Golf, like any other sport, requires techniques and practice for proficiency and the short game is an essential part of golf. A short game can be the killer area of the game that costs so many shots. A well-structured short game results in a lower score and eventually wins the game.
Sometimes, we are willing to do it, but we just do not know how to do it. You would have been doing something, which is certainly not up to the mark hence increasing your score. Don’t you worry, here are some amazing tricks to improve your performance in the short game.
1. Work on your Stance
An essential aspect of a good short game is your body posture. You see a player scoring far lower than you in the short game, and then you wonder how. Well, to be a good putter, there are some basic techniques.
Keeping your feet’s line parallel to the ball’s target line and with a narrow gap between your legs gives stability. Draw two imaginary parallel lines with a little gap between them and keep your shoulder in front while your hips rest at the back. Your bodyweight should be shifted to the left, and the ball stays in the middle. This stance gives a lot more room to hit the ball.
2. Know where to aim
Ever wondered how someone hits the ball with so much ease and it goes directly into the hole. Here is an answer: the ball’s whole path should be clear in your mind before hitting it.
Rather than hitting the ball for the sake of hitting, it would be best if you planned it. Take the climatic as well as ground conditions into account and then picture the ball moving towards your aim before hitting it.
3. Make use of aids
In this era, technology has raised the standard of every sport, and the efficient use of technology results in a better and improved game. In golf, we have some handy gadgets like Rangefinder Laser and GPS watch, which help locate and measure the exact distance between two points.
Some players have been playing golf for years and eventually improved their accuracy to measure the distances, but then some players are new to the game, and these aids are very beneficial for them. Even for experienced players, these aids are useful while playing at a new golf course.
4. Club selection
Have you seen someone using a sword to chop vegetables? Sounds weird, right. Well, that exactly is the case in selecting the clubs. You cannot select any club for any purpose.
You could be using a 58-degree club for putting or for lofting, but an iron club can be handy while approaching the greens.
There can be a situation when you are putting the ball, but then there is a fringe on the ground, and you need to chip. Hence, select the club accordingly.
5. Make use of the bounce
Any object which falls on the ground recoils according to the nature of the surface. So as the ball hits the green, it bounces naturally. This bounce is very useful to take the ball closer to its target.
Lining up your hands with the clubhead and pressing them forward ensures that the club does not get stuck in the ground.
6. Prioritize Putting
A good player has control over each shot whereas a bad player hits with no control on his shot.
Putting is a very low-risk shot, and players have near-perfect control over it. Putting is vital whenever you are playing a short game. There are many times when you go for a chip or pitch without realizing that you can simply putt the ball. Other than greens you can putt the ball in short trimmed grass or from the fringe.
7. Work on your chip shots
Chipping is another low-risk shot except putting. In a short game of chipping, the feet should be kept narrow to hips, weight should be shifted on the front foot, and the shaft should lean towards the front. With this stance, the shot is low risk, and even if a mistake has taken place, it would be less penalizing.
8. Avoid pitching
In a short game situation, giving the ball flight in the air provides it with the momentum, and the ball rolls on the ground as soon as it drops. This results in unnecessary misses and increases the shots. Pitching is a high-risk shot in a short game, and can only be played when there is no other option.
9. The grip on the club
Doesn’t it feel satisfying to hit the ball with all your might and see it flying high in the air going far away? However, do you know what is more satisfying than this? It is to putt the ball in the hole. So, in a game particularly near the hole, you must keep distance under control.
In a short game where the target distance is less, you should hold your club lower. If you hold the club higher, more power is generated, and the ball goes farther than desired. The grip on the club helps to control the speed and distance, which automatically lowers the score.
10. Practice under pressure
It does not matter how good you play on the practice ground; all that matters is how well you perform in the match. Considering you are chipping exceptionally well in your practice sessions, you are quite confident with your game and content with your performance, but are you missing something here? Yes, you are missing the pressure that you will feel in the actual game.
So, you need to train your mind to handle the pressure. If you perform well under pressure, then there is no limit for you. For this, there is a game you may try playing with your golf mate. This is going to be a little bit of a five-hole chipping game, who gets it closest to the flag each time gets two points. If you hole, it is worth three points, and if you missed the green it is minus two points. It is a simple game, but it keeps you practising under pressure, so it is emulating what happens on the course.
Efficient use of these techniques with much practice will result in lower scores. Practice improves you and takes out the best in you. It would help if you practice more, and once you put these tips into practice, your score will certainly lower.