AB’s ABC of Flight School | By Alastair Brown (Emirates Golf Club)

During your short game practice sessions, try and adapt the flight of your ball simply by changing your ball position. In this article I will explain to you three basic flights to add some variety to your short game arsenal. I am using a 56 degree sand wedge for all three shots. I have three different ball positions pictured below all with a narrow chipping/pitching stance.

Chipping and Pitching is all about controlling three things:


A) Ball Back (Green)

The ball position closest to my back/trail foot creates a more forward shaft lean. This is the traditional way we play the chip shot. The angle of attack is steeper and swing arc width shorter at the bottom of the swing and can dig into the ground with ease. The outcome is a lower launch ball flight and the ball rolling across the green. I would use this shot to flags placed with plenty of distance from the edge of the green.

B) Ball in Centre (Red)

The ball is directly in the middle of my stance and has its natural shaft lean the way the club has been designed. The angle of attack is shallower and swing arc width medium at the bottom of the swing. The bottom of the club doesn’t dig in, but bruises the ground. The outcome is a mid-launch ball flight and the ball stopping within four or five yards of landing. I use this for all types of flag position but especially when the flag is closer to the edge of the green.

C) Ball Forward (Blue)

The ball position closest to my front/lead foot creates the least shaft lean. This is a slightly more high tariff position and can unnerve some golfers. The angle of attack is very shallow and swing arc width wide at the bottom of the swing. The ability to hold the club shallow and wide through impact is the skill to develop here. The bottom of the club should glide across the ground. The outcome is a higher launch ball flight and the ball stopping within two or three yards of landing. Can be used for all flags but especially flags tucked away in corners or behind bunkers.

Hit five balls from each position so you can notice and experience the changes. Once you’ve got a feel for the variety of chip types, hit one ball from each position to generate a more realistic scenario that can come into play next time you’re out on the course.

If you want to check your mechanics, why not visit the Peter Cowen Academy Dubai and find out first hand why his players are the most successful on tour.

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