2. SHORT GAME FOCUS

 

Fundamental 2 is most definitely the key area of the game that separates the tour pro's from the average club golfer, but it doesn't have to be this way.  Here's a reminder:

  •   Short Game Focus - the ability to get up and down more often from around the green

Phil Mickelson, arguably the greatest short game player in the last 30 years, said, "The only way to win tournaments is with the short game. Over half your shots out here are within 30 or 40 yards. Ball striking is where I'm trying to improve, yes, but more to eliminate big numbers than make birdies."

 

Ben Hogan once described the short game with these wise words, "A shot that goes in the cup is pure luck, but a shot within 2 feet is a skill."

 

Dave Pelz, the short game guru, said, "Wedge play and putting is the most important part of the game, and the best thing is anyone can do it. You could practice for the rest of your life and you won't ever hit it 320 yards off the tee so it's the one area where amateurs can match the pro's."

 

 

Unfortunately, during my years as a golf coach, the short game has always been the skill that average club golfers tend to practice the least. However, all the evidence suggests that we should all be working on this skill the most.

If you take an average length Par 4, a tour pro and an eighteen handicap golfer will both be either on, or around the green in two shots. However, the tour pro will always walk away with no worse than a four. The eighteen handicap golfer on the other hand will generally walk away with a five or higher.

 

 

If you need additional help and support with your short game I can:

  • Help you make better decisions. For example, what club would be best suited for this pitch or chip?

 

  • Help you with a solid technique for pitching, bunker play, chipping, and putting. For example, where should my ball position be if I want to utilise the bounce on my wedge?

 

  • Help you with ideas around your short game practice. For example, are their drills and games that will help to make your practice more rewarding? 

 

Coaching techniques for the short game have evolved substantially since I first picked up a golf club. For example, for chipping, I was taught to play the ball off the back foot with my handle and weight toward the target. However, this technique just didn't stand up to real pressure, and I often felt a bit fearful whenever I missed a green in a tournament!

I really had to make a change, so I delved into different theories and dedicated 90% of my practice to the short game. It is now the strongest part of my game and the fear is gone! 

 

Karl Knight 

Cabopino Golf, Spain