The Weekend Golfers Short Game
If you're like me, a weekend warrior golfer, then no doubt you struggle with your game from about 50 feet out into the green. Every time I hit my 2nd (or 3rd shot on a par 5) into the green and land it forty to sixty feet away I cringe at the thought of having to make a chip shot to land with in two putt range from the pin. For most beginner to intermediate golfers chipping is a very difficult part of their game. This is for two reasons, it does require quite a bit of skill and we don't practice it enough. What's the number one thing most recreational golfers practice? Their drive right, we spend hours on end at the driving range trying straighten out our drives, get a few more yards out of it. Yet if we spent only half that time working on our short game we'd see amazing results in lower scores and increased accuracy.
Up to two thirds of our game is played in and around the green, yet most holes only have one drive (unless you put it in the woods or a water hazard), and of course par threes don't even require a wood or long iron. Yet we continue to practice our drive, and not work on chipping. I have a few theories about this, chipping isn't as glamorous as using your driver, not as many people see you chipping as they do off the tee box so you want to look good for others, and you can't brag that well about a perfect chip to putt in for par as you can about your 250 yard drive on number 7 this morning. How ever the smart amateur golfers will heed my warning when I say, practice makes perfect in golf, and practicing chipping and learning the skills needed to make chip shots consistently will reduce your handicap. So what do you need to know to make great chip shots.
The first thing is your skill set, know what your capable of don't try to be super man recognize what you can and cannot do. For most beginner golfers using a hybrid club or fairway wood is best it allows you to keep good control of the ball and be consistent. If you're a golfer in the high eighties or low nineties give your 8-iron a try, it's a little more technical to chip the ball and roll it but with practice it can be mastered. What so many of us do is go right for our pitching wedge, or sand wedge and try to flop the ball perfectly on the green and we end of sending it flying over the green, off to the side, or only 10 feet in front of us. Those clubs should be restricted to golfers under 80 to perfect. Again know your skill set, and practice practice practice. Remember spending time on that two thirds of your game will pay off.
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