We have all heard it many times that we need to practice our short game more, or the key to cutting your handicap in half is too work on your short game. What they don’t tell you is is that you need to work on specific parts of you short game. Everyone thinks that there are only two things that you really do around the green chip and putt. What they fail to talk about is all the different shots that you can do while chipping or how are you actually supposed to get better at putting.
The Bump and Run
The average golfer does not utilize this shot enough and it is probably costing you about three strokes a round because you don’t use it. It is a very simple shot and the percentage of messing up the bump and run is much less than the percentage of messing up a regular pitch shot. The reason being is if you are trying to hit a high pitch shot and you chunk it or skull it you are still going to have around the same length to the hole. On the other hand if you chunk a bump and run shot a little bit or skull it then you are still going to leave yourself a decent putt because you don’t have to take such a big stroke so that minimizes the risk of hitting it short or too far. Keep in mind that you can only play the bump and run if you have a lot of green to work with. You can use many different clubs I personally just deloft my sand wedge, but a lot of people like to use an eight iron or a club around there. All you have to do to play the bump and run is to put the club in about the middle of your stance, your feet should be close together and you should have most of your weight on your left side. Then all you need to do is make a short little putting stroke taking just a little grass. This shot will be a great addition to your arsenal of shots and a shot that every golfer should be utilizing during their round.
The Flop Shot
The flop shot is a very underused golf shot for high handicappers and can be a very overused shot for low handicappers. It can be very valuable, but you have to know when to play it and how to play it properly. I think that most high handicappers get scared of it because you have to take a big swing and they think that if they do that they’ll hit it a mile past the hole. While this may be true if you don’t play it right, it really is a simple shot. All you need to do is spread your feet out a little past shoulder width. Then all your going to do is open up your club face fully then your just going to make sure that you get some grass when you swing. If you don’t get any grass when you swing then you will skull it a mile past the hole, but if you play this shot right then you will get a nice high ball that will land softly on the green and then role out just a little. Now this does not mean that you need to play this shot on every chip when golfers learn to hit this shot they start to fall in love with it and use it more than they need too. This shot needs to be only used when you have to get over something and you do not have a lot of green to work with. If you have a bunker in your way or are trying to hit something that has almost no role out you need to use the flop shot. The flop shot is a great shot and if used right will add a lot to your game.
The Lag Putt
So often when we actually hit the green we are thirty feet away and are looking at a long tricky putt. We are not PGA Tour Players and we can’t hit it within fifteen feet of the hole every time. What we need to do is to perfect our lag putting. This is very simple to do all you have to do is take a little time to practice and make sure that you have taken the time to get the green speeds down. My favorite drill too do is very simple. All you are going to do is set down a tee every ten feet until you get to forty feet away. Then you are going to start from ten feet away and putt ten times you cannot move on to the next tee until you have two putted ten times in a row. This may seem very easy at first, but when you get to thirty and forty feet it won’t seem so simple. If you do this every time you go to the course for a couple of weeks you will see a major difference in your putting and will ultimately lower your scores.
Golf is a hard sport and there is no reason to make it any harder. If you use these tips then I guarantee that you will see a difference in your game. They do require some practice don’t think that you are going to go out to the course and be able to automatically hit a flop shot. Your going to have to go to the chipping are and practice a few times before you should even try it in a round. Then after you practice chipping you need to make sure that you go practice your putting. Putting is the most important part of the game, and you need to spend the most time on the greens. Its going to take time, but trust me it will be worth when you reach your goals. Bottom line is if you want to improve this fall then practice where it is going to count and that is in your short game.