Golf is really a thinking man's game. No doubt you've heard having said this a thousand times. However when they talk about golf being a thinking man's game, they're primarily talking about the short game. Shots beyond 125 yards are rather basic. You select a golf club, choose a target, and hit the ball with a full swing. Shots from 125 yards in are more varied. Two balls lying 5 yards apart and merely 30 yards from the hole may require different shot strategies and techniques.
Understanding the short game is the key to golf. It's also key to cutting your golf handicap. A shot from 150 yards out requires a couple of decisions. But a shot from 20 yards or 30 yards away requires several decisions. Considerations include lie, pin placement, kind of shot, kind of swing, and so forth. This is exactly why I tell players taking my golf lessons when they're seriously interested in improving their game, they have to delve deep in to the short game.
Two Ways to Go
Two kinds of shots dominate the short game-low running shots and high floating shots. Low running shots are preferable to high floating shots because they're simpler to control. They're also easier to hit. High floating shots can result in mis-hits, so you want to avoid them, if you can.
Hitting a minimal running shot, take a slightly open stance, play the ball back in your stance, square the clubface, keep the hands in front of the clubhead, and swing shallow and U-shaped. Also, maintain firm wrists through the swing, don't release the clubhead at impact, and finish low and abbreviated.
To hit a higher floating shot, have a slightly open stance, take part in the ball forward inside your stance, open the clubface, keep your hands even with the clubface, and swing steep and V-shaped. Also, keep the wrist actively hinging, make use of a full release at impact, and finish full as well as in balance.
Focus on hitting both types of shots used, as I've said during my golf tips. Understanding how to control these shots may be the foundation of a great short game. Also, don't throttle back or attempt to hit a three-quarter- swing with one of these shots. Take a full swing. Some players have to practice hitting these shots with a full swing to convince themselves of this.
In my golf lessons I breakdown short game play right into a few basic principals. The most crucial of these are most likely that your forward swing should match your backswing long and speed, and that the pace of the swing should not slow until after impact. Below are some other key principals I discuss in golf instructions sessions on the short game.
Never swing hard having a short club.
With rare exceptions, you shouldn't swing the 8-iron, 9-iron, or wedges with full force. The short game is about control. If you need more distance use a longer club.
Survey the land before hitting.
Hitting accurate shots from 125 yards or shorter requires you to understand such things as slope, kinds of grass, sand textures, the effect of moisture, and the type of bounce and roll you'll get in various regions of the green.
You shouldn't be cute.
When dealing with a higher, floating shot on the bunker, creek, or ridge, don't try to hit it near to the pin. Hit it to the green and be satisfied with a 20-foot putt or perhaps a 40-foot putt. Good short game play is all about strategies, skills, and percentages-not hitting miracle shots.
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