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Short Game Epiphany


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Had an epiphany the other day regarding pitching the ball around the green, which lead to this question:

 

When you are hitting short game shots (except bunker shots), do you fell like you are initially taking the club back with you bottom hand or your top hand? If you don't know what I'm talking about, go out to the backyard with a LW or SW and make a motion like you are going to hit a simple pitches that flies 5 yards or so and runs out a bit. When you take the club away, pay attention to which hand seems to be more in control at the beginning of the takeaway.

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Had an epiphany the other day regarding pitching the ball around the green, which lead to this question:   When you are hitting short game shots (except bunker shots), do you fell like you a

Both hands. If I use one or the other the club gets off plane. 

Lot's of confusing posts with this top/bottom definition, so I'm gonna say it this way. I am a right handed golfer and I struggled my whole golfing life until I started doing it all (in my head) with

I love this guys stuff, Brandon Stooksbury.  He basically has the backswing build from a bump and run, hinge and hold, to a mini wedge, his terms.  The first backswing for the bump and run is all shoulder driven.  Then the hinge and hold builds from shoulders to hinging the wrists a little.  The last backswing for the mini wedge is adding some arm swing.  

 

So to answer your question Obee, I start my backswing with my shoulders only, neither hand.  

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Gsea said:

Top hand (that's rh for me a rh player),  it also controls the distance by controlling the acceleration on the return.

 

You chip and hit short pitches cross-handed ?

 

Wow. I can't even PUTT left hand low. 

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28 minutes ago, Gsea said:

Top hand (that's rh for me a rh player),  it also controls the distance by controlling the acceleration on the return.

Wouldn't that be your bottom hand when you are addressing the ball?

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10 minutes ago, b.helts said:

Interesting. It would be awesome to be able to see everyone’s pitching swing and then read their feels. 
 

I’ll bet we could come up with some pretty strong “universal truths”.

It seems every short game guru explains it a bit differently.  Even the “use the bounce” guys like Monte, Phil Rodgers, Utley, etc. all explain it a bit differently.  In the end they are all accomplishing basically the same thing. 

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50 minutes ago, dlygrisse said:

It seems every short game guru explains it a bit differently.  Even the “use the bounce” guys like Monte, Phil Rodgers, Utley, etc. all explain it a bit differently.  In the end they are all accomplishing basically the same thing. 

 

Yup. I realized that by initiating the takeaway with my top (left) hand on short shots, the resulting shot was markedly different than if I initiated takeaway with my bottom (right) hand (which is my normal method). 

 

Taking away with my right hand results in a lower, "spinnier" shot with more "spin-loft(?)" Taking away with my top hand results in a (all other things being equal) higher shot.

 

Very interesting.

Edited by Obee
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Guess I misunderstood - top for me is the hand laying over the other, so right  hand and right handed. Should have said “bottom” but nobody is looking to me for short game advice. 
 

Did enjoy Nicklaus in one of those GC films on this morning saying in working with Phil Rodgers he discovered the use of the sole of the club vs. the leading edge pretty late in his career.  Helped him win two majors in 1980. Here’s an article that foreshadowed them. https://www.google.com/amp/s/vault.si.com/.amp/vault/1980/04/07/a-little-help-from-a-friend-when-jack-nicklaus-finally-saw-that-his-short-game-needed-work-he-called-in-phil-rodgers-who-even-as-a-fellow-rookie-in-1962-had-more-shots-than-jack-did

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16 minutes ago, Hawkeye77 said:

Guess I misunderstood - top for me is the hand laying over the other, so right  hand and right handed. Should have said “bottom” but nobody is looking to me for short game advice. 
 

Did enjoy Nicklaus in one of those GC films on this morning saying in working with Phil Rodgers he discovered the use of the sole of the club vs. the leading edge pretty late in his career.  Helped him win two majors in 1980. Here’s an article that foreshadowed them. https://www.google.com/amp/s/vault.si.com/.amp/vault/1980/04/07/a-little-help-from-a-friend-when-jack-nicklaus-finally-saw-that-his-short-game-needed-work-he-called-in-phil-rodgers-who-even-as-a-fellow-rookie-in-1962-had-more-shots-than-jack-did

Great article.  It’s been a long time since I’ve read that.  I really miss all of those old SI, Gold Digest and Sporting News articles, back when they had great writers and story tellers. 

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I pick 14 of the following:
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Trevino is interesting, every time he gets on his soap box, and starts going on a rant he tells a new story.  I swear he never says the same thing twice, I really think it depends on what he is working on that day, he is a constant tinkerer.  There are some true golden nuggets in what he says, but you need to be careful or you may go down opposing rabbit holes.  

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I pick 14 of the following:
Ping G400
Ping G410 3, 5 and 7 wood
Ping G 400 4 hybrid
Ping G 4-U
Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth 54, 58 SS
Grips NDMC +4
Odyssey Pro #1 black
Hoofer
ProV1x-mostly
ECCO Biom Hybrid 3

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12 hours ago, Obee said:

 

Yup. I realized that by initiating the takeaway with my top (left) hand on short shots, the resulting shot was markedly different than if I initiated takeaway with my bottom (right) hand (which is my normal method). 

 

Taking away with my right hand results in a lower, "spinnier" shot with more "spin-loft(?)" Taking away with my top hand results in a (all other things being equal) higher shot.

 

Very interesting.

I am the exact opposite @Obee

 

Left hand focus for low skippers .. more of a hold the left side driving shot

 

Loose and releasing right hand for high soft shots

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1 minute ago, cardoustie said:

I am the exact opposite @Obee

 

Left hand focus for low skippers .. more of a hold the left side driving shot

 

Loose and releasing right hand for high soft shots

 

Yeah, it's interesting. I just loved how focusing on a different takeaway in the short game instantly yielded a different result. Was really cool. I was like, "Hmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I took the club away by pushing my left hand back..."

 

And I was only focusing on that. I agree with you about the downswing, I'm the same way as you for sure. Was only talking about the initiation of the backswing.

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4 minutes ago, Obee said:

 

Yeah, it's interesting. I just loved how focusing on a different takeaway in the short game instantly yielded a different result. Was really cool. I was like, "Hmmmm, I wonder what would happen if I took the club away by pushing my left hand back..."

 

And I was only focusing on that. I agree with you about the downswing, I'm the same way as you for sure. Was only talking about the initiation of the backswing.

 

Hmm

 

Generally I don't think about the backswing greenside ... curses


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I chip cross-handed and just use my putter stroke ( rock the shoulders ) to complete the chipping stroke. And just to add short game is by far the strongest most consistent part of my game.

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Just now, cardoustie said:

 

Hmm

 

Generally I don't think about the backswing greenside ... curses

 

Yeah, I never did either, but I definitely started thinking about it with my putting several years ago. Buddy of mine (who just won the Cal Seniors at Poppy) asked me how I take the putter away and if it changed with green speeds. Completely changed my putting forever (take it away with the top hand when greens are very fast and slick), and I wondered what that would do to my chipping if I tried it. Pernice seems to also take it away with the top hand on short shots, too, sometimes.

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4 minutes ago, SEP1006 said:

I chip cross-handed and just use my putter stroke ( rock the shoulders ) to complete the chipping stroke. And just to add short game is by far the strongest most consistent part of my game.

That's a great, simple way to chip. It can be problematic when a pitch that stops quickly is actually called for. Tough to spin the ball when you are using a putting motion.

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Taking the club away with the bottom (right) hand can tend to de-loft the club on takeaway and lead to lower, spinnier shots.

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There's a bit more control with the bottom hand but I feel like the hands work together. I really feel like my chipping takeaway is done more with my forearms than my hands. I try to get a simple little forearm pendulum with a touch of bottom hand for face control. The slight wrist hinge in my chipping motion is more bottom hand than top. 

 

Now, if I want a bit more spin or a bit more height on a shot then my takeaway is more top hand. If I want more hinge then it's more tip hand dominant. 

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Being nuts, I have two grips, depending on the flight I want.

I use my regular overlap and take it back with top hand for a stock pitch if the ball isn't close to the hole, regular, bare or buried lie. It's not a low flight at all, it's predictable and usually online.

I use a reverse overlap and start with right hand to keep the face from closing for a lob or if I'm not using a wedge. On a long pitch, I use a 9-iron with this grip and fly it halfway to the hole ("standard" green speed and flat) or adjust. I'm pretty good at this shot and rarely more than a couple feet from the hole. Many people are fixated on the line, but it's poor distance control that hurts them. It's a no-brain technique, which is perfectly suited to no-brain guy like me...

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