I’ve visited many short game areas and one common factor is they are very underutilised. Very few people seem to understand the value and the gains from a reliable short game that can save them from trouble or keep the pars coming.
Let’s discuss a little around decision making with short game, many golfers are unsure which club to take from varying situations and how to adjust set up to improve contact. What most golfers tend to do is choose which club they favour next to the green and then wander across to their ball and then work out where to land it and how to chip it close with the club they have taken with them…usually the most lofted or “favourite.” This needs to change!!
Here are my 5 L’s to playing great short game shots with maximum chances for consistency and control.
Firstly; take your clubs with you across to where the ball sits don’t just take your lucky wedge or your most lofted, how the ball LIES will help make the club selection. Next choose your LANDING AREA, a flat spot that’s as close to you as possible where the ball will react the same every shot should be your first choice. This will probably be just on the green.
Next choose the LINE that you want to take allowing for how the ball will break when it’s rolling out toward the hole like a putt, and now begin to visualise what this shot will LOOK like.
Finally, you can now decide which LOFT to select (club) based upon your selected shot choice.
Great ways to practice hitting your landing spots would be to create a ladder of clubs on the floor 1 yard apart going away from you and see if you can land shots in the gap between them. Do it with a variety of clubs and learn to control the length of swing to match the landing point. When it starts to get easy then try and land it on the shaft itself. If you have access to a short game area then set up 5 shots and pace off how far away each one finishes, make sure you drop the ball before hitting, don’t place it, go through the above process and then let me know your personal best.