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Amen corner: Every good short game requires an angle

  • Use your standard chipping or pitching set-up to learn how the golf ball will react, then move the ball forward or back to change the trajectory or the amount of roll. (Courtesy photograph)

Special to the Valley News
Published: 7/10/2019 9:00:15 PM
Modified: 7/10/2019 9:00:07 PM

It’s wise to have two options of clubs for most chips and pitches. One club should hit a higher trajectory for less roll, and the other club should produce a lower trajectory for more roll.

If you are looking for more advanced options to improve your short game, you should seek to become a master with your primary wedge. For most golfers, this will be a 56-degree sand wedge of some sort.

The first thing to learn about your primary wedge is what the standard trajectory looks like from your standard set-up position. Let’s say you’re prepared for a standard pitch shot with your feet close together, left hip over left ankle, ball in the middle of your stance and sternum slightly in front of the ball. Do you know what sort of golf-ball trajectory you can expect from this standard set-up?

It’s super important you learn what your normal flight pattern looks like from a normal set-up so you can better visualize and predict the amount of carry distance required, and the amount of roll that will result. If you don’t know what to expect to see, you will have difficulty visualizing the shot and predicting what the ball should do.

When your standard and predictable trajectory is established, you can create an almost infinite number of shot combinations by playing with the ball position.

First, if you move the ball back toward your right foot, this will take loft off the club, and you can expect to play a lower trajectory with a little more roll.

Conversely, fiddle around with playing the ball more forward in your stance, which adds loft, to produce a slightly higher trajectory and less roll.

So combine the rear ball position and forward ball position with your middle ball position for chips and pitches. You’ll have a triple threat of options to conquer almost any situation.

Peter Harris is the director of Golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column appears weekly in the Recreation page during the golf season.

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