Short Game Tips

The Short Game: Continued

100 yards and in:

Last week we discussed putting and some drills to improve your scoring on the green. This week we will discuss the scoring shots, the shots from 100 yards and in. These are where you will save the most shots in your overall score, giving you the opportunity to save par or bogey. Improvement in this area requires several hours of range time. Find a good range that provides a chipping area and a few close target greens. At Copper Hills, we do have areas for both your chipping and short game practice needs. When it comes to your short game you should devote 60 – 70% of your practice time in this area. Drive for show, putt for dough.


Chipping would include shots from 10 yards and in. Practice in this area will improve your up and down percentage.

The Circle Drill:
Take about 8 tees and encircle the hole 3 to 4 feet from the hole. This will give you a 6 to 8-foot circle. Practice using 6 balls and hit chip shots to your circle until you are able to get all 6 balls in the circle from one area. Move around the chipping green and repeat this drill several times. Once you are able to consistently get your chip shots inside the circle, you will then have only 3 to 4-foot putts to save your par.

Short game drills are intended to improve your greens hit, whether, in regulation or more, it is important to get the ball on the green in as few strokes as possible. Remember, it is always easier to get the ball in the hole from on the green putting, than to hit it in from off the green. Focus on getting the ball on the green.

Target Drill:
Many times it is not beneficial to go right at the hole with your approach shot. Many times it is better to aim away from the hole in order to achieve a better score. Take your medicine so to speak. The target drill is a great drill in this case. Pick out a target on or off the green that will allow you to get close to the pin without creating additional shots that will increase your score. Focus on that spot to land the ball and have it release towards the intended line. Think of it as a bank shot in a game of pool. Choose your spot and focus on that spot as the intended target. Forget the hole as the target. You will find this approach will begin to save you strokes and improve your overall score.

Longer Shots:
When working on shots from 20 yards to 100 yards, this area will require time and effort. Highly skilled golfers will segment much of their practice time to this area alone. There are several ways to approach practicing these shots, but all drills are looking for the same result. GET THE BALL ON THE GREEN!

Shortened Swing:
This drill requires trial and error. Work on your swing length to determine the distance the shot will travel with each club, making sure to take the club back the same length you take it through.

Choking down:
This drill will also require trial and error. Choking down on each club will reduce ball flight by approx 8 yards per inch choked down. This is a full swing drill. Remember to focus on your target and be committed to each shot. Taking the time to practice this part of the game will return great rewards in the long run.

Good Golfing!