By Tyrus York, SwingFix instructor
Most of us have been told of the importance the short game has in a round of golf. I would also be willing to guess that most of you have experienced the importance of the short game first-hand.
But somehow, I still hear the argument that it doesn’t make sense to spend a majority of your time practicing the short game until you become a better ball-striker. After all, you have to hit the ball good enough to get it close to the green to use your short game.
Although in theory this may be true, chances are if you are reading this, you have probably spent more than your fair share of time working on your full swing.
The problem is that when you neglect your short game, you put more pressure on your approach shots into the green. You know you have to hit a good shot because if you miss, your short game may not be good enough to bail you out by saving par.
And the problem is only compounded when you are standing on the tee. Knowing that you have to have a good approach to have a good score, now the pressure is on hitting a good drive to make sure you have a chance to make a solid approach.
By having confidence in your short game, you know that a wayward drive won’t automatically spell disaster. You’ll also know that if you miss a green in regulation that par is still a very possible option.
I recommend for most of my students that they spend at least half of their practice time working on the short game (putting, chipping and pitching). For my advanced students, I will increase the time spent on short game. There simply is no substitute for the confidence you can instill into your entire game just from being more confident on and around the greens.
Practicing your short game (or full swing for that matter) is not always enough, however. It can do just as much harm to your game to go out there and practice doing the wrong things.
Get with a PGA professional at least a few times per year to make sure you are practicing the correct fundamentals. This will expedite the process of gaining more confidence around the greens.
Take a lesson with Tyrus York.