Tip Tuesday: Avoid the Temptation of High Loft on Pitch Shots

In this segment, Ted Frick of the Classic Swing Golf School at Legends Golf Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C. is here to show us how getting the ball on the ground sooner will prove to be more effective for most golfers with their pitch shots.



Ted Frick:
Hi, I’m Ted Frick, owner of Classic Swing Golf School at the beautiful Legends Resort. I want to welcome you to the Classic Swing Golf School short game facility. Now, around this green, I’ve been out here since 2001 and they kindly brought me out here in 2000 to build this green. You can hit every shot that you want to hit inside of 30 yards.

I’m telling you, daily, with the help of the superintendent, we’ve come out here and you’re going to see these tee markers. Each day, I or Stefany or Eddie will come out, and we will move these markers, nine markers out here, in a clockwise fashion. Because we want our students who arrive early, or the ones who stick around later, we want them to go through a nine-hole short game assessment.

We do a lot of short game schools, a lot of course management schools, and let me tell you what I see. All right, I’m going to go for some shots. I brought out, out of my bag, my three wedges. So I use a 58 degree, a 52 degree and my 46. So pitch, gap/sand, sand/lob. This is my wedge set makeup, very personal.

Well over eight out of 10 students on the course around this short game field, the mistake they made, and I’m not going to talk about mechanics, but they play the game with too much loft. I’m going to give you a good reason. When you watch the LPGA and the PGA, you are watching tour players on hard greens that are fast. They are having to get some elevation the ball and they’ve got to get the ball to spin and stop. That is high risk, high reward.

If you really want your scores to come down, with my help, let me show you this picture. I have a pin located out there. It is about 22 yards, give or take two yards, from where I’m standing. And the green itself is approximately, I’m going to say 10 yards away, where that fringe to the green starts.

Here’s what a lot of students do when they go through the assessment. Because I tell them in nine holes, it’s an up-and-down game, 18’s an awesome number, it doesn’t happen much. Here’s what most of them are going to do – boys and girls, young and old.

They’re going to come out of here with this lofted wedge, take a look at this shot. My landing areas are red and yellow. From where I’m located, this is my experience of swinging a golf club over 50 years now, I wouldn’t put it. And I don’t think my wedge once it lands, it would roll out too much, because we are a little bit downwind as well.

Here’s the air, though. Under good mechanics, which has a nice setup, real soft arms and quality turn through the golf ball. Watch this shot using a 56 to 60 degree. This is my 58, where I’ve got to carry it about 75 percent of the way. Ready?

That is that landing area. Now the camera man’s going, “Ted, great shot.” I practice a lot, my wedges. I’m telling you, it’s high risk. Now watch this play.

Golf is a game of misses, quality misses. And there’s no doubt around the green, putt whenever you can putt, especially if you’re a good putter. Get the ball on the ground. There’s another law that we like to use, the “law of the land,” and that is to invest in real estate for appreciation over time. That means get the ball on the ground soon.

So, now I’ve got to pull that 52. Now again, good quality set up, which is close to the golf ball, acknowledging really, really light arms, real soft arms, light grip pressure under a nice lie and rotation through it.

I’m going to take that deep cleansing breath, make sure my body’s relaxed, and now it’d be focused more on this red ring. I’m going to try to get the ball on the ground sooner, and get it rolling a lot closer to my red ring. Let’s watch that thing roll out, look.

You get it on the ground sooner, let the putting gods take over. I guarantee, this will help you out so much. Use lower lofted wedges, it will definitely help lower your scores.