English Golf Courses

Simplify your short game

AJ

Short-game success can often stem from correct shot selection.

Most players would agree that consistency is easier to deliver from the simplest action – generally a movement that has fewer moving parts.

So, when the opportunity allows, why not use a straighter faced club and a shorter, simpler swing when faced with a greenside shot?

Setting up with the weight favouring the front foot, the ball a fraction back of centre and minimising hand action within the shot can deliver much better results, as there is less that can go wrong. Don’t overcomplicate the situation by naturally reaching for your most lofted club. Whenever possible, play the percentages and choose the simple option

Use your bigger muscles

You can see (top picture) I’m using a slightly shorter action, (on the left), where the big muscles of the shoulders can rock back and forth, not too dissimilar from a putting action, without engaging the hands and wrists too much.

This swing, with a less lofted club, will deliver a lower shot with more roll that is often easier to control and judge than the action on the right, which requires a longer swing, with a more lofted wedge to generate a similar distance.

AJ1

Easy to repeat

When the situation allows and there are no obstacles that the ball must carry, playing a lower flighted, rolling shot with a straighter faced club allows you to maximise control by gripping down the longer club and executing the shot with a shorter, more compact action.

This is easier to repeat and delivers a more dependable result. Think of how consistently you strike your putts out of the centre of the face. This is something we can apply to this shot, too.

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Andrew Jowett is the Head PGA professional at Gleneagles. For lessons, call Andrew on 01764 694343. Follow him on Twitter at @andyj1504.

Originally published on bunkered on April 9, 2015.

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