Having a plan for short game success is critical to improvement from inside 100 yards. Any plan should begin with one that fits your game, and a wedge system you can rely on for a variety of shots from different lies. For most this system will include 3-4 wedges from 48 to 60 degrees.
Proper length, loft, lie and bounce angles can be determined during the fitting process.
Once complete we can move on toward what you need to provide the best results from inside the scoring zones.
Visualization is a key component to achieving consistent results. Begin by doing your most effective practice with your coach on the golf course. Work from different yardages and from a variety of different lies. This will give you the necessary confidence you need to take what it is you do in practice on to the golf course. While working, visualize the trajectory you wish the ball to travel, and fit your shot and club selection to that trajectory. From closer to the green, visualize the spot you wish the ball to land on, and tailor the length of your swing to that spot. Use a clock system for all shots inside of 100 yards, meaning if you have a 100 yard shot with a 52 degree wedge you may want to have a takeaway to the 11 o’clock position on the clock and a follow through to the 1 o’clock position of the clock. Regardless of the shot, see your target, and visualize the results you are trying to achieve. I encourage all players to speak out loud as they prepare to hit a shot with their coach close by, this creates great dialog, and confidence that the student is repeating what it is the coach wants them to do.
Feel is simply the relationship between the hands, body, club and ground. Feel takes into account many different variables, of which include tension within the body. So let’s say this right now, LOSE THE TENSION IN YOUR BODY, specifically the hands, arms and shoulders. Sound fundamentals for feel include those that use the length of the grip to your advantage. By gripping up and down the grip (thus shortening and lengthening the club), a player can effectively alter distance and trajectory with the same swing. The speed of the hands is also critical when it comes to the clubs ability to work through the ball. When the hands slow down, the club works ahead in a way that results in a variety of poor shots (heavy & thin), so maintaining the speed of the hands through the ball is critical. As well, feel your distances by working to different targets without a yardage finder, allowing the length of your swing to produce a shot that’s specific to that distance.
Believing in what you are doing is in large part the most important thing for a player. When executing your next shot, commit to the process, commit to what it is you have been working on. If you do not believe in the fundamentals you are working on or something feels off, then normally your instincts are correct. So believing you can hit the shot you are attempting is critical, and critical to your ability to repeating it, often.
In closing, select a coach who is specific to your needs, today’s PGA Professional is trained in a variety of ways to improve your game, both on a mental and physical level. Commit to your improvement of the short game today.