Short shots around the greens can be demonizing for weekend golfers, and sometimes can even jump up and bite the best of the best out on the PGA Tour. As coaches, we’re always running through checklists to prescribe a change to a student’s form; one that will make the largest positive impact, in the shortest amount of time. In fact, many times it’s a very simple, though integral fix to change their shotmaking ability around for the better. Take a look at these three highlighted areas, and figure out which one is holding you back from hitting those crisp, predictable short shots time after time.
AROUND NOT DOWN
One of the most common mistakes I see from the club golfer, is a tilting of the shoulders backwards, away from the target, causing fat and thin shots. Notice how level to the ground my shoulders have finished, and how my right shoulder has turned past the point on the ground where the ball once was. This higher, more around right shoulder is a great visual, and a vital part in keeping the golf club moving around the body to the left in the follow thru.
Using this type of pivot, the golfer has the ability to hit multiple trajectory shots, depending on other factors, but is always right on target with clean contact. Check yourself with a smartphone to see that your trail shoulder isn’t moving too far down and back, in an effort to get the ball into the air.
KISS THE KNEES
A very simple way to improve your lower body action, is to imagine your knees kissing together into the follow thru. Way too often, golfers flex their right knee towards the ground aggressively, separating it from the left, and causing a stabbing action to the club head into the ground. Try focusing on the knees moving together in unison, as they both rotate towards the target evenly, leaving your kneecaps pointing more towards the target than when you started.
TIP THE SCALES
Last, but not least, is where the weight or pressure is distributed between your feet at the finish. You can have the best looking chipping motion in the world, but if you’re doing it while standing on your back foot, consistent contact will still be an issue. Keep the feet very close together, only one or two ball widths apart, and try hitting some short shots off of slight downhill lies to help you finish forward, not back.