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An important golf lesson to remember

It’s almost 15-years since we started the Hooked on Golf radio and TV program and as I think back, I thought long and hard about the first golf lesson to produce on the TV program.

What I came up with was the idea of the short pitch shot of 30-50 yards, how important that shot is, and how often I see it goofed up by average players.

Let me start with the premise that this is still a golf shot, albeit a short one. I see many golfers trying to chip this shot like it was just off the green. The 30-50 yarder needs a lot more of the features of a real golf shot.

Begin with ball position being a bit toward the front of center so the golf shaft can be at a 90 degree angle to the ground. The feet should be equal to shoulder width. Keep your weight centered, but you will need to allow a bit of weight shift with the movement of the club.

But there is the deal killer, the meat of the issue, and the heart of the matter. Have a different length backswing for each distance and be sure to allow for a follow-through. Too many golfers will take a full backswing and try to control the distance by how quickly they stop the downswing. Big trouble!

Executing the backswing correctly will allow better power control, solid contact, and direction to the target. Momentum is an important concept in the golf swing, and using this idea of a short backswing for a short shot but still having follow-through will create the correct momentum.

The common term for lack of momentum in the golf swing is deceleration. This is also very common in putting. An easy drill in putting is to put an obstacle like a golf ball or a soda can a few inches into your back swing so you don’t go back too far, then follow-through. This will create the correct momentum.

With wedges, maybe do a “Mike Weir practice swing”, and stop it a third of the way back, or half way back, as that is the range it should be for these pesky short pitch shots. Good luck and knock ‘em close.

For those that can catch our radio show on KNBR-680, we are moving to Sunday mornings at 8:00 AM. You can also hear the show by clicking here. See you on the radio…

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