How to Ace Your Short Game? Take The Right Shot
Minimizing the amount of shots it takes for you to get to the pin, often comes down to short game technique. Sure… everybody wants to wail on their drive, putting all their time and energy into mastering a mega-strong tee-shot.
But it’s no use getting to the green, if once you’re there your technique is plain lousy.
You CAN improve your short game pursuits. It just means taking your hands off your driver and focusing on the full weight of your putting club.
Quick Dos & Donts
First, get all those myths and legends out of your system.
“If I stand 90 degrees this way, no matter what the shot is, I’ll make the putt.”
Man, if I had a nickel for every time someone shared a naff trade secret with me, I’d be a very wealthy guy (that is until I blow it all on a trunk-full of Callaways!).
I can’t say it enough – EVERY PUTT IS DIFFERENT! So please treat ‘em that way…
DO – MAKE THE RIGHT SHORT-SWING IMPACT
Making that transition from full to short swing can be pretty tricky. And as I’m sure you’re aware, your ability to control the ball is what can make or break your on-course performance.
Step 1. Position your hands slightly behind the clubhead
Step 2. The shaft should be leaning slightly away from the target and nearly parallel to your right arm
Step 3. Your right wrist needs to be slightly bowed
Tip: Release your wrists earlier than on the full shot to get the clubhead to reach impact at the same time as your hands.
Drill: Try to hit high, soft shots with your 6-iron. Take a super-wide stance, and keep the shaft as low to the ground as you can. Swing and try to move the shaft in line with your right forearm.
DON’T – AVOID THE JAB WITH A BASIC DRILL
When you feel under pressure, it can really affect your technique. That overwhelming feeling can kick-in at any point of your game… but most commonly it impacts your swing in the form of a jab.
Step 1. Set up a 10-footer and place a tee just outside the tip of your putter
Step 2. Now place another tee where your backswing would end if you made a smooth stroke
Step 3. Practice swinging the putter from that first tee back to the second, then let it follow through the ball
Step-By-Step To Set-Up The Ultimate Putt
Step 1. Read the green
Grain, slope, elevation changes. Take it ALL into account before you even think of addressing the ball. This step is important, you don’t wanna jump into the shot.
Step 2. Make your mark
Need to visualize the line your ball has to take? Mark your ball with a line in the direction you wanna go. That’s right – get your pencil out (or just use the branding on the ball as a guide) and draw it.
Step 3. Feel your way
Now, hone in on your feel and distance control. Stand beside the ball and make a few practice strokes while looking at the hole and develop a stroke speed and length that you feel will nestle the ball at the bottom of the cup. Trust the line on your ball, and think, “Feel, feel, feel”.
Step 4. Putt time
You know the line, you have the feel; It’s time to bring those two elements together and make a confident stroke.
Sure, it takes some practice but with time you’ll find you bury more of those must-make putts.
No short-game blog would be complete without mentioning the short game king Phil Mickelson, here’s him in action with a trick shot to get you outta the bunker…