How to Develop Your Short Game

The best rounds of golf have many elements that must come together. Many Golfers are good at one aspect of the game, but struggle with another. The short game is one area that often needs improvement. Here are some things to consider, to help you make the most of your short game the next time you hit the links.


Proper Setup:


Contrary to the full swing setup, you now want your head directly above your belt buckle rather than tilted behind it. Keep your shoulders level with the ground rather than tilted, and maintain very relaxed arms. Use a gentle grip pressure especially with your trailing hand and narrow your stance width with the lead foot slightly flared toward the target. As you rest the club head behind the ball rotate the handle slightly so the clubface points more toward the sky (opens), then grip the club. These setup keys help ensure a solid strike on the ball without first digging into the ground.


Swing on Plane:


While in your setup position imagine a pane of glass tilted on an angle from the ball up the club shaft to your body. This is your swing plane angle. Golfers that struggle to make a solid effective strike in their short game, always swing their hands and the club shaft either too much under or too much over the top of this pane of glass. Consistent successful short game shots result when you swing your hands and club shaft on this plane angle.


Rotation & Release:


For the right-handed golfer this simply means you allow your hands and forearms to rotate the handle slightly clockwise during the backswing with minimal wrist hinging. This will (open) rotate the clubface slightly more toward the sky. Then as you swing back down and through the ball you allow the hands and arms to rotate the handle back in the counterclockwise direction, again keeping the wrist action to a minimum. At impact the clubface will have returned to its starting position cleanly striking the ball before continuing to rotate left with the hands and forearms. This is called releasing the club head.


Pre-shot Visualization:


Before every shot decide how high or low the ball should fly and where it should land before rolling to a stop near the hole. Before you swing visualize in your mind how the ball will fly and especially where the ball must land.  Decide which club you need to make your chosen shot. Your target is now your chosen landing spot not the hole.

The Putting Stroke Teacher is another effective tool to help improve your golf game. Use it regularly to improve your putting skills and make more putts!