Good Short Game Practice Leads to Lower Scores

My time on the PGA Tour was a fantastic experience even though it was cut short due to injuries. I learned a lot from competing with the best players in the world. One of the things I realized was: the great players spend a lot of time on their short games-putting, chipping, pitching and sand shots.

Many of the established PGA Tour Players spent a lot of time practicing the chip-and-run shot with a 6 or 7 iron -even though we would not hit the chip shot very often during our round. I first thought-WOW what a waste of time, but I finally figured out that those chips shots were not only sharpening their short games, but helping them to hit all their shots better-short shots and full swings.

On the chip and pitch shots, your weight is on your left side, your right foot/knee begins the forward motion in your stroke, and hands are ahead of the ball at address and impact-just like you do for 90% of your full shots.

One of the our favorite drills at our Academy for chipping and pitching is to put two clubs down parallel to your target line 6-10 inches apart.

Take a 6 or 7 iron, Positioned the ball off the inside of your right foot, weight 60% on your left foot, choke down an inch or two on the grip (more for very short shots-less for longer shots), slightly open stance (10-15 degrees). feet 8-10 inches apart. Put a ball 2 feet in front of the ball you are going to hit (on the target-line) and one 2 feet behind it (on the target-line). See pictures below.

purtzer2007-Paul-chipping-fThe path of the club head should be straight back and straight thru (technically, the club head will travel slightly inside the target-line on the backswing back thru the ball and slightly inside the target-line on the finish and between the 2 clubs on the ground).

purtzer2007-Paul-Chipping-d

The 6 or 7 iron is used mostly for shots where you are a few feet off the green and have 20 yards or more to the hole. After practicing with the 6 or 7, move back away from the green a few feet and use your 8 iron, move back away from the green a few more feet and use your 9 iron, pitching wedge, sand wedge, etc.

It is important that you keep your stroke compact so you can accelerate thru the shot-make sure your hands  lead the club head thru impact and finish with your hands low and the club head low-do not flip your wrists at impact.

Practice this and you will hit more solid, accurate shots that end up in the hole.

As always, we hope this will help you enjoy this great game even more!

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