The Lesson Tee: Follow the formula: putt, chip or pitch
The short game is when we are 30 yards away from the green. This means we hit short shots: putts (rolling the golf ball to the flagstick) a chip shot with an 8 iron, or the a pitch shot with our sand wedge (getting the ball up in the air a little to fly the ball to the flagstick.)
The problem here is many weekend golfers get around the green, get mixed up and choose the wrong golf club and the wrong shot to play in a particular situation.
My tip of the week here is a simple formula: when we are around the green within 30 yards always putt the ball as your first option. You want to roll it because keeping the ball on the ground gives the player a big advantage.
If there is no way you can putt it, then you must resort to next option, which is a chip shot with an 8 iron.
The last and final choice if there is no way – I mean no way you could putt it or chip because there’s a sand trap or heavy rough in front of you – then your only option is to play a mini golf swing with your sand wedge. Pitch it and get it up in air.
Remember the formula: putt, chip or pitch.
Have fun and see ya on the first tee!
Ben Alexander is a PGA teaching professional who formely taught in Pebble Beach and now teaches golf lessons at Lake Shastina Golf Resort. He was awarded the PGA Teacher of the Year twice and was nominated for National PGA Teacher of the Year. To contact Ben call (831) 277-9001.