The Importance of Up & Down

I got an interesting piece of advice recently while I was getting fit for my new irons (which are amazing by the way).  It came up in conversation that I am going to the BMW Championship next Saturday at Cog Hill.  My clubfitter told me that I shouldn’t go watch the players in the lead.  I thought this was a curious comment and asked why not?  He told me that I would be absolutely shocked at how poorly the guys at the bottom of the leader board were hitting the ball.  I believe his quote was, “they are slapping the ball all over the place!”  My natural response was along the lines of why the heck would I want to go watch that?  His response was, “because they still get up and down from everywhere.”

When he said that I wasn’t that surprised that PGA Tour players get up and down more often than not, but it also made me realize that I am putting the majority of my practice time towards my irons and driver instead of putting and short game.  I have mentioned this before and it is largely because I don’t have great access to a chipping or putting area in downtown Chicago.  As much as this is true, I know that I need to figure out a way around this.  There has to be a way to get good short game practice indoors during the winter so my game doesn’t go to absolute mush this winter.  Any tips anyone?

Looking back on my rounds I know for a fact that I don’t get up and down often enough.  When it happens I find myself saying, “wow!  Up and down from the bunker!  That’s a bonus.”  That needs to change if I am going to drop to a single digit handicap.  I am always going to miss fairways and greens.  The best players in the world miss fairways and greens, but the best players in the world get up and down.  I am determined to make my short game a strength in my game as opposed to one of my weaknesses.  Winter or no winter, I am determined to get up & down from everywhere!



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