Golf’s Short game and It’s Importance

Golf’s Short game and It’s Importance


If everyone knows the importance of the golf’s short game, then why is it only pro’s and good amateurs spend 65% of their time practicing it?

It is almost a dichotomy!  We all want to play better golf, yet most golfers spend the MAJORITY of their time practicing on the wrong area.  Did you know that those who increase their short game practice by 25%, reduce their scores and handicap by and average of 6 shots per game over a period of about 3 – 6 months?

Here is another piece of information that is crucial to your golf swing,  those who practice hitting shots from 100 yards and in learn faster then those who don’t.  So why is this?

Well the major reason for this is that you get to see things happening with the club more with a slower swing than a faster swing.  Do you know what those things you get to see are?  Ball flight laws!  Yes, these are the five ball flight laws that lead to straighter and longer shots.  Not only does this lead to lower scores and handicaps, it is part of your personal Golf Equation.

So the next time you go out to practice, take a look at practicing your short game first …and last.

In a recent lesson with one my juniors who is a pretty good ball striker, I asked him to hit some short shots about 40 – 60 yards.  Unfortunately he did not accomplish is needed.  So we went over to the short game area and worked for a while.  I gave him the task and practice of NO GOLF!  NO FULL SWINGS OF ANY TYPE.

The only thing he was allowed to practice all weekend was his short game.  Unfortunately, I had to make it tough on him, he biggest goal was to make sure he made the golf team at school, and his desire to make the golf team was stronger than anything else on his list.

So he followed the directions and homework so to speak.  When I saw him on Sunday, he had been working on his short game.  Matter of fact I saw him Saturday too, and every once in a while on both days, I would go over and check to make sure he was doing what was needed.   Or, I would at least watch him from a moderate distance.  If he was doing it wrong I would go reinforce the lesson.

He came up to me and with a bucket of balls about 4 in the afternoon on Sunday asking me if he could show me what he learned.  I agreed.    He promptly set up in a range stall and hit about 10 – 15 shots just to warm up again.  Then he asked me a simple question.  “Where do you want me to hit it…pick a target!”  And he was pretty confident about it.

Ok I was up for the giving him the challenge, so I picked the exact same target that started this whole practice drill.  He hit twelve shots all within 4 – 10 feet and 4 of them bounced off the flag.  I changed targets on him to 100 yards and his results were pretty much the same, but he only hit the flag once.

We did this in now ten ball increments of different targets for 100 balls.  His results were actually pretty staggering.  out of the 100 balls there were only about 10 – 15 that were out of range due to one thing or another.  That was an 85% ratio of being within a putt you could make.

He finished hitting his balls and was smiling like I had never seen.  We were both happy at the end results and he thanked me for being tough him in that moment.   He said to me,  “I now see what you are saying and understand better at how important it is to hit short shots over long shots.  And you are right If I can’t hit the shorts ones correctly, I will never be able to hit the long ones correctly, well at least not on a consistent basis.”  Ever time I see him now, he is practicing his short game first.

About three days later he shows up wearing a new shirt and has a new golf bag…with the school team logo’s on it…smiling to no end.  and your going to love this one.  He was trying out for the JV team and they asked him to play as the number 3 or 4 man on the varsity team.  Not bad eh.

Until next time, Hit em long, straight and as few times as possible.  Happy Golfing and Have a Great Day

Robb Nunn
PGA Professional
Lake Forest Golf and Practice Center

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