The Short Game

The short game is the part of the game concerned with approach shots. You have medium and short shots, pitching shots, chipping around the green and putting. No matter what shot you are about to execute, pretend there is a dime in front of the ball and you are actually trying to strike the dime. Your club should not stab at the ball; the motion should be a continuous rhythmic motion through the ball past your target-side leg.

Some people can pick out a target on the green and land the ball there; others use the feel method for chips and pitches. This can only be mastered by repetition. Your sessions at the range should be 70/30 ratio practicing your short game.

Players on the tour spent a lot of time around the green (sand and grass) trying to get the ball up and down for their par. It is a small wonder they actually hole out several of these shots.

Once you have the confidence in your short game the fear of missing greens goes away and becomes a fun challenge to get up and down. Your opponents will respect your golfing ability even more when you can save pars no matter what the situation.


Putting is the most important part of the game. You will score about half your shots on the green. Putting is all about feeling. There are a couple of technical tips that will help you, but it is mostly feel.

There are two techniques to learn in putting: the speed and the break. They define the direction to hit the ball and how hard to hit it. This too is a skill that can only be learned by doing it.

  • keep the putter head over the target line

  • Move from the shoulders, keep hands still

  • Rhythm, rhythm, rhythm.

  • Strike thought the ball with confidence.

  • Keep eyes over the ball when addressing it.

  • All putts should roll 2-3 feet past the hole.

“…most important….. ball go in hole” - Dan da’man


Chipping technique

This is the swing you would use around the green. Ideally you want to strike the ball so it rolls up to three feet past the hole. This is a smooth short swing that resembles the putting technique, though you can use many other motions to get the ball to the hole - the are all good if they work.

  • Weight on target side foot.

  • Hands forward

  • Ball position in back of stance.

  • Face of club open, slightly.

  • Raise the heel of the club slightly.



Pitching technique

Pitching shots are approach shots that are 100 yards or less from the green. With these shots you can choose a high ball flight or a low one. You could choose a ball to check or release. I like to think these are all about feel: see the shot and let your instincts take over. This swing technique is somewhere between chipping and a full swing, a little more controlled and focusing on a clean strike to the ball.

  • Arms and shoulders should take the club back.

  • Initiate swing by turning your chest to hit the shot with soft hands.

  • Weight distributed evenly.

  • Ball position more in the center of the stance.

  • Face of club open, slightly.