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Finesse shots get fat

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  • Finesse shots get fat

    I practice my short game quite a lot for an old geezer (probably 3 x 3 hrs/week) and I'm actually decent at it around the practice greens. On the course however, I hit the delicate shots fat way too often. Then I go to the practice green and everything is fine again, can't even repeat the error on the course. Any idea what to do about this? If I could repeat it around the practice green I could figure out what is wrong, but now I can't even demonstrate it to my pro.

  • #2
    Re: Finesse shots get fat

    Sounds like tension to me. It's impossible to recreate course conditions on the practice green.

    I actually had a similar problem (not hitting fat, but not pitching as well on the course as off) . I eventually realised that, for some reason (probably tension), when I was out on the course, I actually shortened by backswing. As a result, I lost the tempo I normally had practicing. By making a more conscious effort to lengthen the backswing, I could then keep an easy, smooth tempo to play pitches and approaches far more effectively.

    It's amazing how little things can creep into your game without you realising and then you start looking in the wrong place to find the solution!

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    • #3
      Re: Finesse shots get fat

      Your probably just looking up to see your results when your on the course.
      When your practicing your results arent as important so you stay in the shot. Focus on keeping your head down and watching the ball . If you do that you wont have to look up.........it will be on the green.

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      • #4
        Re: Finesse shots get fat

        I too practice my short game alot. What I have found to be true with my game is when I am on the course, and delicate shot I have practiced many times comes up I just tell myself that "been here, done this". Then, I just relax, and hit it. It's kind of a mind game, that re-enforces confidence in the shot at hand. It not that you can't hit the required shot on the course, because you can, as stated in your discription of your practice sessions. You just need to have the same mind set on the course as you do while practicing those shots. GJS

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        • #5
          Re: Finesse shots get fat

          Try to find some uneven surfaces to practice on and make the neccessary adjustments. Biggest problem I see is people practice these shots from nice flat lye, then can't understand it when they play and start hitting bad shots. On course there are very few nice flat areas, barring the tee. You will always have the ball above, below, uphill, or downhill from your feet, you will need to get use to knowing what you have and making the adjustment in your setup to become consistant on the course with these shots.

          quick guide to get you started, you will need to refine this for your swing, these are just basic starting points:

          Uphill lye - ball forward of normal, make sure shoulders follow hill

          Downhill lye - ball back from normal, make sure shoulders follow hill

          Side hill ball above feet - move further away plan on ball going left of aim point.

          Side hill ball below feet - move closer, plan on shot going right of aim point.

          People tend to realize this for full shots, but forget they apply to short pitch and chip shots as well, perhaps even more so due to the accuracy element.

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          • #6
            Re: Finesse shots get fat

            Thanks for all the tips chaps. I will try to implement them today on the course. Reading your posts I feel intuitively that tempo and rythm are the main causes of my failures on course. I have felt once or twice that I "stabbed" at the ball insted of being rythmic. I'll report back when I return.

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            • #7
              Re: Finesse shots get fat

              Originally posted by Kumabjorn
              Thanks for all the tips chaps. I will try to implement them today on the course. Reading your posts I feel intuitively that tempo and rythm are the main causes of my failures on course. I have felt once or twice that I "stabbed" at the ball insted of being rythmic. I'll report back when I return.
              Posture: make sure you are not hunching or dropping your shoulders. Also, I like to rock my shoulders a little for short shots and more for longer shots while keeping my hands nice and soft. Also, backswing and through swing same tempo with no lunging or stabbing at ball. Let the loft of the club do the work.

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              • #8
                Re: Finesse shots get fat

                I agree that tension is probably part of the problem. The shot on the course counts much more than shot after shot while practicing where it is very easy to develop a rythm. This tension is probably more prominently felt in the hands a wrists on very short shots. Try to think about dead hands, loose wrists and follow through.

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                • #9
                  Re: Finesse shots get fat

                  I used to have same problem occasionally and couldn't work out fix to it. During practise no problem but going live caused random fat shots. This phenomena was with me several years (been following Pelz's advice 5 years).

                  I noticed few months ago that I had gotten rid of fat shots in short game. What had I done to achieve this miracle? No clue really. Only change (apart from shaft of my driver) during last monts has been gradual change towards one plane swing in my full swings.
                  Could this be the cure? No lateral weight transfer any more in full swing just swinging round my back bone. This could have influenced my finesse swing although I've tried to keep it totally separate from full swing. Got no video to evidence the change in finesse swing but could well be that changes in full swing are affecting also my finesse swing. Weird but positive definately

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                  • #10
                    Re: Finesse shots get fat

                    Well, anytime you sway the center of your pivot moves, so unless you sway back to your original position you are likely to move the bottom of your swing arc backward or forward. I've begun to notice that my right hip has a tendency to bump a bit to the right on my full (back)swing, and I think something similar may happen on the course, mainly due to tension - as mentioned in some posts above - and I am going to pay more attention to my hip movement on the range (only place to hit balls this time of year).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Finesse shots get fat

                      So you strike the ground before you strike the ball. The solution is simple:

                      - Place the ball further back
                      - Strike the ball further forward

                      But perhaps the problem is unrelated to ball position. Perhaps it's a function of your intent. Do you intend to strike the ball downward? Or do you intend to strike the ball upward?

                      If you intend to strike the ball upward, you will fail. The ground is in the way. As you've noticed certainly. When the club strikes the ground, it is affected in unpredictable ways. Well not exactly. We know that the club will slow down. We know that the club will twist. But we don't know by how much so we don't know how far or where the ball will go. It's best to avoid all this.

                      Strike the ball downward.

                      As you strike the ball downward, you will not strike the ground before the ball. The club will not twist or slow down unpredictably. You will retain all the control you had before you struck the ball. So when you do strike the ball, it will go where you aimed.

                      Consider your alternatives.

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