Short Game School

Shoot Lower Scores Now!

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The secret to shooting lower scores isn't hitting longer drives and hitting more greens. Sure, doing those things can lead to more birdies and pars. But to shoot really good scores, and to stay consistent, you have to keep your short game up to snuff. No matter how hard you perfect your swing, mistakes are going to happen (we're all human), and you're going to miss a few greens and be faced with some shots around the green. It's here where amateurs waste a lot of strokes. So I've put together a handful of tips and swing thoughts that'll help you tighten up your short game and start shooting lower scores.

Let's get started, shall we? Class is in session!

Get Low To Shoot High

So you want to hit a high pitch or flop shot over a bunker, tree or some other obstacle? Here's what I suggest. Think of a basketball player about to spring up for a quick rebound after a missed free throw. Have you ever seen a power forward try to jump from the upright position? Probably not. They squat down, load up power and release and extend up to jump and get that ball.

In pitching, obviously, there's no jumping and rebounding. But a common adjustment you'll see all of your favorite players make is getting a bit lower with the legs and handle of the club. Notice the contrast in styles between a high pitch and basic chip seen here. Adopting this setup posture, while also pulling the handle slightly away from the target with an open face, is the perfect start to a skyward launch!


Setup For Chipping Success


SETUP

IMPACT
NO!
The opposite of the high shot is the low-running chip. Here your posture will be much taller with the feet narrowed to about the width of a clubhead. Although it's commonly taught this way, getting the ball way back with the shaft leaning considerably forward can prove to be a disaster, as this alignment can produce too much dig, with the leading edge into the ground. A big no-no.


SETUP

IMPACT
YES!
A ball that's more in the center, along with a shaft that has a little forward lean, will produce much better results. Keep in mind, the bottom of your swing will occur where the buttons of your shirt are; as long as your chest is a bit forward of the ball, there's no need to have it way back in your stance. With the shaft leaned only a bit toward the target, you'll maintain some bounce on the sole, which allows the head to slide through the grass without the dig!


SETUP

IMPACT
TRY!
Not convinced? Try this drill. Stand firmly on your left foot with your right foot drawn back and toe pointed down. All of your weight should be on your left side with the center of your chest over the front foot. Position the ball forward in line with the laces of your front shoe. Hit some chip shots from this position and you'll quickly see that perfect contact is more a component of chest position relative to the ball, not ball position relative to the feet!



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