Who can forget Tiger Woods' famous 16th-hole chip in the 2005 Masters?
It still is--and probably always will be--considered one of the greatest moments in golf.
Of course, the reason he could make that iconic shot was that he'd taken the time to master his short game. In fact, the best players in the world spend at least two-thirds of their total practice time developing their short game.
If you're wondering how to improve your short game in golf, you've come to the right place. In this post, we'll give you five expert tips to improve your golf short game.
A common mistake most novice golfers make is having too tight a grip. But the truth is that your grip can make or break your round--especially your short game.
When it comes to chipping, you've got to keep your hands soft. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the lightest) aim for a grip around 4-5.
This will ease the tension in your arms and wrists. Then you can focus on basic chipping stance, which includes keeping your chin high and your back straight.
Because chipping and pitching involve short shots, you may not feel the need to move your entire body.
But if you want to connect solidly with the ball, it's vital to rotate your body forward during your swing.
Start by swinging the clubhead back. Kick your right knee towards your left knee as a sort of "trigger" for your downswing. This will free up your entire right side and help your body rotate smoothly through the swing.
Another rookie mistake around the green? Coming at the ball with too much speed.
Yes, you need that speed and power off the tee. But for your golf short game, it's a different story.
Don't overthink it. Ease your grip, soften your hands, and take a deep breath. Count off "one and" in the top of your backswing, followed by "two" in your downswing.
The idea here is a gentle acceleration--not rushing the ball like a linebacker.
Are you working on your pitch shots? To get the ball close to its target, take advantage of the natural bounce as it hits the green.
Make sure your hands are lined up with the clubhead. Press them forward like you would with a chip shot. This will ensure your club doesn't get stuck in the grass.
When it comes to chipping and pitching tips, this one could be the most important.
Remember that your control comes from your left arm when you chip. Aim for a dimple on the back of the ball and try to hit it with the center of your clubface.
Let your left arm, hand, and wrist lead the way through your backswing and all the way through the contact with the ball.