Shoulders in the Short Game Techniques

    In this article, we need to talk quickly about how your shoulders should be set in the short game. It is easy to overlook the short game while working on building your full swing, but the skills you use on and around the greens are just as important as those you use in the fairways and on the tees. Making full swings might be more exciting (to some people), but short game shots are crucial to your success.

    When putting, you want to keep your shoulders square to the target line for simplicity. If you were to putt with your shoulders in an open or closed position, you would just be making things harder than they need to be. All that needs to happen in the putting stroke is the club needs to swing back and through as cleanly as possible. You don’t want to have any extra, unnecessary movement in your stroke, as that is only going to make things harder. So, by setting up with your shoulders square, you can remove a variable and make it easier to roll the ball in the right direction.

    For the most part, the story is going to be the same when talking about chipping. On a standard chip shot, you will want to keep your shoulders square so you can deliver the club in a simple, straightforward manner. However, there is some room for creativity here, especially when you need to create a specific shot to get out of a tough spot. For example, if you need to lob the ball high in the air in order to stop it quickly, playing with your shoulders open at address is a good idea. Or, if you want to hit a low bump-and-run style chip shot, consider closing your shoulders down before starting the swing. It is easier to make adjustments like this in the short game than it is with the full swing, so you might be able to add these kinds of shots to your repertoire after just a single practice session.

    Generally speaking, golf is a game that rewards those who keep it simple. For that reason, we feel that most players would be wise to stand with their shoulders square to the target line at address. However, that is just a rule of thumb rather than a requirement, so feel free to experiment with your own game to find a plan that works for you. As long as you are getting quality results, and those results are repeatable from swing to swing, you must be doing something right. Good luck!