Developing a short game

Eric Koeman

Q: I am a 5 handicap golfer with a big problem. My shortgame is totally underdevelopped compared to my long game. In fact, Its quite terrible for someone of my caliber despite the 5-6 hours per week that i devote to practice the short game. 80% of my ractice time actually. In practice, I can hit any shot but in matches, I completely struggle often by duffing or double hitting. I'm a good student of the game and I've worked with the Dave Peltz method to a "T" but it's helped me for the over 40 yard shots and not the 20-40 yard short chip shot. The more i practice, the more pressure I put on myself and the worse it gets. So i fear taking a lesson or hiring a coach for this reason. Do I have the chipping yips? What is my problem and how can I overocme it? I know what to do but can't visualize this shot anymor because of all the negative reinforcment that i have. It's been like this for over 4 years now. What should I do?

A: If I had a major problem for very long with any part of my game I would change what I do. Four years of trying a certain method and still failing is about 3 years and 11 months longer than I would have gone. A valid definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a difference result. I would give a different method a try without even giving it a second thought. I might suggest to you a method that is quite different than Dave Peltz's; Stan Utley's short game ideas. He has written several articles and two books on the subject. One of the books is on putting only and the other book is on chipping and pitching.