The Basics Of Golf Short Game: How To Make A Good Swing

Everyone likes to stand on the tee and hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway. Some golfers can hit the ball huge distances today with the help of ever better equipment. There are even long driving competitions. The game of golf requires much more than the ability to drive. Certainly distance helps because it is easier to hit an 8 iron accurately into a green than a 3 iron. However those who can master the short game have the opportunity to score really well or indeed to make up for their lack of distance to save pars time and again.

Some people have more natural touch and feel than others but refining a good short games requires neither peak fitness nor strength. It will require practice and anyone expecting to get their handicaps down must be prepared to do this regularly with most clubs in the bag.

The elements that help a short game are those that are critical in developing a good swing. That involves everything including

  • the grip
  • a straight back
  • alignment with the target
  • rotation

There is not a great deal of difference between the swing using a 4 iron and that using a pitching wedge. The stance may be slightly more open for the pitching wedge but the principle of ensuring the ball is in the correct position within the stance remains the same.

Balance & Tempo

Balance is all important. The club will do much of the work by its very design. A lofted club will elevate the ball if you can strike the ball properly. A lob wedge is over 60 degrees at times, forty degrees more than some of the clubs in your bag and 50 more than a typical mid-handicap golfer’s driver.

Your tempo is important. You need to recognise that a good shot is all about timing. You need to accelerate into the ball in all cases and certainly follow through. There is no need to almost throw yourself at the ball, nor should you stop on the shot because that will guarantee failure.

There are some specialised shots needed in every golfer’s armoury. Once the basics have been mastered they become more important. There are only slight changes in stance and swing to master these shots as well. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of practice because a good swing and a consistent short game are the road to a lower handicap.

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