The short game is accountable for approximately 70% of the score in an average golfer’s game. I am including putting in this statistic, even though I consider putting as a separate entity in the golf game.
The more frequent short game scenario on the golf course is a shot encountered just off the green. This distance can be between a couple of feet away or 50 yards away. The ability to consistently get “up and down” is available to every golfer! Up and down refers to getting your shot on the green and making the putt, sounds difficult if you do not know what your options are.
Stock shots are what I refer to as the “highest percentage” shots you can use in your short game scenario. I keep 3 stock shots in mind when thinking about the “up” portion of the “up and down” ability. In order of highest percentage:
- Stock shot #1 – Use your putter whenever possible from off the green, providing the grass you are putting the ball thru allows you too adequately run the ball onto the green.
- Stock shot #2 – Bump & run or as some people call it, chip it onto the green. If the shot does not allow you to putt it, use an iron such as an 8 or 9 to give the ball some lift over the grass or small obstacle onto the green.
- Stock shot #3 – Pitch the ball onto the green using a more lofted iron such as a pitching wedge or sand wedge. This scenario is not as accurate in its results compared with the previous two stock shots, but will be necessary. You will be facing longer grass or a large obstacle between your ball and the green. The increased loft of the wedges will enable you to get out of the deeper grass or over the obstacle onto the green.
Remember, that anytime you can keep the ball rolling on the ground, you have a better chance of controlling direction and distance! There is an old saying “your worst putt from off the green will be better than your best chip.”
There are endless shots you can play with different clubs from around the green, but have these 3 basic “stock shots” in your arsenal and try apply one of them before anything else.