Breaking 90
February 28, 2013

Test Your Trajectory

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Being able to vary the height of your short approach shots gives you more flexibility when it comes to knocking it close. You can make the wind less of a factor or get to a back pin. To adjust trajectory, the swing stays the same; only the setup changes.

To hit a low shot, move the ball two inches back of center, stand closer to the ball for a more upright shaft angle and turn your right toe inward to lean your body and the club toward the target (A). For a high shot, move the ball two inches forward of center, open the clubface and turn your right toe outward slightly to help set your head a few inches behind the ball (B).

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ON COURSE

PLAY BEST AND WORST

If you miss every green in regulation, chip or pitch your ball on and then two-putt, you still shoot 90 on a par-72 course. This means if you can get up and down just a few times, you can record a score in the mid-80s easily.

To replicate in a practice round the short-game pressure you feel during a real round, find a quiet time at your course and play nine holes where you hit two chip, pitch or bunker shots every time you miss a green. Putt out both of your short-game shots, keeping your score for each one.

You'll get a chance to work on your distance putting from the poorer chips and pitches, and you'll see the payoff for better short-game shots.

STAT FACTS

On approaches within 50 yards, 90-shooters miss the green more often than they get within five feet (19 percent versus 16 percent). Avoid risks, and hit the ball safely on.

*--Peter Sanders / shotbyshot.com *