Short Game Tips
Short Game Tips
The short game is the key to low scoring golf rounds. It is where you make the most shots during your round assuming your drives and fairway strokes are up to par. Learning the proper fundamentals of the chip, pitch, and sand shots as well as putting will shave strokes off your round more than any part of your game. With that knowledge, we’re going to provide you with short game tips that’ll have your golfing partners asking you for pointers.
Play Your Chip and Pitch Shots with Confidence
The biggest problem golfers have with their approach shots is a lack of confidence. They are fearful of hitting it too hard and sending the ball across the green into a bunker. Or they fear to hit it too short. What often happens is that they take a big backswing and then decelerate on the downswing. In reality, they are fighting against the momentum of the club. The result is a “whiff” of a shot or they top the ball.
The key to an effective approach shot is to take less of a backswing and then come through the ball with forwarding momentum. Your clubface will flow nicely under the ball and lift it onto the green. It’s best to position the ball in the center of your stance for an easy swing plane.
Another mistake is attempting to lift the ball with their lead arm instead of letting the loft of the club do the work. This often leads to topping the ball. The arms and the torso should work together in a fluid motion. Here’s a tip for practicing a fluid motion. Fold two towels and place them under each arm. Try chipping the ball while keeping the towels in place.
How to Play Uneven Lies
The mistake many golfers make on a downhill lie is trying to lift the ball with their arms. Maintaining the proper stance and positioning the ball appropriately in your stance will allow the club to loft the ball. The shoulders should be aligned with the slope of the hill.
Position the ball one or two inches back from the center of your stance. The clubface will then come down the slope of the hill skimming the grass and lifting the ball.
On uphill lies, again, align your shoulders with the slope of the hill. Position the ball one to two inches forward in your stance. You’ll need to swing a little harder to get the desired distance due to the extra loft created from the slope.
Putting Backspin on the Ball
If you’ve ever played billiards, you know that to put backspin on the cue ball you must hit down on the ball. The same practice applies to the backspin approach shot. You want to hit down on the front of the golf ball causing it to push into the turf and then climb the grooves of your clubface. If this is an important part of your game, try using a high spin golf ball. Be sure to wipe your clubs after every shot to keep the grooves clean. There are toolkits available that clip to your golf bag for this purpose.