The quickest way to lower you score is to learn how to improve your golf short game. The wasted strokes in the short game are very frustrating because you are so close to the hole. It feels like the closer you are to the hole the easier it should be to pull off the shot. The truth is people go to the range and beat a whole bucket of balls with their driver and never hit one chip or putt. It's fun to try to boom it with the driver but the old saying it true, “drive for show, putt for doe.”
As you are learning to play the game, it will be a luxury to have a birdie putt. Most above average golfers don't even hit the green in two shots most of the time. This is why it is so important to get the next shot on the green and as close to the hole as possible. This sounds like common sense but I see beginning golfers pull out a 60 degree wedge from right of the green. They see pros on TV hitting the high flop shots or the crisp shot that hits once and stops and they want to do it. Understandable so, it looks really cool! Just take a step back and remember the goal is to get the ball in the hole in as little stokes as possible. There are no pictures on the scorecard. You might hit one good chip the whole round trying to look pretty but the ugliness of that 129 on the scorecard overshadows it.
If you are truly trying to chip the ball close it's best to get it rolling as soon as possible. Sometimes this means putting the ball instead of chipping. Nine times out of ten you will get the ball closer by rolling it with the putter. I have seen people putt from ten yards off the green when the lie is real tight. Then the next guy tries to look cute and chunks it a foot or blades it across the green. If you are too far to putt or have rough grass in you line, it's time to add a little loft. Try pulling out a pitching wedge and making a putter like swing. Just like on any golf shot you should have a slightly downward angle of attack on the ball. You will still blade and chunk this shot if you try to help it up in to the air. The ball should pop up a bit and roll out like a putt when it lands on the green. Once you get the hang of this you can experiment with the 7, 8 and 9 to see the differences in the carry distance and the roll out. It would be nice to make some of these shots but the goal is to get within about three feet of the hole. There will be times when you need to pull out that lob wedge out to hit it over a bunker. This is a lower percentage shot and should only be used out of necessity. This is the first step in your quest to finding out how to improve your golf short game.
Now that we are on the green, it's time to get the ball in the hole. If our goal in chipping is to get inside three feet then we need to get really good at three footers. This is the second way we can quickly improve our short game. It will get boring but you have to practice this distance over and over until you can make them in your sleep. First get about eight balls and surround the hole with the balls. I like to put my putter head in the cup and rotate the handle around the cup to get the balls in a 3 foot circle.. You can do the same thing with your wedge if you need to. By doing this you can practice this distance more efficiently and each putt will break a little differently. By doing this you will have to stay focused to make them all. To keep it fun you can see how many you can make in a row or compete against a friend.
Once you have this distance down, you will get up and down more often. What if stars align and you hit the green in two. Well if your like me you start to breathe a little harder once you realize you are putting for birdie. If you are within twelve feet of the hole then take a deep breathe and roll that sucker in. A more likely scenario is you are looking at a twenty plus footer and still thinking about that birdie. Not even pros make these most of the time. Its time to try to roll it into the that three foot circle. That way we know we can make the next putt. You might get lucky and make it but if not we know we have the next one.
Long story short, eliminating chipping twice and three putting is how to improve your golf short game the fastest. It's not that hard and you won't look cool doing but it will help get your score out of the hundreds. A lot of what I talked about I stole from Phil Mickelson Secrets of the short game. He goes into a lot more detail and also goes into some of the harder shots to pull off. You can check out my review on hos book and videos HERE. Also you can check out my story on how I took the information I learned from Phil's products and worked hard to make them a part of my game. I hope this information helps you shoot lower scores. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
What do you mean stop watching the golf channel? I know this sounds like blasphemy, just hear me out. I'm just like most golfers in that I could watch the golf channel all day long. It offers a variety of shows, most of which appeal to me as a golf addict. You get to watch the early tee times for PGA tournaments before network coverage starts. They have tons of entertainment programming like classic movies and reality based shows. The thing I enjoyed watching the most was the instructional shows that aim to improve your golf game. These instructional shows are the reason I say stop watching the golf channel.
I know it sounds like the opposite of what you should do but you have to swing to the right to fix your slice. If you are duck hooking the ball left swinging to the right will help you too. The first step for this to hold the golf club correctly. I have a post that explains how to do this here. Step two is picking a secondary target 45 degrees to the right of your primary target and swing to the right.
You can practice all you want and beat golf balls at the range until your blue in the face but you need to know how far you hit each club. It doesn't matter how pure you hit your approach shot if it comes up short or sails over the green. Seems like that should be common sense but I see people just grabbing clubs from their bag because it “looks like a 9 iron”. You Need To Know How Far You Hit Each Club. Knowing your distances will allow you to manage your misses and in turn play better golf.
The proper golf grip is fundamental start to playing good golf. There are many other steps to a great golf swing but it is my firm belief that you will develop bad habits to compensate for a bad grip. The good news is once you learn how to properly grip a golf club, you will begin to form new swing habits that have a compounding effect on your golf swing, score and the amount of joy that come from playing good golf.