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Golf Tip of the Week- Short Game

When was the last time you hit a gigantic drive and left yourself a 30 yard chip shot unto the green and then the unthinkable happens. You chunk it 5 yards in front of you and are left with a horrible feeling going all the way down to the pit of your stomach. You’re golden opportunity for birdie has not become a struggle to save par. This is not the way you pictured this hole would pan out and your round could suffer the rest of the way for it. Let’s put an end to this situation once and for all.

Amateur golfers have trouble around the green because they are presented with a short shot that requires soft hands and great tempo created in a short space. Tempo is defined in the dictionary as the rate or speed of motion or activity. A key factor in creating tempo is understanding that the longer the clubface travels the easier it is to create tempo. Most amateur golfers have resorted to taking a short backswing and then jabbing forward with a square clubface towards the target usually catching the leading edge on the floor about two inches behind the ball. Tempo is never achieved because the club head never traveled the necessary distance in order to create speed through natural acceleration of gravity. Try this drill the next time you take time to practice your short game in order to develop a bit more feel for the tempo required to execute this headache of a golf shot.

  1. GRIP PRESSURE : On a scale of one to ten your grip pressure should be at a comfortable 4. It is important to understand that the clubhead should feel heavy in your hands in order to activate the bigger muscles in your body which will create a more stable club path into the ball.
  2. THE BOUNCE IS YOUR FRIEND: Unless you are in a hard pan golf course or extremely high rough, open up your clubface at address until the leading edge comes off the ground. This is the proper way a wedge should be placed on the ground, the bounce provides stability through the hitting area in order to allow the clubhead to travel through the golf ball.
  3. CHEST AHEAD OF GOLF BALL: In order to provide the golf ball a consistent strike, it is important to address the golf ball in a repeatable fashion. One clear way is to check your sternum position at address, make sure that your sternum is always ahead of the golf ball and let it STAY THERE. This will allow your clubhead to strike slightly down on the golf ball if you follow step one and two correctly.
  4. LET CLUBFACE TRAVEL: When executing any type of shot it is important to allow the clubhead to travel the necessary distance in order to gain acceleration going towards the golf ball. In order to do this I would love for golfer to speak out the numbers “1, 2” to complete backswing and then speak out “3” letting the clubhead travel naturally towards the target with absolutely no recoil. The first couple of shots will seem a  bit hard but if you commit to this practice your touch and feel for these shots will increase dramatically.

Short game practice can be a chore but if most golfers spent just an extra hour a week on short game their scores would dramatically drop. So, keep these three keys in mind next time you are practicing your short game and remember if you practice like you play then you’ll play like you practice. Practice the right way!

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