Developing Feel in Your Short Game
Tom Ellis, PGA

Problem Area: Short Game
Series: Instruction Feature

Published: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | 3:21 p.m.

Too often, students will ask me what the best club is to use for a basic chip shot, for example. My answer is that there is no one single club, and that it's up to the players themselves based upon their feel using a particular club, not to mention other variables such as lie, distance, hole location, etc.

To develop your feel for the short game, take your pitching wedge, 8-iron, and 6-iron and hit shots with each club to three different targets. The first target should be about 20 feet in front of you, the second 30 feet in front of you, and the third at 40 feet. First, hit shots using your pitching wedge. Start to notice how much time the shot spends in the air versus on the ground when you hit to each target. Do this with each club and you will see how all shots vary.

Once you've practiced with all the clubs, pick around six random targets no more than 40 feet away and begin to ask yourself what the best club is to use for each. You will then be on your way to developing your own feel and understanding for the short game and how different clubs can be beneficial for various types of chip shots.

Try this ...