The short game is what can basically decide how good or how bad your round is going to be. If your short game is on, you are chipping within inches, and making some of the longer putts, then I can almost guarantee that you will be shooting a good round. However on the flip side if you are having trouble chipping, and having trouble making putts, then you will definitely not have a good round. The short game is so important. If you can get to the green in two, then that is great, but if it takes you three from there to put it in the hole then you’re not going to shoot well. If you haven’t already figured it out the short game can basically mean everything to you round of golf.
One of the biggest things when it comes to your short game is your ability to putt. If you can’t put the ball accurately how can you plan on scoring well? If you ever watch the pros play the really don’t miss any putts from inside of ten feet, and they are playing on much harder greens then the average golfer has ever seen. That is one of the big reasons they are pros, because the can putt very well.
The first thing you would need to do to improve your putting is look into getting a putter that suits you better. If you go to a professional golf shop you can be fitted for the best putter for you. Once you get a feel for it, you will start to see more made putts, and eventually better rounds. If you are still having trouble making putts, then you need to change the way you are putting. What I mean by that is the different things you do before the putt. It may be that you need to read your putts better and pay more attention to detail. You may need to change the way you line up to the ball. Many people find it easier to put a line on the ball. They then point that line in the direction they want the ball to go. This tactic will drastically increase your accuracy.
If you are still having trouble, then the problem may be your mechanics. For example the way you are holding the putter. You are supposed to hold your putter the same way you would hold the hand of an infant. Very very softly, for the very reason that putting is all about feel and with this grip you gain feel. Another mistake may be the way you are standing. I would greatly recommend purchasing either lesson on your putting or even a book to help your mechanics. Putting is such a big thing, and if you can’t master your putter, you are not going to be able to shoot those good rounds you are looking for.
Now that you understand what you need to do with your putter, you need to know how to get the ball close to the hole when you are off the green. This all starts with the club just like putting. You are obviously going to need at least one wedge. Some people carry two or even three wedges so that they have the best chance around the green. With these wedges you will eventually develop a feel for every type of shot that you may need. You will learn how to hit a low backspin shot, a high backspin shot, a pitch and run, and so much more. Wedges give you the ability to hit basically any shot for anything that you may encounter.
Here’s a clip on the sort of close game drills you can try:
While wedges may be a very big part to the short game, they are not everything. In fact you may find yourself from time to time even using a driver or fairway wood around the green. The time when this is necessary is when it’s a little too far to putt, but you still want to keep the ball somewhat on the green. You will see a lot of professionals use that shot, because they don’t want to get the ball in the air, so they don’t want to use a wedge. They want to keep it low and let it roll. It’s just like a putt, but at a time when it is impractical to put.
Now the last thing that isn’t really part of the short game, but can make the short game a lot easier is all of the shoots from basically 100 yards in. This is where you wedges will come into play again. You are going to want to put all of these shots pretty close. Imagine if you were to only make two shots every time you were inside 100 yards. You would shoot excellent rounds every time you golfed.
While the ability to hit the long ball can be very fun and impressive, it really does not show a person’s true ability on the golf course. If all you can do is drive the ball a long distance then I can tell you right now you are not a good scoring golfer. Now if you don’t hit the ball far at all, but your short game is almost perfect, then I can guarantee you that you are probably one of the best golfers around where you live. The short game is basically everything in golf. If it takes you two shots to get to the green, but three shots to put the ball in the hole then you’re not doing to well. Now imagine if it takes you two or even three shots to get to the green, but you only take one or two shots from there. You are obviously going to be scoring a lot better. As you can see the short game can be everything to the game of golf, and that does not include putting. That includes every shot you hit from 100 yards in.
Additional helpful articles on improving your short game can be found here: http://www.golf.com/instruction/short-game