Golf shots you need to know when playing on the links

You'll see a number of these situations unfolding at the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 18 Jul 2017

 

Links golf is the purest form of the game - and there is an art to mastering it. 

We joined our instruction specialist and PGA professional Adam Glass to get his top tips on how to play smart golf on a links course. 

First up, Adam looks at why keeping the ball low to the ground is key around the greens...

Golf shots you need to know when playing on the links

#1 - BUMP AND RUN SHOTS

There's no right or wrong club to play the bump and run, but what you're trying to do is get the ball rolling as quick as possible.

We don't want to hit the ball too airborne on the links. We're looking to get it on the deck as it's much easier to control on the links where you've got undulating land and lots of slopes. 

With the ball being played more in the air, you could end up hitting the slope and that can kill it. 

Golf shots you need to know when playing on the links

You'll see guys using 5 or 6-irons, or even a hybrid or a putter around the greens. It's the smart play more often than not. 

What we're looking to do is play the ball just off the inside of the back heel. This helps create a steeper angle of attack and also we're looking to get much closer to the ball. You want to be quite upright. The plane is very much up and down, rather than too much around. 

If we're stood too far away, the plane will be a little more around. We want the plane straight back and straight through. 

Golf shots you need to know when playing on the links

You will notice I'm using a cross handed grip. That actually started off as a drill when my chipping got a bit flicky. 

It's a Pete Cowen drill and I saw Matt Fitzpatrick using it. I was showing the drill to some guys I was teaching at the time and I actually started hitting better chip shots by going left below right. It's something that has now just stuck. It just gives me a feeling, just like someone might do with their putting grip.

If you're struggling with your chipping and playing these types of shots around the green, it's definitely worth giving this grip a go. Then you can revert back to your normal grip, or if you're like me, stick with it.

Golf shots you need to know when playing on the links

Golf shots you need to know when playing on the links

With the hybrid around the greens for the bump and run shot, just stand nice and close to the ball once again. 

Get the ball just inside the trail leg, grip down so you're almost on the shaft. Think putting, just take it back straight and through and get that ball running. It takes some practice, but once you've mastered it you'll be getting up and down in no time.