When it comes to practicing your golf swing or skills almost everyone tends to emphasize either the long drives – which are very exciting – or their putting skills. In between these are the short game swings, pitching and chipping. Pitching is when the ball misses the green and is too close for a driving shot but too far away for a chip shot and requires a lot of height, though limited distance. A chip shot is used when the ball is just off the green and may or may not require a little air, though the emphasis is just on getting the ball on the green as close to the hole as possible. Short game shots also tend to be employed to circumvent or escape obstacles on the course, like sand traps or rough.
The reason the short game shots tend to receive a lot less practice – and therefore are much more difficult for many amateurs – is because they are extremely different every time, so it almost impossible to train for every scenario. In fact it is entire possible to spend a week practicing your short game and then run into a shot you are wholly unprepared for the first game out. As a consequence, many people opt to emphasize their long shots and putting and just improvise their way through any short shots that may come up during the game.
Nevertheless, there are some good bits of general golf short game tips that can help you develop and effective short game, even without spending as much time practicing as a professional does. For example, one common mistake found among amateurs is just using a single club for almost all of their short shots, a particular wedge for example, without taking the time to experiment with the other short game clubs available. This is frequently a mistake if you do not have hundreds of hours of practice with your chosen club, as is the case with the professionals. Instead, amateurs wanting to perform well in a live game should probably carefully consider which short shot club is most likely to give the desired result.
It is also absolutely essential to remember that the left hand (for a right handed player, and vice versa for a left handed one) controls the club face. This is true of all shots and should be taken into account throughout your game, but it is particular important when it comes to your short shots. Quite simple, there are many different types of short shots that need to be mastered in order to play at a professional level, and while most amateurs cannot be expected to do this, placing a heavy emphasis on the importance of ensuring that the left hand keeps the club face in its proper place is vital. For this reason, most experienced instructors recommend that new players should train with their left hand only much of the time, just to get your left hand accustomed to the proper movements.
It is also frequently recommended that when practicing short shots, you should spend half the time practicing in sand and half the time practicing pitching. Playing on sand obviously changes everything, so becoming familiar with this can be extremely helpful. As for the pitch, once you have good pitching skills and well practiced putting, then chipping comes together fairly easily since it is something of a combination of the two. Therefore, playing on sand and building your pitching skills should take priority