Short Game Success!

Short shots that will help you gain confidence and shoot lower scores

In case you haven't noticed by now, the fastest way to lower scores comes from having a tidy short game, specifically, a strong ability to hit effective chip and pitch shots from around the green. There's also a residual effect from having a good short game. When you chip well, you don't feel pressured to hit every green, which ironically, leads to hitting more greens! Let's look at a handful of short shots that will help you gain confidence and shoot lower scores.

I'll tell you this, I've shot some pretty decent scores in my day, and some of them I did while hitting less than 50% of the greens. Sometimes, I've even been well below that 50% number and still managed to salvage some decent scores.

The key is having good technique. If you look at the sequence on the opposite page, you can see the classic "chicken wing" position post-impact. This happens when the mind and body both feel the need to lift the ball up, instead of allowing the loft of the wedge to do the work on its own. In this photo, check out how low the clubhead is post-impact. See how low it is? That's what you want for solid chipping contact. There's no lifting or pulling up with the hands—not ever, actually.

You've maybe tried some unorthodox putting grips to help cure the putting yips, but have you ever tried one with your chips? The key to better chipping is quiet hands and wrists, and using an unusual putting grip like the one you see here actually can help you. Grip the club with your normal left-hand grip, and then put your right hand to the side and tuck the grip into the fold of the thumb and index finger. You can't get cutesy with the hands using this grip, and you'll quickly feel what a proper chip stroke feels like.


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