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Bookmark and Share My Golf Tips - Short Game

One thing you soon realise when you start to play golf is just how much choice is available when it comes to choosing equipment. Every year, manufacturers produce new drivers with the promise they that will add even more distance to our shots and help us become better players and every year, millions of golfers buy into this promise by ditching their old drivers and getting newer technology.
Research has proven the average golfer is hitting the ball further now than they ever have before, and this is largely due to improvements in club design, but here’s the thing… over the last 20 years, the average golf handicap has not improved by even a single shot!

The reason for this is simple; golfers are not improving the most important aspect of the game of golf, the short game.
The short game encompasses all the finesse shots within 100 yards of the green and includes pitching, chipping and putting. The short game makes up approx 70% of the total shots you play in a round of golf and therefore has a huge influence on your overall score.

The only way you will enjoy continued improvement and consistently lower scores is to improve your skills in this area.
Below are some tips on how to improve one of the aspects of the short game, chipping.
Chipping takes place near to the green and the task is to get the ball as close to the hole as possible. As power is not a requirement for this part of the game, there is no reason that it cannot be mastered by any golfer once they understand some of the key points to the technique.
Picking the correct club for the shot you are about to play is a key part of successful chipping and to do this we must first understand the effect different clubs will have on the ball.
The diagram below will show you how the ball will react differently from different numbered clubs.

7 iron = 25% air / 75% roll
9 iron = 50% air / 50% roll
SW    = 75% air / 25% roll
As you can see from the diagram, the amount of time the ball spends in the air vs. rolling along the ground is dependent on which club is being used. Knowing this information is vital if you are to succeed in consistently getting the ball close to the hole.

When you next find yourself chipping onto the green, ask yourself these two questions:
1) Where exactly do I want the ball to land? (This point should be on the green and be as flat as possible.)

2) How far is this chosen point in relation to the overall distance of the shot?
Once you have answered these questions you can use the information you have learnt in the diagram above to pick the club that is best suited to the task. For example, if the landing point is halfway to the hole then the club required would be the 9 iron (50% air/50% roll).
When practising, I encourage you to try using different clubs, as this will provide you with a greater variety of shots around the green. If you only ever use one particular club for chipping, your short game can become one-dimensional.
Good Golfing!

Peter Parks PGA