Consistent Golf Gazette – 1st April 2012

The Big Miss

In the newsletter last week I mentioned that I was going to review Hank Haney’s new book.

I’m about half way through ‘The Big Miss’ book. I’ll have the review on this book for you next Sunday… which might be very appropriate, as it will be Masters Sunday.

Now let’s get into helping you to improve your golf game…

How To Spin Back Your Pitch Shots

You see on T.V. all the time the pro’s spinning back their pitch shots. And in this article I’m going to explain some things you must do to do this too, BUT…

If you are consistently leaving your pitch shots short of the hole, why on earth would you want to learn how to backspin your pitch shots?!

Learning to backspin your pitch shots is only going to be of any benefit to you if you get your shots up to the hole and they release too far. So assuming that you do this, I’m going to explain how to backspin your pitch shots.

The first thing you need to look at if you want to put backspin on your pitch shots is your equipment.

If you have new clubs that obviously have sharp, fresh grooves then it will be a big advantage over clubs with worn down grooves.

Also, if you’re using a ball that has been designed to increase feel around the greens, compared with a ball that has been designed to go as far as possible, then you’ll be much more likely to stop the ball quickly on the greens.

So you need sharp, clean grooves on your clubs; along with a ball that will encourage you to spin the ball.

Now let’s look at the swing itself to see what is needed to spin the ball.

The first and most important aspect of your swing that is needed to spin the ball is that you contact the ball first, and then the ground…. with a descending angle of attack.

You absolutely must come down steeply into the ball and hit the ball first. To do this, make sure the ball is positioned approximately in the middle of your stance, or even further back than that. And what you should be feeling is like you’re trying to drive the ball down into the ground.

But you could have all of these things in place and still not have much backspin on the ball when it hits the green. And that would be because of one of the most important aspects needed, which is the lie.

If your ball is sitting on a closely mown fairway, versus in thick rough, then the ball from the closely mown fairway is going to spin far more than the shot from the rough. The reason for this, is because with the closely mown fairway shot there’s nothing between the ball and the clubface to prevent spin. When you’re playing out of thick rough the grass gets between the clubface and ball, greatly reducing the spin.

The final element as to whether you can get a lot of backspin or not, is the green you’re hitting into. You hear all the time on T.V. about the greens being receptive. What that means is that they are not so hard that the ball has no chance of stopping, and they aren’t so soft that the ball will just plug where it lands. You also need to understand that the greens the pro’s play on are generally quite a bit quicker than the greens you’ll be playing on, along with also having more slopes. So if a ball for a pro has backspin and catches a slope then it’s going to keep on going.

So if you want backspin with your pitch shots then you should do the following…

  • Have clubs with sharp, fresh grooves.
  • Use golf balls that are designed to improve feel around the greens, versus balls that are designed to go as far as possible.
  • Position the ball further back in your stance so that you hit down sharply on the ball.
  • Hit the ball first and then take a divot.

Then you need to understand that how much a ball spins will depend on…

  • The lie where your ball is.
  • The receptiveness of the greens you’re hitting into.
  • The wind direction.
  • The speed of the greens and slope on the greens.

Question

I know I should keep my head down when I’m over a short putt and wait to hear the ball go in the hole but I often look up early and it causes me to miss short putts. How can I keep my head down over my short putts?

Answer

I have some simple but very effective things you can do.

The first is to look at the hole as you’re putting. I have actually seen research that has found that most golfers putt better when doing this. It does take some practice however. So I suggest you go on the practice green and practice this technique. Obviously you won’t look up too early when you’re putting because you’re already looking up! 🙂

If that’s a bit too radical for you, there’s something else you can do.

When you’re standing over a short putt I suggest you notice a spot or mark that is about 6 inches in front of your ball on a direct line to the hole. Once you’ve found this spot then I want you to move your eyes and focus on that spot rather than the ball. Then keep your attention on that spot all throughout your putt until the ball has come to a stop.

So try these two techniques to see what works best for you…

1. Look at the hole as you’re putting, or

2. Look at a spot about 6 inches in front of your ball as you’re putting.

Whatever technique you decide to go with you’ll build up trust in your stroke and the confidence will follow.

That was an answer to a golfing question I have received from one of my students in the online Consistent Golf School. And if you want me to give you a solution to a golfing problem you’re having simply go here, signup and I’ll do that for free, anytime as part of being a student of my online golf school.

That’s the end of this issue. I hope you enjoyed it. The Masters is only 4 days away now. Can’t wait!

For Consistent Golf,

Jeff Richmond
Director Of Instruction
The Consistent Golf School
http://www.TheConsistentGolfSchool.com

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