$5 lesson
There are many ways the $5 bill is used, and it starts with a fold. Most golfers hit many five dollar shots per round. They occur whenever a green is missed. The object of the $5 shot is 1) to get the ball on the green and 2) to get it close to the hole.
There are three basic variations of the five dollar shot. (Clockwise from top left to bottom)
The chip, the pitch and the flop.
The chip
The bottom of the swing is at the edge of the bill, not the fold. Many golfers make the mistake of setting up to the back edge, making it easy to get “stuck”
Setting up to the edge has its benefits. 1) the eyes are training themselves on the lie 2) the likelihood of lifting up is far lower 3) the bounce of the club is used to loft the ball 4) the trajectory will be low and roll
The pitch A pitch is best struck with a bit of space between the leading edge of the club and the ball. The three shots shown here are low, medium and high pitches. (Top to bottom)Through impact try to marry the club face with the upright half of the bill.
In the low pitch the hands will lead the handle through ahead of the face. In the high pitch the club shaft will be almost vertical at impact. Medium will fall between.
A flop shot out of the rough is easiest to learn (and be confident with). The diamond shape of the bill describes how the stance is open as far left as the club is open to the right.
The flop shot
Some golfers will open the club face without opening their stance. Unless the club face is manipulated, coming into the ball, the ball will squirt out to the right.
There are different approaches for different lies. (Clockwise from top left) 1) a sweeping shot from out of the rough, 2) a medium brush of the turf from the first cut and 3) a sharp pinch at the back of the ball from the fairway or collar.
Meet the turf, or blades of grass, at the edge of the bill.
Note: the harder the club cuts across the ball the higher and softer it will land. Shorter too.
The sand shot is a version of the flop. With the bounce (underside) of the club meeting the sand at about this distance behind the ball. Focus on the point at strike down and through.
Green side bunker shot
Next, we’ll explore the $10 shot, and it’s variations.