5 Shots! You Need To Know To Score Like A Pro

Get inside the ropes and learn Pro-Style short cuts

Having played on the PGA Tour for many years, I can tell that the area around the green is what separates the truly great from the really good players. Great players not only know how to get up and down from more places, but they also have the creativity and confidence required to hit shots that help them lower their scores. The following five shots may not seem all that out of the ordinary, but they're the shots you need to master if you want to start shooting lower scores right now.

So you missed the green. It happens to all of us (even Tour players) more than you might expect. Even when I played for a living and posted some low scores, I rarely played without missing a few greens per round. That said, the trick is to first accept that you're going to miss some greens, and second, be ready to hit the right shot afterward. In this instance, I want to hit a pitch shot that has some check on it. I want it to fly, land, bounce and grab the putting surface with minimal forward roll.

To hit this shot successfully and add some bite to your shots, the key is to always accelerate through the hit and allow the body to rotate through to take the flip out of the hands. The less you flip your hands, the longer the ball can stay on the face and increase the backspin for that added bite. Sounds easy enough, right? Here's the trick.

As you practice hitting pitch shots, I don't want you to think about the hands and preventing them from flipping over. I want you to concentrate on placing the majority of your weight over your left knee, which should have some flex through the shot. Some of the best short games I've seen on Tour come from players who retain some left knee bend through the shot. Doing so actually makes it easy for the body to rotate and for the hands to clear through the hit without needing to flip and/or lift the ball into the air.

Try keeping your left knee flexed well into the finish. You'll see how much easier it is to rotate the body versus having a straight left knee, which stops the body and forces the hands to flip.

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