Pro Golf Tips: Short game, Short Course, Lower Scores
When a new student comes to me for the first time, we spend several minutes talking about their game, their practice habits, their physical abilities and limitations, and lastly, what their goal is in getting some instruction. Inevitably I get a handful of answers and two of them are easily the most common. The second answer is consistency and the number one answer is, you guessed it, more distance.
The definition of consistency is steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc. It is rare that consistency exists in this game. Even the best players in the world struggle from time to time and they practice their skills all day, every day. Finding some simple fundamentals to focus on and spending some time at the practice facility is your best road to a more consistent game.
Distance can be increased in several ways. First and foremost, working on your body flexibility will bring you more distance. Secondly, proper ball position and grip relative to your swing will also help you with distance. Lastly, creating width in your swing is essential to adding yardage to your drives.
All this being said, the quickest and most effective way of lowering your scores is to learn the proper techniques and improve your short game. Statistically, putting accounts for at least 30 to 50 percent of your strokes. Chipping and pitching take place on nearly every hole you play so do not underestimate their value. Spend more than half of your practice time on your short game and you will see immediate results in your scores.
The next few weeks I will give you some simple and easy ideas on improving your techniques with your short game. The first and easiest way to begin is to spend time playing short courses like the six-hole par 3 course at the Peninsula State Park Golf Course. I have always loved playing par 3 courses and it has always helped improve my short game, and in turn, lowering my scores.
Matt Stottern is Director of Instruction at Peninsula State Park Golf Course. He coached college golf for six seasons and has also coached Nike Junior Camps for six years. He has 12 years of experience as a Head Golf Professional.