My definition of the short game is any shot within 50 yards of the hole. That includes putting, which might be the most important shot to master. However, today we are going to talk about shots from off the green. The simplest way to think about short game is to ask yourself, what do I want the ball to do? The planning and visualization process is probably a key to having a great short game. Here is what is involved:
- What sort of lie is your ball in? Good lies allow for many possibilities. Poor lies usually dictate fewer choices.
- Where do you want to land the ball? If possible, you are looking for a flat spot that offers a predictable reaction when the ball hits.
- How will the ball react? For example, if the ground is firm, the first bounce will be a big one. If it is soft or wet, the ball will check.
- Visualize the flight, landing, bouncing and roll out of the golf ball. If you can't see it prior to hitting it, you will have a tough time producing the shot.
- Finally, create a pre-shot routine that allows you to see it, feel it and execute it. In other words, visualize the shot, take a practice swing to rehearse the shot and then aim the club and hit the ball.
As we go, we will talk about the techniques needed to produce any shot you want to hit around the green. For now, think about the process of planning and executing listed above whenever you are faced with an up and down possibility.