Short Game Practice Re-Cap

I complain a lot about the lack of practice facilities in the city and how my short game has suffered because of it.   As much as I actually think this is true, I also realize I am making excuses by simply saying “there are no good practice facilities in downtown Chicago so I can’t work on my short game.”  I know that is bogus and this weekend I took a step to remedy my situation.

Most of the time when I think about practicing my short game I think about hitting high chip shots with a sand wedge or 60 degree wedge from all areas around the green.  It is great to have these shots in the bag and a lot of times they are 100% necessary during your round.  I took a good hard look back on my recent rounds and gave myself an honest assessment of the shots I am using around the greens and if they are best for helping me improve.  What I realized was that I was wasting shots around the green by using the wrong type of shots just because it is what I have always done.  Ever since I started playing golf it has been my natural play to grab the sand wedge for all types of short game shots.  Is this really the best way to go about getting up and down?  Heck no!

This weekend I went out to a golf course on the south side of the city that has a fantastic practice facility and spent a good chunk of time hitting shots from around the green with different clubs.  First I took my normal sand wedge and hit chips to a flag about 20 feet away.  The results were ok, but from the rough I would catch a few high on the face and the ball would shoot way up high and die fast on the green with no roll.  This is A-typical for me.  I will hit a few good chips and a few bad chips, but I never hit great chips.  Next, I took my 9 Iron and started hitting bump and run shots to the flag.  Immediately I saw more consistency in my distance control.  All ten of the chips were within the ten foot range which is a realistic distance to make some putts.  I felt much more confident with this club selection and feel like it is something I need to implement in my game more.

I am not saying that every shot around the greens should be a 9 Iron bump and run shot, but I am saying that my mindset around my short game was leading me to neglect this shot.  I have been under using this shot when it could be helping me add consistency to my short game and hopefully get up and down a few more times.  I am a terrible scrambler and rarely get up and down when I miss greens so anything I can do to help that I am going to try.  This is also something I can practice in my apartment.  I don’t need any more space than I use now for long putts.  I can just as easily try to chip balls into the cup from 20 feet as I can putt them in.  This will hopefully help my short game  and give me one more thing to practice indoors when I am not able to get out to a course with decent practice greens.

Anyone else out there have good indoor short game tips?

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5 Responses to “Short Game Practice Re-Cap”

  1. Way to make an honest assessment of your short game!

  2. Good going. You’ve identified two things that are very important; the value of short game and roll is easier to judge than flight. Keep going to your practice facility and work with all clubs as you have done and work on your putting indoors. One caveat regarding indoor chipping is that your carpet lie is always perfect. I’ve found myself babying chips on the real grass after practicing off a perfect lie indoors. If you feel like you must chip indoors, make sure you follow through on the swing and be as aggressive as possible, without breaking any ashtrays. Good luck!

    • I know exactly what you mean about babying chips when they are in fluffier lies out on the course. One of my goals every round I play is to be aggressive on all of my chip shots just to avoid this.

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