A Golf Academy Short Game Instruction

By: John Culotta

What can you get out of a golf academy short game instruction? Well, let me first say that we all know the frustration of missing those simple 1 foot putts, but if you can get your short game as short as possible you can then go back and practice those putts at home or in the office. So, take your mind off of those missed putts and focus on your short game for a moment.

Just like any sport, practice will really improve your short game. You know, practice not only involves the physical, but the mental part, which should be practiced also. The mental part of the game is in many ways just as important as the physical and many golf academies around the world will indicate this.

Here's basically what you'll get when attending a golf academy short game instruction session. Keep in mind that every academy will teach the basics of the short game and some will be more detailed than others. But generally, you'll discover most golf academy short game instruction will reveal the following items to commit to memory:

  • 90 percent of the game is mental. Yes, it's all in your head (so to speak). If the mind is focused, prepared and in gear to make the shots, then the body will follow. It's been said the Tiger Woods dad taught him to visualize in his head where the ball needs to go before he made a swing or putt. It's true and it works for me.

  • 70 percent of shots are made within 120 yards of the hole. If you look at it this way, then a 365 yard hole should not be as intimidating since you really only need to master the 120 yards where the 70 percent of your shots will be made. To some, this is more of a mental part of the game that you should master as opposed to the physical. Although, both are equally important.

  • Chose the right club that matches your distance and height. With that in mind, you want the ball out of the air as much as possible. In order to keep the ball low, shift approximately 75 percent of your weight to the balls of your feet. If you have to take a higher shot, adjust your chest further back with only 60 percent of your weight forward.

  • Learn to chip with less force. Many golfers tend to overpower the chipping which lead to more frustration. Thinking more about the sweetspot when you chip will create better results then focusing on the force behind the swing. Remember to also keep your impact with the ball on the backside of the ball to keep it from going into the clouds (too much air).

  • When using a 7 or 8 iron, try gripping closer down towards the bottom of the grip. Some golf academy short game instructors would say to use a putting stroke, with the open stance, slightly aligned with the target line, when using the 7 or 8 iron. When you pull the club back, it should be about 18 inches. Always accelerate smoothly. On the downswing don't uncock your wrists too early.

  • Have you heard of the "flamingo drill"? Basically, it goes like this: 1) hit some chips and pitches with the toe of your rear foot balanced on your front foot. This will place your weight on your front leg. 2) place your foot down to the normal position and hit a few more. At this point you should notice how the exercise helps to prevent hanging back and giving the ball too much flight. With this drill you should also make note that if your head is behind the ball, your weight will also be behind the ball (which you don't want). 3) try to keep your weight on the front to prevent fat chips.

Well, there you have some of the basics of a golf academy short game instruction. One last thing, let's remember to enjoy the game in the middle of trying so hard to get the short game perfected.

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