Short games are made within 100 yards and are on or near the green. Taking closer shots may seem easier in theory, but you should work on improving your short game just as much as you would work to improve any other game.
If you’re looking to improve your golf game, there’s no better place to start than with your putting. Many amateur golfers overlook the importance of a good putting game and focus too much on their drive. While a powerful drive is important, it’s ultimately your putts that will determine your score.
Check out our golf tips if you want to improve your putting game and become a consistent putter.
1. Don’t Freeze and Follow Through
Having the proper set-up and posture throughout the entire swing is just as important for short shots as it is for any other. Instead of cutting off parts of the swing, you are shrinking the movements down, so your putter stays closer to your body.
On your backswing, hinge your wrist to keep your club closer to you. Then, allow your body to turn while making your swing. Keeping your body frozen will cut off the rest of your swing, making you unable to follow through properly. Finally, turn towards your target while making your downswing.
When practicing your short game, check on your alignment and see if your body is properly turning with your club and towards your target. Your movement should be controlled. If not, you need to practice your stroke.
2. Keep Your Movement Limited
Just as mentioned above, your movements will be smaller because you are closer to the hole. Instead of having a powerful shot that will cross hundreds of yards, you need to focus on accuracy. A good putting stroke should be fluid and consistent, with no sudden jerks or pauses. The club should move smoothly back and forth along the line of the putt, without veering off to the side.
Finding the right balance of power and accuracy will take practice. Your practice routine should include several shots with different levels of body movement. Practice with different hinges of your wrist and how far you move your golf club.
With keeping your movement limited, you should also be limiting your backswing. The bigger your backswing, the less control you have over the club and, consequently, the practice stroke. Practice making your backswing smaller and feel the change of control that you have.
3. Be Consistent
It is well known to golfers that practice makes perfect. Putting hours of practice into your short game, especially now that you have experimented with different levels of control, will build muscle memory so you can easily hit short and avoid bad putts.
Whenever you have the time for a bit of practice, do remember to use The Stacker. This smart golf accessory allows you to have your golf balls arranged in a pyramid and regiment your shots, so all your clubs get the same amount of attention without having to count balls. And The Stackers looks so much nicer than a bucket anyway.
Using a golf ball pyramid gives you access to many golf balls right at your side. This makes setting up your swing fast and easy, so you can practice over and over again without spending a lot of time retrieving your ball and resetting it.
4. Keep Your Stroke Circular
All strokes are circular because there is always a degree of arc in the swing. You have your backswing as the start of the circle, and then it moves forward at a slight curve before moving up. With a short stroke, that circular motion will be much smaller but is still there.
Circular movements allow the player to keep their swing fluid and easy to control. Allow your swing to keep its natural arc as you make the motion smaller. A good way to do this is by keeping your upper arms closer to your body.
5. Take a Few Practice Shots with Your Eyes Closed
There are several good reasons why taking a shot with your eyes closed is good for practice. First, it allows you to become better tuned in with the environment. Golfers should have a good understanding of the terrain around them. You can practice this sense by closing your eyes.
Taking short shots with your eyes closed can also help you feel the movements. Sometimes, golfers get so worried about the details right in front of them that it compromises their movement. If you take our advice and close your eyes during your shot, you get to feel how you are supposed to move through your swing without the rest of the world distracting you.
Take a few practice swings with your eyes closed and see how you do. It will be harder to keep good form with closed eyes, but it will force your body to learn the corrections quicker.
6. Get Feedback
It’s always good to get feedback after each shot. Have your team with you as you are practicing on the practice green and allow them to provide feedback after each shot. Just as you should study each shot after you’ve taken it, having other people provide feedback can help you keep an eye on the issues and allow you to get better.
If you don’t have anyone that can offer feedback or don’t want to rely on their advice, you can always buy putting mats that have lines on them to show how well or poorly you have swung. That way, you’ll have visual input for how you are doing and can easily make corrections based on the feedback.
7. Have a Good Grip
One of the most important things to remember when improving your short game is that you should always have a good grip. Where and how you grip the club is going to determine how much control you have over the entire swing.
It would be wise to invest in a good putter that fits your height and hand size for the perfect grip. Putters come in many different shapes and sizes, with the most common being the blade putter and the mallet putter.
Each person will have a different grip that gives them the most control. Take some time to experiment with different grips to see which one works best for you. Also, take a look at the grip that your club has. Many have flat tops which are where your thumbs should go, allowing your palms to rest around the grip to give you the most control possible.
Practice balls are designed to help players improve their game. They are usually made of softer materials, so they do not travel as far as regular golf balls.
Foam golf balls
Foam golf practice balls are the lightest and cheapest option. If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful solution for your practice golf sessions, then foam golf balls are the way to go. These balls are designed to bounce just like regular golf balls, but they’re much softer and won’t damage your clubs if you happen to miss-hit one. Foam practice balls are also great for indoor practice, as they won’t break anything if you accidentally hit them off-course.
The main downside of foam golf balls is that they don’t fly quite as far as regular golf balls, so you might find yourself having to adjust your shot slightly when using them. However, this is a small price to pay for the convenience and affordability of foam golf balls.
Plastic golf balls
Plastic practice balls are in the middle when it comes to price and weight. They fly a little further than foam balls but not as far as rubber ones. Plastic balls are designed for indoor use only. They are soft and have low compression, making them ideal for hitting against walls or other hard surfaces. Plastic practice golf balls are also very cheap, so they are a good option for those on a budget.
One downside of plastic practice balls is that they do not fly as far as other types of practice balls. Plastic balls also tend to wear down quickly if used on rough surfaces, such as concrete. Overall, plastic balls are a good choice for indoor practicing and beginners who are just starting out.
Have Fun Practicing
No matter what, you should always remember to have fun when practicing your short game. Getting frustrated or stressed out will cause you to lose focus which will make you lose control. When you are having fun, you are relaxed and will be able to go through the motions with more ease.
We know there are many different types of putter heads on the market, so it is important to find one that suits your individual playing style and can help you with speed control, as well as distance control. For example, some golfers prefer a heavier head for more stability, while others prefer a lighter head for more accuracy. Ultimately, it is up to the individual golfer to experiment with different heads to find what works best for them.
Now that you have these tips, you are sure to get better short-game scores in no time!