Monday, July 23, 2007

It's the short game, stupid!

Dave Pelz has said it over and over and over: it doesn't matter how well you hit full shots. Statistical analysis shows that even the best players in the world don't hit it close enough to make birdie a significant number of times. Scoring in golf all comes down to pitching, chipping and putting--especially if you want to break 80.

For those with handicaps near bogey and below, do yourself a favor: keep track of your strokes from within 30 yards over the next five times out on the course (and if you want to help me, please post your results here in comments.) What you'll learn is that most of your horrendous scores are mainly attributable to horrible short game shots. Sure, you may have a hole where you hit into an absolutely un-savable spot, but you'll see that, on the whole, it's the straight-forward short shots that give you the most trouble.

The best way to improve is to practice, and the best way to practice, that I've seen, is laid out in Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible. Though Dave assumes everyone has enough to time to practice to achieve robotic repeatability, there are many, many good short game ideas in his book.

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