Hit your short shots hard
Acceleration through impact is as vital to the short game as it is with your longer irons and woods.
It is the only way to put proper backspin on these shots, for maximum control. So be crisp and aggressive on even your shortest shot, leading the club-head with your hands as you make a descending hit on the ball.
One way to check yourself is to imagine the short-shot swing as a race between your hands and the club-head, with your left knee as the finish line. If your hands don’t win that race every time, you need to develop a faster, harder-hitting technique.
Chipping is like putting – it’s built around feel and confidence -and if you can find a method that works for you, you should stick with it, no matter how strange it may seem.
There are a few undeniable laws of the short game, and one of them is to grip down on the club. Once you are within about 50 yards of the hole, start choking down on the grip. The shorter the shot you are facing, the shorter grip you take.
There are two reasons for this. First, it improves touch. By gripping down on the club you put your hands closer to the club and the ball, and that enhances your feel for the short shot – it is almost as if you’re tossing the ball.
Second, by shortening the distance between your hands and the club-head, you curtail the arc of the swing. This automatically shortens the shot without you having to make big adjustments in your swing length or pace. You can make a crisp, authoritative swing without worrying about hitting the ball well past the pin.
Mark W. Mobley is the assistant golf pro at the Eagle-Vail Golf Club. He can be reached at (970) 949-5267.