Updated: Jan 8, 2019
It’s funny to see the average golfer spending so much time with their laser range finder and gps watch getting exact yardages on the course, yet not putting the same thought and effort into their short game. Weekend golfers love the long game, banging balls on the range, because they think they’re practicing to have lower scores, but they’re really only practicing to have fun! Remember, about 70% of the shots you hit in a round are short game shots. Short game improvement is always the fastest way to lower scores no matter what your handicap.
We know that your first thought is to assess the lie. For example with a ball in 3 inch deep rough, will the ball come out low or high, fast or slow, spinning or not? Once we know the answer then we can pick the right club for where we want the ball landing on the green.
Unlike what most recreational golfers practice, the sooner you can get the ball on the ground, rolling towards the flag, the better. When you are off the green in the fairway, think about chipping, not pitching! Minimum airtime, maximum ground time.
You have 14 clubs in your bag, think of them as tools in a tool bag. Consider using a hybrid for chipping. Set up like a putt with hybrid sitting upright at address, and grip down to shorten this club like a putter. Simply putt the ball with your hybrid, brushing the grass so that the ball will lift/loft, skipping off the fringe and roll towards the hole. Low risk and high reward, the Hybrid Chip will save you strokes around the green!
Always practice with the aim to re-create the myriad of shots that arise when we are actually playing. Experiment with ball position, shaft angle, and face positions. Make the practice fun, and you will see the results on the course.