Golf Help To Get Up And Down More 1

Chipping is such an important part of the golf game as it can really help you recover from a poor iron shot into the green.

Recovering around the green can be vital to keeping your golf score low and prevent the score racking up over silly mistakes.

Having the ability to get the ball back on to the green and give you the best possible chance to convert the putt really does help. That is what separates the top players from the amateurs. It is important to practice effectively to gain the most out of your practice time and also this helps you make the biggest improvement. It is very important when practicing to have an aim and a target for the practice session. Otherwise a practice session can easily become pointless and non beneficial. This chipping practice tip is designed to help you make your practice much more game based with achievable goals to aim for.

Many times you may see a golfer practicing their chipping at the side of the practice green. They tip out the practice balls in a big pile from just off the green and start to take aim at a few targets. After a dozen shots or so, the golfer becomes bored so they take out their most lofted club trying to loft the golf balls miles into the sky and land it on the green with no real purpose or goal. This type of 'practice' happens all the time and does not actually make the golfer any better at chipping than before.

Structuring a practice session is vital so that you maximize the learning and skills from the practice session. Whether you are practicing your putting, chipping, irons, bunkers, driving or course practice, it must be structured, goal driven and fun.

Chipping Practice Challenge:

Par 18 or Par 36 - When you are on the practice putting green or chipping green, take one ball, a few wedges and a putter. Briefly outline in your mind nine potential starting positions off the green so that you can chip on to the green. Take yourself to starting point one and pick a flag or hole on the green that you are going to chip to. Proceed to choose the preferred club for that shot and take the shot with the aim to get the ball as close to the hole as possible. Take your putter and proceed to finish the hole in as little amount of shots as possible. Keep a note of your score and proceed to hole number 2.

Carry on until all nine holes have been completed. Add up your score with the intention of getting as close to 18 shots as you can. Record your score and attempt to beat it the next time you practice par 18. If you want to make it slightly harder play 18 holes with the target score being 36.

Top tip - When outlining the course, plan to play three easy holes, three medium difficulty holes and three difficult locations. This will prepare you for when you are out on the golf course.

In golf, an up and down is when you are able to get the ball into the hole in just two shots from somewhere around the green.

Help to Get Up and Down More

For example, if you miss the green with your approach shot on a par four, you will need to get up and down in order to save your par. If you fail to get up and down successfully, you'll be left with a bogey – or worse. One of the biggest differences between professional and amateur golfers is that pros tend to get up and down at a high rate. Most amateurs struggle with this part of the game, and those struggles show themselves on the scorecard.

In this article, we are going to offer you a variety of tips aimed at helping you get up and down more frequently. Since there are two shots involved in getting up and down, you will need to sharpen your play in two different areas. First, you need to be able to hit quality chip and pitch shots to position your ball close to the hole. Then, you will need the ability to knock in your putts to finish off the job. Only when you are strong on both sides of the equation can you expect to complete your up and down saves regularly.

As is always true in golf, we aren't looking for perfection here. No one gets up and down 100% of the time, as there are just too many variables in play to be so consistent. You will draw bad lies around the green from time to time, and you will occasionally find yourself in a position that simply makes it impossible to chip up close to the cup. Rather than worrying about reaching a specific goal in terms of up and down percentage, just think about steady improvement. If you can consistently improve the rate at which you get up and down, your scores are sure to be headed in the right direction.

There is one other point which should be made before we dive into this article. While it is great to have the ability to get up and down, this is a skill you want to demonstrate as infrequently as possible. If you are constantly having to chip and putt for your pars, you'll run into trouble sooner rather than later. Make it a goal to hit as many greens in regulation as possible during each round and know that you have the ability to get up and down when you do miss a green.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

It Starts with Fundamentals

It Starts with Fundamentals

There is a significant amount of strategy involved in getting the ball up and down, and we will get to those strategies later, but first we are going to talk about the fundamentals of your technique. You need solid technique as the foundation of your entire short game, since questionable technique is never going to allow you to be consistent. With your mechanics under control, you should be able to strike the ball nicely time after time.

As mentioned in the introduction, there are two parts to every up and down – the chip/pitch, and the putt. Since the important mechanics for these shots are quite different, we'll tackle them one at a time. First up, the key fundamentals to monitor when hitting putts.

  • Stability is crucial. If you only get one thing right when putting, this should be it. As you stand over the ball during the stroke, you want to keep your body as still and stable as possible. Your head shouldn't move during the stroke, and neither should your legs. The goal when putting is always to minimize the number of moving parts involved in the production of the stroke. If you can keep most of your body quiet, the consistency of your stroke will improve. Ideally, your putting stroke will involve nothing more than a simple rocking of the shoulders, back and through. It's harder than you might think to simplify your stroke down to this level, but you will be rewarded for your effort if you successfully get to this point.
  • Acceleration through the ball. As you swing the putter through the ball and toward the hole, your putter head should be picking up speed as it goes. By accelerating through impact, you'll have a better chance to hit your intended line. Golfers who decelerate through the ball are at risk for developing the yips, and even if you avoid the yips, you still may have trouble holing out from short range. If you feel like you are going to hit the ball too hard when you accelerate through impact, try shortening your backstroke. Tighten up your backstroke a bit, accelerate through the ball, and watch the ball dive into the cup more times than not.
  • Flat left wrist. This is a point which often goes overlooked as part of the putting discussion, but it is important. At impact, your left wrist should be mostly flat, and it should be firm all the way through the hit. If you can manage to check off this box, you'll be able to steer clear of the yips for the foreseeable future. The yips occur when the right hand takes over the stroke at the last moment, flipping the putter head through the ball. That simply isn't going to happen when your left wrist is firm and flat. If you tend to have trouble with this point, consider hitting some one-handed putts with just your left hand. Taking your right hand off the putter will force you to firm up your left wrist, and you will quickly learn how important this fundamental is to the quality of your stroke.

There is more to putting than just these three points, of course, but those are great points to build on. If you are managing to check off those three points successfully, a solid stroke can't be far behind.

Now, let's move on to chipping and pitching. What are the key fundamentals to watch when playing a shot from just off the side of the green? Here are three big ones.

  • Eyes on the ball. Sure, this is a simple tip, but it should always remain a point of emphasis when working on your chipping performance. It is incredibly tempting to look up early when hitting a chip shot, as you'll want to know if you've send the ball toward the hole properly. If you look up even a fraction of a second early, however, you may make poor contact and the shot will be a failure. During practice, teach yourself to keep your eyes on the ball all the way through the hit. Checking off this relatively simple task is going to go a long way toward making you a better short game player.
  • Hit down through impact. When hitting a chip shot, you want the ball to top up out of the grass and into the air. Knowing that's the goal, many amateur players actually try to lift the ball up off the ground, which is the wrong approach. Instead, you should be using the loft of the club to your advantage. Hit down through impact and let the design of the club do the work of getting the ball off the ground. You don't want to take a big divot when hitting a standard chip shot, but you should make a little mark in the grass as you swing down through.
  • Slight hinge of the right wrist. When putting, you want to keep your hands and wrists as still and stable as possible. As you step off the green and pick up a wedge, however, the story is going to change a bit. Here, you want to let your right wrist hinge slightly in the backswing as a way of setting the club. This hinging action will elevate the club head, allowing you to hit down through the ball with ease. You shouldn't be using your wrists wildly during the swing, but a little wrist hinge can help you improve the quality of your contact.

Any golfer who has a fundamentally sound short game is going to be in great position to shoot nice scores. The short game gives countless players trouble, and much of that trouble stems from the fact that the player never bothered to learn the basics. Take some time to build a foundation of great mechanics in your short game and getting up and down will suddenly seem much easier.

General Strategies

General Strategies

Believe it or not, the mental side of the short game may be even more important than the physical side. Sure, you need to have solid fundamentals, but most golfers are capable of establishing those fundamentals with a bit of practice. It is the strategy component that seems to be harder to come by for the typical golfer. In this section, we are going to outline some of the basic strategies that you should use to guide your short game play.

  • The value of the low side. If you are going to miss a green, you almost always want to miss that green on the low side (with very few exceptions). By playing your ball to the low side of the putting surface, you will be able to chip uphill towards the hole – which is going to be much easier than chipping downhill. It's relatively easy to control the distance of your chip shots when playing up a slope, so you should be able to set yourself up with a pretty easy putt. If you miss on the high side and have to chip downhill, it will take all of your skill to stop the ball around the cup – if it is even possible to do so. Make it a habit to favor the low side of the green on any approach shot where there is a meaningful degree of slope in the putting surface. This habit is going to set you up for much more manageable short game shots, both when you miss the green and when you hit the green to set up an uphill birdie putt.
  • Think about the putt. As you are getting ready to hit a chip shot, you should be thinking about the upcoming putt. Where would you like to putt from? Is one side of the hole going to present you with an easier putt than the other side? When chipping and pitching, it is relatively easy to control the line of your shots. That means you should be able to select the ideal side of the hole for your upcoming putt, and then hit the shot to that side without much trouble. Of course, this is only important when the hole is cut in a sloped section of the green. If the green is flat around the hole, just aim right at the cup and do your best to get the speed right.
  • Low is better than high. A high, soft chip/pitch shot which lands near the hole and stops quickly is an impressive shot to watch. However, this is also a relatively low percentage play, as it is difficult to pull off this kind of shot with any degree of consistency. To get up and down as often as you can, it is a good rule of thumb to keep the ball as low to the ground as possible. When you can use a bump-and-run to reach the hole, consider that shot to be your first option. You should only look higher into the air when there is something in your way that requires a higher shot. In other words, low chip shots should be your default option, and your higher short game shots should be kept in reserve until they are truly needed.
  • Respect the lie. Depending on the lie of the ball for your chip or pitch shot, you may need to adjust what kind of shot you play. For example, it's tough to hit a bump-and-run from a lie in the deep rough, so such a situation may require you to use a lofted wedge and a higher shot. There is nothing you can do to change the lie of the ball, so respect what it means for your shot and plan accordingly.

The key strategies for getting up and down are relatively simple, and they will become second nature as you gain more and more experience on the links. Golfers who have played this game for many years tend to aim to the low side automatically, for example, as they know how much of an advantage it can provide. Always think one step ahead when it comes to course strategy and you'll be in a much better position throughout most of your round.