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A Visit To River’s Edge with Jeff Pianelli

Head Professional, Jeff Pianelli will be talking to us about short game today.  Most amateur golfers struggle around the greens.  Jeff’s tips are simple and will help golfers get the ball to the hole easier.

The short game is a place that can make or break a golfers score.  Ultimately we would like to hit greens in regulation and have puts for birdie and par all day.  We all know that is not happening for most golfers most of the time.  Having control of short game shots can be a huge plus for golfers.

To start with Jeff says to start with the shortest club in the bag.  Try to take 20 yards off lowest club in the bag.  That is a good place to start making sure we have control of shots inside 100 yards.

The first tip is to “choke down” on the grip of the club.  That means get your hands down close to the shaft of the wedge.  It makes the club shorter and it allows for more control of the club.  It also means with the change in length it is going to take yardage off how far you can hit the ball.

Now take the normal set up to the ball.  Keep stand and ball position the same.  Next take a normal swing with the wedge.  Choking down on the club will naturally take the distance off the shot.  This is the simplest way to take some yardage off and have more control of short game shots.

The next tip is more complex.  Change the tempo of the swing.  Or to change the length of the swing.  There are a few keys to pulling this off.

First ball position.  Second is the way the club is held.  Third is to swing through the golf ball.

At set up, the ball is set up on the sole of the club.  The handle is just ahead of the ball position.  For right handed golfers the handle will be left of the ball.  This keeps the hands ahead of the ball.  That allows the loft of the club to stay steady through the shot.

Now the spacing is important.  Set the ball in the back of the stance.  Line the ball up with the buttons on your golf shirt.  It moves the ball a little further back in your stance than normal.  This creates a good position to ensure the wedge hits the ball at optimum loft position.

Lastly, we are looking at the swing.  The in-swing thought is to feel like the triceps area touches the side of the body.  It feels like a “body swing”.  The focus is keeping the right are close to the side of the body. It allows for a good body turn.  That needs to be the focus.

Speed through the golf ball depends on the golfer.  Some players have slower swings than others.  Keep within your natural swing tempo and adjust to distance.  This all takes practice before trying on the course.

For more information visit www.riversedgegolf.com.  Jeff and his staff will be happy to help with some lessons.