Cut down strokes by minimizing air time |

Cut down strokes by minimizing air time

Unlike tennis, baseball and football, in golf you don’t want to accumulate the most points. Limiting the number of strokes to a score is the goal for any golfer.

Whether your goal is to score in the 70s, 80s or 90s, limit the ball’s time in the air and maximize its roll on the fairways and greens.

To do this, just remember: Putt, Chip and Pitch.

PUTT ” Putting on, or near, the green is your best option.

– Use the putter if you have a clean lie ” one that sits nicely up on the turf. Also, be certain there is nothing between you and the hole (sprinkler heads, drains, etc.).

– When you are putting over the fringe, just off the green on the short grass, regulate the distance by varying the length of your stroke ” not by applying a sudden burst of power at the ball.

– Be certain to keep a light grip on the club for both long and short putts.

– Always make sure to keep your head still and don’t look for the ball until it has left the putter face and is rolling to the hole. If you raise your head and shoulders while putting, the path of the putter may redirect your shot, resulting in a missed putt.

CHIP ” Chipping from a distance farther from “just off the green” is the next best option. But, remember to keep the ball low to the ground.

– First, pick a spot on the green where you want the ball to land and roll to the hole. Then make your club selection based on the speed of the greens.

– Position the ball slightly back from the center, which helps promote a downward blow into the ball.

– Keep the golf stance narrow, and lean your weight toward the target or lead leg. A slightly open stance helps to see the line better.

– Choke down on the club for feel, and set the hands slightly ahead of the ball. To execute the shot, keep the back left wrist solid (right wrist for lefties), remaining ahead of the ball through impact.

PITCH ” Pitching is most effective when you need less roll and more air time to carry the ball over a bunker or water, for example.

– Open your stance and play the ball from around your left toe if you are right-handed.

– Choose a club with more loft, such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge, and add a little wrist hinge to help lengthen the swing and let the shot fly farther.

– There is a pitch-shot drill to practice this tricky shot. Have a friend stand in front of you and create a hurdle with a club about a foot off the ground. Strike the ball on the face so it goes under the hurdle. A descending stroke helps get the clubface on the ball, causing the ball to lift over the hurdle.

– When you’re playing your next golf game and you’re striving for the 90s, 80s or even 70s, consider applying these techniques to shoot better scores: Putt, Chip, and Pitch.

Shane Jones is the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Head Golf Professional for The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing, which is part of Tahoe Mountain Resorts (TMR).

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