Many amateur golfers feel safer keeping the ball on the ground for short shots around the green.
However, that’s not always the safe play.
“A lot of my members and a lot of my students take these shots and hit them with putters,” says Clifton Springs head pro Michael Basch. “Thats not the play that’s going to produce you a good shot.”
The problems begin right at the setup.
“I see people set up to the ball with their hands way forward and are starting to use the leading edge of the golf club,” Basch says. “Hands forward, weight forward and use a descending shot. When I do that, I’m going to create that kind of chunk miss.”
To fix it, Basch says to move the hands back toward the middle of the stance. Place them right in front of the zipper. The ball position should also be middle of the stance.
“When that happens, the golf club slides through the turf,” Basch says. “The face will stay pointed up to the sky. It’s a sweeping motion. The sweeping motion is the absolute key to this golf shot.”
The feet should also be close together for this play. “I don’t want any weight to shift during the shot,” Basch says.
The top benefit from this swing is the misses should not be as damaging.
“Even if you hit this shot a little heavy, the tendency is for the golf shot to get pretty close to the target,” Basch says. “That is because you’re sliding the golf club across the turf rather than digging.”
Don’t be afraid to be aggressive, either. When executed right, most players should be able to get some professional action on the ball.
“You can actually swing it a little bit more and hit it a little bit harder and, as a result, the ball will generally spin a lot more,” Basch says.
Using a lie board can help practice this shot. Any pro shop will have them along with the lie tape that will indicate where the club is contacting the board.
Good shots will show marks on the back of the club.
Basch promises this shot will work on thin lies or sandy lies or any of those spots that feel uncomfortable.
“You can go back to a 20-30 yard shot any of those tough lies that would give you trouble. You should be able to get right through it,” Basch says.
And feel safer around the green.