Typically hit with a high wedge for some loft around the green, the hope with the “hinge and hold” is to land it softly onto the putting surface, then watch it release and roll toward the pin.
It’s the traditional way of playing shots closer to the hole, and one that we’ve all used plenty of times before.
While the “hinge and hold” is a popular short game technique, that doesn’t mean we’ve been doing it effectively. In fact, with the help of Parker McLachlin, aka Short Game Chef, you can learn an updated, more modern approach to play these short shots from just off the green.
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The old school way of hitting the “hinge and hold”
In the video above, McLachlin walks through the steps a player should take to modernize this type of shot. In his opinion, many golfers don’t actually “hinge and hold,” but rather do “a hinge, a release, and then the feel of a hold.”
McLachlin continues, saying, “if you just ‘hinge and hold,’ you’ve got to really go down and get the ball; and that’s where I see a lot of people making that mistake.”
The image below highlights what McLachlin is referring to.
This old way of doing a “hinge and hold” has the leading edge coming down on the ball, which gives it a higher probability of chunking a shot.
A more modern approach to the “hinge and hold”
The new approach to the “hinge and hold” requires more of a full-body rotation, rather than just engaging the wrists during the swing. This allows a player to have more control of the club, which provides some safety from mishits — as McLachlin described in the video above.
“If I take away a little more of that hinge in the backswing and go more of a neutral wrist, even though I drop-kicked it, I actually engaged the bounce better,” says McLachlin. “So my miss actually went about two feet [from the pin], versus my other miss, which went about 12 feet.”
The image below shows McLachlin’s follow through on the modernized “hinge and hold” shot.
In order to incorporate this fresher version of the “hinge and hold,” McLachlin says to remember these four elements:
1. Less wrist.
2. Engage more of your body.
3. Create a wider backswing, which produces a shallower angle of attack.
4. Minimal turf interaction, as the club glides through the grass.
As McLachlin says, “stack the odds in your favor.” This is what PGA Tour players do to perfection.
“If you want to stack the odds in your favor, build that nice and wide backswing, [come] with a nice shallow angle of attack — which engages the back edge of the club — so that you can have a mishit that can end up two feet [from the hole].”
If you’re interested in seeing more from the Short Game Chef, check out McLachlin’s website, where you’ll find more ingredients to help improve your game around the green.
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