Par 59: Episode 2 – The Short Game

Digital Desk

60 percent or more of the game of golf is played inside of 100 yards. That’s why pitching, chipping, and putting are so important. Those little 40 yard shots, 15 yard chips, and 10 foot putts count just as much as that 250 yard drive.

This week on Par 59, Billy Winters from The Greenbrier Golf Academy helps me work on my 40 to 50 yard pitch shot. The ability to control the ball with a wedge from that distance can make or break a round. The last thing you need it to be 40 yards from the pin and chunk one 10 feet, or worse, blade the ball over the back of the green and in to the woods.

Billy emphasized the importance of a straight back motion and keeping the club upright, toward the sky. You only need maybe half a swing and you want to create a hinge between your forearm and the shaft.

Another key element with a lot of golf shots is how to balance yourself. Billy says to shift your weight slightly forward. Maybe 60 percent of your weight will go on your left foot (for righties) or right foot (for lefties).

Most of this shot relies on the loft of the club. You maybe feel like it’s going to fly 100 yards, but the 54, 56, or 60 degree loft of the club will make sure the ball does exactly what you want. 

Like most shots in golf, you’ll get better with practice. Almost anything inside of 100 yards relies heavily on feel. You’ll be able to feel how hard you need to hit a putt, a chip, and even this pitch shot.

You can practice this shot at your local driving range, even in your backyard, but if you need more tips, you can visit The Greenbrier’s website to get a lesson from Billy Winters himself.

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