Possibly one of the most important aspects of golf is being able to get up and down. This skill truly does shave shots off your score, for some, it could be a few shots whilst for many I would imagine more like 10 or 12. Yes, you read correctly, I believe that many of you who shoot regularly in the mid-nineties could transform your game into shooting in the eighties simply by improving your short game. So what does the short game consist of and how can you improve?
It consists of 4 main areas:
Each of these aspects brings its own challenges, both physical and mental. For many, the most worrisome of these is the greenside bunker shots, for others a deft chip over a bunker or a mound and then there is the dreaded 3 footer. All of the shots I mention conjure up thoughts of failure and many of you approach with little or no confidence. So what can you do? The obvious and repeated answer is to get down to the practice ground and practice. But the question for some is what to practice and how they can practice improving their techniques. I am going to quickly go through the four aspects and give you a few drills and tips to help you improve your short game. From a greenside bunker, start to focus on hitting the sand a ball width behind the ball you are trying to get out. This will increase your consistency of impact and improve your chances of getting the ball out. The second thing to note is that for many, the aim is to get the ball out and onto the green, not to try and play a high-flying soft landing shot, as you see on the TV. Pitching, firstly you need to understand a pitch is played mostly through the air. This can be a tricky shot for many as backswings are too long and result in a lack of commitment to the shot, for others trying to “scoop” the ball into the air is the downfall. Tip: Practice pitching using a “half-swing” or the “9 o’clock” backswing position.