40-60 yd shot

I am an 8 handicap. I have my decent rounds and I can hit really any shot. However, the 40-60 yd shot is the one that I struggle with and if I can get this shot down it will lower my handicap significantly. Any suggestions?

Thanks for the input.

Hey Eric,

I used to struggle with the exact same shot until I did two things:

1. I learned how to open my 56 (SW) just a little bit and learned how to swing 3/4 to even 1/2 my full swing. Doing this made the ball hit and release slightly. A bit of extra wrist hinge at impact prevents catching the ball thin off the toe.

2. After gaining confidence with my 56, I ended up adding a 60 to my bag (this is a personal preference and not something you have to do if you do not want to.) Adding this club allowed me to square the face and get the same desired ball flight AND distance with my 3/4 or 1/2 swing. What changed was it's reaction to the green. Instead of the ball hitting and releasing slightly, the ball would hit and sit.

I utilize both shots all the time and depending on conditions, a hit and release is preferable to hit and sit and vice versa. I hope this helps you out a little bit. Enough practice will have you nailing your 40-60 yard shots in no time.

Best of luck,

Justin

This is the easiest shot in golf, quite honestly.  What you need to practice is choking down on the club.   10 yards for every 1/2" on a full swing, 5 yards on a half swing and 2.5 yards on a 1/4 swing.  To make it easy, if you want to shave 10 yards on a full swing, grip halfway down the handle and all the way down to shave 20.  

It is simple - your 110 yard club should give you 80 yards on a full pitch and about 60 on a half swing pitch and about 40 on a 1/4 swing pitch.   This is exactly what I get out of my PW.  If you choke down all the way on your half swing pitch you get 50 yards.

Your 90 yard club should yield 60 yards on a full pitch and 40 on a half pitch.  This is my 52.

If you really want to be a crack shot artist on these shots, try playing at executive courses.   I have 3 of them in San Diego County that are in my golf course rotation - I generally score around +2 or +3 for 9 on these.   Best score at National City (par 34 2200 yards) is +1 a month ago.  Most of the par 4s are between 270-300 with a couple here and there around 240-250.   I have a couple other regulation courses I can play a quick 9 on my off Friday ( I play to a 12-13 handicap and that is mainly because my distance has dropped off over the years).

If the pin is in the back I like to take my pw or 54 and try to land it short and let it release to the pin. If the pin is in the front and I have to stop it quick ill hit the 60. I get very consistent strikes on these shots by finding the bottom of my swing during my practice swings. Get your line then get your stance beside the ball and take a few practice swings trying to feel how hard you need to hit it and envision the shot , then put the ball in your stance in the spot your club was bottoming out on your practice swings and fire away. This is what i do and it works great for me. Hope it helps

Take care

Eric

You can do one of two things...One, work on a pitch shot with a 54* at the range. I always start my warmup with 5-10 pitch shots. Just make sure your hands are loose. A half a swing is all it is. Two, and what I always do, is a lob shot with my 60*. With the 60*, open up the face, play the ball in the middle of your stance (which is slightly opened, and weight on your front foot) and make sure the butt of the club is parallel with your navel. A lob shot is very easy once mastered; same goes for a pitch. Practicing 70yds and less shots tend to be the least practiced, but most important shot in your arsenal. Practice, practice, practice.

Yeah these shots can definitely be tricky so I would try to avoid them if you can, but you will get them occasionally. The biggest key for these shots is solid contact because that's how your going to be able to control distance and spin.  What I have done to help me with these shots is look at the best wedge player on tour which is Steve Stricker.  He uses very little wrist hinge which will help quiet down the hands.  Most people struggle with these shots because they try to help the ball up into the air by scooping it.  Try to take your hands out of these shots and I believe that you will improve.

Eric,

I too have trouble with those kind of shots.  I play to about a 12 hdcp and what I am working on is not having those type of shots.  I am more comfortable with an 80 - 100 yard full shot (which would be my 50 GW or my 45 PW), so on a par 5 my second shot is clubbed so that it ends up in that range instead of hitting a fairway wood or hybrid as far as possible and having that short shot left.  My problems usually are a bladed wedge on the first try and then of course the next time I decelerate my swing and end up hitting it fat and only going half of the way to the green, so I try not to have that decision.  All of the T/T members have great view points and you should consider them all, but for me, I want to take as much of the decision making out of the shot and just make a smooth swing on a shot that I have confidence pulling off.  Worrying about how much to grip down on what club and how far to take the swing back is just too much thinking for my 65 year old brain.  Fairways and greens.

  Mark F

Keano26

You can do one of two things...One, work on a pitch shot with a 54* at the range. I always start my warmup with 5-10 pitch shots. Just make sure your hands are loose. A half a swing is all it is. Two, and what I always do, is a lob shot with my 60*. With the 60*, open up the face, play the ball in the middle of your stance (which is slightly opened, and weight on your front foot) and make sure the butt of the club is parallel with your navel. A lob shot is very easy once mastered; same goes for a pitch. Practicing 70yds and less shots tend to be the least practiced, but most important shot in your arsenal. Practice, practice, practice.

Totally agree.  Most often used shots are from 70 yards and less.  For me, most oft used club is the 52-12.  40-60 is my standard pitch with this (60 being full grip and 40 choked all the way).  30-40 is my half swing with the same club. With PW, 60-80 is my standard pitch and 40-50 is half swing.  Standard pitch with the 60 is 25-40.

Even in the early days I was taught to take a 1/2 swing at 50 with a PW and 1/4 swing at 25 (this was in the 1970s).  Didn't know about choking to shave distance.

If you are playing the New Pro V-1 I've found swinging slower around the green adds increased spin.

Focus on your swing all the way through and let the shaft do the work, you'll get there. 

Eric:

I know you made this post a while ago, but if you get this, I'll tell you what I do, and it works well for me. I choke up on my 60* and take a full, 70% (or so) swing. I am a digger, so I use a 60*10*.  Depending on pin location, I play the ball parallel with my back foot with a slightly closed face and hit a  boring, low, soft (almost a soft line drive) shot that will spin back a few feet, or I play the ball in the middle of my stance with a slightly open face and hit a higher shot that sticks. Everyone has different preferences, but I had such a hard time pitching last year that I figured I'd try a few hacks with the 60*. It's worked very well- I just about always put it on the green. It's a very consistent shot for me, and honestly isn't a very hard shot to make.

I'm sure by now you are getting better at this shot as the advice above is helpful. I learned something that I had not observed in the choking up distance changes but that will be very useful.

You should look up Butch Harmon on You tube as he has a few approaches on short 30-50 yard ptiches to let the ball land softly.  You will note that in one of lessons with a amatuer he is slightly below the hole and hitting to a surface about 3 feet above the location in a tight lie.  This is important because you need to adjust for the difference of executing this shot in different situations such as tight lie and rough.  You also need to consider where you are in relationship to the pin as in some cases you will be below the hole, above the hole, side angle, steep slope etc...  Phil has a good book on the short game that I've read cover to cover.   There is a lot of valuable information in the book about the ball position and how to approach shots depending on situation.  (Heavy thick rough and ball is buried vs heavy thick rough and ball is sitting half way down)

I'm getting really good at this range but I need to be off the rough.  I tend to struggle in the rough as my options change on what I can execute.  It really comes down too lack of practice for me as I don't get out enough to practice the varying approach shot conditions.  I will say that when I get out I practice 80% chipping and pitching since 31% of my strokes are coming from this situation so it is valuable for any golfer to work on this range.  I have purchased my vokeys based on what shot I statistically encounter the most.

My lowest distance I have in the bag is 90meters.... and that's a 3/4 SW(56deg).... Anything less then that is up to feel. I have found that feel is alot more consistent for me then having a clock system and a do this and that everytime. Even after hours of practise I could not have a clock system going consistently.

I don't change the way I strike the ball on pitch shots, just the length of the backswing and how far I choke down.  When you start changing how hard or how soft you hit the ball, you lose consistency.