HINT: A good short game stroke is similar to a good putting stroke. Lock the wrists and make a good smooth pendulum stroke. What helps me keep the wrist out of the swing is a forward press of the hands after set up and before I start my swing.
PROBLEM SGA: I am hitting behind the ball ("chili dip") or sculling my shots
POSSIBLE CORRECTION (SGA1): Keep your head still during the swing. Do not look up until after you make contact. Take several practice strokes with the same stance and mind set of your regular stroke to gauge your ball striking point. If your ball striking point is too high or low adjust your swing. Do not hit the ball until you have taken enough practice strokes in order to feel confident about your shot without any doubts. Remember to make your stroke smooth, similar to putting.
POSSIBLE CORRECTION (SGA2): Do not try to lift or force the ball into the air. With a smooth stroke, trust the loft of your club and let it do all the work.
POSSIBLE CORRECTION (SGA3): Choose the proper shot for the given lie. A lie without grass under it makes it harder to hit a wedge. If you have green to work with use your 7 or 8 iron to run the ball close. When hitting from a tight lie, a small divot is acceptable but make sure you still have a follow through. Do not intentionally let the ground stop your club. The swing should have a nice even tempo. Use a smooth take away and a good follow through. Everyone loves to hit a high sand wedge that falls gently to the green (flop shot), but this is a tough shot from any lie and if not recently practiced, should only be used as a last resort.
PROBLEM SGB: I do not have consistent distance control (Touch).
POSSIBLE CORRECTION (SGB1): Similar to putting distance control is obtained by a having a smooth swing. The keys to a smooth swing are; a backswing that is controlled and a downswing that accelerates through the ball moving to a predetermined follow through. Deceleration during the swing is the biggest cause of poor distance control and inconsistency. Work in your backyard to develop a backswing and a follow through based on the distance you require and your lie. Remember to maintain your acceleration through the ball, keeping a nice consistent tempo.
POSSIBLE CORRECTION (SGB2): In an attempt to hit a "touch" shot a lot of people tend to hold the club in the same place as a regular shot, which is at the end of the club. Holding the club in this location sometimes creates a sling shot effect when hitting the ball causing a shot with inconsistent carry and distance. Try choking down on the club a few inches from the end. Holding the club in this location will allow you to have better control and feel for the club which will allow you to be more consistent with the "touch" shots.
A good short game requires plenty of practice in order to develop the rhythm of a smooth swing and confidence. The best thing about practicing your short game is that you can do it in the backyard. It should not be too tough on your grass because this swing does not require a divot. Therefore if practicing in your backyard creates divots, the consequence of an improper swing is spending more time with your lawn.
With all this great golf advice don't forget your spouse and your family. As advised in Ephesians 5:22-33 Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.... each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Treating your family best of all will pay dividends in life and in golf!
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