There is no surer way to lower your scores than if you improve your short game. Here are 4 short game tips to help you do just that. Try to get to the golf course early and after warming up on the range, ensure you spend at 15 to 30 minutes on the short game area and practice putting green.
Don’t concentrate on the line and holing out putts, focus more on getting the speed of your putts right. The majority of amateur golfers will 3 putt more on the front nine than the back nine, and this can be put down to lack of feel on the longer putts. Most golfers struggle more with the speed of putts than the line, so concentrate during these vital minutes on developing a better feel for distance. Also concentrate on whether the putt is uphill or downhill. Most of our putts will be good for direction but the problems are usually with the pace of the putt.
Keep Your Weight on your Front Foot in the Back Swing
A chip shot spends around 1/3 of the time in the air and 2/3 rolling towards the hole. The secret is to get the ball running as soon as possible. You can use a variety of clubs for this shot from 5 iron up through your wedges. The common fault is that golfers top or thin the ball or hit the ground behind it. All of these faults are the result of setting up incorrectly. There are 3 things you need to do to ensure a correct set-up and that are quite simple.
The golf ball should be in the centre of your stance, if it is too far forward you will tend to top it, thin it or pull it to the left. Too far back in the stance and you may top it, shank it or pull it to the right. So Keep it in the centre of your stance, no matter what club you are using.
Always make sure you place around 75% of your weight on your front foot (foot nearest the hole). This will ensure that you hit down on the ball. Also make sure that this weight is maintained throughout the swing, even on your back swing.
Grip Down On The Club
If you grip down the shaft a bit, this will ensure a cleaner more controlled strike at impact.
The club head must Stay Low to the Ground After Impact
A pitch shot should have maximum air time of 2/3 in the air and 1/3 rolling towards the hole which is the opposite of the chip shot. These shots can be played with a pitching wedge, sand wedge or lob wedge.
Executing the shot so it has maximum air time needs good technique. Again this is not difficult to achieve if you set up correctly. A low follow through gives the ball maximum air time. A lot of golfers try to finish high thinking this will lift the ball in the air, but only results in top or hitting behind the ball. Set up similar to a chip shot with the ball in the middle of your stance and 75% of weight on your front foot. Grip the club down the grip slightly so that the end of the grip is pointing to the middle of your left leg. Ensure that you keep your weight on the front foot throughout the swing (Don’t transfer your weight) and follow through close to the ground after impact. It will feel as if you are almost chopping at the ball. Try this out and see the huge difference in consistency and ball flight.
Make Sure You Make a Full Back Swing
Most golfers are afraid of thinning the ball and the ball shooting straight into the face of the bunker or coming out of the bunker at speed and travelling way too far. Because of this the majority of golfers decelerate on the down swing and hardly move the ball at all. With this correct technique it will ensure that the club head swings down at the bottom of the swing allowing the bounce on the sole of the club to impact the sand at the correct angle.
Position the ball across from you left heel to allow the club head to swing down into the sand at impact not up.
Set up with 75% of your weight on your front foot, making sure that the end of the grip is pointing to your belt buckle. Do not transfer any weight throughout the swing, keep the weight on your front foot. With any bunker shot you are trying to hit the sand and not the ball.
Try these 4 short game tips before you start your round and you will see your short game and scores improve dramatically.