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The Only Area of Your Golf Game to Save 9 Strokes

There are four aspects of the golf game: drive, approach shot, short game, and putting.  The challenge of this article is to pick one that will drop 9 strokes off your game.  Think that over.  You can only fix one area and in return you save 9 strokes.  You drop from shooting 95 on average to 86 on average which means a 80 round might pop in to say hello.

There are merits to each but here is why the correct answer is SHORT GAME.  Let’s first define short game as anything within 50 yards of the green and this includes green side bunkers.  You work your hardest to cover 300+ yards in was few strokes as possible an then hope for the best?  Short game takes touch, finesse, strategy, and foresight.  Without these skills strokes multiply from:

  • Flubbed chips
  • Sand trap splashes
  • Fly over chips
  • Flops that go 2 inches
  • Skulled bump and runs

Short Game Goals

The goal of your short game is to get the ball as close to the hole as possible.    With a sniper level accuracy in your short game, you will get the ball within a putter’s length of the hole and average 1 putt per green.  That equates to a par if you are chipping for birdie! Pros and perfectionist make that goal to get the ball in the hole and you can work up to that level.

Short Game Tools

Short game requires certain tools in your golf bag:

  • Pitching or Gap Wedge – 50 yards and closer
  • Loft wedges – This is your 56, 58, 60 degree wedges.  Know and love what each club can do in and out of the sand.
  • 7 iron – this will be for a bump and run just off the green.
  • Putter – sometimes it pays to putt instead of chip.  Know when and why in Just off the Green – Pitch or Putt

You also need to learn the carry to roll ratio for each of the clubs above.  Here is the rules of thumb for each club:

Carry to Roll Ratio
Each club will fly the ball and run it a certain amount or ratio. Know which club offers the best attack for your chip.

Short Game Strategy

Short game strategy helps to ensure you get the closest you can.  If you find yourself within 10 feet of the green get low and read the green.  Strategize where you want the ball to strike and how far you want it to roll.   Know how much roll you want after the ball hits the green.  Remember best case scenario, the ball rolls into the cup for a birdie Learn out picking your spot What is Your Chip Shot Aiming at?.

Chip shot
Aim/look to land the ball on the edge of the green and roll to the pin.

Short Game Shot Help

Want to learn how to hit a flop shot?  Learn the hit out of the sand.  Sand shots are scorecard killers but they should not be feared.  Once you under stand the basics of a good sand shot and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE, you can apply the same swing to a flop shot.   Both shots take touch and practice.  When you stick a flop shot next to the pin, you get mad respect from other golfers.  No feeling like it watching the ball check up leaving yo with a tap in.

Short Game Carryover

Short game swing techniques help the other area of your golf game:

  • Drive: You learn to hit the ball at the bottom of your swing and how to pace your swing.  With time, you increase the swing length and speed for your driver.
  • Approach Shot: Like the Drive, a good short game builds solid foundation for a good swing no matter the club.
  • Putt: A good short game results in short putts.  We are talking gimme country.

Get out there and spend more time on the driving range working on your short game.  How much?  Read this article: Improve Your Driving Range Ritual.  Or only focus on your short game by visiting your local Pitch & Putt.

If you are starting to teach a kid in golf, work with them on their short game.  Let them hit the driver at the end of the bucket at the range as a treat.

Polish your short game and let me know how may strokes you save.

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