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Friday, June 10, 2011

Denis Pugh on Greenside Play

The name Denis Pugh may not be familiar to you, but I bet these two are: Eduordo and Francesco Molinari. Denis Pugh is their coach, and I think you could say he's pretty good -- in the last couple of years, both have moved into the Top 50 in the world (as of this week, Edoardo is #35 and Francesco is #20).

Both men are considered pretty good at the short game, and since Dexter's been talking about different approaches to chipping at his site, I thought I'd include this short video by Pugh on some of the more unusual approaches the pros use when faced with tough chips:

Note the reasons for using these approaches:
  • The wood is used because the wide flat bottom doesn't hang up in the grass. The loft of the club gets the ball on top of the grass.
  • The toe of the putter is used when the grass is so thick and the ball sits down so deep that you need the smallest possible "club face" you can muster. The toe goes under the ball and pops it up out of the grass. Note also that the ball is closer to the green than it was with the wood shot; you don't get a lot of carry with this shot, so it needs to be close.
  • And the bellied wedge is used when the ball is up against the rough but you can get the club on the top half of the ball. The loft of the wedge plays no part in this shot, and you use the wedge instead of the putter because you want the heavy sole of the wedge to give this shot some power. If you used the putter, most of the putter weight would skim over the ball and you wouldn't get a solid hit.
Use these principles to help you decide what kind of shot will best help you get the ball out of the rough. Remember, even if the shot isn't great, you want to make sure your next shot is from the short grass.

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