to remember what you did during your rounds and then document it. No matter whether you hit the ball, far or not, you can always get better around and on the greens. It will be worth the effort.
Before we talk about sand shots, let me suggest the best way to play out of sand is to not play in it. When you watch the pro’s you see them hitting into the sand sometimes on purpose, because they have pristine conditions and consistent sand, week in and week out. You do not see those conditions from one course to the next. Most public courses do not have the budget to rake everyday or rebuild trap drainage every other year. Many courses do not even have decent sand in their traps. Stay out whenever possible.
Let’s talk fairway traps first. Your first objective is to get out of the trap, always. If there is a big lip in front of you, don’t try to be a hero, take a lofted club and move it forward to safety. Fairway traps require a clean hit, not taking any sand. Choke up, dig in with you’re your feet and keep the lower body quiet. Make as shallow a swing as possible, a steep swing will cause you to dig into the sand and not strike the ball cleanly. Reach for it a bit, remember you are not allowed to ground the club in the sand.
Green side bunkers require a different type of swing. It also is the only shot in golf where you don’t hit the ball, you hit the sand 1” behind the ball. Usually there is a lip requiring the use of a lofted club. A 54-56 degree loft is good. Generally you open the club face and aim left, because side spin will occur, causing the ball to go right for righties and left for lefties. Dig your feet in and move a bit closer to the ball making a steeper than normal swing, striking the sand 1” behind the ball, making the sand throw the ball out onto the green. You need to swing through the sand, keeping up your club head speed because the sand will slow the club down, causing the ball to not fly far enough. Another reason to not use a lob wedge is because it will dig more and require a really hard swing. Again, the first objective is to get out with the first swing. The sand shot is fun to hit, but it requires practice and the commitment to the swing that will allow for success.
Golf Club Yardage Chart
Golf Club Yardage Chart
Last week we talked about keeping score of your wedge play, this week I have a similar exercise that we all should do every spring. In our minds we have expected yardages that we hit with all of our clubs. 7 iron 150 yards or a pitching wedge 110 yards. However, maybe something changed over the winter! New clubs or an adjustment to your present set (loft or lie), or you started working out at our local health club, or maybe you had a recent issue with a bout of arthritis or another health issue. Any number of things may necessitate a reevaluation of how far you will carry your clubs and how much roll out you may expect.
Attached is a chart with an explanation of how to fill it out and what exactly you should do so that you can match your expectation and reality of your clubs distances. If you do not know exactly how far you hit a club, then you are just guessing and that will sow doubt not allowing you to make your best swing.
Thank you folks, friends, & fellow golfers! FORE!!