Introduction: A New Way to Find the Landing Zone When Chipping and Pitching When Playing Golf
Desire to chip and pitch the ball closer to the hole with confidence and accuracy?
Tired and frustrated not getting the ball close to the hole, the ball ending up short, long, or even going in the wrong direction of the hole.
To chip and pitch the golf ball more accurately to the flag stick, we must know approximately where to land the ball on the green to have an above average chip or pitch shot. To establish where to land the ball, the distance from hole to ball must be known. Once distance has been determined, it is quick and easy to use the Essential Landing Zone System Charts to locate the approximate landing zone for chip and pitch shots around the green within 50 yards of the flag stick.
Having this valuable visual charting information available in your back pocket or on your phone as an app will improve performance, accuracy, and confidence when chipping and pitching.
The essential objective of the Essential Landing Zone Charting System is to locate the approximate visual landing zone for the golf ball to land and roll out like a putt to the hole, most importantly improving accuracy.
Lock in on a newly found vision, Essential Landing Zone Systems ELZS.
As a former Golf Teaching Professional, I found that students enjoyed hitting balls with their driver to see how far the ball travels. They just loved to be on the range hitting golf balls, bucket after bucket. I explained to my students that the driver is used for only about 16% of all shots, but pitching, chipping, and putting are used for around 47%. When they shifted their allotment of practice time to the short game, they were thrilled at how much their accuracy and scores improved. Experience has taught me that anyone who wants to become more accurate at chipping and pitching the golf ball to lower scores must spend more time around the practice greens than on the range. It is a very important component of golf that is often overlooked.
The introduction of the Essential Landing Zone Systems (ELZS) will make the transition allotment time from the range to the practice green much more productive and enjoyable, because the ELZS removes the problem of guessing and figuring out where to land the golf ball when chipping and pitching that every golfer goes through. The ELZS makes this process simple, easy, and quick; it identifies the approximate landing zone for chip and pitch shots. Without the frustration of guessing and being precise with these shots.
The Essential Landing Zone System (ELZS) is the product of years spent improving chipping and pitching accuracy and removing the guesswork from this aspect of the game for my students to improve their performance around the green. The development of ELZS for chipping and pitching increases accuracy, performance, confidence, and lower scores. Knowing where to approximately land the ball on the green for a successful chip or pitch shot reduces frustration and stress. It also increases the fun of golf!
The ELZS is in the form of four table charts representing four different green speeds that any golfer can easily use as a reference guide to perform better around the greens. The four charts serve as visual aids to help golfers quickly assess the landing zone before they perform their shots. The accompanying instructional booklet serves as a step-by-step guide and provides additional information that golfers will find useful. The Essential Landing Zone Systems can be used extensively around the greens during practice rounds, USGA events, club championships, and tour competitions. The ELZS is in compliance with the requirements of the Rules of Golf (USGA Rule 4-3) and the R & A Rules of Golf.
The ELZS Charting System
The Essential Landing Zone System (ELZS) is a chart system designed with Four Chart Tables for finding the approximate landing zone when chipping and pitching the golf ball onto the green to the hole and improving a player’s accuracy of where the golf ball ends up in relation to the hole. The ELZS makes it possible to chip and pitch without having to be perfectly precise for the landing spot of the golf ball, for those particular shots around the green. In other words, the ELZS Charts allow for some margin of error while still improving accuracy. There are four individual ELZS Charts: 1) Slow Green, 2) Fast Green, 3) Super Quick Green, and 4) Ultra-Fast Green. The four ELZS table charts are geared around green speeds: Slow, Fast, Super Quick, and Ultra-Fast. Below is a small sample size of the ELZS Chart. Full and complete charts are included with the system.
These green speeds are calculated by a device called a stimpmeter. The stimpmeter is a tool that is primarily used by Golf Course Superintendents and PGA Teaching Professionals around the United States and other countries that have golf courses. Below left is a Stimpmeter being used and right is a Stimpmeter reading informing players of green speed conditions for that day.
The charts for the Essential Landing Zone System were created to improve golfers’ performance, confidence, and decision-making ability when chipping and pitching around the greens. Within the ELZS, there is a straightforward systematic method to learning the system. There are some additional learning tools that are included with the ELZS to help ingrain the system to your game. Players at any level can learn how to incorporate the ELZS into their game. After reading this booklet and having some valuable practice time around the short game practice facility, golfers will be equipped with a new skill set that prepares them to perform well and enjoy themselves when chipping and pitching.
Green speeds are a crucial variable when playing golf. Knowing the green speed of a course being played is important for good putting, chipping, and pitching the golf ball. Slow-to-average green speeds are 8 and below, and fast speeds are between 9 to 10. Super quick greens run at around 11 to 12 like the greens at Augusta National. Ultra-fast greens like Oakmont Country Club (where the stimpmeter was first created and used) run 13 to 15 on the stimpmeter. For a point of reference, most recreational golfers play on public golf courses where green speeds run around 8 to 9 on the stimpmeter. The ELZS will help any golfer, no matter what their preference is regarding green speeds.
To start using the Essential Landing Zone System, let's get familiar with the quick and easy charts for use around the greens.
Each chart is designed to be read like a table chart.
At the top left-hand corner of each chart is the word “Yard(s).” Below Yard(s) are the numerals 5 thru 50, representing how many yards the golf ball lies away from the golf hole.
Yard(s) have been converted to approximate meters just to the right for those who prefer meters. Note: The Yards column starts at 5 because greenskeepers keep hole locations at a minimum of 5 yards – approximately 15 feet – from the edge of the green in most situations (Gilhuly).
In the right top corner of each chart is “FEET.” Below FEET the chart starts at 15 representing 15 feet and goes down to 150 feet. The Feet column is just a quick reference that some golfers prefer over yards.
Club selections are listed across the top of each chart, starting with the 60 / 58 degrees Lob Wedge (LW), then 56 / 54-degree Sand Wedge (SW), then 50 / 49 GAP, Pitching Wedges (PW), then 9 Iron, 8 Iron, 7 Iron, 6 Iron, 5 Iron, and finishing with Hybrid (Hyb) / 5 Wood. As shown below.
Under each club there are Landing Zone figures that correspond with the YARDS Column, depending on how many yards the ball lies away from the hole. For example, If the ball lies 18 Yards away from the hole, the corresponding Landing Zone (LZ) for a 50-degree pitching wedge would be 8.5 yards using the Fast Green Chart.
Eight and a half yards is where the ball must land approximately to arrive close to the hole. The ball travels approximately 8.5 yards in the air and approximately 9.5 paces on the ground for a total of 18 paces. The ratio of air to ground the golf ball travels is 8.5 / 18 equals approximately 47.2 percent the ball travels in the air. The Ball travels approximately 9.5 yards or 52.7 percent on the ground. Just a little over a 1:1 ratio for the club selected and green speed.
In another example, still Fast Green Chart the golf ball lies 26 yards away from the hole, so the corresponding LZ for an 8 iron would be 11.0 yards away from the ball.
Eleven (11.0) point zero yards is where the ball needs to approximately land traveling 11.0 yards in the air and 15.0 yards along the ground to arrive close to the pin at 26 paces. The ratio for this shot is 11.0 / 26.0 = 42.3 percent approximately the ball travels in the air and 57.69 percent on the ground. Just over 2:1 ratio for this example.
Here is another whole number example. From the Fast Green Chart using 17 yards, select the 9 iron that intersects at a landing zone of 7.0 yards. Seven (7.0) point zero yards is where the ball needs to land approximately.
Fast Green Chart
SELECT CLUB 60 L 56 S 50 G PW 9I
Yards (M) MID
17 / 15.5 9.0 8.5 8.0 7.5 7.0
The ratio 7.0 / 17 equals 41.17 percent the ball travels in the air and 58.82 percent on the ground. This ratio is just over 2:1 also. The essential objective of the ELZS charts is to find the approximate landing zone for the golf ball to descend on the green and roll out to the hole like a putt. Tiger Woods exemplified this strategy by focusing on a particular landing zone when he made his famous chip-in on the 16th hole of the 2005 Masters Tournament win.
The ultimate goal when chipping and pitching is to land the ball within or as close to the landing zone as possible, then have the ball roll out to the hole, preferably, to our first preference which is inside a one-yard circumference of the hole or in the cup. The second-best preference would be a two-yard circumference of the hole, and our last preference is a three-yard circumference of the hole. Let’s envision three imaginary circumferences around the hole:
1. A circle of zero to three feet, with zero being in the cup
2. A circle of three feet to six feet
3. A circle of six feet to nine feet.
The integral component of the ELZS is getting the golf ball as close to the hole as possible or even chipping or pitching the ball in the cup on those sweet occasions. Shown below are eGolfRings that provide excellent feedback when chipping, pitching, and putting.
SELECT CLUB | 60 L 56 S 50 G PW 9I 8I
26 / 23.7 | 13.5 13.0 12.5 12.0 11.5 11.0
Yards (M) MID
The Essential Landing Zone System Charts took considerable time and effort to calibrate and develop. While developing the charting system, only three-piece construction golf balls were used to ensure consistency of performance. No two-piece golf balls were used. There is better performance around the greens with three-piece construction golf balls. Three-piece balls spin better and roll out softer than two-piece construction balls; they just have a softer feel to them than two-piece construction balls. When you start using the ELZS, try to make sure all practice balls are three-piece construction, no matter the manufacture. By doing this you will be more apt to get consistent performance from the golf balls and eliminate different variables.
The problem of where the ball needs to land and roll out to get close to the hole when chipping and pitching is a familiar one and has been addressed in articles, books, and videos. The Essential Landing Zone System differs in having a visual conceptual tool kit guide that can assist in approximating the landing zone for shots around the greens. The best way to control distances when chipping and pitching is to use different clubs and then learn the distance ratio for each club. The ELZS is based on the approximate percentage ratio of yards the golf ball is in the air and how many yards it is on the ground. Below is an example of a chip shot with the LZ at approximately 2 yards and with the approximate roll out of the different clubs on a relatively Fast Green.
The Visual Conceptual Tool Kit
The Essential Landing Zone System Charts make it much easier to locate the approximate landing zone closest to you. So, when using the Essential Landing Zone System charts, always try to choose the landing zone that is closest to you because it will land the ball a few yards on the green for a smooth rollout to the hole. By using this approach, the ELZS will eliminate guesswork, help lower anxiety, and decrease the amount of time needed for shots around the greens. In short, it will significantly improve short game consistency when chipping and pitching.
Learning the Essential Landing Zone System will lower scores, handicaps, and make the game of golf fun for all levels, especially junior players. The ELZS is a great learning game for juniors learning how to land the golf ball on the green within an imaginary landing zone and having the golf ball roll out to the desired distance close to the hole. The ELZS will help develop junior golfers' visual-spatial awareness and imagination when performing these shots around the greens.
Start using the ELZS Charts at your local courses. Practice chipping and pitching at a facility where you often play and are familiar with the greens. If you aren’t sure about green speeds at your course or the practice area, ask your PGA Head Professional or the Head Golf Course Superintendent at your course for the information. They will be more than happy and willing to share the stimpmeter speed readings for your course greens and even the dominant type of grass that grows on and around the green complexes. This information plays a large role in your approach to chipping and pitching.
Find a flat quiet area of the green so you can focus. Give yourself a decent lie to practice on, with nice short grass, no medium or long rough to start. Then drop 8 to 10 golf balls off the green at around 7 to 10 yards.
Insert Charles Image Below
Slow Green Chart
SELECT CLUB 60/58 LW 56/54 SW 50/49 GAP PW
19 / 17.3 11.0 10.5 10.0 9.5
20 / 18.2 11.5 11.0 10.5 10.0
21 / 19.2 12.0 11.5 11.0 10.5
Pace off 20 yards (60 feet) from where the balls lie to a hole. You may also use a tee or any other object as the hole. Once you’ve determined the stimpmeter green speed for your greens, select the appropriate ELZS Chart from the following options: Slow, Fast, Super Quick, or Ultra Fast.
This next example will use a Slow Chart for slow greens with a stimpmeter readings of 8 to 9. On the Slow Green Chart find 20 yards, then find Club Selection for Pitching Wedge (PW).
Slow Green Chart
SELECT CLUB 60/58 LW 56/54 SW 50/49 GAP PW
19 / 17.3 11.0 10.5 10.0 9.5
20 / 18.2 11.5 11.0 10.5 10.0
21 / 19.2 12.0 11.5 11.0 10.5
The two intersect at 10.0 as the approximate landing zone for the pitching wedge when chipping or pitching from 20 yards (60 feet; 18.29 meters) away from the hole. When pitching from 20 yards away from the hole, the golf ball needs to fly approximately 10.0 yards to the landing zone on the green, and then roll another 10 yards to the hole.
Note: The Essential Landing Zone System will have around 90 percent of the chip and pitch shots landing on the green to avoid any bad bounces. Try to have the landing zone as close to you as possible, depending on the situation. After the ball descends onto the green, it will roll just like a putt. There are going to be times when the fringe or short grass around the green complex will be the landing zone.
In the example above, you would need eight tees (or order the ELZS RC6² Folds) and a visible ball marker that you can see from afar.
Pace off 10 yards away from the golf balls on your intended target line towards the hole, and stop at the 10-yard mark. Where you stand is the ultimate approximate landing zone for the ball to descend and roll out to the hole. There, at the 10.0 LZ, place your ball marker on your intended line with the hole. We call this area the “Zero Zone” in the middle third of the LZ. You will need your eight tees to configure your total landing zone.
Next, place two tees at the nine-yard mark and two yards apart. This first third of the landing zone area is called “Zone One.” Place two more tees two yards apart at 11 yards at the back third of the landing zone. This third is also called “Zone One.” The four tees should be aligned to form a rectangle on the green surface with the ball marker in the center. The other four tees will be placed inside the other tees, two feet apart, defining the rectangle into thirds.
The first third is Zone One, the second third is Zone Zero and the last third is Zone One. These zones form the total approximate landing zone area for chip and pitch shots. See figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Red Carpet LZ 6ft by 6ft or 36 square feet of landing area (RC6²)
Practice Time and RC6²
Figure 1 shows the shape that should be formed with the tees and ball marker. Each corner should be approximately 2 yards apart. The formation is approximately 6 feet by 6 feet or 36 square feet of area. Just imagine a magical red carpet of 36 square feet lying on the green for your landing zone when chipping and pitching. The imaginary red carpet with eight tees and a ball mark in the center is your gateway to the hole. This gateway Red Carpet of 36 square feet is called RC6².
The only objective in this landing zone practice session is landing shots strategically within the parameters of the tees or the ELZS RC6² Folds as close as possible to the ball marker middle third or zone zero (ZZ) area. Landing balls on either side of ZZ is perfectly fine as long as the balls land inside the parameters. The front third, zone one (Z1), and the last third (also Z1) are within the landing zone. When landing 1 yard short of ZZ but inside front Z1, the ball will be approximately one yard short of the hole. Landing the ball past ZZ into the back Z1 by 1 yard, the ball will roll out approximately 1 yard past the hole. When landing on zone zero, the balls will be relatively close to the hole. This is basic ELZS. Let's examine this further in the example below.
Let's use figure 1 above with 9 yards at the first two tees, 10 yards at the ball marker, and 11 yards at the last two tees forming the rectangle. For example, pitching the ball and landing the ball short of ZZ but inside Z1 front third at 9.0 yards would leave around a 2- to 3-foot putt short of the hole. On the other hand, if the pitch shot lands at or inside 11 yards, the back third of Z1, the ball will pass the hole leaving around the same distance but putting back to the hole 2 to 3 feet. Golf balls landing close to or on 10.0 yards, the middle third at ball marker ZZ, will come to a stop close to hole on either side for tap-ins or even hole-outs. This example is trying to stay inside our imaginary parameters zero to three-foot circumference of ELZS
This practice session at 20 yards, should be carrying the ball in the air approximately 10.0 yards and rolling out on the ground approximately 10.0 yards, leaving the balls very close to the hole. Again, we are using a pitching wedge in this exercise. At the 20-yard mark we are looking for no more than 3-foot circumference putts around the hole after we chip or pitch the balls to the hole. Remember we still have two other imaginary circumferences, circles of 3 to 6 and 6 to 9 feet, that are within preferences to ELZS. This helps us curb some of our high expectations, which in turn helps decrease anxiety and pressure when performing these particular shots.
One of the most beneficial elements of the Essential Landing Zone System is that you don’t have to be precise or perfect with the landing spot. Just being accurate counts.
These practice sessions will also provide invaluable constructive feedback that will encourage positive growth in this aspect of your game. Knowing that you don't have to be precise with chipping and pitching will help reduce stress, which translates into better performance, consistency, more confidence, lower scores, and more fun on the course.
Once you feel comfortable with your practice sessions and the use of the ELZS, it is time to find the landing zones on the course greens. To find the landing zones out on the greens without tees and a ball marker forming your landing zone, you must have keen eyes and ample imagination.
You must lock in your focus once you’ve paced off LZ from one of the four charts being used. Lock in on any odd visual objects or formations within your LZ. It could be a specific discoloration on the green that stands out for you, an old cut cup that has been replaced, a dead leaf, an insect, a dusting of sand from a previous sand bunker shot, a playing partners ball maker, or even mower wheel line depressions left by the grounds crew.
Accuracy and Focus
Any object that you can visually fix your eyes and mind on to form your landing zone is imperative for successful chip and pitch shots within the ELZS.
The main objective when chipping and pitching is visually focusing the mind on the landing zone itself. Two clinical psychologists, the late Dr. Michael Smith and Dr. Ronald W. Banks, have both helped their clients improve their mental focus, mental clarity, and mental processes. According to Dr. Smith, one way to improve athletic performance is the use of visualization. Some examples of visualization include picturing the golf shot in the mind's eye before you perform the shot, picturing yourself being successful, “seeing” yourself landing the golf ball within the RC6² and rolling out to the imaginary three circumferences surrounding the hole. Provide your mind with images of past successes that can be recalled for positive reinforcement. Also, block out external distractions by focusing on the task at hand, make proper mental decisions before the golf shot and be committed to that decision 100%, and focus the subconscious mind by closing your eyes for a few seconds seeing the shot in detail or focusing on a small specific target in preparation of the golf shot (Smith).
Dr. Banks explains that some aspects of an athlete's sports performance could improve by increasing one's overall mental power and mental sharpness. Using positive visualization, meditation, positive self-talk, blocking out negative stimuli, eliminating self-doubt, and being mindful of your thoughts by catching and eliminating those negative thoughts that can creep up while performing. If some if not all of these mental approaches were incorporated, practiced, and maintained, an athlete's sports performance would drastically improve overall, particularly on the mental chess side of golf.
Dr. Banks notes that guided imagery has been used for centuries as a medical therapy. Visualization was first applied to sports performance in the mid 1980’s. Guided visualization or imagery is rehearsing a skill, routine, or performance in your mind’s eye to program your body for success in your athletic endeavor. Banks points out that there is a distinct difference between visualization and guided imagery. Visualization involves creating a mental picture of success in your specific sport. Sports-guided visualization or guided imagery allows the athlete to not only employ the visual experience to athletic success, but also activates the holistic sensory movement or kinesthetic experience, utilizing all five of our senses.
As Banks points out, humans have a neural system that allows neurons to fire and the brain to build connections when observing actions and while performing specific actions. The stronger those neural connections are, the greater your ability to utilize guided imagery and visualization to improve your athletic performance. There are two keys to effective imagery: vividness and controllability. Good imagers can utilize all their senses to make their images as vivid and detailed as possible. Improved performance is the result.
Professional and amateur athletes alike, have reported benefits to their mental state when including guided imagery/visualization as a part of their pre-performance workout routine. They experience less nervousness and are less anxious approaching events because “they’ve already been there” and seen themselves performing just the way they wanted to…or even better. By decreasing performance anxiety and fear of failure, their focus and ability to “shut out” the crowd is improved and their overall confidence in their ability to perform is markedly improved (Banks).
Dr. Smith and Dr. Banks believe that incorporating good breathing techniques or breathing exercises can reduce tension and stress. These breathing techniques are just as important as the mental side. Being aware of your breathing and certain breathing techniques can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, adrenaline and cortisol, all which can impact negatively on sports performance. In turn, these breathing techniques reduce stress and tension while increasing oxygen in the bloodstream for better sports performance. One technique recommended is Box Breathing, which is similar to Tiger Woods’s breathing method when he is competing. (Smith; Banks).
More information can be read about Box Breathing in How to De-Stress in 5 Minutes or Less, According to a Navy SEAL by Noma Nazish. A video on YouTube by Take a Breath called “Box Breathing Exercise: Navy SEAL Method” shows viewers how to use the box breathing method.
The information on mental health and breathing is so important it can't be overlooked in the game of golf. Neither can physical health and nutrition. These are subjects that need their own time. But, having good physical health and a good nutritional plan can contribute to better sports performance, especially in golf.
This next segment is where to focus your mind, when chipping and pitching. We need complete focus on the “red carpet”, the RC6² where the ball needs to land, eliminate focusing on the hole itself. Choosing a specific landing zone enhances your focus on the shot, which works better than just looking at the pin and guessing how far to hit the ball. Again, it is important to avoid focusing on the hole. If the conscious mind is focused on the hole itself, shots will be inconsistent in length to the hole. Your internal focus must be on the landing zone. Seeing in your mind's eye the ball descending on the acquired RC6² will enhance your chip and pitch shots.
Important information to help learn and incorporate the Essential Landing Zone System into your golf game.
Start by only using one or two clubs to start learning the ELZS, preferably one that lands the ball in the RC6² closest to you but is still on the green. As I mentioned earlier, it’s helpful to use a sand wedge, pitching wedge, or 9 iron. If one prefers to use a favorite club to start learning, this is also perfectly fine. Use the club or clubs that you feel most comfortable with while chipping and pitching. Become proficient with those one or two clubs before expanding your club selection.
Remember you don’t have to be exact with the ELZS. Just being inside the RC6² parameters as close to ZZ as possible or just inside Z1’s thirds will improve performance pitching and chipping around the greens.
Another crucial aspect in chipping and pitching the golf ball is to remember not to squeeze the club tight. Squeezing the club too tight while performing these shots is like having broken shock absorbers in your car's suspension, which produces a hard and rough ride. When you squeeze the club too tightly, the golf ball feels the same rough, hard ride off the clubface. Gripping the club too firmly may result in the golf ball reacting firmly off the clubface producing inconsistency when chipping and pitching. So, when performing within the Essential Landing Zone System, be sure to relax your hands and arms and grip the club softly, as though you're holding a child's hand. Feel that same sensation during your whole chip or pitch shot swing. Soft Hands!
Before chipping or pitching to your landing zone, determine which direction the grain of the grass is growing or lying. Most often if the grain is growing toward you, the grass color will look dark green. When the grain is growing away from you, it will look light and shiny green. As shown below.
Depending on which direction the grain is growing, it will affect the golf ball when landing in the zone. Shots landing into grain will check and stop the ball sooner. Shots landing with the grain will check less and roll out farther. The direction or grain of the grass growing across the path of the golf ball as it rolls out close to the hole will affect the direction of the ball. Read your chip and pitch shots just like you would your putts, especially the last 3 feet of rollout.
The Essential Landing Zone System works well whether you are a digger (steep angle of attack into the golf ball) or a picker (shallow angle of attack into the golf ball), as long as the golf balls are landing in the landing zone, thanks to your “soft hands.”
It is highly recommended that you learn how to use the bounce on your wedges to improve performance and consistency in your short game.
One or Two clubs with Soft Hands
Conditions, Adaptability, and Adjustments
To improve the short game and achieve lower scores regardless of your handicap, whether it be low or high or in between, one must spend around 50 to 60 percent of practice time on all aspects of the short game like shots from 100 yards or less. This especially includes practicing those short putts 10 feet and less. These shots roughly total just around 70 percent of all golf shots per round.
The average golfer throws away 4 to 6 shots per side. This amounts to 8 to 12 strokes that could possibly be dropped from the scorecard by the average golfer spending less time at the driving range and more time at the short game practice facility. There is a Golf Digest video called My Game: Tiger Woods - Episode 1: My Practice. This inspiring video will guide you to understand the value of the word practice.
To improve overall understanding and technique in the short game, read Dave Peltz’s “Short Game Bible” and “Putting Bible.” Peltz helped Phil Mickelson acquire a better understanding of his short game, weaknesses, and strengths, and made him an even better short game player. Some highly recommended videos are Phil Mickelson’s Secrets of the Short Game, parts 1 and 2, and Phil’s Chipping 101 on YouTube.
The Essential Landing Zone System is very adaptive, regardless of whether the greens are wet, dry, hard, slow, fast, super quick, or ultra-fast. One can adjust the landing zone, change to a different chart book due to green conditions, or choose the appropriate club for the shot condition or situation.
The ELZS is also adaptive to whatever region you live in. Depending on where you live, the green complexes and the grass on and around them are going to be different. No matter what type of grass you find on the course, Kikuyu, Bermuda, Zoysia, Bent, Poa, Bluegrass or even Fescue, you’ll need to make adjustments for the landing zone. Some grasses are easier to hit from; other grasses are not. However, no matter what the grass type is on the green, stimpmeter speeds are relative, so they will remain the same. A stimpmeter reading of 10 on three different types of grass is the same speed.
When playing courses that have elevated greens, undulating greens, two-tier or even three-tier greens, and greens that slope uphill or downhill from front to back or back to front, adjustments need to be made for the imaginary red carpet, the RC6².
This includes adjustments in the landing zone when playing chip and pitch shots from medium to long rough and just bad lies around the green in general. The landing zone should double in size when facing really tough shots. This helps ensure that the golf ball reaches the putting surface even if the putt is outside the circumference parameters of ELZS. Just ensuring the ball makes it on the green saves at least one stroke, in most cases. Expanding the landing zone will reduce anxieties and the expectation of a perfect shot, which can cause negative internal stress that can linger if the shot is not performed perfectly.
Other environmental factors that must be considered when using the ELZS are wet greens and wind.
Wet greens can be either from bad weather, dew, frost or the course being irrigated. Depending on how wet the greens are, the golf ball when landing tends to skid a little at impact, and then slows dramatically. The golf ball can also land and just stop in its tracks. Evaluate the practice green before playing, and make adjustments accordingly during rounds with landing zones when the greens start to dry out. On windy days, you’ll need to figure wind direction and speed into your chart adjustments for the RC6², wind into your face will affect the golf ball, slowing it down. It’s just the opposite when wind is at your back, when the golf ball tends to travel farther.
As you become more familiar and comfortable with the ELZS it should take less than 30 seconds to pace off and locate your approximate RC6². Find your LZ when your playing partners are trying to guess and ponder their next shot.
Positive growth will come with practice learning and ingraining the ELZS into your game. Along with honing your chipping and pitching skills, you’ll need to be patient, and determined. Above all, just thoroughly enjoy the game. And when you do that, the game will cherish you back many times over.
Enjoy the journey of a lifetime to improvement.
From the team at Essential Landing Zone Systems: Thank You!
Patients, Determination, Enjoy the Game
1. Adrenaline: A hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.
2. Cortisol: Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.
3. Landing Zone (LZ) - A Landing Zone is the actual point where aircraft, especially helicopters, land. However, in our case, we are landing Golf Balls.
4. Ratio: The quantitative relation between two amounts showing the number of times one value contains or is contained within the other.
5. RC6²: Red Carpet 36 Square Feet
6. Stimpmeter: A device that measures golf course green speeds.
7. Essential Landing Zone System ( ELZS ): An essential visual Four-Chart system for chipping and pitching around green complexes.
8. Table Chart: A table chart is a means of arranging data in rows and columns. The use of tables is pervasive throughout all communication, analysis research, and data.
9. Visual Spatial Awareness: Visual-spatial processing tells you how far objects are from you and from each other. Visual-spatial trouble can make it harder to learn to read and do math. People use visual-spatial processing for many tasks, like tying shoes and dancing.
10. Zero One (Z1): the first and last third of the Strategic Landing Zone.
11. Zero Zone (ZZ): the middle third of the Strategic Landing Zone System.
Barbell Shrugged. “Box Breathing and Meditation Technique, W/ Mark Divine of SealFit,” YouTube, Uploaded by TechniqueWOD, 26 Feb. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZzhk9jEkkI.
Everatt, Lynne, and Addie Greco-Sanchez. The 5-Minute Recharge: 31 Proven Strategies to Refresh, Reset, and Become the Boss of Your Day. Vancouver, B.C., Page Two Books, 2019.
Gallup, “Gallop 2019 Global Emotions Report.” https://www.gallup.com/analytics/248906/gallup-global-emotions-report-2019.aspx. pdf download.
Game Like Training. “Dave Pelz Putting Tutor Review.” YouTube. Uploaded by Dave Pelz Golf, 30 Mar. 2019. www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNix6iGCh1c.
Gilhuly, Larry. “Hole Location, Location, Location.” USGA. 17 Aug., 2018. http://digital-dev.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/course-care/forethegolfer/2018/hole-location--location--location.html.
Mickelson, Phil.” Chipping 101.” YouTube. Uploaded by Calloway Golf, 4 March, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvmHU5Hcs2k
Mickelson, Phil. “Secrets of the Short Game, part 1.” YouTube. 18 July, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhzY7TIMnMU.
Mickelson, Phil. “Secrets of the Short Game, part 2.” YouTube. Uploaded by Kyle McCreadie, 18 July, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBv_OA8ZE3A.
Pelz, Dave, Putting Bible: The Complete Guide to Mastering the Green. Dave Pelz Scoring Game Series. New York: Doubleday, 2000.
Pelz, Dave. Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Score. Dave Pelz Scoring Game. New York: Broadway Books, 1999.
Take a Deep Breath, “Box Breathing Exercise: Navy SEAL Method,” Pranayama Series.. YouTube. Uploaded by Fundraiser, 13 Aug., 2019.
Woods, Tiger.. “My Game: Tiger Woods - Episode 1: My Practice.” YouTube. Uploaded by PGA Tour, 28 Aug. 2019. www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBq_t5O4G7Y.