Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Improve your Short Game Shots with this Drill

If you are having issues with your short shots which would include chipping and short pitches, then this is the drill for you.  When I say issues, I mean hitting most of your short shots either thin and blading them across the green, or hitting behind them and not even getting on the green.

These shots can usually be traced to an improper use of your wrists.  If you allow the lead wrist (left wrist if you are right handed) to break down, as mine has in this picture, you are asking for trouble. I drew a blue line as a reference and you can clearly see my hands and the club head are past the blue line after impact.

The break down happens when the lead wrist is bent and the back wrist is straight at impact and after.
A common term used for this would be "scooping" which means the golfer is trying to help the ball in the air.

To alleviate this problem, I have a great drill which will not only help your impact for the short shots, it will help your impact for the full shots as well.  For the drill, I use my most lofted wedge (58 degree).

Find an uphill slope with enough room to carry the ball about 10 yards.  It does not necessarily need to be around a green.  Place the ball on the upslope, then set up with a narrow stance and position the ball off your back foot.  Make sure your hands are ahead of the ball at set up.  In addition, try to lean into the hill a bit.  In other words, I want your weight to be more on the front leg. 

In the picture above, the blue line runs down my left arm to the ground.  My hands are ahead of the ball and positioned toward the middle of my left leg.  The ball is obviously behind the blue line.

Your backswing should be only big enough to carry the ball about 10 yards or so.  There will be a slight wrist hinge on the backswing as pictured below.

The trick is try to strike the ball an instant before striking the turf. This is where the upslope will help you.  The upslope will not allow you to follow through.  It's almost like you are striking a wall.  Once you strike the ball, the upslope stops the club so you cannot break down the lead wrist. If you truly strike the ball first, you will hit a very crisp shot.  In the picture below, you can see just after impact, my hands are in front of the blue line and the club is still behind the blue line just as it was in the set up position.  This is my finish position, the lead wrist is straight and the back wrist is bent.  Look how high the golf ball is in the air and I have not "helped" it in the air. 

Here is a picture from behind me in the same position.  Note how low the club is to the ground.

When you are performing this drill properly, your shots will improve instantly.  If you are still having problems doing the drill, make sure the ball is in the back of your stance, strike the ball first and finish low.  Once you can hit the majority of your shots crisply, then move to a level surface and try to feel the same impact you just worked on.  Your issues should be resolved after only a few minutes on the slope!

Let me know if you have any questions about this drill in the comment section below.

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