The two most important greenside shots at the Presidents Cup (and how to hit them)

December 13, 2019

The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has captured the imagination of golf fans this week at the Presidents Cup. With firm, rolling fairways, players need to work the angles, and more importantly, get creative around the greens.

Watching Aussie nativeĀ Cameron Smith warm up, you could see him practicing short game shots both low and high. It was a masterclass of technique, so lets break down his technique for each, and what you can learn along the way.

Shot #1: Bump and Run

For a lower, rolling shot that you commonly see around hardpan links courses, you can see his motion is smaller and looks much like that of a putt. It’s one of the reason why his clubhead stays closer to the ground, especially on the backswing.

Also notice how he has a more narrow stance, which limits body motion and allows most of the energy to be generated by arm swing.


Shot #2: Tight-Lie Pitch

For a higher option from a similar distance, Cameron uses a more lofted club and with a more descending blow into he grass.

Any time you hit a higher pitch shot with a more lofted club you must get the club down to the turf to brush the grass to take advantage of the loft of the club you are using.

He takes a larger swing, because he needs the ball to spend more time in the air and carry longer, because it he knows he shot won’t have as much roll when it lands.

A bigger swing does bring in more variables, so when in doubt, opt for a smaller putting stroke-style shot. But when he courses requires a higher-lofted shot, adopt Cameron’s technique. His relaxed hands and arms allow the clubhead to swing and release so that at impact the loft and the bounce of the club can help to produce the desired loft.

Two shots, that every player needs this week at the Presidents Cup.