Trouble Around the Green? How to Get Up and Down in Fewer Strokes
One place on a golf course where players lose the most strokes is around the putting green. It’s frequently referred to as “getting up and down”. While shots within 100 yards of the flag fall into this category, most players experience the most difficulty when they’re within a few yards of the flag stick.
Even golfers with strong handicaps can feel the frustration of bouncing the ball on and off the green, adding strokes to their scorecard. If you’re one of the majority of golfers who experience problems around the putting green, here are some tips to help you get up and down in fewer strokes.
Lean in to Your Short Shotsc
Many golfers have a tendency to lean backwards on their chip shots. If you find yourself tilting backwards when trying to lay a shot softly onto the green, you’re trying to get too much air under the ball.
Many golfers also believe this is the way you put a backspin on your shot so it bites when hitting the green. Actually, the more you alter your mechanics trying to get loft and backspin on your shot, the worse the problem gets. You actually pull the club off the ball, which causes you to top the ball.
When this happens, you frequently scratch your head while your ball bounces across the green and off the other side. Not only are you not ready to pull the putter out of the bag, but you’ve got another wasted chip shot ahead of you.
Tilt your body into your short chip shots, leaning towards your target, usually the flag stick. During your practice, work on hitting shots between 20 and 50 feet from the flag. Exaggerate your forward lean until you get the feel for this change in mechanics.
You’ll find you actually begin to get more air under your shots, and they start to bounce softly onto the green. In addition, leaning forward into your short chips will actually create a more natural backspin on the ball. This simple technique can begin to carve strokes off your scorecard, one hole at a time.
Try the Bump and Run Philosophy
Of course, this strategy will not work when there is a sand trap or other obstruction in your way. However, if you have nothing but clean green grass between you and the putting surface, the bump and run strategy can help you save strokes.
It’s always better to progress towards the hole using a systematic strategy, than to waste time going past it. There are special stroke saving clubs used to help golfers cut strokes around the green. The motion is very similar to putting.
You adjust the backswing and force in the same way you would increase or decrease the force you use to putt on the green. Longer shots will take a little harder whack than a shot right on the fringe will take.
If you don’t have a special club designed for hitting bump-and-runs, you can use your wedge to accomplish the same objective. Even the best golfers in the world, appreciate when it can be better to bump-and-run a shot onto the green.
When you’re approaching large greens, you can use this shot from as far away as 100 feet. It can be a great stroke saver, as opposed to trying to perfectly place a lofted pitching wedge.
These are a pair of tips that can help you get up and down around the green in fewer strokes. Work on these two strategies around the putting green. Blended together into your short game, you’ll be able to handle all types of spots around the putting green. You’ll soon find you’re attempting more meaningful putts because you’re taking fewer strokes to get there.