If you want to become a pro golfer, you must be aware about the rules and regulations of the game. Golf can be divided into two elements: the short game and the long game. Power and distance is an important factor in the long game so that the ball can approach the putting green with minimal strokes.
However, the short game requires more finesse-related skills for accuracy. To be a successful golf player, you must learn how to master both aspects of the game.
Pitching And Chipping
Pitching and chipping are the two most important elements of the short game. Pitching is designed to aid the golfer when he runs into a difficult situation like when the ball lands in a bunker. While using a sand or pitching wedge, a golfer’s main aim is to elevate the ball so that it is able to exit the trap and land back on the golf course in the most suitable position possible.
On the other hand, chipping is a kind of approach shot where the golfer is close to the green and wants to hit the ball at a short distance so that it conveniently rolls towards the hole. This shot can be easily made with a short iron or a wedge.
This is the final element of the short game. The putting is difficult to master for most beginners because of its complex movements. This shot is to be played when the golf ball is on the green and requires the use of a flat club known as a putter. Factors such as touch and feel play an important role for this shot and have a greater role than power. To ace this shot, golfers must have enough knowledge about the slope of the green to ensure they are successful.
How To Improve Short Game?
You have to analyze each aspect of your game in order to improve your score. While improving your driving may help you gain an edge on your competitors, all your efforts are likely to be in vain if your focus is not on improving your short game. Follow these simple rules to improve your short game:
Identify Your Weaknesses
Like any other sport, try to recognize what you are doing wrong so that you can improve your technique accordingly. When hitting off or around the green, golfers can use a simple short game to get near the pin. If you are having trouble reaching the green or do not have enough control for simple putts, it’s a sign that you need to practice your short game more. Follow these simple tips:
When practicing your short game, you need to try a range of shots. The type of shot you opt for typically depends on the position of the ball. Another important factor is the pin’s location.
If you are near a raised green, you will have to change your technique and play a different shot than the green beneath you. In simple words, you need to broaden your horzions if you want to become a pro in the short game.
Whether you are a beginner or a regular player at the golf course, follow the above-mentioned tips to improve your game.
Use The Right Wedge
To improve your short game, you need to invest in the right wedge. For pitching, we recommend you use a quality lower lofted sand wedge and a pitching wedge. A pitch shot is great for when you are positioned from 3 to 30 yards off the green.
The shot generally rolls for as much as distance as it stays in the air. Keeping this in mind, you must adjust your posture, stance and grip. Follow these simple instructions:
First off, keep in mind you have to grip the club weakly when hitting a pitch shot. This will give you more control over the ball, as your hands are unlikely to roll over the grip.
You should be able to view at least one knuckle of your left hand when gripping the club. For this, you have to move your grip anti-clockwise. For left-handed players, viewing a knuckle of the right hand works.
Next, adopt an open stance and get your feet near the ball. The ball should be placed to the backside of your stance. You can achieve a steeper trajectory on your shot by moving the ball further back.
Work On Your Lob Shot
If you want to become a pro in your short game, you have to ace the lob shot. Take out a few hours of your day to practice your lob shot. There is no doubt that lob shots are difficult, but they are also among the most useful since they allow you to get the ball up and running without causing it to roll too much on the green. Follow these simple steps to perfect your lob shot:
For this approach, position your waist, shoulders and feet towards the target line.
You have to complete a full swing on the shot. Move your wrists like you would to create an ‘L’ shape between the wedge and your arms. As you begin to swing and follow through, ensure the club face is open. You may then finish as normal whilst pointing the club upwards.
Practice Your Chipping
The chip shot is a completely different shot as compared to pitching. The chip shot is best suited for hitting the ball closer to the green. This causes the ball to move up in the air for a short period of time. This is a relatively easy shot since it utilizes only a few moving body parts. Follow these simple steps to practice your chipping:
Ensure the ball is placed at least two inches behind your centre. It is essential you keep your hands, wrists and lower body quiet.
If you are having trouble using this maneuver, try to think of the chip as an extension of the putt instead of a short version of the golf swing. Use your shoulders whiles swinging the club. It is essential you keep your arms straight.
Top Tips For Improving Your Short Game
Learning how to become a great golfer can take weeks or even months. Follow these simple tips if you want to improve your short game:
Keep Things Simple
Several players are likely to lose confidence the minute their short game goes off. This is because they tend to rely heavily on the putter to get off the green. This is quite common during winter months when the ground is wet and golfers are unable to maintain control.
If you are a beginner, consider experimenting with medium irons around the green. We also recommend using the appropriate wedges to help improve your game.
5-, 6-, or 7-irons offer enough loft to kick the ball on to the green and get it rolling. Simply grip down the club while using a putting grip. Position your hands slightly ahead of the ball with a slightly open stance. Make firm strokes using the arms for a better result.
Cure For The Shank
Many of us have faced problems when trying to play a chip with improved finesse around the green. Fortunately, we have a simple solution to end those embarrassing moments when the ball hits off at a sharp angle to the shank. Set up by positioning the ball as close to the neck as you can. You must concentrate on ensuring that the downswing of your path is ‘in-to-out’ instead of being ‘out-to-in.’
Relax And Invest In A Handy Lob Wedge
Most leading players are aware of the importance of wedges and carry as many as four of them so that they can perform well at the course. The versatile 60-degree lob wedge is among the most useful pieces of golf equipment you can buy. This wedge is ideal for folks who are playing on a golf course with tons of bunkers and can help you hit a high flop shot.
However, the secret to hitting a great shot is to relax and hit a full swing and follow through. Place the ball opposite to the inside of your left heel (vice versa for left-handed golfers) and attempt a full swing. Concentrate on lifting the ball off the surface rather than trying to scoop or slice underneath it. Allow the loft to do the work for you but practice a follow through to a high finish.
Chipping From A Downslope
To prevent your shot from thinning from an uneven lie, ensure you have selected the right selection. Maintaining a proper stance is also important. Golfers can try maintaining a downhill chip and run but it depends completely on the pin and lie position.
If not held properly, the gradient of the ground may de-loft the club hence opt for a lob wedge or sand wedge that has a slightly wider stance for improved balance. Stand with your shoulders parallel to the ground with the ball just back of centre.
Chances of ‘thinning’ the shot increases if you rest the weight on your back foot. To avoid problems, rest the weight on your front foot so the club is able to chase the ball through impact.
Opt For Less Loft On The Upslope
An upslope is likely to add loft to the club so you can allow the wedge to rest in your golf bag and use an 8- or 9-iron. This will make it easier for you to control the distance of the ball when it is travelling through the air. Do not lean on the slope and try to rest most of your weight on your lower foot. Now follow through with a high finish.
Use The Heaviest Wedge
With most golf courses being well-manicured, the greenkeeper is likely to keep the semi-rough around the fringe perfectly defined. It is difficult to position the putter behind the ball so opt for a putting grip with the heaviest club.
In such situations, the sand wedge is one of your best options. Place the golf ball in the centre of your stance. Next, use the leading edge of the wedge to hover over the grass using a low back swing. To do this, strike the ball at the equator and allow it to roll like a putt.
Use Soft Hands For Finesse Shots
The pressure of achieving proper length and direction can cause golfers to lose their cool. Relieve the tension by gripping on the club lightly using ‘soft hands.’ According to experts, the best thing you can do is concentrating on grip pressure. Use a lighter grip for finesse shots since it is easier to toss the ball on the green by using an under-hand throwing action.
In The Groove
For hitting shots around the green, be sure to clean the grooves. Simply wiping the wedges with a clean piece of cloth won’t remove the grime and dirt it has collected over the week. Keep the golf wedge in good shape by scrubbing it with a thin bristle brush.
Sanding wedges that have dirt in the grooves can hamper performance, causing the ball to over spin and pushing it over the green. Make it a habit to wipe the wedges after every shot, especially if you are playing golf on sand and rough traps.
Flag Up Your Wedges
How many times have you misplaced or lost a wedge after chipping on to the green and leaving it behind where you hit your last shot. This is a common practice among golfers, especially enthusiastic ones. To avoid leaving the wedges behind, consider laying it beside the flagstick once it has been removed from the hole.
Use the above-mentioned tips to improve your golf short game. Good luck!