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saevel25

Where to practice short game?

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I've searched every golf course close, or driving range around were i live. There is no place that has the space or facilities to practice 100 yard shots an in. I mean i could go to the driving range and hit shots, but there are no flags to mark distances, and i want to become really good and shelling out tons of money for golf balls to hit is absurd when i wont get feedback on exact distances i am hitting them. What i need is a good piece of land were i can pace of yardages, and throw down a bucket or something to hit to.

So, how do you guys practice, lets say 30-100 yards shots when there isn't the proper facilities to do so?

I've though about going to some par 3 courses around here. One is 12 dollars, as many holes as you want. But that's not practicing the short game i want, and there pretty popular, so i would be holding people up if i start pacing off yardages and hitting multiple shots.

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If you are just looking to practice and map out hitting specific distances and not just how greens roll from different shots.  You can get a range finder and then map out the short distances (20/30/40/50/etc yards) and figure out the shots that hit those marks in the different types of flights to hit those marks.

What about a football field?....parks that might allow it?

I bring my laser rangefinder regardless because I don't really trust the driving range flags anyway - they don't move them when they move the tee area.  At a minimum, I'll scope out a couple flags to see if they are running short or long vs as marked (up to 15 yards off sometimes...)

The other thing about finding a private area is you can hit your own balls.  It's probably more accurate that using range balls which are typically crappy.

I've never really understood why ranges don't just paint stripes like a football field.  But I don't know the cost of that....

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I like the painted stripes idea, yea not sure how much it would cost to repaint them. I guess if you just stuck artificial turf out there you wouldn't need to cut the field.

I was thinking a park, but i got some reservations in tearing it up hitting a lot of shots :/

I don't care much about how the ball reacts on the green. Lets just say i've been playing for 15+ years, never practiced this part of my game. So, i really want to just get good at getting contact, and i can learn how the ball reacts later on.

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If you have a good spring crimped mat, you could bring it to the park.  But that ruins hitting off of different conditions.

Lots of communities have rules against hitting in parks.  Best to find out ahead of time.

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A park or empty field and a half way decent mat (I use a real feel mat). I practice 30 and in almost daily off my side patio into my yard. Sometimes I'll drop a few in the grass in my yard, but it's much different than the grass at the course. That mat is really nice and would work great for you I bet.

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That's surprising (and a bummer) that your courses don't have any short game areas to practice.  There is one I use often that is off to the side enough from the range that you could practice probably up to about 60 yards.  Anything longer than that and you'd be standing in the line of fire on the range. :)

I rarely use it though, I just do my practice at the range.  The first few balls and last few balls of every session are pitches.  But I certainly don't get too analytical with my short game either.  Meaning, I've never tried to dial in specific distances, like 20,30,40, etc.  I know that my full swing, hard SW in flat, stagnant conditions goes 110, and my full, hard swing LW goes 90.  I choke down a little on the SW for 100, take partial swings (by feel) with the SW for anything from 80 down to maybe 40, and pitch with either club for anything under that.  (I don't like using my LW for partial swings that aren't pitches because it has a less bounce than the SW so less room for error.)

I would like to get to the point you are at someday and start dialing in distances so I know exactly what type of swing goes what, but for now I just wing it and judge by feel.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

That's surprising (and a bummer) that your courses don't have any short game areas to practice.  There is one I use often that is off to the side enough from the range that you could practice probably up to about 60 yards.  Anything longer than that and you'd be standing in the line of fire on the range. :)

I rarely use it though, I just do my practice at the range.  The first few balls and last few balls of every session are pitches.  But I certainly don't get too analytical with my short game either.  Meaning, I've never tried to dial in specific distances, like 20,30,40, etc.  I know that my full swing, hard SW in flat, stagnant conditions goes 110, and my full, hard swing LW goes 90.  I choke down a little on the SW for 100, take partial swings (by feel) with the SW for anything from 80 down to maybe 40, and pitch with either club for anything under that.  (I don't like using my LW for partial swings that aren't pitches because it has a less bounce than the SW so less room for error.)

I would like to get to the point you are at someday and start dialing in distances so I know exactly what type of swing goes what, but for now I just wing it and judge by feel.

Agree with this, unless you're very analytical your better off letting your brain subconsciously make the decision. I use my Bushnell to make sure I'm in the right range for yardage (ie no hidden ground) and let the brain take over.

Also, range balls (well in the UK) only go about 70% of proper balls so that they can keep them in the yard on small ranges, the range I go to they've compensated for this on the yardages from each bay.

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Believe me, i've googled mapped every public course i can find in a reasonable driving distance, there isn't one that has a pitching green. Some have some chipping and bunker short game areas, but nothing for pitching. I am shocked to because i know of a handful in the town i grew up in. This one was awesome, it was a beat up green, but you could anywere back to about 115 yards. It even had a bunker next to the driving range you can hit long bunker shots out of. Really nice set up.

I guess were i live now, there's not enough room for golf courses to build it, or there to damn lazy

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

But I certainly don't get too analytical with my short game either.  Meaning, I've never tried to dial in specific distances, like 20,30,40, etc.  I know that my full swing, hard SW in flat, stagnant conditions goes 110, and my full, hard swing LW goes 90.  I choke down a little on the SW for 100, take partial swings (by feel) with the SW for anything from 80 down to maybe 40, and pitch with either club for anything under that.

I'm the opposite - I have my full swing distances and half swing distances also - (similar numbers) for all my irons.  And punch shots for my long irons.

I also have 4 wedges.  And, I know that the technique in the pitching thread (hands to belt high, let gravity accelerate the club head) gives me 30 yards (repeatable) for my SW, and choking down the grip on the same club, same swing is repeatable at 20 Yards.  I practice those carries a bunch and how much tweak to swing and grip position gives 40, and even 25 and 35 yards.  "wedge bounce" practice.....  I need to do the same for my 60 degree wedge, but I'm less ready to lean on that due to lower bounce on that one.  I'll keep my 50 and 46 wedge at full and half swing and lean on the SW most.

It's not dead on, but if I'm confident to within plus or minus 5 yards, it's nice to know what does what.

I have a big gap in the 50 to 80 yards range that I have to plan to avoid, or fill it sometime.....but I have enough to learn and remember right now.

I don't think i could just 'eyeball' it and feel as confident, especially when I need to just clear the edge of the green or some hazard.......the goal for now is to increase confidence in getting up and down on a missed green.....

to the OP - Why do you need a "green" to aim at?  you could just as easily try to hit a swing set, or a stake, or a frisbee, or any other type of target.  Perhaps a small child or dog.....

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30-100 yard practice shots is definitely something missing in practice facilities. And I have a problem paying for range balls and hitting them 30yards. Hard to swallow.

I know you mentioned the par 3 as not working for you, but I actually find that to be great short game practice. $12 all you can play sounds pretty good for that. You say it is pretty crowded, but maybe an alternate time of day? I try to play the one near me at about once a week. I get there about 7:15am and there is no one on it. I usually play it through, but I could definitely set up 30 yards out and hit multiple balls - because no one is behind me. It is also a short one. The tee shots are between 70-135, but mostly about 95 yards.

Maybe you could play the par 3 and just lay up on each tee shot - leaving a 30 yard shot? The first shot being practice for your 90 yarder and the second practice for the 30 yarder.  Just a thought.

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Originally Posted by rehmwa

I also have 4 wedges.  And, I know that the technique in the pitching thread (hands to belt high, let gravity accelerate the club head) gives me 30 yards (repeatable) for my SW, and choking down the grip on the same club, same swing is repeatable at 20 Yards.  I practice those carries a bunch and how much tweak to swing and grip position gives 40, and even 25 and 35 yards.  "wedge bounce" practice.....  I need to do the same for my 60 degree wedge, but I'm less ready to lean on that due to lower bounce on that one.  I'll keep my 50 and 46 wedge at full and half swing and lean on the SW most.

It's not dead on, but if I'm confident to within plus or minus 5 yards, it's nice to know what does what.

I have a big gap in the 50 to 80 yards range that I have to plan to avoid, or fill it sometime.....but I have enough to learn and remember right now.

I don't think i could just 'eyeball' it and feel as confident, especially when I need to just clear the edge of the green or some hazard.......the goal for now is to increase confidence in getting up and down on a missed green.....

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not saying that "eyeballing it" is the right way to go, that is just how I do it now.  Someday, when I'm hitting more greens and better at lag putting, I'm sure that short game will become my "glaring weakness" and it will get a lot more of my attention.  Of course, my pitching/short game is decent enough now that if it ever does become a glaring weakness, that means my handicap will be in the 2 range or something!  Can't wait for that day!

I also use the same pitching technique (just learned it about a month ago) and have gotten pretty good at the mechanics portion of it, now I just need to start getting better at the feel portion - i.e. dialing in the distances for each variation of the shot.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

That's surprising (and a bummer) that your courses don't have any short game areas to practice.  There is one I use often that is off to the side enough from the range that you could practice probably up to about 60 yards.  Anything longer than that and you'd be standing in the line of fire on the range. :)

I rarely use it though, I just do my practice at the range.  The first few balls and last few balls of every session are pitches.  But I certainly don't get too analytical with my short game either.  Meaning, I've never tried to dial in specific distances, like 20,30,40, etc.  I know that my full swing, hard SW in flat, stagnant conditions goes 110, and my full, hard swing LW goes 90.  I choke down a little on the SW for 100, take partial swings (by feel) with the SW for anything from 80 down to maybe 40, and pitch with either club for anything under that.  (I don't like using my LW for partial swings that aren't pitches because it has a less bounce than the SW so less room for error.)

I would like to get to the point you are at someday and start dialing in distances so I know exactly what type of swing goes what, but for now I just wing it and judge by feel.

I agree with this. I definitely do not get overly techinical with the short game. I tend to use a lot of feel when hitting shots around the green. Lately, I have been focusing on just visualizing the pitch or chip flying then landing exactly how I want it to before I hit the shot. Then I try to just let my body naturally react and mimic that visualization. Sounds kind of crazy, but it has been working for me so far this season.

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That's how i usually play. If i am inbetween clubs i will try to find an overriding factor that might push me to club up or down, swing hard or easier, ect.. Like if water is up front on a par three.

But for me, the problem is my yardages

58 degree - 95 yards

52 degree - 115 yards

Those are my two lowest wedges, so i just can't grip down, or swing easy. I need to practice hitting certain yardages.

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I am in the eyeball-it-inside-100-yards camp. I throw a tire out into the middle of the football field and hit wedges toward it until the coach chases me off.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

That's how i usually play. If i am inbetween clubs i will try to find an overriding factor that might push me to club up or down, swing hard or easier, ect.. Like if water is up front on a par three.

But for me, the problem is my yardages

58 degree - 95 yards

52 degree - 115 yards

Those are my two lowest wedges, so i just can't grip down, or swing easy. I need to practice hitting certain yardages.

True enough, I see your point. In that case, I would say the best you could do would be to try to find an open field, park, whatever. Then measure out the specific distances you're looking for, mark them, and practice hitting balls to those spots.

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Yea just looked up the ordinance for a city near were i live, no go on golf. They lump golf in with skateboarders, fricken communists :p

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That's kind of ridiculous. A guy working on his short game doesn't really fit my definition of a public disturbance/nuisance.

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I don't even use the public ranges around where I live. I bought a net, mat and some low quality balls to practice on my short game swing quality. If I ever go to the range, I do it at the one at my local country club so I can check my distance.

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