Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Maximizing the amount of the spin created as you get closer to the green is often a topic not given a whole lot of attention. I’ve discovered this by simply asking my students how they hit shots from shorter yardages to get lots of spin. The overwhelming consensus goes something like this, “I open my stance, put the ball in the back of my stance, get really steep on it and hit down as much as I can.” Over time, the hitting it low while maximizing spin has become correlated with being steep and putting the ball back in a stance.
This method presents some inconsistencies primarily surrounding the amount of friction generated, which as you get closer to the green, the friction generated by the shot has incrementally more influence over the total spin rate. With the help of TrackMan, we’ve come up with some key points any player can focus on to maximize spin on shorter shots and stop the ball quicker.
The shot in this tip was hit from 54 yards at McCormick Ranch Pine #2.
1) In the set up to the shot, focus on the ball being forward of the center of your stance. This will help in insuring the swing plane has time to shallow out. You can open the stance slightly if you would like but the closer to square the better.
2) The orientation of the golf club on the downswing has to be moving right. Notice in the image of the player, there is a tee placed a few feet in front and right of the ball. This is a good peripheral to help the club going right. The more the golf club moves to the right, the less the Attack Angle will be become. This is not a shot you want to be hitting down more than 4 degrees. In addition, it insures the leading edge of the club is not striking the ground but instead the bounce of the club is being used. There should be no divot when hitting this shot.
3) The hands and handle of the golf club should be moving up and to the left at impact. This helps in delofting the wedge enough to bring the launch down and spin up.
4) You’re looking for a very flat trajectory and a one hop and stop behavior when the ball hits the green. The ball should appear as if its launching and landing in a symmetrical way.
Try these 4 things out next time you’re 50 yards from the green. It’s a great shot to have and will help lower your scores!
Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher since 1999, just voted as one of Golf Digest’s Best Teacher in the State for the fifth year in a row. Also, Director of Instruction at Park Meadows CC in Park City, Utah and while in Scottsdale Scott teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. If you would like to reach Scott, you can contact him through his website at www.scottsackett.com.