By Jason Blanchard
Most people can salvage a round with their performance around the green.
Either with a wedge or putter, those short shots can drastically change a score. Most golf courses have four par-3 holes, meaning that you should not hit your driver more than 14 times during a round.
If you average 100, that means you will only hit your driver 14 percent of your round. However, most people hit their driver 80 percent of the time when they practice, not using this time efficiently. Even if you hit a wayward second shot, you may still be OK if you have spent time practicing and perfecting your chip shots. Chipping, like putting, is very much a feel shot.
The only way you can achieve feel is with muscle memory and constant practice. I personally spend so much time in the short game area at the club that when I have a 30-yard shot, I use the experiences and techniques I have learned from the range to gauge exactly how hard to swing.
The average full sand wedge goes between 60 and 100 yards, depending on the club’s loft, making it challenging to know what to do when you only have 40 yards to the flag. This is where short game practice and developing your feel and distance are key.
In the article on putting, I discussed practicing from 5, 10 then 15 feet so you can establish a different feel. Using the same procedure, make sure you mark off distances from 60 yards and shorter and practice different lengths so you have the experience at that distance.
Practicing this over and over again will allow the development of muscle memory and you will not just be guessing when you have those short distance shots. All aspects of your short game can save the round, so remember, when hitting the range, spend more time on your short game, and you will definitely see your scores begin to improve.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any golf-related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.