Scary Shots in the Short Game

    It would only be right in this article to mention the scary shots you are going to face in the short game. Sure, these shots aren’t going to be as dramatic as those you play in the long game, but they can be just as intimidating. In this last section, we are going to talk about two specific types of scary short game shots – short putts, and downhill chip shots from a tight lie.

  • Short putt techniques. Every golfer knows the feeling of trying to calm down while getting ready to hit a three-footer. Short putts are incredibly stressful, largely because we expect to make them. You don’t want to waste a stroke when you are so close to the hole, and you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of your friends. The key to performing well on short putts is to focus intently on your process. Don’t be distracted by the possibility of wasting stroke – zero in on the task and hand and execute your stroke perfectly. Since you are so close, you have a little bit of margin for error. A putt that is pulled or pushed slightly could still catch the edge and fall in. Be sure to practice at least a few short putts before every round to build up your confidence in advance.
  • Downhill chip shots from a tight lie. When your ball is sitting on short grass and you are chipping to a green that runs away from you, there is almost no margin for error. If you hit the ball thin, it will shoot across the green and probably roll off the other side. If you hit it fat, the ball will have no spin and the result may be the same. The key advice here is age-old golf wisdom – keep your head down. By keeping your head down and still during the swing, you should make solid contact, and the shot should be a success.
  • If you think about it, scary shots are a big part of what makes golf so fun. If every shot you faced was free from risk, this game would get boring in a hurry. So, rather than seeing the scary shots on your local golf course as a negative, turn your perspective around and see them as an opportunity to do something great. After all, the shots you will remember for years to come are not the easy ones, but the hard ones you managed to conquer. Good luck!