Golf Tips

Control Trajectory to Control Distance

An easy way to get it close when pitching or chipping is remember to control the trajectory. On a low shot the back swing and forward swing should never go higher than your ankles. They should mirror each other. When considering what club to use follow the 25/75 rule. The ball should travel no more than 25% in the air and 75% on the ground. Choose the club that will carry the ball 25% of the way to the hole with a restricted back stroke that goes no higher than your ankles. In other words, change the club don't change the swing.

For a medium shot where the hole is maybe in the middle of the green and you have to carry more than 5 yards to get on to the green, then a mid shot is best. On a mid shot the back swing and forward swing will still mirror each other as with the low shot but the difference is how high. In other words, the back swing should be between your knees and your chest depending on how far you need to carry the ball. When choosing a club use the 50/50 rule. The ball should travel 50% in the air and 50% on the ground. Remember the follow through should match the back swing so if you stop the back swing at your waist then stop at your waist on the follow through.

For the high shot where you need to carry the ball to the hole and get the ball to stop use the 75/25 rule. The ball should travel 75% in the air and only 25% on the ground. The key to this shot is finishing high. Whether you stop your back swing at your knees, waist or chest, the follow through is always high. The higher the finish the higher the trajectory and the higher the trajectory the less the ball will roll on the ground. Choose a club and a back swing that you feel will carry the ball at least 75% of the way to the hole.

For consistency with the mid shot as well as the high shot, use the same back swing for every shot. Simply change the club not the swing. That way you only have to master one swing around the greens. When hitting a pitch shot typically take a back swing that is no higher than my waist. It shortens and simplifies the swing to where less things can go wrong. The low shot is always ankle to ankle which means the back swing is no higher than your ankles and the follow through is no higher than your ankles. Change the club not the swing so you only have one swing for all of your chip shots.