Short Game Magic Mastering Chipping Pitching and Putting for Lower Scores

Golf is a game of precision, patience, and skill. While driving the ball down the fairway might capture the most attention, the short game—chipping, pitching, and putting—often separates the good golfers from the great ones. Mastering these aspects can significantly lower your scores and enhance your overall performance on the course. Here’s how you can bring some magic to your short game.

The Art of Chipping

Chipping is all about control and touch. It involves hitting the ball from close to the green to land it on it and let it roll towards the hole. To improve your chipping, focus on your stance and posture. Keep your feet close together and your weight slightly on your front foot to ensure a downward strike on the ball. Choosing the right club is also essential; a pitching wedge or 9-iron often works well to get the ball rolling quickly.

Use a light grip to enhance your feel and control, and think of the stroke as a putting stroke with a slight wrist hinge. Focus on making solid contact and following through towards your target. A good practice drill is to place a towel a few feet before you on the practice green and aim to land your chips on the towel, letting them roll out to the hole. This will help you control your landing spot and distance.

The Precision of Pitching

Pitching is used when you need to hit the ball higher and more precisely than a chip, typically from 20 to 50 yards away. Position the ball slightly forward in your stance with your weight balanced for a compelling pitch. Keep the clubface open to add loft and spin.

Use a controlled, three-quarter swing and ensure your follow-through mirrors your backswing in length and tempo. Maintain a soft grip for better feel and control over the shot. To practice pitching, set up targets at various distances (20, 30, 40 yards) and focus on hitting each one with consistent contact, adjusting your swing length for different distances.

The Prowess of Putting

Putting can make or break your scorecard. The final touch turns a good approach into a great score. Start with a comfortable and stable grip and stance, shoulder-width apart, with your eyes directly over the ball. Spend time reading the slope and speed of the greens, looking for subtle breaks and grain direction.