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Short Game practise

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navyblueshorts
MontysMerkin
raycastleunited
dynamark
SmithersJones
beninho
Roller_Coaster
super_realist
JAS
1GrumpyGolfer
McLaren
kwinigolfer
Nay
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Post by Nay Sun 08 May 2016, 4:26 pm

Afternoon All

I am hoping for sone help / assistance.

Right now i have the long game of a decent player and the short game of a terrible player however its got to the stage that to start to lower my handicap i really need to start getting up and down.

So my question is what practise would you recomend, do you use whoch has helped improve your short game.

PS, i have had lessons and my technique is fine.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 May 2016, 6:43 pm

Lots of facets to a good short game LL Cool,
Course management
Bunker play
Pitching and chipping
Putting.
Each equally important in my book - I hit very few greens in regulation but always try to miss in the right place, somewhere where you can have a realistic chance of getting up and down, or at least not magnifying the problem.
Where do your biggest problems lie?

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Post by McLaren Sun 08 May 2016, 7:16 pm

Take a bag of ball to a quite green for an hour or so a few times a week and keep practicing. Either spend more time on golf or change the ratio between short and long game work.
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Post by Nay Sun 08 May 2016, 7:39 pm

Putting and chipping Kwini.

As an example i think it was 13 chips/putts from off green and 36 putts at the weekend, which is pretty atrocious.

I suspect some of the problem is the pressure i put on myself to hole out that means i tense up so much.

Thats the plan Mac, the missus will be studing a couple of times a week from now on so allows that time.

I was just wondering if anyone had good practise games etc, or is just a case of thowing loads of balls around green and trying to get up and down.

Or is better to put balls in the similar places but different lies and try different clubs to see which works best

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 May 2016, 7:56 pm

One thing I think is undervalued is just being able to read greens.
With your chipping, a lot of it is your own personal comfort level, but try to visualize where you need your chip to run out to the hole. And don't leave yourself downhill putts. I almost always use the same club for chipping, just change ball position depending upon type of shot necessary. But I always try to get my ball rolling on the green as soon as possible.
Nothing wrong with a lesson. At least it would possibly offer another perspective. Which you can ignore if you so choose.
We have a terrific short game practice area - I take a tube of 18 balls and put them at various distances away from the green and keep score, chips + putts. Hopefully score about 45.
Otherwise play short game matches with a mate, always good to have a little action to make it competitive.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sun 08 May 2016, 8:29 pm

LL, like Mac says bunch of balls around a green and chip and pitch etc. Maybe 5-10 balls from one spot to the pin and then move to another spot so you play up, down, and across slopes. Keep everything similar for these groupings but also mix in some bad lies too so you get used to dealing with it sitting down in the rough, or maybe in a little hole, or maybe some tufts in front or behind.

Then towards the end of the session play Par 18. 9 balls around the green in a variety of lies. Play each one out individually and keep score, ideally you get up and down each time for a score of 18. The first time you might score 23, 25 or something you think you can beat. Here's the thing, you don't get to try it until again until the next session. That keeps the pressure on for each ball so it is like playing out on the course.

With putting practice both short and long putting again moving around the hole so you have different slopes and breaks to contend with. Get used to knocking the ball in by finishing with short putts. If you want to create a pressure situation like Par 18 setup a number of 2-3 foot putts all round the hole. Keep holing them out until you miss one. Again no repeats, look to beat that number the following week.

You could also do ladders, start a couple of feet away with three balls and hole each one. When you hole all three move back another couple of feet. Hole those three, if you miss one, start over from the first distance. See how far you can move away from the hole. If it's tough with three, drop it to two or even one so you get some confidence.

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Post by JAS Sun 08 May 2016, 11:34 pm

One thing I tend to do before going out when I'm on the practice green is place tees at various points and putt to them (focusses on accuracy), then have a few putts at holes, it's amazing how much larger the cups seem.

A practice session I like to do is take 5 balls and focus on 3,6 & 9 foot putts. 1 point each for the 3 footers 2 points each for the 6 footers & 3 points each for the 9 footers. I go 5x3 5x6, 5x9, 5x6 & 5x3 and see how close I can get to 45 points.

What is your longer term putting average? Reason I ask is that greens can be a bit iffy at this time of year e.g. coming off hollowtining, lack of growth because of cold spring, next thing is they'll be seeding so don't beat yourself up too much.

Also there's a big difference between 36 putts from 6 greens in reg and 36 putts from 12 greens in reg. On a given day you can also be unlucky to leave yourself a bunch of really tough 1st putts.

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Post by super_realist Mon 09 May 2016, 8:25 am

McLaren wrote:Take a bag of ball to a quite green for an hour or so a few times a week and keep practicing. Either spend more time on golf or change the ratio between short and long game work.

I wouldn't use a huge bag of balls, I'd use a tube of 20 balls, and then practice certain shots, then you can see by calculating the % that finish within gimme range. That way you can see your improvement over time more easily. You are also not just practicing the same shot hundreds of times with balls getting in the way. Hit a tube, move on, try another shot.

I also often empty the tube and throw the balls randomly around the practice area, then try and get up and down from each different position, takes the repetition out of it.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Mon 09 May 2016, 9:25 am

I'd figure out whether your chipping issue (too strong a term?) is predominantly length or line (or both!) and focus drills accordingly.

As Kwin mentioned, reading the green is important on chips too.

I don't have any drills and would just generally take 3 balls from various different places and try and up and down them. Stopping when I start getting bored (usually when I start thinking about trying ridiculous flop shots instead of % ones!).

On putting I go to the practise green a couple of times a week in summer and play a "course" of 6 holes with 3 balls. Different lengths slopes etc and keep score. Try and beat that score when I go round again. Only 30-40 minutes a couple of times a week but helps me enormously.

Mess around and figure what works for you and only do it each session for as long as it remains fun.

Only real advice (as mentioned above) is never leave the putting green on a miss. Even if you have to drop balls 1-2 ft away at the end of the session, make sure you leave on success.

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Post by beninho Mon 09 May 2016, 9:35 am

Practise? Not a word i've heard of with regards to golf...

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 May 2016, 10:48 am

Super, not sure how the receptacle for the balls matters, bag tube or whatever will do.


Another tip is never to place the balls. Always just chuck them down and play whatever lie you get.
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Post by Nay Mon 09 May 2016, 12:46 pm

Cheers Folks,

Will try a few of these out, hopefully build the confidence up as i suspect by sharpening this part of my game i could probably save 8-10 shots a round eventually

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 May 2016, 1:50 pm

Saving 8-10 shots a round is pretty unrealistic unless you currently shoot 100+. even the pro's only get and down about 60% of the time.

Unless you are duffing every chip and then 3 putting you won't be able to save 10 shots a round just on the short game.
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Post by SmithersJones Mon 09 May 2016, 2:29 pm

My last round I didn't get up and down from within 100 yards once. Took 5 to get down once, 4 a few times and 3 the rest, even from around the green. So I think 8-10 shots is perfectly possible!
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Post by McLaren Mon 09 May 2016, 2:32 pm

Smithers, as I said above if you hacking it around near the 100 a round level I am sure saving 10 shots is possible.
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Post by SmithersJones Mon 09 May 2016, 3:45 pm

I imagine I didn't break 90 but wasn't near 100.
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Post by Nay Mon 09 May 2016, 4:21 pm

McLaren wrote:Saving 8-10 shots a round is pretty unrealistic unless you currently shoot 100+.  even the pro's only get and down about 60% of the time.

Unless you are duffing every chip and then 3 putting you won't be able to save 10 shots a round just on the short game.

I dont think saving 8-10 shots is unrealistic, as i said i total 49 shots within 15 yards of the greens( putts included.)

It won't happen but i dont see how bringing that down to say 40 is improbable with enougj practise

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 May 2016, 5:44 pm

say you average 3 short game shots per hole, giving you 54 per round. You would need to get to get to 2.5 short game shots per hole to get to 45 total short game shots a round.

That seems like a huge task. Gaining 0.5 shots per hole on any part of the game is tough. I wouldn't expect to gain that if I put a whole seasons worth of work into my short game.

For every shot you gain on total score from short game improvements you need a 0.05 stroke gain per hole (1/18).
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Post by Nay Mon 09 May 2016, 6:04 pm

My weekend medal round

Hole 1: 1 chip/3 putts (1)
Hole 2: 1 chip/2 putts
Hole 3: 2 putts
Hole 4: 1 chip 3 putts (1)
Hole 5: 2 chips/2 putts (1)
Hole 6: 3 chips/2 putts (2)
Hole 7: 1 chip/1 putt
Hole 8: 2 putts
Hole 9: 1 chip/2 putts

By practising enough to become competent enough to just manage 1 chip/2 putts ( i am not even talking about becoming good) thats 5 shots on the front 9 alone i save.

Perfectly feasible with enough practise

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 09 May 2016, 6:15 pm

One stroke at a time!
I included "course management" in my note; and that might mean opting out of "heroic" shots from the fairway for a more conservative approach, missing in the right places; usually short for my game.
Regardless, find something that suits you and practice hard! Good luck thumbsup

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Post by Nay Mon 09 May 2016, 6:22 pm

Kwini i suspect that may also help, playing for middle of green, missing on right side etc. I do generally take dead aim at the pin.

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Post by JAS Mon 09 May 2016, 6:57 pm

LL Cool Nay wrote:My weekend medal round

Hole 1: 1 chip/3 putts (1)
Hole 2: 1 chip/2 putts
Hole 3: 2 putts
Hole 4: 1 chip 3 putts (1)
Hole 5: 2 chips/2 putts (1)
Hole 6: 3 chips/2 putts (2)
Hole 7: 1 chip/1 putt
Hole 8: 2 putts
Hole 9: 1 chip/2 putts

By practising enough to become competent enough to just manage 1 chip/2 putts ( i am not even talking about becoming good) thats 5 shots on the front 9 alone i save.

Perfectly feasible with enough practise

Well you've certainly correctly identified where you're losing shots LL :-/ What happened on hole 6??

I had a bit of a stinker Sat after beginning to move in the right direction over the past month, greens weren't great but short game stats were as follows
1: 2 putts
2: 1 chip 2 putts
3: 2 putts
4: 3 putts
5: 2 putts
6: 2 putts
7: 1 chip 2 putts
8: 1 putt
9: 2 putts
10:1 chip 1 putt
11: 2 putts
12: 1 chip 2 putts
13:1 chip 1 putt
14: 2 putts
15:1 chip 2 putts
16: 1 chip 2 putts
17: 1 chip 1 putt
18: 1 chip 1 putt

4 out of 9 up & downs is poor for me, in mitigation the course was suddenly playing a lot firmer than in recent weeks so it was harder to get that grip & stop that I've been used to in recent weeks. A couple of early chips roll 6-8 foot past and all of a sudden you can start over thinking it. I'll certainly be focussing more on chipping than putting this week.

The one thing I would say is that if you hammer the practice of 10 foot and under putts and are confident standing over them it takes a lot of pressure off your approach shots and chipping.


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Post by Nay Mon 09 May 2016, 7:40 pm

Hole 6,

I thinned a chip right through the green onto next tee, next shot from tee was uphill to the green which slopes down and couldn't see the green. This shot was hit ok but far to far onto the green and rolled off the other side. Next one unsurprisingly came up short. First Putt looped out, but i nailed the two inch tap in.


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Post by Nay Mon 09 May 2016, 7:49 pm

And for good measure, back 9 went

Hole 10: 3 putts (after greenside bunker shot (1)
Hole 11: 2 putts
Hole 12: 1 chip/ 1 putt
Hole 13: 1 chip/ 2 putts
Hole 14: 2 putts
Hole 15: 2 putts (from 5 feet)
Hole 16: 3 putts (1)
Hole 17: 1 chip/2 putts
Hole 18 : 2 chips / 2 putts (1)

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 May 2016, 8:22 pm

LL

Was your GIR 33% (6/18)?

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Post by dynamark Tue 10 May 2016, 1:30 pm

Certainly doing the stats LL.
If the course or flags gives you pin position information it can be very helpful in how you approach each green.
Some flags you just have to be short for instance and some you may play away from.So try to start by being in the right place and then its just two putts -simples .

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Post by super_realist Tue 10 May 2016, 8:00 pm

Mac, I was referring to the short number.
I have a tube with 20 for short game practice, I have a bag with about 100 for wedges etc.

On saving shots, just better course management can save you a hell of a lot. If someone is a 16 handicapper, I reckon I could save them 3-4 per round just by pointing out the obvious, i.e not reaching for driver, hitting to largest part of green or fairway, dialling back from hazards etc.

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Post by McLaren Tue 10 May 2016, 8:07 pm

Super

Another thing I find odd with higher handicappers is the club choice in terms of distance. I think they use the maximum they have ever hit a club as guidance for what length of shot to use it for.

And then never bother to think if the pin is front middle or back, and where the tee. So you get to a par 3 of 165 and they whip out 9 iron without even thinking. But the pin is actually at the back and a bit of wind makes it a 5 iron or something.

If you play with higher handicappers you will inevitably be taken a couple of clubs more come the par 3's in particular.
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Post by super_realist Tue 10 May 2016, 8:21 pm

Agree Mac, people think they ought to hit a club a certain distance, when it's really a 1/10.

Most players, are almost always short, so should be hitting at least one club more.

I don't know who would whip out a 9 iron for a 165 shot though, that's a 6 for me.

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Post by raycastleunited Wed 11 May 2016, 1:00 am

165 is a 9 for Tiger Mac

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Post by MontysMerkin Wed 11 May 2016, 8:25 am

more like a soft 8.
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Post by Roller_Coaster Wed 11 May 2016, 8:56 am

Stinger 6

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Post by beninho Wed 11 May 2016, 9:10 am

The problem with being a hacker, you have not really got a clue how far any of your clubs will go on any given shot, especially as you work down the numbers.

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Post by McLaren Wed 11 May 2016, 9:43 am

One clue I can give the hackers is to take at least two clubs more than you think you need.
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Post by super_realist Wed 11 May 2016, 10:33 am

My dad is terrible for judging distance. I play with him once a week, and he still thinks he can hit the same iron as me and hit it as far.
I think across the entire spectrum though, 95% of golfers don't hit the ball anywhere near as far as they think they do, especially when it comes to the longer clubs.

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Post by MontysMerkin Wed 11 May 2016, 11:13 am

McLaren wrote:One clue I can give the hackers is to take at least two clubs more than you think you need.
Tell that to the bloke over the par 3 9th I nearly killed on saturday. Trying to hit a soft 4 iron 188 uphill into the wind. Cleared the green by 20 yards, plonking into a bunker on the 11th. Made a nice 5 so great disaster...
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Post by beninho Wed 11 May 2016, 11:46 am

Surely the best tip to us hackers, is just hit what your comfortable with.

if its 165 yards, and you hit a 7 iron more consistent than a 6 or 5 iron, then hit a 7 and come up a bit short. Surely better then hitting a longer club and hooking it or slicing it off into god knows what.

I wish I played sensible golf like that though!

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Post by McLaren Wed 11 May 2016, 12:06 pm

Monty

You clearly aren't a hacker if you can hit a 4 iron 208 yards uphill and into the wind.


benhino

Are you really suggesting anyone should be looking to lay up on a 165 yard par 3?
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Post by super_realist Wed 11 May 2016, 12:20 pm

People just need to practice, I saw a chopper hit 3 shots to a par 4 the other day, and he was bloody furious when he fluffed his chip. I've no idea what he was expecting, but golf must be the only sport in which people expect to execute every shot perfectly.
Most players won't hit more than one or two truly great shots a round.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 11 May 2016, 12:23 pm

Mac,
Not coming down on either side of this discussion, except to reflect on the irony of pros and low-handicap amateurs telling "hackers" like me to take one or two more clubs on shots outside, say, 100 yds.
But the fact is that, unless there's a hazard in front of the green, there's invariably exponentially more trouble behind any green than short in front.
I've never been better than a 15, and nowhere near that now, but had a pretty good idea how far I hit my clubs. I'd never take an extra club or two simply because my chipping/pitching has always been pretty good. But not from bushes, trees, gunk that I'd find if I went ten yards long. Even on a 165-yard shot, you're usually better off slightly short than slightly long.

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Post by MontysMerkin Wed 11 May 2016, 12:31 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
Not coming down on either side of this discussion, except to reflect on the irony of pros and low-handicap amateurs telling "hackers" like me to take one or two more clubs on shots outside, say, 100 yds.
But the fact is that, unless there's a hazard in front of the green, there's invariably exponentially more trouble behind any green than short in front.
I've never been better than a 15, and nowhere near that now, but had a pretty good idea how far I hit my clubs. I'd never take an extra club or two simply because my chipping/pitching has always been pretty good. But not from bushes, trees, gunk that I'd find if I went ten yards long. Even on a 165-yard shot, you're usually better off slightly short than slightly long.  
Agreed - most rubbish needed for a really big score is actually behind the green. Being 5 yards short on an apron is not much of an issue.
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Post by McLaren Wed 11 May 2016, 12:46 pm

Kwini

As a hacker, how do you even know what is behind the green?  ;)


Although seriously, where did you get the idea that through the back is worse?  often if you just trickle through he back all you have is a simple chip up the green. It isn't like there are loads of bunkers at the back of green.

Maybe if you blast it 30 yards over the back you will be in trouble, but that will be a very rare event.

But even so two clubs at the hacker level would probably only change the distance from front/middle of the green to middle/back of the green.  


hackers always seem to be at least two clubs short of the green, so in any case how would clubbing up end up going over the green?

Super

Jack Nicklaus apparently said that if he had one or two shots in a round that felt like his very best then it was a good ball striking day.  Even he was rarely happy with how the shot felt.


Last edited by McLaren on Wed 11 May 2016, 12:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 11 May 2016, 12:47 pm

super_realist wrote:People just need to practice, I saw a chopper hit 3 shots to a par 4 the other day, and he was bloody furious when he fluffed his chip. I've no idea what he was expecting, but golf must be the only sport in which people expect to execute every shot perfectly.
Most players won't hit more than one or two truly great shots a round.
Even Nicklaus, in his prime, said the same of himself. If he couldn't flush them all, I'm not sure how we amateurs are meant to do it.
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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 11 May 2016, 12:47 pm

McLaren wrote:...Super

Jack Nicklaus apparently said that if he had one or two shots in a round that felt like his very best then it was a good ball striking day.  Even he was rarely happy with how the shot felt.
:snap: Beat me to it Smile.
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Post by McLaren Wed 11 May 2016, 12:49 pm

I could be wrong, but I think he has repeated it several times when doing his short commentary stints at memorial.
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Post by super_realist Wed 11 May 2016, 12:59 pm

Could be Mac, he's pretty old so might be going senile like Arnie.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 11 May 2016, 1:29 pm

Mac.
We don't all play links courses . . . . . Point previously made enhanced by fact that most (let's say non-links) greens slope from a high in the back to low in front.

I'm happy with EVERY shot I play, just nice to be out there Smile

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Short Game practise Empty Re: Short Game practise

Post by raycastleunited Wed 11 May 2016, 11:30 pm

McLaren wrote:
Although seriously, where did you get the idea that through the back is worse?  often if you just trickle through he back all you have is a simple chip up the green. It isn't like there are loads of bunkers at the back of green.

Maybe if you blast it 30 yards over the back you will be in trouble, but that will be a very rare event.

Usual Love sacks, you obviously follow professional golf but sometimes I wonder if you even play golf mac. It's better to be 5 yards short of the green than 5 yards long on every single hole on my course, and it's the same for most holes on most courses.

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Short Game practise Empty Re: Short Game practise

Post by McLaren Thu 12 May 2016, 12:41 am

Ray as I said at the end, I am sure 30 yards, even 20 yards through the back is pretty bad but that would be such a rare occurrence that you needn't worry about it. I most scenarios long would just mean rolling into the fringe or rough at the back of the green. But at least you have the chance to make the green. If you under club you cannot reach the green.
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Post by Roller_Coaster Thu 12 May 2016, 9:12 am

Using 5 yards short vs 5 yards big (even though that's less than half a club) at our place (assuming straight!)

5 yards short better 15 holes

5 yards long better 1 hole

About the same 2 holes

If you're talking 2 clubs short versus 2 clubs long (20 - 30 yards) 18 holes better to be short.

The point about making sure it gets to the green is very good as is the fact that the length of the green should mean that going big is relatively unlikely by upping a club or 2, but the fact on my course is a short miss is significantly better than long. Generally short = a chance of a par or bogey, long = new ball please and 2 shots gone.

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