You've perfected your long shot--kind of. But how's your short game?
Improving your short game will lead to more confidence, overall better performance, and what we all want outside of school tests and employment assessments--lower scores.
Sure, it's a lot of fun to go to the range and hit a bucket of long balls. There's something uniquely exhilarating about it. Unfortunately, it won’t do much for your short game. There is an old saying that goes, "Drive for show, but putt for dough.”
Practice putting from inside 5 feet, then work backward to 20 feet. Better putting makes chipping easier (yes, we all get stuck in the sand trap from time to time). A chip shot has less air and more roll. A pitch shot has the opposite with more air and less roll.
Use a pitching wedge on the grass and try to hit the ball high. Get a bucket of chilled adult beverages...wait...recycled golf balls and some sort of target, then practice until you can hit it or get close to it from 50 or 60 feet away. Hit some plastic balls in your backyard to get the range of motion you need.
A lot of golfers struggle to get out of the sand. Getting stuck on a beach is fine when blue water and bronzed beach bodies are part of the equation; on the course, not so much. If your favorite range has a sand trap, practice your chip shots there.
A beautiful swing is a thing to behold, isn't it? Here's a tip: Save the aesthetics for your long shots. The short game doesn’t always need a picture-perfect swing. When you have to chip or pitch, the swing is made primarily using the shoulders and arms. No major contortions required.
Using your head in golf means more than just keeping it steady when you swing. Give some thought to the overall course and each hole. Examine the hole layout. Figure out where to place your shot--trying to avoid the sand pit, lake and bushes--which may mean shooting for the pin, in front or behind it. Know where the traps are located. Use a putter when you can and only chip when you must. Your mental game is as important as your physical one
Having an off day? Golf is not an easy sport to master. Regardless of how much you practice, there will be days when you struggle to make your shots. Be patient. Don’t be afraid to ask a pro for some tips on improving a particular aspect of your game.
Now grab a box of recycled balls from Lost Golf Balls and practice, practice, practice. They say it makes perfect.