Your short game, or the play from within 100 feet of the pin, can make or break your golf game. How annoying is to make a superb shot off the tee, to play a pretty decent midfield shot that lands a few feet of the green, only to screw up in the short approach shot or putt! You just want to lay and die right there. Well, do not take it too hard. Just make yourself a promise to improve your short iron play. Your scoring will get amazingly better.
Short Shots Make 80% of Game
Using wedges, putters and short irons makes up roughly 80% of your entire golf game, so it would be paramount to work on this aspect in order to see improvement overall. Using your short irons, putters and wedges does not require any special skill or big muscles. This is a part of the game that anyone can master, but only with practice. And, the more you practice the better you will get.
When putting, do not think-just do. Thinking too much about how the putt should go down, guarantees that it will not go down. This is the time when you have to use the force. Relax into the shot. You have practiced it, now picture it and when you see it hit the ball the way you did in practice. Practice: before teeing off, practice putting by lining up the ball on the turf and pushing it a few feet; do this five or six times with no back swing just to get used to making contact with the ball. Do follow through, but no back swing.
For a pitch shot, open your stance and accelerate through the swing. The most common mistake that a beginner makes with a pitch or wedge shot is squaring up to the target at address and then slowing down in the back swing. Squaring your shoulders while opening up your feet, knees and hips toward the target will not allow you to follow through the shot, which in turn will not give you the lift and air you need for it to finish correctly on the spot that you intended it to land on.
Bunker shots, like pitch or chip shots are “feel” shots that only get better with hours of practice. There is no easy way to get better, despite what some salesmen are trying to tell you. Practicing the shot makes you more efficient and consistent, simple. Drop three or four balls in various locations around the sand and practice. Remember not to ground your club in the sand. That is a no, no. But you can dig in with your feet. Hit the shots over and over until you get comfortable and can figure out what it is that the ball will do, once you make contact.
If you are a beginner, then get better at putting, pitching or chipping. Pretend that you do not own a driver and must rely on your irons and primarily your short irons to make your game. Getting better with your short game will work wonders for you scores. More strokes that you shave off in this part of the game the less you have to worry about where your drive ends up. Once you get really good at the short game, then you can go and work on hitting those massive awe inspiring shots off the tee.