Chip & pitch it closer: Breaking 80, Week 3

Chip & pitch it closer: Breaking 80, Week 3

CHIP AND PITCH IT CLOSER

The key to becoming good around
the greens is to take some of the variables
out of the equation. I’m sure
some of you like to use your LW for
every short shot, carrying the ball as close
to the pin as possible, while others like to
use a pitching wedge and bump and run
the ball. Instead of using this strategy, I
want you to start playing a neutral shot with
the same swing every time, only changing the
club you use to suit the situation.

By simplifying your technique and not
trying to play any extreme-spin shots,
you’ll be better able to predict the flight
and roll of your ball. Also, by adopting a
more standardized method, you’ll be much
more likely to make solid contact, which in
turn will give you more confidence around
the green. Instead of feeling like you’re
guessing every time you walk up to one
of these short shots, you’ll know that you
have a solid approach and a good plan.
It won’t be long before you’re knocking
it tight consistently and saving strokes.

STEP 1: GET THE TECHNIQUE

To make consistently solid contact on pitch and chip shots, position the ball in the
middle of your stance with your feet together and your hands slightly ahead. Make
sure you have your right wrist angled away from the target. In the backswing, allow
your right wrist to hinge comfortably and let your hands lead the clubhead through
impact. Turn your torso to the left to drive your swing and finish with your right arm
and the clubshaft in line. Be sure to use this same technique every time.

STEP 2: CARRY VS. ROLL
Becoming proficient around
the greens depends largely
on knowing how much carry
and roll your shots produce
with every club. To figure this
out, experiment on a practice
green with all of your shortgame
clubs. Pick a basic
landing spot and see how
much roll you get with each
club after landing the ball in
your spot. Learn to produce
this same combination of
carry vs. roll every time and
you’ll find it much easier to
get the ball close to the pin
consistently.

STEP 3: THE DRILL — ONE SWING, SIX CLUBS, SIX SHOTS

To hone the proper
technique, find a practice
green with flags of
varying distances and
take all of your wedges
and scoring irons (8- and
9-iron). You should hit
10 balls to each target
with the goal of getting
every shot within 5 feet
of the pin. Remember to
use the same basic swing
every time but with a
variety of clubs. To do this
drill successfully, you’ll
have to pick your landing
spots carefully and be
conscious of how much
roll you get from each of
your short-game clubs.

WEEK 3 ACTION PLAN (3 HOURS)

1. Pitch & Chip
Practice (60 minutes)

Make sure your setup
is sound and that your
stroke can produce
solid, ball-first contact
every time. Practice
with your pitch, sand
and lob wedges until
you feel confident.

2. Carry & Roll
Practice (60 minutes)
: Go to a practice green
with different-length
pins, or set up some
targets yourself that
correspond with the
distances you pitch
each of your wedges
using the same swing
and the carry-to-roll
ratio you built in Step 2.
Your goal is to land
5 balls out of 10 within
5 feet of the pin or
target with each wedge.
(By the end of six weeks
you should be able to
get 70 percent of the
balls within one-putt
territory with each club.)

3. Cross-the-Line Drill
(30 minutes)
: Work on your go-to
shot shape using the
exercise from Week 2.

4. Scoring Club
Distance Practice
(30 minutes)
: Perform the wedge
drill from Week 1.
At this point in the
6-week plan, you
should be able to get
at least 5 out of 10
balls in the 10-yard
radius with each of
your scoring clubs.

BREAK 80 PLANNING WORKSHEETS (PDF)

WEEK 1: DIAL IN YOUR SHORT CLUBS

WEEK 2: DEVELOP A GO-TO DRIVE

WEEK 3: CHIP AND PITCH IT CLOSER

WEEK 4: MAKE MORE PUTTS

WEEK 5: DEVISE A GAME PLAN

WEEK 6: GET OUT IN ONE SWING