A short approach to a fast green guarded by traps presents an interesting challenge with rewarding satisfactions. To hold the green by means of backspin (developed by punching the ball into the turf) requires considerable practice and skill, possibly more than the average golfer can bring to his occasional rounds. Accordingly, it's a wise decision for golfers to cultivate the lob type of approach, a shot which reduces the percentage of error and which does the job very well, too. When correctly executed, the lobbed pitch sends the ball up to the green in a very steep trajectory. The ball drops almost vertically onto the green, and little roll results.
In playing this shot, use a nine-iron or a pitching wedge. Take your stance with the ball an inch or so farther forward than usual. Allow yourself a backswing somewhat longer than you would use if you were planning to spank a backspin approach the same distance and allow your wrists to cock freely. Swing smoothly and well through the ball. You will find that the ball will get up very quickly and sit down very well when it plops onto the green. This shot can be easily learned with a little practice and can be just as effective as the much more exacting backspin shot.
from JIMMY D'ANGELO, Dunes Golf and Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
NEXT WEEK: HARRY COOPER ON SPOTTING THE BALL