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Top 100 teacher Tom Stickney tells you what you need to know to deal with green-side cabbage and shows you how to play the shots you need to succeed.

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Tom F. Stickney II is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (www.puntamita.com) He is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top-25 Instructor. Tom is also a Trackman University Master/Partner, a distinction held by less than 15 people in the world. Punta Mita is a 1500 acre Golf and Beach Resort located just 45 minuted from Puerto Vallarta on a beautiful peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Banderas on three sides. Amenities include two Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses- with 14 holes directly on the water, a Golf Academy, four private Beach Clubs, a Four Seasons Hotel, a St. Regis Hotel, as well as, multiple private Villas and Homesites available. For more information regarding Punta Mita, golf outings, golf schools and private lessons, please email: [email protected]

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Steve Cantwell

    Feb 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    I could only dream of having problems such as thick rough around the green. Unfortunately, most of the courses I play have sparse, patchy, clumpy grass around the greens where the ball often is near impossible to strike first. How do i hit THAT shot?

    • geohogan

      Mar 4, 2019 at 9:03 am

      David Leadbetter taught a method when ball is covered :
      Cock wrist quickly ie V shape up swing
      and keep wrist cock for DS, dropping clubhead behind the ball
      with no follow through.
      if wrists dont uncock I guess the right shoulder has to continue\
      to turn through.

  2. Bob

    Feb 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    You didn’t mention loft. Is it better to use your maximum loft club or go with less?

  3. Tiger Noods

    Feb 25, 2019 at 12:59 am

    We all know not to decelerate, but the right shoulder coming through is a great tip. “It prevents the hands from taking over.”

    A lot of short game shots can use that same advice.

  4. geohogan

    Feb 24, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Not all cabbage is the same.
    Some allow the ball to nestle down while others hold
    the ball up.

    I’d appreciate some ideas for each type of “cabbage”. Thanks

    • Iutodd

      Feb 24, 2019 at 1:48 pm

      I’m not a top teacher but, IMO, you have to figure out where the ground is in relation to the ball and make appropriate practice swings. If it’s all the way at the bottom you have to “go down and get it” so you practice taking a divot and make sure to utilize the bounce of the wedge. If the grass is holding it up you practice sort of just sweeping through – the club might not even hit the ground at all – keep the club square so you don’t fluff it.

      • geohogan

        Feb 25, 2019 at 8:35 am

        @lutodd, thanks for input.

        Patrick Read had a short chip on his last hole
        Sunday(Mexico). The tropical kikuyu is much different than rye or bluegrass]

        While Tom S. demonstrated a lob type shot in the above video. ie open face and long swing, back and through; Patrick Read hit more a hit and hold type chip with plenty of run out. What is go to method from 10 feet from green, for kikuyu?

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Matt Wolff, Bubba Watson, Jack Nicklaus, and so many more have been criticized for their golf swings and the flying elbow has been a subject of those criticisms.

When you watch a baseball hitter, a baseball pitcher, a tennis player, a lumberjack and so many more sports and disciplines, you realize they were all good to go all along!

This video will hopefully nudge you to experience this power for yourself too!

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This video is chock full of fairway wood wisdom that will allow you to understand several things including why a low spinning 5-wood would go much farther and what to focus on feel wise and sound wise with the SOLE of the club through the turf and ground. At least four solid nuggets throughout this video that will be sure to sharpen your fairway woods and hybrids!

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The Wedge Guy: Chipping away strokes

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I’ve always admired golfers who can really chip the ball well. Through my years in golf, I have seen players of all handicaps who are excellent chippers, and all tour professionals are masters of chipping it close. But for such a simple little stroke and challenge, chipping seems to be a part of the game that eludes many of us.

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This brings to mind two of my golf buddies who are both good chippers of the ball while employing totally different styles, but each one closely resembles their individual putting style. One uses a more stiff-wristed technique and quicker pace and tempo — just like his putting. The other, who is a doctor with a delicate touch, uses a more rhythmical pace not dissimilar from his syrupy smooth putting stroke.

Now let’s talk about techniques.

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On chips where the ball has to be carried more than just a few feet, I prefer a chipping technique that is more like a short pitching swing. I position the ball back of center of my stance to ensure clean contact and set up more like a short pitch shot. I usually hit this kind of chip with one of my wedges, depending on the balance of carry and roll needed to get the ball to the hole.

On that note, I read the green and pick an exact spot where I want the ball to land, and from there until impact, I forget the hole location and focus my “aim” on that spot. Your eyes guide your swing speed on chips and short pitch shots, and if you return your eyes to the hole, you are “programming” your body to fly the ball to the hole.

So, while sizing up the shot, I find a very distinct spot on the green where I think the ball needs to land to roll out with the club/trajectory I envision. From that point on, my complete focus is on that spot, NOT the hole. That loads my brain with the input it needs to tap into my eye/hand coordination. I think many golfers chip long too often because they focus on the hole, rather than where the shot needs to land, so their “wiring” imparts too much power. Just my thinking there.

One of my favorite drills for practicing chipping like this is to take a bucket/bag of balls to the end of the range where no one is hitting, and practice chipping to different spots – divots, pieces of turf, etc. – at various ranges, from 2-3 feet out to 20-30. I do this with different wedges and practice achieving different trajectories, just to load my memory banks with the feel of hitting to a spot with different clubs. Then, when I face a chip on the course, I’m prepared.

I’m totally convinced the majority of recreational golfers can make the quickest and biggest improvement in our scoring if we will just dedicate the time to learn good chipping technique and to practicing that technique with a purpose.

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