August 2013 Newsletter johnhayesgolf

Newsletter – August 2013


Upcoming special events:  First Tee of Clearwater Jr. Golf camps will continue for a couple of more weeks.  They run from Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.  Go to for info and to sign up.  My next Get Golf Ready Ladies Boot Camp will begin today, August 1st, and runs through Sunday.  Cost is only $99 for all 4 sessions which finish on the golf course.  I will have a Ladies-Only Golf Clinic which will be held on 4 consecutive Tuesday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The dates are Tuesday, August 27, September 3, 10 and 17.  All four sessions for only $40!  I will conduct an Adult Golf Clinic on Friday, August 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the topic of hitting better tee shots.  Cost is only $20 for this and you can just show up that evening.  All other clinics have a limit so call me at (727) 692-4679 or email at to sign up.


I spent some time across the state in Stuart, FL with short game expert, Jerry Tucker.  He talked about the pitch shot from deep rough and the amount of distance that is lost due to the strong resistance of the grass, especially the bermuda grass in the South.  The first thing to know about the pitch shot swing is that you should not add speed to the swing going forward.  Let the size of the swing cover the distance for you.  So the swing for the pitch shot is symmetrical, if the backswing goes to about 9:00 O’clock then the forward swing will finish at about 3:00 O’clock.  So if you use this 9 – 3 pitch shot swing with a 56 degree sand wedge and you are in the fairway with no resistance from the grass then Jerry Tucker will tell you the shot will carry about 12 yards in the air.  If you open the clubface to a 1 O’clock position (for a right-handed golfer), assuming that a square clubface would be the 12 O’clock position, then you will lose 3 yards of carry and now only go 9 yards in the air.  And if you further find yourself in the rough with strong resistance or what Jerry called a “bird’s nest” type lie and you make your 9 – 3 pitch shot swing then you will lose 50% more carry reducing your total carry to 4.5 yards on this size swing!  I can attest that all of these distances did work out for me and it was a big help on the pitch from the strong resistance lie from the rough because I would not normally make a big enough swing to hit this little 4.5 yard carry from this lie.  Also we tend to add a burst of speed in this lie to get through the long grass and this can create additional problems.  Try these pitch shots from different lies and see what you get so you get a basic feel for the distance you can expect from the rough, etc.  You can contact Jerry at  He has worked with many elite golfers on their short game expertise.

I must tell one other story though it may not help your golf.  I was walking some holes late one recent evening at the Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club getting in some much needed practice.  I hit my shot into the green and left my golf bag back in the fairway because I planned to walk back as it was on the way back to the Clubhouse and it was getting late.  A man was walking his dog on the edge of the golf course and the dog suddenly bounded out into the fairway and ran up to my Titleist stand bag which stood proudly in the fairway.  The dog sniffed my golf bag and, you guessed it, lifted his left leg and did what dogs do on my golf bag!  Clearly I need more practice.


As always, please email or call with your questions or comments and I hope to see you soon on the lesson tee at the ChiChiGolfRange and Family Sports Complex in beautiful Clearwater, FL.