Why You Need This: How would you like to know "5 Short Game Killing Myths"?
Do you tilt away on your chips?
Use your Pitching Wedge to hit "pitch" shots?
Do you hit down on the ball while pitching?
What if I told you these tips and more could be destroying your short game.
I will break down for you, step by step, exactly what you should be doing to get up and down more often.
Lets get started.....
Golf Pros Featured:
Instructors Featured: Clay Ballard
Video Duration: 15:52
Watch This Video Now!
Normally, this video in our step-by-step, course-based training is only available to our All Access Members...
But I'll let you watch this ONE video today only... because I can already tell I'm going to like you !
In today’s video, I’m going to go over a few short game myths that can really be destroying your short game, causing you to not get up and down as often as possible, causing you not to have those short tap-in putt.
The really common things like using your pitching wedge for pitching, or making a 50/50 putting stroke.
Those can really hurt your short game and we’re going to go over exactly why and what to do to improve your game.
Let’s go ahead and get started.
All right, let’s start out with the pitching wedge isn’t good for pitching. I mean, talking about an oxymoron there, there’s no way this can be true.
Let me clarify a little bit about what I mean from this. There’s two different basic shots, I made a video a while back on chipping versus pitching.
Now for me, and the way that I would classify this, is the difference between chipping and pitching is what I want the ball to do when it lands on the green, how I want it to react with the green. Then also what is my technique?
So what am I actually doing with my body that’s different determines whether I’m chipping or pitching, and then what the ball does when it lands on the green determines chipping or pitching.
It really doesn’t determine, I could pitch with a 7 iron, or I could chip with a lob wedge, they’re interchangeable. I can use these techniques with any club in the bag.
So when I’m chipping, I wouldn’t be using a lot of wrist set. I’m basically just taking the most simple motion in golf, I’m not using a lot of wrist set as I’m going back and through, and I’m letting my body rotate back and through.
It’s a little bit like a putting stroke, but we’re getting some knee action. In a putting stroke, you keep your lower body stable and you just use your upper body to make it as consistent as possible.
We have to use a little bit more action when we’re chipping, so our knees are going to rotate, but you’ll notice here, I’m not getting a lot of hand and wrist action in there, I’m just letting this club rotate back and through. That’s what I would call a chip shot.
Now here, I’m kind of at the farthest range of where you would be chipping. I’m probably about 25 yards, something like that, from the pin.
I have my pitching wedge here, and when I’m chipping, so when I’m doing that kind of dead-armed, rotating back and through motion, the goal or the outcome that I’d like to have is to get the ball on the green as soon as possible and let the ball roll out to the pin.
So here I have my pitching wedge, but I’m going to do that chipping motion, which means very little wrist set and let the body rock and through. Get the ball on the green as quickly as possible, and let it roll out to the flag.
Now there, you’ll see I hit a nice shot there. I got about three and a half feet or so. I landed that ball on the very front of the green, and that ball rolled all the way out to the flag. I would consider that to be a stock chip shot. So very low spin, very little wrist set.
Now I could do a pitch shot with this wedge also, which means I would get more wrist set, a little bit more speed coming through contact, and I would try to get this ball to land closer to the hole and spin.
Let’s try that out. Now the problem is, I hit that one really well and it tried to grab, but it still keeps on rolling out. You’ll notice how it rolled past the flag. It didn’t grab and then bite.
When you’re using your pitching wedge, the reason it’s not good for those pitching, those high-spin shots, is because it doesn’t really have enough loft on it to get the maximum amount of spin.
In order to be really consistent, I want to have some forward shaft lean, where the club leaning forward this way quite a bit on all my short game shots.
When I do that with a pitching wedge, the ball comes out low, it knuckles, and it runs.
Let’s take a look at when I do that with my 60° to give you a good example of the contrast in those two clubs.
Now a good side note here, pros, when they’re taking the 60° wedge, on average, when they’re hitting pitch shots, are going to be somewhere around only 44° of loft.
So tons of forward shaft lean, they’re taking 16° of loft off this club face to get it down around 44° to get that club to be very consistent through contact. I want my hands way forward, and that’s going to allow me to grab with a lot of bite on the ball.
Now if I do that with my pitching wedge that starts out with only 45°, between 45° and 48° of loft, now I’m down all the way around 30° of loft when I hit at contact, and it’s going to run.
If I do that with my 60°, I’m up around 44°, that’s going to give me the great amount of spin, and this ball is really going to hit the pin, or hit the green and then stop.
So there, I didn’t swing hard enough. You see how that stopped right away, I actually need to be more aggressive, I got used to hitting a couple little chip shots. I need to be more aggressive with my body, and land it all the way back by the flag.
Now watch this one land. Almost back by the flag, and then it stopped on a dime like that. It took one hop and then just stopped right where it’s at.
That’s what I would consider to be a pitch shot, higher spin, more wrist action, and if you want to pitch well, you want to get those higher spinning shots, make those perform well, we’re going to want to use either a 60° wedge or a 56°, not the pitching wedge or a 9 iron.
Now that we’re done bashing the pitching wedge, it’s actually a great club to use around the green. The point of that first section of the video is just saying if we’re trying to get spin, the pitching wedge is not the club to get it with.
If we don’t have to get spin, we can let that ball run out using a 9 iron, a pitching wedge, even an 8 iron or a 7 iron, is a great play, and I really recommend it.
I actually think it’s one of the simpler shots in the golf, because I don’t have to get a lot of wrist action like we said to get the spin, and I don’t have to make perfect contact.
If I can just get anything around decent contact, that ball is going to roll up there and do pretty well.
Now one of the big misconceptions with all chip shots, is getting the ball on your back foot. So you hear this a lot, get the ball lined up with your back foot.
Get the club leaning forward like we talked about, we talked about how that’s good. Then hit down on this golf ball so that you’re sure to make ball-first contact.
Now if I do this, if I take that advice, it’s very easy to do one of these, and just cold dead chunk it. That ball didn’t even hardly get to the green, kind of scooted up there, and I’m really chopping into the ground.
Maybe if I get really nervous and I do that again, I’m going to chunk one so bad it won’t even go anywhere, I’ll just pop up on the turf like that.
Now where does that instruction come from? If this is bad, then why is it that so many pros and so many good players tell people to put the ball on the back foot, shaft forward, lean down?
This comes from the way that they’re setting their feet up. So if you want that advice to work, there’s a couple things that have to happen.
Number one, your feet have to be really close together, so your back foot and your front foot aren’t that far apart.
Then also, when you listen to people that say that, they’re typically going to have their feet a little bit open. You can see how my feet are pointing forward a little bit.
So now when you look at this, it looks like my ball is on my back foot or my right foot, but if I lift up my right foot, you’ll notice that my ball is also in line with my left heel which makes sense.
Because when I’m hitting these short game shots, my weight is slightly left, kind of on that left heel, that’s going to help me to ground out that club on my left heel, and now the ball is in a good position.
So it’s not that the ball being on your back foot is bad, it’s just we have to be set up this way to get the ball in the right position when we’re taking that advice.
Now if I take a little bit of a wider stance, and now all of a sudden my weight is left, my club wants to ground out up here with my left heel, way in front of this golf ball.
So now if I hit the ball back here, I’m going to be chopping down. I add the forward shaft lean, that’s going to make me chop down even more, and I feel like I’m hitting down to hit the ball first, now it’s just chunk city. You’re going to be thinning and chunking all of them.
I’m OK if you want to put your feet together and play the ball off your right toe, that’s completely fine, but I’m OK if you also want to take a little bit of a wider stance, and you’d play that ball off your left heel.
Now in reality, those are the same. This is the same ball position, all I’m doing is just moving my right foot closer forward, or farther back. It’s completely fine.
Whichever you do, whether you have a wide stance or a narrow stance, play the ball off your left heel.
We still want to get that forward shaft lean, and as we come back and through, we will be hitting slightly down, but think of this more as brushing the turf rather than hitting down at the golf ball.
If we do that, it’s going to be way easier to control the shot, get it to the right distance, and make a lot more up and downs.
Now here’s one that’s a little bit confusing. We talk about in the full swing all the time how we want to be tilted away from the target so that we can get behind this golf ball and when we come through, we’re releasing out in front to really get the maximum amount of speed.
In the short game, that’s actually different. If we tilt away, we’re going to have some trouble. In the full swing you have to be tilted behind the golf ball so that when you release the club, it’s accelerating through the golf ball and you can get a lot of club head speed.
If we’re going to swing our maximum club head speed and really hit the ball super far, that’s the technique that you have to use.
Now in the short game, we’re not worried about hitting the ball far. Anybody with any amount of strength can hit the ball from here to the pin 30 feet in front of me, or 30 yards in front of me.
Here, what I’m going to do is I’m going to take my sternum, and I’m going to put it over the ball. If I set up to this pitch shot, now I’ve got my 60° wedge back out, I set up to this pitch shot, same for the chip shots, I want my shirt buttons over my golf ball.
I don’t want to be tilted back like this where my shirt buttons are behind the ball, because now my club is going to want to ground out there unless I get a lot of lag and release that club in front.
If I do that, the ball’s just going to take off way too fast.
I’m keeping my weight left, again, in the full swing we have a weight shift for power, in the short game shot we don’t need any power, we’re actually trying to take power away.
So I’m keeping my weight left, I’m pivoting kind of over top of my left foot, my shirt buttons are farther forward, and this is going to help me be more consistent on the ground.
Now if we wanted to be as consistent as possible, you could argue that this would be a great way to go for full swing.
The problem is you just lose 15-20 yards off the tee, 30 yards off the tee, which is pretty dag-gone tough to play great golf on the full swing doing that.
So when we’re doing these short game shots, remember, keep my weight just on the inside of my left foot, kind of on my left heel.
My shirt buttons are going to be slightly forward, and then from there, I just want to keep rotating on through the shot, hit some nice crisp wedge shots, hit them up there by the pin.
Now we’re here in the bunker, we want to get this nice free-flowing swing, be nice and soft, have a lot of touch and feel, and just pop this ball nice and easy out of the bunker right by the flag.
The only problem with that is if we do that, the ball’s going to go nowhere. That’s way too slow for a bunker shot.
A bunker shot is an explosion shot. I actually took my GC Quad which is a launch monitor that has four high-speed cameras in it, they shoot 10,000 frames a second, and I measured my club head speed when I’m hitting bunker shots.
Pretty much all my bunker shots I was swinging over 60 even 70 miles an hour, even high 70s if I got a little bit farther away from the flag.
Now to keep in mind, that’s about the same speed that most players would swing a full swing pitching wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedge. You’re basically taking a full, all-out swing when you’re hitting out of the bunker.
Now the reason that you have to swing harder, is because what we’re actually doing when we’re making a good bunker shot, as I’m opening the face wide open – now this ensures I can get out every single time, because I can swing really hard and most of the loft is taking off the speed from the ball.
If I swing a little bit too hard, the ball just goes a little bit higher, and it carries just a few feet farther, and it stops pretty quickly.
If I swing a little too soft, the ball ends up going a little bit lower, the sand carries it along a little farther, and I end up in roughly the same spot.
So my swing speed isn’t as important when I have a lot of loft on the club. Now if you’re swinging too slow, what will end up happening is if you open up the face the way that you should, you’re going to hit it 10 feet in front of you.
So naturally what players start to do, and what makes a lot of sense, is they start to close the club face down, have that face instead of being open, be a lot more square and now they make that easy swing and they try to time it up just right.
Well that can really get ugly, because if I hit a little too much ball, that ball goes shooting over the green because now I don’t have any loft on this club and I catch it ball first, a little thin, and it just shoots off like a cannon.
Or, now I’ve exposed this leading edge, a sharp leading edge to the sand, and if I hit a little bit behind the ball, the club digs down, burrows down into the sand and we hit it two feet. Your precision has to be off the charts if the club face isn’t wide open.
So I want you to put this club face wide open, I want to make a big aggressive swing, really try to thump the sand with some power, and make sure that you hit down into the sand. You’re going to hit about four or five inches behind the golf ball.
Let me draw a line here, where my golf ball is, and we’re going to notice my divot starts well behind that line.
So I’m playing the ball a little bit up in my stance, face wide open, really make a good, aggressive swing.
There we go, not too bad. Could have got a little bit farther, but hey, I’ll take a three-and-a-half footer every day.
When I look at my divot, here’s the back edge of my divot. Remember my golf ball was on this line. So I actually entered the sand about six inches behind the golf ball.
Because I was swinging so hard, my club just burst right through the sand, no problem getting there, and then the front of my divot is about four or five inches in front of where my ball was.
So again, here’s the back. I’m going to draw that so we can see this on the camera. There’s where I entered the sand, there’s where my club left the sand, and here is where my golf ball was.
So if I put the club face wide open, and I swing aggressively, I have all this margin for error. If I square the face up and swing slow, I’m going to be really nervous hitting out of the sand.
Now here’s one I used to follow for years myself, and I even taught this for a long time, and this would be the 50/50 putting stroke.
If I’m looking at my putter as I go back and through, if I swing back six inches, I should accelerate through this ball and then swing through six inches.
So kind of like a grandfather clock, however far it goes back is how far it goes forward, and we keep it nice and even.
Now the problem with this is, because I want to be accelerating through this putt, if I do accelerate through the putt, the forward stroke should be longer than the backstroke.
If I actually make this happen, and I do the same length putt back and through, I end up decelerating, my putter face gets really unstable, and I’m not coming through the ball aggressively.
What I want to do is if this is where my ball is set up, this is the length of my backstroke, I want to about double that with my forward stroke.
So I’m going to put that tee all the way up there. What that means is, my putter’s going to go back let’s say 6 inches, and it’s going to go through 12 inches.
Now obviously if I’m farther away, my putter may go back a foot, and forward two feet, or if I’m really far away, then it may go way back here, and then you don’t have to worry about the ratio, just go with your feel when it comes to that point.
But from here, with this nice little downhill kind of a slick putt, I’m not going to have to go back very far, I want to make sure that I follow through, farther than my backstroke. If I do that, I’m going to be a lot more consistent, and I’m going to make a lot more putts.
Now if you’re a member of the website, I don’t want you to stop there. We talked about some of the biggest myths in the short game.
But if you really want to be consistent and have a solid foundation for all your short game shots, what I want you to do is go to the Top Speed Golf System, click on the Instruction tab at the top of your Web page.
Go to the Short Game area under the Top Speed Golf System, and then from there you can build a great chipping and pitching motion, a great putting motion, and really have the foundation to have a solid short game all around.
So not only are we going to go over some of the things we talked about here today, but we’re also going to add to that, to build exactly how you should set up to the ball, what the stroke should look like, some different techniques that are going to be involved to be a master short game player.
So don’t stop here. Head over to the Top Speed Golf System, start working through those drills so this technique becomes automatic, you don’t even have to think about it, you just look at the hole and hit it up there close.