The Lead­ing Edge

Here’s how to land the ball soft by adding loft

Golf Digest Middle East - - Contents - BY MICHAEL BREED

Your new go-to touch shot to land it soft with spin.

When most golfers leave them­selves short-sided, mean­ing off the green but close to the hole, they feel like they have to hit a per­fect shot that lands soft and stops dead. All too of­ten, they de­cel­er­ate into im­pact and dump it short. Then comes the clas­sic line: “I got too cute with it.”

Let’s get away from cute and go for re­li­able in­stead. When you have to soften a green­side shot, start by tak­ing your most lofted wedge. This seems ob­vi­ous, but you’d be amazed how of­ten I see golfers grab their favourite club, say, a pitch­ing wedge, no mat­ter where they are. You need loft here, so go with a 58or 60- de­gree. Then open the face 10 to 20 de­grees be­fore you take your grip.

Next, stand a lit­tle far­ther from the ball at ad­dress. This pro­motes a more rounded, shal­lower swing arc that will help you re­lease the club­head past your hands, which re­ally adds loft to the shot. This stance might feel a lit­tle strange at first, but your body will ad­just to the dif­fer­ent ori­en­ta­tion to the ball—and the loft ben­e­fit is huge.

Fi­nally, as you swing through, keep the butt end of the club close to your body ( right). This will help you ac­cel­er­ate the club­head. The feel­ing is that the han­dle stays close to you, but the club­head goes whizzing by. Push­ing the han­dle to­ward the tar­get, which a lot of golfers do when they feel un­com­fort­able on a shot, re­duces loft and makes the club dig.

You want the club­head to glide through the grass, and that comes from us­ing an open face and a more rounded swing. You’re gonna love this lit­tle touch shot.

“Make the club­head go whizzing past your hands.”

michael breed op­er­ates his acad­emy at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in New York City.

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