Make Short Game Practice Focused

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Practicing the short game can be boring for a lot of people. Here is a great game that I like my players to use in order to remain focused during a short game session. Rather than chipping over and over to the same hole, play this game, keep score and always try to improve your best result.

Pick a hole and chip one ball into each of the four quadrants surrounding the hole. So, it’s one ball each that finishes: Past the hole and right; Past the hole and left; Short of the hole and right; Short of the hole and left.

Chipping to four quadrants of the hole

Keep track of how many shots it takes you to get one ball in each quadrant. Now, go make the putts!  Knowing that you have to make the putts will prevent you from “cheating” by hitting a chip shot very long and very right as an example. A perfect score would be 8.  Practice this drill a few times per week in order to improve your ability to focus, chip into a defined area and make those short putts that will save par.

Now, make each putt

I also like players to think of which quadrant they want a ball to finish in while they are playing. If a hole is cut on a severe slope there will be one quadrant that is better than the other three. For most right handed players, the easiest putt is uphill with a little amount of right to left break. Rather than just aggressively chipping the ball as you try to make it, or haphazardly chipping the ball towards the general vicinity of the hole, pick a specific spot in the preferred quadrant. Not only will this give you an easier putt, you will be more invested in the shot. Planning the shot out this way will let you visualize the chip. As a result you will tend to hit more precise chips.