When it is considered how the first instructions a player receives become fixed in his mind it is no wonder that one of the most useful mid-iron shots in the entire list is neglected. That shot is the “running-up” approach.
When the average player initiates a friend he usually advises him to take a mashie for all short shots, but those who have cultivated the “running-up” approach with the mid-iron have been well paid for their pains, and it is astonishing how few players realize that the shot is safer and easier than with the mashie.
In only one case, that is when the nature of the ground ahead of the player absolutely compels a pitched shot, is the mashie more useful. When the player finds himself short or over the green with nothing intervening, and from forty yards down from the pin, he will have occasion to utilize this shot.
The same mechanical principles which govern the full “squeeze shot,” which I have described, obtain with the shorter shot. That is, the idea must be to drive the ball downward against the turf and the ball will rise upon the rebound and run along over any kind of ground with the greatest tenacity to hold its line.
This is due to the forward twist, as a result of the drag put upon the: under side of the ball by the ground while in contact with it in the initial part of the journey. It should be remembered that the ball is not com pressed to” the same extent as when it is hit harder, and that in consequence it will not rise much, but will gain its distance from the roll.
There is only one point which should be watched carefully, and that is to have the toe of the club point down more than in the ordinary method of playing it, because this gives the hands a chance to lend greater delicacy to the shot.
The player will find from experience that he has far more of a tendency to look up than with any other shot, and a good thing to remember in playing all shots is to keep the head absolutely, still and never allow the eye to leave the ball for an instant until the club head meets it.
There is always more anxiety to see where the ball is going on a short shot than on a long one, because the short shot is played at a more, critical time and when the winner of the hole is soon to be determined. There are more things to be considered as well, because the player is using his club with a greater proportionate range than when playing a club to its maximum distance.
Besides this, the distance the club is traveling through its sweep or arc is consuming much more time than the same distance with the same club consumes in a full shot.