Saved By The Short Game

Every golfer has heard the saying, “Drive for show, putt for dough.” And unlike a lot of other things said on a golf course, that one’s actually true! The best way to shave strokes from your game is by working backwards, from the bottom of the cup on out.

Eliminate three putts. Cutting your number of putts is essential to improving your score. Get back to basics: arms & shoulders form a triangle; pendulum-like swing; smooth acceleration through the ball to finish. Anything else is an unnecessary movement and can damage consistency. So check that you hold your head & hips still and aren’t breaking your wrists without knowing it.

Shrink your target. Improve your accuracy and precision by putting to a smaller target. Use a training aid like this one or even just a tee stuck in a practice green and complete your normal putting practice routine. When you go back to a normal cup, it will seem much bigger!

Chip in. Or just skip putting altogether! Chip shots should be just like a putt, where the length of the backstroke determines distance. Choke down on the club for control and remember to accelerate through the ball. Practice from different lies and distances to better simulate what you most often encounter during a round.

Of course this is free advice and you might just get what you paid for it. I’m counting on my Rock Heads here, so speak up and share YOUR favorite short game tips, drills, and advice below!


PS: How about recommending training aids you’ve used and loved, or which were a waste of money? I’m always glad to hear what works – and what doesn’t!

4 thoughts on “Saved By The Short Game

  • May 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    I have been considering the Cleveland Nibblet as a utility club around the greens, anyone play one?

  • May 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    It wasn’t long ago that the pros were chipping around the green with their hybrids. It still seems lile it would be a smart play in some situations, but it sure seems to have been a passing fad with the pros.

    *** Response From Scratch ***

    You’re right Burnz, I hardly ever see that any more. You ever use a hybrid around the green?

    – Scratch

  • May 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Yeah… and I like the way the ball comes off the face. I find that if I practice just off the fringe and get a feel for how the ball is going to run up to the hole, it is a great play when the ball is sitting down in a tough spot. It sure beats hitting a two-foot chunk shot with the lob wedge. Is that where the Nibblet comes into play too? Which is the more versatile club, a Nibblet, or a hybrid?

  • August 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make an excellent article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and in no way seem to get something done.


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