Short Game Update

I haven’t been playing all that great recently and I attribute most of that to some trouble off the tee and way too much tinkering with my swing.  I keep trying new things and messing up all of the fundamentals I worked so hard all winter to solidify.

The one highlight of my play though has been an improvement in my chipping.  Last round I had to pull out a few different short game shots that normally would have me terrified.  Normally, I will default to a sand wedge or a 60 degree wedge around the greens and pretty much without fail fluff the ball and come up way short.  I decelerate through the ball and thin it out of tight lies and fluff it out of the rough.  This past round I went back to my old tricks and found some quick success.

The first short game tester was about a 30 foot chip shot right in front of the green from far enough off the fringe that I didn’t feel comfortable putting.  This is a great example of how I used to take my 60 degree wedge and try to fly it all the way to the hole only to come up way short and be so angry that I probably ended up three putting.  Instead, I took my 8 iron and just hit a nice easy putting stroke and watched it roll all the way up to the hole for a two foot par saving putt.  My takeaway from this was that it is much easier to get the ball rolling with a higher lofted club when you have enough green in front of you to do it.  I have had success with this in the past, but some macho gene in me is gun-shy about using it and I’m not sure why.

The second shot that always gives me trouble is the short pitch shot out of the green side rough.  This is a shot I will normally take my sand wedge and try to move my hands through and ahead of the ball to hit a nice chip.  The problem is that I almost always decelerate, let the rough grab the club or slide right under it and come up still in the rough or barely on the green.  Instead of doing this, I took the same sand wedge and took a more aggressive pop stroke at the ball.  My thought process was to just pop the ball up in the air and let it release to the hole.  I short sided myself on a par 4 and had a few feet of green to work with and used this shot.  I popped the ball up and it rolled three feet past the hole while burning the edge.  I made the comeback putt to save par.

Normally both of these shots would lead to bogeys or even double bogeys for me, but I am starting to learn how to manage my short game in these different situations to give myself a chance at par.  I can’t tell you how great it feels to scramble for a par.  They are almost better than two putt tap in pars…almost!  The thing I am taking away from this improvement is that it is a step in the right direction.  I know my full swing will come around with a few trips to the range this week, but I have always struggled with my short game.  Improvements in that area are huge for me and I am going to continue to ride the momentum and keep up with the practice.


One Comment to “Short Game Update”

  1. Good finding! Roll is truely easier to judge than flight around the green. Keep it up!

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