Drop 10 Strokes In 10 Minutes

Score your best in 2011, quickly!

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The best way to control the direction of a short chip shot is to use your putter. But if the shot doesn’t call for a flatstick, make sure you have good aim when using your wedge. The simplest way to do this is to retain the Y-position formed by the arms and the clubshaft through the stroke. This minimizes the opening and closing of the clubface and helps you mimic a putting stroke. By making this type of stroke, you can simply set your aim and then concentrate more on distance control—which, in most cases, is more important than direction anyway.


What’s the root of most three-putts? It’s not necessarily that golfers miss a lot of short putts; rather, their lag putts aren’t that great and their short putts are longer than they ought to be. And the secret to better lag putting? Confidence and distance control. First, you need confidence to get the ball to the hole (short putts never go in). And second, you need to know how to manage the right distances to set up easier second putts. A great drill for this is to practice from varying lengths around the green and use a club about two feet behind the hole. As you practice, try to make every putt, but also try to keep your misses between the hole and the club. If you can consistently keep your misses one to two feet behind the hole, not only will you make more long putts, but you’ll also find yourself with shorter short putts and fewer three-jacks!

Tom Stickney, PGA, teaches at Bighorn Golf Club in California and The Club at Cordillera in Colorado. For more information, visit tomstickneygolf.com.


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