Instruction The Gulf Club Video

WATCH: The flight of the ball will dictate how far the ball will roll

Photo & video by Mark Mathew

By Lea Pouillard
Often when you find yourself on the fringe of the green, a simple chip is all that is required to get close to the pin.

However, often when I ask my students where they want to ball to land in this situation, the answer is “really close to the flag” or “right at it”. 

Almost always, this will result in overshooting the hole and leaving you with a tough, long putt.

Here we will see a few skills you can try out in relation to distance control.

Chipping is about analysing your situation, or lie, as that will dictate how you want to launch the ball. Distance control is all about trajectory and spin — a low launch will roll further than a high launch, and choosing the right trajectory will be the key to success. 

The ‘landing zone’ is influenced by the flight of the ball. For example, the lower flight of the ball will land closer to you and release, or roll far, while, a higher flighted shot’s landing zone should be closer to the hole, as it will significantly less.

For these exercises, try to imagine a landing zone — say eight metres away — and hit three shots each with low, medium and high trajectories, trying to make them all hit the same zone. This will help you see how more or less the ball will roll related upon landing in the zone, in turn helping you visualise the shot you need when the situation next arises.

I have chosen three different colours of balls to illustrate the difference and marked out a simple landing zone with tees. for each shot, you should use the same club. 

For a low trajectory, set up the ball more on the back foot, with your body weight slightly on the front foot. Your shaft line should be leaning more towards the target and do not move your wrists throughout the swing. 

Aiming at the same zone, from the same distance, to get a medium flight, set up with the ball more centre of your stance, with body weight equally spread between both legs. Again keep the shaft line slightly towards the target but swing with more clubhead release.

Now, to get the ball launched. Set up with the ball centred in the stance and, once again, the same goes for the body weight. The swing should see your bounce (sole of the club) on the ground, with your hands finishing closer to your body, and the head of the club higher than the hands.

You should see the difference, with the low launches rolling further and the high shots stopping almost dead if properly implemented. Keep practising until you see the desired results for all shots and, through the right selection, your distance control issues should become a thing of the past distance.

Lea Pouillard is PGA teaching professional at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club’s Peter Cowen Academy Dubai.

More golf tips and instruction:
How to maximise the distance off the tee
Master your short-game options around the green
Putt in place on the dancefloor

Straight to the point for short-game success
It is never too late to pick up a club for the first time — some tips to get started
Mobility and stability are key links in the chain to golf fitness
The chips are down if the hips are right
Looking for more power? It’s all about kinetic sequence forces
Understand golf’s power chain and how to avoid a weak link in your swing
Why solid putting starts with a sound set-up
Alignment is a fine balancing act to stabilise clubface
Why you are wasting your time on the range
Claude Harmon III’s simple impact drill
How Billy Horschel’s simple backswing move will make you a better ball-striker


Golf Digest Middle East

Launched in 2008, Golf Digest Middle East is the #1 golf magazine in the region, featuring local content and exclusive articles from the world's leading professionals

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