For low running-up shots where it is desired to “kill” the run on the ball the jigger is much easier to play than the mashie, but as it always requires greater skill to play any stroke with a cut to it than a plain running shot, I very much prefer the mid-iron, as the same amount of skill will give much finer results.
The amount of “kill” or drag depends very largely upon the nature of the ground upon which the ball lands, and I have found from experience that I get better average results with the mid-iron.
The high pitched shot with a niblick is as useful if not more useful than the high pitch with a mashie, not only because it is possible to get the ball up much more quickly, but that very fact means that it will come down straighter, meeting the ground more nearly at right angles and consequently stopping quicker.
Many players seem to think that a niblick should be played only in traps or difficulties, and that it looks unskilful to use a niblick on the fair green.
In my own case I always try for the easiest way to play a shot, and I find that I can get results with a niblick for pitched shots up to ninety yards that I cannot get with my mashie. With the turf in good shape I can drop a fifty-yard pitch practically dead, and this I cannot do with certainty with the mashie.
The mashie gives me more distance than I need when I have occasion to get it up quickly. Say that you have about forty yards to go to the flag and two-thirds of the distance away there is a bunker and trap guarding the hole, and you cannot play a pitch and run shot because you are landing on a smooth green with the flag too near to hold it; this is where the shot with the niblick comes in very well.
The swing is made very vertically with the hands well ahead of the club head, and the purpose in the player’s mind must be to drive the club head deep into the ground close behind the ball, with the idea of playing the divot up to the flag.
You are really driving a wedge down close behind the ball, and as the thicker part of the wedge meets the ball, which has already started nearly straight up in the air (due to the small end of the wedge pushing the turf up under the ball), it is propelled forward, but as the ball is already in motion the bulk of the force of the blow is sending the ball up and not forward.