The Club House

Short Game Strong

Posted by Ryan C. Erxleben on Oct 15, 2018 4:21:43 PM
Home, sweet, Sarasota.

I have successfully made a move south to Sarasota Florida, my new home until May 2019. As an Up North Michigander, there are quite a few differences in the way I play golf down here in Florida. One of the main differences is the type of grass in which I play on. Up North, most courses are bent, and ryegrass, down South most of the grass, is Bermuda. This grass change has the most significant effect on the way the golf club interacts with the ground in your short game. Therefore, we’re going to make sure your short game is up to date with all of the best tips and techniques.

Short Game RulesScreen Shot 2018-10-15 at 4.13.20 PM
Ball Position: Middle.
Weight: Stay on your lead side.
Keep hands, forearms, & shoulders tension free
Keep your arms in a V at address, in the backswing, at impact, and in your follow through.
Keep the clubface square to the golf ball in the backswing, and square to the target never allowing the clubface to close.

These tips are for general stock shots.

Each club in your bag has a different loft, for example, most players I see have three wedges in their bag. Typically a 50, 54, 58, or a Gap Wedge, Sand Wedge, Lob Wedge. Each of these wedges has a different loft which will affect the height, trajectory, and spin.

There are also variables on the course that will affect the height, trajectory, and spin of the golf ball.

When the ball is in the fairway or on the fringe, we call that a “tight” lie as the golf ball is not sitting up. This is a situation where you have the option to produce a lot of backspin and stopping power; therefore you can fly the golf ball in the air close to your target.

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 4.16.08 PMWhen the golf ball is in the rough or long grass, there are multiple lie options. The golf ball can be sitting down in the grass, and sitting up on top of the green. Both of these options are going to produce a shot with less spin as the golf ball is not making direct contact with the clubface at impact, there is grass in between them.

Now that we have a general understanding of some different variables let's look at how to execute the shots you need around the greens!

Higher Softer Shot: Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 4.16.18 PM
Club Options: 58, 60, Lob Wedge
Ball Position: Forward of Center
Loft: Most
Follow Through: High, Making sure to follow through with the clubface pointing to the sky
Spin: Greatest Amount, Least amount of roll
Lie: Rough

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 4.16.30 PMStandard “Stock” Shot:
Club Options: 54, 56, Sand Wedge
Ball Position: Middle
Loft: Medium
Follow Through: Medium, Making sure to follow through with the clubface pointing to the sky
Spin: Medium Amount, Little bit of Roll
Lie: Rough, Tight Lie

Bump and Runt:
Club Options: 50, 52, Pitching Wedge, 9 Iron
Ball Position: Behind Center
Loft: Least
Follow Through: Short
Spin: Least Amount, Most Roll
Lie: Rough, Tight Lie

Medium Height Spinner:
Club Options: 54, 56, 58, 60, Sand Wedge, Lob WedgeScreen Shot 2018-10-15 at 4.16.37 PMBall Position: Slightly Behind Center / Slightly Open Club Face
Loft: Medium
Follow Through: Short
Spin: Most
Lie: Tight Lie

The top picture shows more loft (higher shot), the middle image shows a stock standard loft (medium shot), and the bottom photo shows less loft, with more roll (lower shot).

Stay up-to-date on pro tips and tools by following @OptiShotGolf and @RyanCErxleben on Instagram.


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