Friday, October 9, 2009

Some More Rule of 12 Thoughts...

Recently I talked about Brian Manzella's video on the 'Rule of 12.' Here again is the video.

I've made a follow up post on the Rule of 12 which can be found HERE.

First off, I will reiterate that I think this is extremely important to learn. For myself, I'd say my up-and-down % using one club (usually the SW) was around 50-60%. Now understanding the Rule of 12 and being able to execute the shot, I'd say my up-and-down with this is about 70-80%. Huge difference.

Here's some more things I've found out about using the Rule of 12.

1. Practice, practice, practice.

Actually, you don't have to practice this a ton, but getting the technique down is a little harder than I thought. Mainly because using a chipping stroke with a SW is a little different of a feel than using it with say a 7-iron. At first, I think you need to put some solid amount of practice with it just to get down the technique, the carry and the roll. But once you start to get it down, just practice it for about 5-10 minutes every time you go to the range. And as I mentioned in a previous post, this is a GREAT way to help figure out the speed of the greens. If you can find a relatively flat spot on the practice green to chip to, use the Rule of 12 and if after a few strokes you find correctly executed Rule of 12 shots are going well short of the cup, then you probably have slow greens. If you are going well long, then you probably have faster greens. You also need to make the adjustment on the golf course. If you find that the greens are 1 club too fast, then take 1 less club according to the Rule of 12 when you play your round out on the course. I make the Rule of 12 part of my practice routine and my pre-round routine when playing in tournament play.

2. Be Aware of Your Lie

One big thing I've noticed is how the lie effects the shot. If you have an uphill lie, you're likely to hit the ball past the safe zone because the chip swing needed to hit the 'safe zone' from a relatively flat lie. So, you may want to either take 1 less club if you have a fairly uphill lie or take a shorter stroke so you won't fly past the safe zone.

Downhill lies are a bit more tricky. You may want to take less club and adjust where you put the 'safe zone.' The main reason is that downhill lies tend to go so low that they don't reach the safe spot. But if you take a longer club, you're just decreasing the loft. The longer swing doesn't mean that you will get extra loft either. So I say you may also want to take 1 less club here so you can get more loft and just adjust your 'safe zone.'

So, if I have a chip shot that is 30 yards long with a downhill like and my carry to the safe zone is 10 yards and my roll is 20 yards, that is saying that I need a PW. But instead, I may want to go with a SW to get some more loft and adjust my safe zone to about 15 yards of carry so I will only have 15 yards of roll, thus according to the Rule of 12, calling for a SW spot.

3. You Don't Always Have to Land On The Green.

One of the reasons why the Rule of 12 appealed to me was going back years ago to watching the old Senior Tour Championship at the Dunes Golf Club in Myrtle Beach. I can't remember the pro who hit the shot, but he short sided himself and had a chip that was at the bottom of the hill. Instead of hitting a difficult flop shot, the pro just hit a bump and run up the fringe and put it to about 3 feet and made the putt. I thought that was the smart play, but simply didn't have an idea of what club I would hit there on the bump and run. Now, with the Rule of 12 we have an idea.

Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago where I had a slightly downhill lie and short side myself to a two-tiered green. In the past I would've hit a LW and the Rule of 12 using the 'safe zone' on the green would've called for a LW. Instead, I found an area I wanted to hit that was short of the green. The Rule of 12 called for a PW, but with the ball landing on the fringe and the slope going uphill, I pulled out a 9-iron to that safe zone spot and left myself with a tap in.

Again, all stuff that can be more easily understood and more consistently executed with practice. But as AimPoint Golf statistical studies have shown, Scrambling % has the 4th highest correlation to Stroke Average. So if you can greatly improve your Scrambling %, it will impact your handicap.


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