Master The Short Game

Get Up and Down From Everywhere

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4. Speed Drill.
Notice how my legs are crossed and that I’m using a cross-handed grip? I don’t normally putt this way, but that’s okay because I’m looking with precise focus at the tee, just beyond the cup. By focusing intently at my target, I’ll find my speed—not necessarily the correct line, but the proper speed. Practice this drill with a tee beyond the cup (so you hit your putt with enough “oomph”) and you’ll never leave one short again.

5. Grip For Short Bunker Shots.
When you have a short bunker shot, point the butt end of your club at your belt buckle. To do this, first change your grip so that it’s more similar to how you’d hold your putter (where your grip is more in the palms of your hands). The clubhead should be slightly ahead of your hands. When you swing the club back, quickly hinge your wrists, setting the clubhead behind your hands. This will create a steeper angle of attack into the ball and help pop the ball up. As with all bunker shots, keep the clubface open to your shoulder and hip line.

6. Grip For Long Bunker Shots.
When you have a longer bunker shot, use your regular grip and address the ball so your hips and shoulders are open to your target line (but not as open as they are on a short bunker shot). Aim the clubface at your target so that it’s slightly open to your shoulder and hip line.

Because this is a longer bunker shot, allow your shoulders to rotate up to 90 degrees to your hip line in your backswing. Your swing naturally won’t be as steep because your hands are in front of your belt buckle. (When your hands are ahead of the clubhead, your grip is neutral and, hence, your swing plane will be shallower.)

7. Swing Along Your Shoulder Line, Not Your Target Line.
When you play a bunker shot, you should swing along your shoulder line, not down your target line. This helps deliver an open clubface into the ball. As your swing path travels down your shoulder and hip line, the ball will pop out of the sand on your aim line.


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