5 Tips To Improve Your Golf Short Game

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5 Tips To Improve Your Golf Short Game

Struggling To Improve Your Golf Short Game?

Struggling to improve your golf short game? Shots within the 40 – 50 meter (43 – 54 yard) range. You’re properly been thinking about how to improve my short game in golf?

Are your tempo and rhythm all over the place? Hitting shots fat which is too short or thinning it and the ball goes shooting across the green like a bullet.

Have trouble chipping, doing something crazy like sticking it, hitting the ground first, or having trouble judging the distance when chipping?

We all have at one stage or another had trouble with the golf short game. The reality is if you want to lower your scores you need to have a solid consistent short game.

 

Your Short Game Key To Lowering Your Scores

You already know that every golfer needs to be great at their short game, but here are some stats you might not know.

  • At 27 meters (30 yards) pros have a 46% success rate.
  • Whereas a 10 handicap player only gets up and down around 11%.
  • But what really makes golfers cringe is when they’re just average – 30 handicappers only get up and downs about 3% of the time!

When it comes to short game shots in golf, a lot of people have the same problem. They either do not hit their clubs solid enough or leave themselves with an impossible putt.

Or they get too excited and swing so hard that they thin out on contact which also leaves them with incredibly long putts. Or even worse…another chip!

The moral of this story is… if you improve your ball contact for those shorter distances then your scores will drop! The most striking aspect of professional players around the green is just how simple the great players make chipping look.

When the pros step up and hit a chip and run shot just off the green, they’re looking to hole it not just get close! In actual fact, the chip shot is one of the simplest shots to learn in golf.

You need good technique and touch; confidence and a little imagination are the main ingredients required. I have put together 5 tips to improve your golf short game.

These tips have helped me and will help you, they are based on the teachings of Jeff Richmond golf coach.

Me and My Son On The Golf Course 2019
My son and I at Redwood Park Golf Course, Auckland, New Zealand May 2019.

5 Tips For Improving Your Golf Short Game

So how to improve your golf short game?

These are the 5 tips that are ways to improve your short game. These tips aren’t the silver bullet to success, however, they are a short game improvement plan designed to point you in the right direction.

You don’t need to employ all 5 tips, one or two will be right for you, make these your golf short game drills. Which ones well only you will know that.

When you’ve decided which ones your going to add to your shot game arsenal, practice them, become proficient, and make them second nature!

#1. Improve Your Contact On Short Shots

Achieving a successful short game is not as simple as it may seem at first glance; be wary of pitfalls that can lead to losing shots.

Like hitting too sharply down on the ball or hitting the ground just behind the ball first.

The conventional wisdom is that you should place weight on your left side (right-handed) when taking your stance, but this doesn’t always work for everyone’s swing.

It might help to try standing square at your address instead – in fact, it may improve how well you’re able to control the clubhead during contact.

The thing about contact is that it’s not just a matter of where on the club you put your hands, but also how hard and fast you hit.

Without precise pressure from both hands, most golfers will find themselves thinning or stubbing (fat) their shots. This is because they didn’t use precise limited pressure!

So when setting up for short shots such as chipping or pitching from close range. Try keeping your balance evenly distributed through most of the swing by positioning yourself over both feet.

This will help generate more momentum behind these shorter strokes and make it easier to shallow out your swing. Think of it as an overemphasized putt.

With that said, remember not all chips are created equal so be sure to look before you leap off into territory where inexperience can hurt.

So, it’s much more of a sweeping motion than an up and down motion, just think of a shallow U, as opposed to a sharp V action.

With the shallow U, the clubhead is moving much lower to the ground, you can easily sweep the ball up without miss-hitting the ball. You’re highly likely to achieve a good result with the shallow U motion.

This means fewer bad shots which are great news to help you improve your golf short game! This is a method to significantly improve your golf.

Summary

  • Keep your balance evenly distributed through most of the swing by positioning yourself over both feet.
  • It’s much more of a sweeping motion than an up and down motion just think of a shallow U, as opposed to a sharp V action.
Improve Your Golf Short Game

#2. Practice 8 Yard Pitch Shots

The chances are that on occasion your ball has gone wide or short of the green. Now most golfers have been tempted at some point in their lives with playing an aggressively pitched or chip shot that ends up worse-off.

Rather than chipping, landing the ball just inside from the edge of the green and just letting the ball roll out and slowly find its way to the center of the green.

If your first goal was actually trying to chip the ball close enough to putt it out, that ends in disaster…

Let me recommend one simple step which will ensure success.

Aim about 6 – 8 yards or 5 – 7 meters from the edge of the green. When your ball lands and comes off nicely, rolls out, and comes within range of the hole or somewhere on the green, notice how I said on the green!

Knowing how to consistently nail this can set you on the path to improving your short game.

Here’s What You Need To Do:

Practice honing your skills on this simple practice method.

Find somewhere you can practice in your own backyard.

Then get about 30 balls, next, place an object such as a plastic ring, alignment rod, or just a stick in the ground that is 8 yards from where you’re standing.

Now I want you to take out these clubs:

  • 7 iron
  • 9 iron
  • Pitching Wedge
  • Sand Wedge

Now you’ll play each chip shot with the different clubs, trying to land the ball on that 8-yard marker.

When proficient with this chip shot, and it becomes second nature, go out onto your local practice greens where there are spots about 8-yards from the edge of the green.

Chip those balls just onto the green about 1 – 2 yards from the edge and watch the balls run towards their destination.

Now play the same chip shot with the different clubs, trying to land the ball on the 8-yard line.

The club that you find easiest to use consistently is the one you’ll use for this chip shot.

With a bit of trial and error, you’ll have 2 or 3 clubs in your bag that you can pull this chip shot off with.

When you improve your golf short game and get really good at this you’ll become a force to be reckoned with.

Also, you’ll be using your practice time wisely!

Summary

  • Get about 30 balls, next, place an object such as a plastic ring, alignment rod, or just a stick in the ground that is 8 yards from where you’re standing.
  • Play each shot with a different club, trying to land the ball on the 8-yard marker.
My Son and His All-Important Practice Time
My Son and His All-Important Practice Time

#3. How To Improve Your Pitch Shot Feel

Pitch shots become increasingly harder as the distance gets shorter and more technical. If this happens while playing from anything less than 50 yards or 45 meters, then chipping or pitching can become very problematic.

Many beginners and regular players find these short game situations intimidating because they cannot hit any shot with certainty. Not knowing where it will land – so instead many opt for an easy layup which isn’t always successful either!

If you are having these issues with your golf game try this, it is a great way to improve your short game pitch shot feel with tempo and rhythm.

To do this, go out and find an area you can practice on like your backyard or the practice green at your local golf club. For five minutes, toss balls underarm towards targets, this will create muscle memory and help with tempo and rhythm.

Excellent way of improving your pitch shots, because they’ll start to feel natural, and increase muscle memory, tempo, and rhythm. Your tempo and rhythm used to toss a ball should be similar to the tempo and rhythm required to hit good solid pitch shots.

Be experimental start tossing balls at different targets, with varying distances that you’ve set up.

Feel the difference in your tempo and rhythm, and start creating muscle memory, within a short time this will become noticeable. After tossing balls underarm for five minutes or more.

Grab your pitching wedge or 9-iron and hit some pitch shots from the distances you’ve been tossing balls from, following the tempo and rhythm you’ve been using to toss balls.

This is an awesome way to judge your pitch shot distances.

So when you’re out on the course your pitch shots will feel more natural, with consistent tempo and rhythm.

This will result in you hitting more greens, also this will transfer to your tee shots and mid to long irons too!

Summary

  • Spend five minutes or so tossing balls underarm onto the practice green, or to a set target at home.
  • After tossing balls underarm for five minutes or more.
  • Grab your pitching wedge or 9-iron and hit some pitch shots from the distances you’ve been tossing balls from, following the tempo and rhythm you’ve been using to toss balls.
My Chipping Practice Time
My Chipping Practice Time

#4. How To Improve Your Chipping Consistency

If your putting game is on point, but your chipping game is inconsistent and could use some work. Chipping can be difficult for golfers of all skill levels.

When you’re lacking consistency, it is often difficult to make solid contact. This leads to that vicious cycle, where lack of consistency kills your game.

To help you improve your contact consistency when chipping. I suggest treating chips like long putts as this will keep everything simpler so there’s less room for error or big mistakes!

To play a chip shot, start off by using your putting grip. Assume the same stance as you would for a putt and take the club back with an even tempo in order to get good elevation.

It is also important that this movement should be smooth so there are no extra movements affecting the trajectory. Finally, make sure not to rush through the release, because if done correctly, then chipping will become second nature!

I recommend that you start practicing with a hybrid to force yourself to learn to sweep the ball away. This is good practice because now where success would’ve been unlikely now becomes possible.

Go to your local practice green and experiment with playing chip shots, and long putts and watch how you improve your golf short game, your results and consistently will soar.

Summary

  • Treating chips like long putts will keep everything simpler.
  • Assume the same stance as you would for a putt and take the club back with an even tempo in order to get good elevation.
    Use your hybrid to force yourself to learn to sweep the ball away.

#5. How To Simplify Your Chipping

The way you chip and the tempo of your stroke are two things that can throw off an otherwise perfect golf game.

With chipping, it’s all about being smooth with a good rhythm. It is not how hard or soft we hit; rather our timing when hitting the ball. should be just right for us to get onto the green without much trouble at all!

When I first started playing golf, my biggest enemy was always getting on greens in regulation! Because I had NO idea about tempo, naturally I would end up chucking most shots.

So how do you make your chipping better? Grab your pitching wedge or 9-iron and start practice swinging with a good tempo, you should do this without hitting a ball.

Just get used to practicing back-and-forth swings in time of “1”, “2”, think of it as “1” back and “2” forth. Do this first without hitting balls; make sure to swing smoothly through all numbers before trying again in a live-fire situation.

Then when you’ve done that, and it is starting to feel natural put a ball in the way of your swing. I know that when you put a ball in the firing line of your swing your mindset changes…

I gotta hit it, I gotta hit it! – Forget that just follow the “1”, “2” tempo you’ve been practicing, making sure that you don’t change your tempo.

Important to focus on your “1”, “2” tempo and let the ball get in the firing line. If you do this, you’ll start to see your chip shots making solid consistent contact.

No more stabby, jerky strokes.

Summary

  • Grab your pitching wedge or 9-iron and start practice swinging with a good tempo, you should do this without hitting a ball.
    Just get used to practicing back-and-forth swings in time of “1”, “2”, think of it as “1” back and “2” forth.
  • Then when you’ve done that, put a ball in the firing line of your swing.
    Follow the “1”, “2” tempo you’ve been practicing, making sure that you don’t change your tempo.
My Wife Mira and I Golf Harbor Country Club
My wife Mira and I at Gulf Harbor Country Club November 2019

Understanding The Behavior Of Your Ball

Being able to predict just how your golf ball will behave when playing a chip shot. This is just as important as the ability to play the shot itself. Also, this will help you to improve your golf shot game.

Spin, trajectory, and roll all have to be taken into account. Each has an effect on how close the ball will finish to the hole.

The tips outlined above, together with your practicing will help you make predicting ball behavior much easier. Many golfers are unaware of how much influence the lie of the ball has on its flight through the air.

A bare or bald lie, for instance, where there is little or no grass beneath the ball or where the grass is tightly mown. This will produce a lower than normal flight.

Therefore, the high cut-up shot should never be attempted from this type of lie. In longer grass, however, the opposite applies.

Grass will get between the clubface and the ball which can lead to decreased spin rates.

How Can I Improve My Short Game At Home?

Improving your short game at home is easy.
Start by working on your chipping. The easiest way to do this is to find a spot in your backyard, about 10-15 yards, place a small bucket or container down, and try to chip it in with one stroke.

Next, work on your putting. One of the best ways to improve your putting is by using a practice green pad. These pads allow you to putt on all types of surfaces, including grass, carpet, and even tile floors!

Short Game Like The Professionals

Who has the best short game in golf? Tiger Woods.

Using a variety of clubs or a range of shots. However, one thing they all have in common is they select an exact spot to land the ball on.

This is before they even think about selecting a club out of their bag. When pros hit their chip shots, they know where the ball will land and where it will finish up.

They keep their technique smooth and simple. This is a great way to approach every chip shot.

When your next on the course start to visualize your chip shots, taking into account what the ball will do. Focus on a precise landing spot, preferably on the green to ensure an even bounce.

Then select the club that best performs that function.  In your mind commit to that shot and chip the ball. Your selection will be based on my tips outlined above and your experience from practicing and playing golf.

Hitting the spot, you have selected consistently will improve your golf short game and lower your scores. Learning to play golf is not hard, but it can be a challenge.

Especially when you are just starting out! However, if you’ve found these tips helpful, you need to check out the Shot Game Improvement Program. by Golf Coach Jeff Richmond.

So take these helpful tips into consideration and your short game will improve dramatically in no time.

Chipping To Win

It’s such a fantastic feeling when you hit that crisp chip shot and you hear your mates say “next ones good”. We all love gimmies!

Mastering the golf short game, you’re a force to be reckoned with on the golf course. Why? because a solid short game is impressive to watch and also intimidating.

Those chip shots are great; however, the reality is you’re not hitting enough of them. Wouldn’t it be exhilarating to play golf where you executed those chip and pitch shots perfectly all the time?

You consistently hit those pitch and chip shots close to the hole. You give yourself a chance to hole out with one putt! I look at it this way, there are 4 parts to a golf game. Off the tee, fairway shots, short game, and putting.

If you can master one of these tips you will be on your way to lowering your scores. I play with a lot of golfers who are solid off the tee but have a weak short game that lets them down.

If you’re one of those golfers and have tried many different methods to improve your short game with little to no improvement. I’ve got a solution that has helped me to improve my short game and it will help you to improve your golf short game as well.

In The Bunker

Bunker Play

A ball lying in the sand in a bunker holds a unique kind of fear for the average golfer. Yet many professionals would actually prefer to be in the bunker than in the rough beside the green.

Because they are confident enough to know they can get the ball close to the hole from the sand to save par. The sand wedge, there is no other club like it.

Designed to work specifically in the player’s favor.  Few golfers, however, make the best of the club’s full potential. Understanding just how this special wedge works is vital to becoming a more proficient bunker player.

The technique for better bunker play is quite straightforward. Assuming the texture of the sand is consistent.

You should hit your sand wedge in the same spot behind the ball for every bunker shot 30 yards or 27 meters from the green. This has a huge benefit for simplifying matters.

Maintain the same rhythm and tempo for all your short-range bunker shots. Pick a spot behind the ball that always accelerates into impact. The only aspect that would change is the length of the backswing.

Jeff Richmond goes into detail on how to achieve consistent shots out of the bunker which will help you to improve your golf short game.

Improve your golf short game

My Takeaway

What I’ve just talked about are simple ways to improve your golf game.

  • Improving the percentage of contact on your short shots, pitch shot feel, contact consistency, and the other tips I’ve shared are a sure-fire way to improve your golf short game.
  • If you’re wanting to better understand the behavior of your golf ball and play a consistent, solid shot game the Short Game Improvement Program is for you.
  • Chipping is relatively simple, very similar to your putting stroke. 

There are a few things that need to be taken into account the ball behavior, your feel, and your tempo and rhythm. Jeff Richmond will help you to better understand all of this.

  • Solid consistent bunker play is one of the key elements to improving your golf short game, knowing how to use your sand wedge to your advantage will have amazing benefits.
  • Chipping to win, you’re a force to be reckoned with on the golf course. 

You’re impressive to watch and also intimidating to other players.

No more crazy double hits, fat or thin shots, or stabby chips. Now how would that feel, pretty awesome I would say!

  • All you need to do is purchase the Short Game Improvement Program. 

Practice what Jeff Richmond teaches and apply what you will learn to your golf game, simple effective, and easy.

All this will improve your golf short game and you’ll become that person with sharp shot game skills.

You Can Start Your Journey Today
To Becoming A Golf Short Game Master!

Improve your golf short game