Golf Game Management IX: Pitch Shots,
Up, Down & All Around
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IX. How do lie and elevation
affect check and spin?
topic of this this series is Golf Game Management. Can
you shoot lower scores without physical improvement? The
answer is a resounding, YES! Not that I'm
advocating not improving your ball striking and short
game skill level.
I was at the
beach the other day with my kids and took along Dave
Pelz's "Short Game Bible". I can't say
more good thinkgs about this book and the great knowledge
has added to the game. I'd really recommend you get
your own copy. You can order it from Amazon using
the following link. Yes, I get something for the
purchase; I think about 70 cents, so that's not the
reason for the recommendation. Or, get it at your
local book store or library.
here to order Dave's Book.
In his book,
Dave does an excellent job of describing the effects
of different scenarios on the ball's ability to stop
quickly. As in my two previous newsletters, I emphasized
the importance of playing a high spin ball; one with
a soft cover. In some scenarios, however, even a
high spin ball won't enable you to get the ball close.
Look at the
diagrams below. They can be applied to pitch shots
(30-80 yards) as well as to full length shots. In
the first and second diagrams, you can see the effects
of playing to a green higher and lower in elevation
to you and
your ball. When the ball lands on a higher green,
the ball will land with a more shallow angle and
therefore not stop as quickly. When playing to a
green lower, the ball will land with a steeper angle
and stop much more quickly. It's crucial that the
golfer take this into account in order to judge getting
the ball close to the hole.
In the third
diagram, the golfer is hitting from a downhill lie
and and uphill lie. From a downhill lie, the ball
will have a lower trajectory and thus not stop as
quickly. To play a downhill lie, one plays the ball
farther back in the stance which decreases the effective
loft of the club, making the trajectory even lower.
From an uphill like, the ball will have a higher
angle of attack and thus stop more quickly than normal.
if you're playing a high spin ball (click
some examples), you'll be more able to stop the ball
in situations like those described above. Play a
hard ball, however, and you'll have a tough time
stopping the ball in all circumstances. If you were
faced with hitting from below in the 2nd diagram
or hitting from a downhill lie in the 3rd diagram,
it might not be realistic to get the ball close.
That's part of your golf management. Expect to hit
it past the pin and hopefully make the putt coming
back, as opposed to trying to get it close and making
a double or triple bogey.
If your goal
is in fact to shoot lower scores, focus on improving
your short game because that's where over half your
shots occur. To improve your short game, use a soft,
high spin ball. They cost a little more, but they're
well worth it.
As I also recommend in
Golf Ball" study, a golfer should play
a golf ball that feels good to him/her. One golf
ball doesn't go significantly farther than any other
(even though ball manufacturers would lead you to
believe otherwise). The most important quality of
a golf ball is its feel for the short game, which
is where golfers use the most of their shots. If
your budget permits you, you should use a ball like
the Titleist Pro V1 because it is soft which means
you can judge short shots (putting and chips) better
and it provides more backspin, while at the same
time provideing the same distance as a hard ball.
In my opinion, playing
a Titleist Pro V1 that you found (as long as it looks
relatively new and has likely been recently lost)
is better than a new hard golf ball, like a Top-Flite.
The wind changes the distance
the ball flies more when hitting into the wind than
with the wind. How much more? I have calculated that
with my computer projectile model and reveal the
amount in my paper on Wind
Speed Effects. You can purchase your copy for
only $5.99. Click
Order your "Altitude
Club Print" now and have greater confidence
in your club selection when you travel to different
courses. The cost is only $9.99, less than a sleeve of
Take a look below the suggestion box for
some more ideas on how you can improve your
Make a Newsletter Suggestion.
If you are more interested in finding
out which golf ball is best for you and your game,
consider the following:
Golf Ball Report -- a statistical analysis of
different golf balls hit by an
A list of resources that have been used to produce
this newsletter can be found on my web site here.
The focus of my
site is to utilize science and math to lower your score.
New technology is one way to achieve this, but to be
honest, the technology is one small piece of the
To actually improve
significantly, we all need to:
1. Improve our swings
using CD Interactive, Hit
2. Learn how to swing
simpler like the Iron Byron with the great coffee table
3. Improve our physical
fitness and strength.
Golf Trainer Power Performance Programô and Ultimate
Golf Fitness Ebook
4. Improve our mental
5. Improve our Probable
Golf games. Learn how to make better choices on the
course through knowing how shot patterns and reading the
elements and course better.
Click on the links above
to take a look at ways that I personally use myself and
recommend you try as well.
Hope I provided some useful ways for to
become better prepared for you best golf season
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