Close to the Hole Ground Game Techniques

To keep your golf game as simple as possible, we are going to talk about a topic in the short game that deserves attention. When looking for the ‘path of least resistance’ between your ball and the hole in the short game, you should often be looking along the ground. Technically, the path of least resistance would be through the air but playing the ball through the air brings in a whole host of complications. You have to judge how quickly the ball will stop when it lands, you have to make perfect contact, and you have to manage your spin rate. Too many golfers automatically decide to play their short game shots up in the air, and they make the task more difficult as a result.

The ground game is something of a lost art in the modern world of golf, but it still has a place in the 21st century. If you can learn how to play some of your short game shots down along the ground rather than up in the air, you will get up and down more frequently. If you’d like to give this line of thinking a try for yourself, consider the following techniques.

  • Use less loft. You could have probably figured this one out for yourself, but the first step is to use lower lofted clubs for many of your short game shots. Instead of automatically reaching for a sand wedge or lob wedge, try chipping with a pitching wedge or even a nine iron. These clubs won’t get the ball very far off the turf, and they also won’t put much spin on the shots. With just a simple rocking motion back and through, you should be able to send the ball easily on its way toward the hole.
  • Read the slope of the ground. Since the ball is going to stay on the ground most of the way to the hole, you will need to read this kind of shot just like a putt. Remember, the ball will be more inclined to take the slope as it slows down and reaches the target, so give this part of the read the most emphasis. Also, while you are reading the slope of the terrain between your ball and the hole, take a moment to read the lie of the ball as well. A ball sitting in some light rough will usually come out quicker and have more roll out than a shot played from a clean lie in the fairway.
  • Keep your hands quiet. It is usually a good idea to get your hands involved when you want to play a short game shot up through the air. The story is different, however, when you want to keep the ball down. In this case, you are going to use quiet hands and make a motion that is very similar to your putting stroke. The key here is to make solid contact each and every time. You will only be able to accurately predict the distance of these kinds of shots if you manage to strike the ball cleanly near the sweet spot on the club face.

If you are serious about shooting lower scores, playing more low short game shots is one good way to do just that. Sure, there are still going to be short game shots which require you to get the ball up in the air, but those occasions may be a bit rarer than you currently believe. Once you start looking for ways to play the ball along the ground and up toward the hole, you will find that many of your short game shots can be handled this way.