This week I wanted to introduce you to the basics of the short game, which would be basic chipping and basic pitching. The short game would be shots that are 25 yards away from the green.
If you are three or four yards off the green and you cannot putt the ball, you need to resort to a chip shot. Many pros use their sand wedge or their seven iron to chip, depending on the distance they need to roll the ball to the flag.
Take your stance with your seven iron, but narrow your stance, placing your feet fairly close together. Your weight should be about 60% on your left side (this is for right handed golfers) with the ball back in the stance near your right foot. Now you’re ready to go.
No wrist break is the key to this shot, which is identical to a putting stroke, back and through with no wrist break. The size and speed of the pendulum stroke will determine how far the ball rolls.
A pitch shot is with your sand wedge, but with a mini-swing using your wrist, hinging the wrist like a regular golf swing: but here is the key. A pitch shot mini-swing is a shorter distance shot than a full swing, so with your sand wedge, if you do a full swing and you hit it say 60 yards with a full swing, then with a half swing the distance would be 30 yards.
Tip of the week: chip shot we do not use the wrist. Keep your wrist firm and do a putting stroke. For a pitch shot, use the wrist with a hinging motion like a regular golf swing, but adjusted to the size of your golf swing, because the ball goes different distances.
Have a great round and I will see ya on the first tee.
Ben Alexander is a PGA teaching profesnional 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.