Become A Better Golfer By Improving Your Short Game With These Golfing Tips

by Tim Gorman - Date: 2006-12-10 - Word Count: 684 Share This!

If you've spent some time either playing or watching golf, then you'll know that around 70 percent of shots are made within 120 yards of the hole. So it makes sense, then, that if you improve what's called your 'short' game, or shots played close to the hole, you stand a good chance of improving your scores with less work. You can do some preparation off course by practicing short putts. It's incredibly frustrating missing those two foot putts, and it becomes a mental challenge as much as a physical one when you've missed a few. One of the simplest ways to improve your short game is to start at the hole and work backwards - so once you can hole a short putt fairly consistently, make the distance a little longer, and so on.

When you're on the course, you need to choose your club carefully. If you're playing a high shot, like a lob, you need a club with more loft. So match the number to the height and distance required. When you're playing short shots, though, it's important to remember that it's best to keep the ball out of the air as much as possible.

If you need to keep a shot low, stand with your chest positioned in front of the ball, and shift about 75 percent of your weight to the balls of the feet. If the shot needs to be higher, move the chest further back, perhaps even slightly behind the ball, and only have around 60 percent of your weight forward.

It's easy to hit a golf ball hard, but in fact it's proper contact at impact that is most important if you want to achieve a good level of accuracy and distance. So instead of focusing on the power of your swing, concentrate on keeping the clubface square and hitting the ball at the sweet spot. This is crucial when you're using a wedge, because the loft of the club makes it easy to hook or slice the ball. Remember, too, that at impact, the club's face should always be in front of the face.

To help you get a feel for how you need to balance your weight, you can practice a drill known as the flamingo. Basically, you balance the toe of your rear foot on your front foot while you hit chips and pitches. The idea is to get used to putting the weight forward onto your front leg. Of course, you may just fall over, which may it hard to hit any shot well! Once you've got the hang of the flamingo drill, put your feet in the normal position and hit some more shots. It's amazing how doing this helps stop you from hanging back and so lifting the ball up into the air.

Because your head is generally behind the ball, there's a strong tendency to shift your weight behind the ball as well, which isn't what you want. Your weight should be to the front to avoid hitting fat chip shots. Accuracy is also improved if you can keep the ball on the ground for longer.

Use a 7 or 8 iron, and hold the club close towards the bottom of the grip. Open up your stance a little and align your shoulders with the target line. Let your arms and shoulders do the work, keeping the lower body still, and using a putting stroke, draw the club back around 18 inches. After impact, the down swing should follow through for the same distance.

When you're chipping, make sure your hands are slightly ahead of the ball, flex the knees and narrow your stance. Lean a little toward the target. Don't try and swing with a great deal of force, because it's more important for have a square impact on the sweet spot. To avoid the ball gaining too much height, aim to impact down on the backside of the ball. Ensure your accelerate is smooth, and don't uncock your wrists too early during the downswing.

After a while, when you've improved your short game to a level you're happy with, the next step is to practice putting.

Related Tags: golf, club, practicing short putts, two foot putts, hit a golf ball, practice putting, hit, shots

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