We have visited many short game areas and one common factor is they are very underutilised. Very few people seem to understand the value and the gains from a reliable short game that can save them from trouble or keep the pars coming. Let’s discuss a little around decision making with short game shots for junior golfers, which club to take from varying situations and how to adjust set up to improve contact. What most junior golfers tend to do is choose which club they favour next to the green and then wander across to their ball and then work out where to land it and how to chip it close with the club they have taken with them…usually the most lofted or “favourite.” This needs to change!!
Here are our 5 L’s to playing great short game shots with maximum chances for consistency and control. Firstly; take your clubs with you across to where the ball sits don't just take your lucky wedge or your most lofted, how the ball LIES will help make the club selection. Next choose your LANDING AREA, a flat spot that’s as close to you as possible where the ball will react the same every shot should be your first choice. This will probably be just on the green. Next choose the LINE that you want to take allowing for how the ball will break when it’s rolling out toward the hole like a putt, and now begin to visualise what this shot will LOOK like.Finally, you can now decide which LOFT to select (club) based upon your selected shot choice.
Great ways to help your junior golfer practice hitting your landing spots would be to create a ladder of clubs on the floor 1 yard apart going away from you and see if you can land shots in the gap between them. To advance your learning further, do it with a variety of clubs and learn to control the length of swing to match the landing point. When it starts to get easy then try to choose two gaps to land it in, e.g. first bounce gap one and 2nd bounce gap 3, can you find the right loft and speed to achieve a result?
Another game for you to try... If you have access to a short game area then set up 5 shots and pace off how far away each one finishes from the hole, make sure you drop the ball before hitting, don’t place it, go through the above process and then let us know your personal best.
This is just one way that you can help improve your junior golfers game, to find out more about different areas that we can support you and your junior golfer get in contact below...