- Don’t freeze your swing on pitch shots
- Utilize the bounce on pitches
- Pitch with your arms
- Slide the clubface under the ball on flop shots
- Slam the club to hit a flop shot
- Hinge your wrists to bump-and-run
- Keep your hands softened on chips
- Chip with an extended shaft
- It’s all in the left arm
- Let your body rotate for better contact
More to think about. Keep practicing.
Keep lowering your score. Keep improving.
It is common for average golfers to inflate their scores with a bad short game. It can be relatively simple to smash the ball off the tee, and then, use a long iron or two to get the ball within a few yards of the green. But once the green is in sight, many golfers find it difficult to get the ball up and down for par.
Chipping or Pitching?
A common dilemma for golfers in their short game is deciding when to pitch and when to chip. If you have very little green to work with, then pitching may be dangerous. If you overshoot the target and do not put enough backspin on the ball, then you could be off the green on the other side. A good rule of thumb is to chip when you want to roll the ball up to the hole, and pitch when you need the ball to land and stop in a tight spot. You can also use distance as a determining factor as well. If you are 10 yards or less to the pin, then chip. Beyond 10 yards and you should pitch. In some cases, it may come down to personal preference. Phil Mickelson is famous for his ability to stop a pitch on a dime, while Jordan Spieth is one of the best chippers in the world. If you have a higher comfort level with one over the other, then follow your instincts.
The Right Club for the Job
Never assume that the only clubs you can use for your short game are your sand wedge, your pitching wedge and your putter. Take some time on the driving range to see what you can do with a 7-iron when you choke up on it. If you find yourself in the woods surrounded by trees and your only way out is to burn a low shot under some branches, then you are not going to want to use a club with the loft of a wedge. Choking up on a long or medium range iron will allow you the control to keep the ball low, and the loft on the club will give you the punch you need to get the ball out. Experiment and learn how to use the right club for the job.
A divot is essential to a good iron shot, because it indicates that you had the proper follow-through. When you are practicing on the range, work on making solid contact with your short irons to get that spin you need. You will feel a huge difference between creating a divot at the wrong spot in your swing, and when you create a divot in the right spot of your swing.