Golf Mistakes – Selecting Difficult Short Shots

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,657
    Golf Expert Jay Golden discusses selecting difficult short shots.

    Jay Golden: Hi! I'm PGA Member, Jay Golden, and this series is on Common Faults and Cures. The common fault that many people make around the green is that they automatically go for their wedge or sand wedge or 60-degree wedge, and try to hit a relatively high shot, which in terms of difficulty is more difficult than a lower shot.

    The rule of thumb is, what is the lowest shot that will work, not what is the highest shot. A high shot, if you hit it perfectly will always work, but it's very difficult to hit. You're taking a bigger swing, you have to make more precise contact with the ball, as opposed to a short swing, maybe even a putt, from off the green is much easier and much more consistent. When your ball is off the green, the first question is, can I use a putter? If you're in the fringe, many times you could use a putter and yet, people use their 60-degree wedge. Now you don't want to use your putter if the grass is too high, if the grass is wet, if the grain of the grass is strong, going towards you. But if it's relatively firm and smooth, certainly, you could use a putter and you should use a putter.

    But if you can't use a putter, it is a little -- the grass is going towards you and it's little bumpy. Next question, can I use a 7 Iron, maybe it's an 8 Iron, maybe it's a 6 Iron, but can I hit a chip and run, a shot that was the most popular shot in golf, the first 500 years of play?

    7 Iron, chip and run, which goes in the air slightly so that you don't have to deal with that grass right in front of the ball, and then it will roll the rest of the way. Well, let's say no, I can't use a putter, no, I can't use a 7 Iron, then you go to your sand wedge or 60-degree wedge, because you need it.

    But those are the questions that you ask. Can I putt? Can I chip with the 7 Iron? Can I use the sand wedge? And if your answer is yes for the putter, use the putter. If your answer is no for the putter, then you say can I use the 7 Iron? If you can, you use it. If you say, no, I can't use the 7 Iron, it's too much in front of me, then you use your third choice, which is, the wedge. Try it, practice those three shots, I'm sure you're going to improve your chipping around the green.

    Our final segment, our next segment is, Sand Shots. Do you fear sand shots? Well, here are going to be some tips to help you out.