Short Game

Even the most skilled golfers can find themselves struggling with the all-important short game. But when your chipping goes awry, how do you get it back on track? 2009 PGA Teacher of the Year Mike Bender can help in this week's "Free Lesson Friday."

For Your Game

 

Full Short Game library

1.
Chipping out of a bad lie
PGA Professional Quinn Griffing demonstrates how to best get your ball out of a bad lie near the green
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2.
A drill to help make short putts
It's no secret that under pressure one of the most nerve-racking golf experiences is the 4-to-6-foot putt.
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3.
The best chipping drills for consistency
The most important idea in chipping is to swing the clubhead at a descending angle, with the clubhead behind the hands. At impact, the shaft and body must be leading towards the target. The hand and wrist action should be minimal. Imagine the clubhead is shoving the ball into the ground.
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4.
No Swaying while Chipping
When chipping, most of your weight should remain on your front foot and your lower body should remain very quiet throughout the stroke. However, a common tendency is to sway during the stroke and that leads to inconsistency. Try this drill the next time you practice your chipping:
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5.
No Peeking When Chipping
Many players lift their head too soon when chipping because they are eager to see where the ball is going, or they try to help the ball into the air, which causes them to look up too soon. This leads to very inconsistent contact.
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6.
No Peeking When Chipping
Many players lift their head too soon when chipping because they are eager to see where the ball is going, or they try to help the ball into the air, which causes them to look up too soon. This leads to very inconsistent contact.
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7.
A Lesson Learned: Pitch out of thick rough
The purpose of 'A Lesson Learned' is to find the one shot or type of shot that helped determine a winner at the week's feature event and use it as a way to help YOUR game. But what shot do you pick this week? Just kidding.
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8.
A Lesson Learned: Chipping when wet
Once again, inclement weather plays a part on the PGA Tour - this time leading to a Monday finish. One of the beauties - and challenges - of golf is that it's an outdoor game. Wind, heat and rain are all part of what makes this great game such a great challenge.
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9.
A Lesson Learned: Short game distance control
Wow, wow and wow what a fantastic 2012 Honda Classic!
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10.
A Lesson Learned: David vs. Goliath
Sunday's shootout in the desert was a classic David versus Goliath confrontation as Mark Wilson and Robert Garrigus went toe to toe in the final round and David came out on top.
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11.
A Lesson Learned: To pull the pin or not?
It was another great tournament and great playoff finish for The Heritage this past weekend.
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12.
Overcoming Thick, Greenside Rough
The rough at Sahalee Country Club during the 80th PGA Championship measured anywhere from 4-6 inches. Our members had been playing those conditions for the few months leading up to the event and have a better understanding of the shots required to recover from the high, dense grass.
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13.
Executing the Perfect Pitch Shot
That troublesome 20-30 yard pitch shot is easier than you think. Learn to hit a variety of pitch shots by relaxing your arms to allow them to work around your body.
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14.
Lag for Lower Scores
One of the predominant problems that most golfers suffer from is poor judgment on the putting green. Poor judgment is, simply not understanding the goal for each individual putt. Most high handicap and even some very good intermediate players think the goal is to make every putt they look at.
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15.
Short Game: Lever vs. Non-Lever
One of the most important decisions you will have to make around the green when playing is whether or not to use a lever action or non-lever action.
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16.
To Chip or Pitch
Any golfer wishing to lower his or her scores needs to learn how to control the ball's height and speed around the green. This key aspect of the short game is largely determined by a player's knowledge of two important shots -- the chip-and-run and the pitch.
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17.
Better Chipping
We've all had days when the swing felt perfect and our scores reflected that confidence. But unfortunately, we all know the days where the swing feels out of sorts and the scorecard reflects that as well.
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18.
Release Back Foot for More Effective Chips
The most common flaw I see in pitching is swinging flat-footed. By this I mean the trailing foot. Releasing the trailing foot (letting it roll towards the toe) makes it easier for the player to keep the hands in front of the clubhead.
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19.
Avoid the Wrong Shot in Your Short Game
As we all know, the short game is where we score or try to score that low number. But for many high handicappers, this is where their problems really start.
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20.
A Lesson Learned: Mickelson's mastery of the pinestraw nets him third green jacket
The shot of the week in this year's Masters (shot of the decades?) was from champion Phil Mickelson; an artful threading of a 6 iron between two trees and over Rae's Creek on the par 5, 13th hole.
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