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Over the years, we've worked with many players on their short-game. These are the 4 best drills to practise your short-game that we've seen impact on a player's game in the most positive way.
1. ONE CLUB, TWO DISTANCES
In order to become a genius from 100 yards and in (the scoring zone), you needto develop your touch.
A great way to practise feel is to hit the same club several distances (you can try this with your long game too). With this drill the aim is to make it instinctive how far the pin is away from you (from within 100 yards), something you’ll need to do to get to low single figures.
- Start at 125 yards and hit one ball to the target
- Move to 115 and use the same club to hit to that same target
- Move to 105 and change to whatever club you hit from this distance
- Move to 95 and hit the same club as you did from 105
- Move to 85 and hit whatever club you would from this distance
- Finish by hitting your 85 yard club from the 75 yard position.
So…you’ll have played from 6 distances and used your 3 wedges twice each, to 2 different distances.
Some players choke down on the club and change their ball position for distance control and others use swing length and tempo. Experiment with both and see what works for you. You can also repeat this drill and create more distances by using 5 yard increments.
2. REAL SHORT GAME PRACTICE
In our last post '5 Best ways to Practise' we spoke about deliberate practice. In this drill, you simulate the golf course as much as you can.
One great short game drill is to take 20 balls and drop them around the practice green from different lies and positions. For each shot, you go through your routine just as you would on the golf course and imagine you are playing in a competition on whatever golf course you normally play (or perhaps where your next competition may be). If the ball comes to rest outside of gimme range (2ft), go through your pre-putt routine, just as you would on the course or in a competition and try to hole the putt.
When you’ve made the up and down, move onto the next ball until you’ve holed all 20. This exercise might take 40-50 minutes to perform, but it makes practice very meaningful.
What this does is:
- Practise your routine – getting your process the same and focusing on it should be consistent no matter what the shot or situation
- Work on your imagination and visualization
- Simulate pressure while you practise
- Makes practice fun, playing from different lies and trying different shots
- Gives every shot a purpose, instead of being just another practice ball
3. SEE IT, FEEL IT, TRUST IT
This is great drill for improving your chipping quickly and works on using a variety of clubs from the same distance, so you can see the benefit of using less lofted clubs from around the green.
- From the edge of the green, pick a hole on the practice green that’s about 20-25 ft away.
- Take your 6-iron and go through your pre-shot routine
- Your pre-shot should have 3 main steps: Visualization, Feel and Trust. When you’re visualizing your shot ask yourself, where the ball will land and how it will roll out to the hole and where on the hole it will go in. When you’ve seen the shot in your mind’s eye, feel the swing you need to produce that shot. When you’re standing over the ball, say to yourself “trust it” and do exactly that.
- When you’ve holed your 6-iron, repeat the process your 7-iron and move all the way through to your PW. That’s a minimum of 5 shots, so see how close you can get to a score of 5 each time.
4. PAR 18 GAME FOR THE SHORT GAME
This game was devised by Mind coach, Karl Morris.
- From around the green, you’re going to pick 9 locations to play from, 3 easy, 3 medium and 3 difficult.
- Each mini hole is a par 2 and by playing all 9 holes your make the total “Par 18”
- Play all 9 holes and keep your score and make 18 your target.
Although I don’t ever recommend trying to beat your score during a round, in practice it’s different. You want to create the same pressure as if you were on the golf course, whereas on the golf course we want to reduce pressure. By thinking about your score while practising (and trying to beat it), you get closer to the pressure you feel on the course.
And be sure to take a look at and download the 'Weakness Calculator' which will help you work out which part of your game needs the most attention.
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