Struggling for time to get down to the golf course during the week? It’s an issue that plagues us all, unfortunately. Long working hours, strict deadlines, and those so-called lunch breaks that are becoming increasingly non-existent. We get you. So why not practice golf at home? Especially your short game…
We’ve covered putting, so now it’s time for the broader aspect of the short game. We’ve all tried those quick fixes. Head down to the driving range in the evening, or take a day’s holiday here and there to play during the week. Sure, it might make you feel like Tiger Woods reincarnated after thrashing them a few times, but it costs money. And that’s one thing that’s tight for everyone right now.
You don’t need a PGA professional on call 24/7 or fancy video analysis from an online lesson to improve your golf game at home, and that’s a fact. Making your home a golf academy can be done yourself easier than you think.
There are many ways to practice golf at home. But forget chipping plastic balls from one end of the garden to the other and start practicing your short game properly. So do yourself and your scorecard a favour and do some short game practice properly with these drills at home (And keep reading because you won’t find out how to otherwise…)
Learn from the experts
The overall aim of golf is to shoot the lowest round possible, right? In order to do that, you’d be wise to listen to the pros, because they really do know what they’re talking about.
Renowned golf researcher and coach Dave Pelz, known for his expertise and published writing on the art of the short game, spent most of his time following PGA Tour players around the course during tournaments tracking a statistic called “PEI” for each player, which stands for Percentage Error Index, which measure the accuracy of each club in a golfer’s bag.
After several years of tracking different players, Pelz found something very interesting…
- The No 1 ball-striker on tour (according to his PEI metric) finished 10th on the money list over a three-year period.
- The No 2 ball-striker on tour finished 200th on the money list over a three-year period.
But what does this tell us?
It tells us that the long game has very little to do with a professional golfer’s success. If you’re an average ball-striker on the PGA Tour, you can easily make up for it with a killer short game.
And learn from the mistakes
The average club golfer generally doesn’t hit nearly as many greens as the average pro.
In other words, an amateur golfer has an even greater margin for improvement when practicing the short game compared to the professionals!
Top tips straight from the tour
Best used for when you have lots of green to work with, the trundling low shot will tend to roll more than it flies:
1. Use a pitching wedge, 9-iron, 8-iron or 7-iron, depending on how much green you have to work with
2. Play it back in your stance
3. Think draw-in-to-out club path
For something a little higher – but not an out-and-out flop shot – choose a club with a bit more loft and move the ball a little more up in your stance. The key tip for this is to look at the spot where you want your shot to land while you’re making practice strokes:
1. Use a club with more loft, such as a pitching wedge 9 iron
2. Same choked-up grip
3. Small amount of forward-lean shaft
4. Look at where you want the ball to land in your practice swings
Moving all the way up the spectrum, to loft one high, the first step is to reach for your highest lofted wedge and to open the face wide. Combine that with a bigger, steeper swing, and you’ll get a shot that starts high, lands soft, and spins a lot.
1. Grab your highest lofted wedge
2. Just behind middle ball position with narrow stance
3. Open the club face significantly
4. Bigger swing and steeper attack angle to create that ‘check’ spin
If you’re after even more drills and tips for your short game, scroll to the bottom of the page for links to other NCG instruction pieces.
Change your game
We make time for things we love in life. So make time for golf. Your lunch break is an ideal time for such things.
Split it in half. Eat, then practice. Practice, then eat. But don’t do both at the same time, that doesn’t count. You’re smarter than that. Use a room that has enough space for a medium-sized putt with decent lighting. And make sure you have some privacy to concentrate. Get in the zone.
But in order to start doing some chipping practice you’ll need some tools to help you actually practice these golf drills to do at home. Let’s take a look at what could be your new best friends to help you start giving yourself at home golf lessons…
Practice chipping at home: Orange Whip
+ Wedge shaft gives proper feedback for loading and unloading
+ Wedge club head swings freely from your wrists to help you find your sequence
+ Handcrafted from premium-grade materials built for exceptional durability and flexibility
Practice chipping at home: Rife
+ Target holes that reduce in size to challenge your skills even further
+ Lightweight and portable
+ Includes a carry/ storage bag
Practice chipping at home: Leadbetter
+ Durable fibreglass construction
+ Circular design provides distance control
+ Storage bag included
Practice chipping at home: Pure 2 Improve
+ Can be used in the home, office or even out on the course
+ Also helps you to visualise your target line and also improve the speed of your putts
+ The smaller 2.75″ opening provides increased confidence once you hit the course, making real holes appear larger
Practice chipping at home: PGA Tour
+ Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
+ Ideal for quick practise strokes before you start your round
+ Folds down to a compact flat size once finished
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