Easy Ways To Get it Close and Putt for Par

If you’re shooting about 90, the stats say you’re hitting only two or three greens in regulation. Even tour players usually miss about a third of them. The trick to scoring well is avoiding disaster when you miss a green by hitting a quality short-game shot. Here I’ll show you two shots from greenside rough: the chop-and-run and the high flop. We’ll also take a look at the standard bunker shot because that’s a real killer for average golfers. Play the chop-and-run when you have enough green to let the ball roll. Go with the high flop when you need to fly it most of the way to the hole. With these shots in your bag, you can miss greens and still shoot a good score.

THE CHOP-AND-RUN

1. SETUP

Get in a position that makes it easy to hit the ball solidly. Take a narrow stance, play the ball middle to slightly back, and open the face a bit. Lean your body and the club forward.

2. BACKSWING

Keeping your weight on your front side, swing the clubhead up to promote a steep return to the ball. That’s how you hit the ball first, then the grass. Don’t let your head drift back.

3. THROUGH-SWING

Make a steep chop down on the ball, keeping your left-hand firm at impact. Let your body turn through, and hold a low finish. The ball will jump out of the grass and run.

THE HIGH FLOP

1. SETUP

To add loft to a pitch, open the clubface more at address and play the ball forward of center. Your hands should be in line with the ball. Take a wider stance to support a longer swing.

2. BACKSWING

You need more swing because you’re sliding under the ball with an open face. Going back, fold your right arm and hinge your wrists so the clubhead gets well above your hands.

3. THROUGH-SWING

Feel the back edge of the club-the flange-skimming the ground through impact. Keep the face pointing up as you accelerate through. The faster swing will produce a fuller finish.

HOW TO MAKE A SPLASH IN GREENSIDE BUNKERS

Rule No. 1:

You want to hit the sand a couple of inches behind the ball. To do this, just play the ball farther forward in line with the instep of your front foot. Take a wide stance, lay the clubface open, and swing the club up sharply on the backswing. As you swing down, feel like you’re thumping the sand with your right arm ( below ). Hold the face open, the heel leading the toe, and keep your right arm going through the shot. Listen for that thump in the sand as you keep turning your body to face the flag.

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