Golf: Master the soft conditions

OFTEN the combination of moisture in the air and soft fairways offer minimal run that can make a course play a lot longer than it actually is.

So unless you are playing from the front tees, you might find a couple of the longer par-4s difficult to reach in two shots.

However, this does not mean automatic dropped shots because with the application of good technique and tactics, you can hit it close and still leave a makeable par-putt. So improve your pitching in your practice sessions and when you are out on the course you’ll reap the rewards.

1 Back edge lower

The key to pitching well is keeping the back edge of the sole lower for longer through impact. It’s the same for irons too. Even a straighter faced 8-iron has helpful bounce (around five degrees). Use this action and you will really improve.

2 Lose the scoop

Scooping the ball is an all-too-common fault. Pitch shots should be played with a slightly descending – but not too steep – angle of attack. It is crucial for good pitching that you let the loft of the club do what it was designed to – get the ball airborne.

3 Trust the loft

This is what you should be looking to achieve through impact. By pushing the clubhead down through the ball, your arms will naturally extend with the middle of the clubface, gathering up the ball and sending it towards your intended target.

4 Exit strategy

Try to feel you are swinging the club a little ‘in-to-out’ as the club exits impact. This helps prevent the leading edge from digging in too much. With practice, you’ll start to feel the back edge of the sole (bounce) bruising the top of the turf through impact.

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