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Eldbee

Short game training ideas

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I have identified whilst playing with a bunch of professionals out here in Portugal that it is not ball striking that separates the best players from the rest it is mainly down to short game. I like to use drills and such in my short game practice, putting and chipping tests etc. I was wandering if anybody had any good ones they were willing to share so I can mix my practice up a bit?

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In terms of putting, I spend most of my time hitting putts inside 10 ft.

I put 10 tees down every ft, starting at 1 ft.  I start at the 1 ft putt and don' t move to the next tee until I sink 3 in a row. I try to find as flat a spot I can do this, so I can focus on speed and not the line. This drill REALLY helps me get the feel for the speed of the greens.  Not to mention this just builds confidence and gives you something to refer to on the course for those knee-knockers.

You can also time your self how long it takes to complete the drill and sink 3 in a row at the 10 ft mark. I don't usually time myself, but if I remember correctly, something around the 30 min mark is a good time.

In terms of a lag putting drill i have never really had much of a drill, however I just read in Golf Digest a drill Paula Creamer uses.

She puts two tees one 20 ft away and one 22 ft away in a line (this is an uphill putt).  And she tries to stop 3 in a row inside the two tees.  Once she does, she does the same drill but for downhill.

The first drill will help you sink those birdie putts!

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I go to an open field, like a school baseball field, and put towels on the ground at various distances / directions from each other. I then spend hours chipping all different distances, off of a lot of different lies. I work my way through all my wedges that way.

I also go to the beach (in the off season) and practice with my sand wedge. I'll set a bucket down and practice chipping into it (or as the case may be, close to it).

For putting I place two rows of tees in the ground just a little larger then my putter is wide. I practice stroking between the tees. If your swing is not straight I know right away cause I will hit a tee.

Those are just a few, I'm sure others have dozens of other practice ideas. I find I need to try different things, in different places cause practice can get pretty boring for me if I'm doing the same think over and over again.

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Originally Posted by cooke119

I go to an open field, like a school baseball field, and put towels on the ground at various distances / directions from each other. I then spend hours chipping all different distances, off of a lot of different lies. I work my way through all my wedges that way.

I also go to the beach (in the off season) and practice with my sand wedge. I'll set a bucket down and practice chipping into it (or as the case may be, close to it).

For putting I place two rows of tees in the ground just a little larger then my putter is wide. I practice stroking between the tees. If your swing is not straight I know right away cause I will hit a tee.

Those are just a few, I'm sure others have dozens of other practice ideas. I find I need to try different things, in different places cause practice can get pretty boring for me if I'm doing the same think over and over again.

I dont know how to quote a single line so i quoted the whole thing!

Anyways, you say you will know if your putting stroke is "straight" or not?

The putting stroke is actually supposed to be an arc, not straight. If that was a typo or I misinterpreted I apologize.  But if you didn't know about the putting arc, you're welcome!

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Well if you have an open area you could chip on. Then get this TOMMY ARMOUR Pop-Up Chipping Net - SportsAuthority.com and test yourself with distance or accuracy or both.

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Originally Posted by Eldbee

I have identified whilst playing with a bunch of professionals out here in Portugal that it is not ball striking that separates the best players from the rest it is mainly down to short game. I like to use drills and such in my short game practice, putting and chipping tests etc. I was wandering if anybody had any good ones they were willing to share so I can mix my practice up a bit?

There are plenty of threads on this forum that demonstrate that short game DOES NOT necessarily lead to the lowest scores. Ball striking prowess, which will increase Greens in Regulation, is better for your scores that short game because if you hit more greens you won;t need short game as much (that's if you exclude putting). Check out the 65/25/10 practice ratio thread, for example.

However, short game certainly is very important, as is putting (probably more so at your level). I also enjoy it more - to me it's like meditation to spend 2 hours chipping/pitching/putting whereas full swings can drive me nuts - so I have developed a few practice ideas that always help me.

1) Take your putter, place it on the green next to a hole you want to shoot at, and put a tee in the green where your putter face sits. It is approximately 3 feet from the hole (unless you have a long putter). Do that several times until you have made a circle with a 3-foot radius around the hole. Now practice 20 yard chips from that distance until you can put 5 IN A ROW in the circle. If you're really good, make it 10, or do 4 of 5. Whatever challenges you. Then move to a different location and/or hole and hit 10-15 yard chips until you do another 5 in a row. Finally, do some really short chips  from just on the fringe. I usually won;t leave until I've holed one AND done 5 in a row.

2) For pitching practice from 30-40 yards, I usually extend the radius to 4 feet and do 4 of 5 because I'm not quite as accurate yet, but do the same drill from two locations. I usually do one to a hole where the green slopes down, and another where it slopes up, from slightly different distances.

3) I do a 5 foot radius for green side bunker shots. Same drill.

If you get really good, you can finish this drill in 30 minutes to an hour and you'll know you are a stud around the greens. If you can put any ball 40 yards and closer from the pin (from a reasonable lie) to within 5 feet more than 80% of the time, you'll have no excuse not to lead your foursome in scrambling, unless their names are Mickelson, Donald, and Kite.  I usually do this routine and then start practicing shots from hillside lies, deep rough, over fences, flop shots, whatever. I'm probably like a 15-18 handicap overall, but my short game is near scratch.

I also recommend competitive practice. Get a group of guys and play 10 short game shots, almost like HORSE in basketball. Another good drill to do once in a while is to do steps 1-3 above, but take ten shots from each spot regardless of how good they are and figure out where your strengths are. Practice those more often.

For putting, I believe firmly that lag putting (40+ feet) and short putts of 8 feet and less are where you should spend the majority of your time. If you can become adept at these, the tweeners will come. Even the best putters in history couldn't make more than 50% of all putts from greater than 8 feet consistently. I also have this putting track thing made by Dave Pelz that I use for 20-30 foot putts when I practice. Look it up on Pelz Golf website if you're interested. It's like $40. You could probably make one yourself for $5 with a thin piece of wood, two marbles, and a marker. It allows you to determine, when you practice, how well you struck the putt AND if you read the green well. Often people practice putting not knowing if it's their green reading or stroke that is the big problem, or if they both are horrible.

I also like the baseball field with towels drill mentioned above for longer wedge shots. Be careful, though. A cop came up to me and told me it was illegal to hit golf balls in a city park where I live. $50 ticket!

Hope this helps. If you truly have a +1 HDCP, maybe you can recommend a few full swing drills for me because I need em badly!

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