Honestly, it should be the other way around if you want to score the best on the course. In a normal golf round, you might only hit your driver around 14 times, but you use your putter for over 30 strokes in a round!
That is why if you know how to improve your short game, you will transform into a much better player in no time!
When I first started to play golf, I found that I spent way too much time on the range hitting hundreds of balls with my driver. In reality, I could have made much bigger strides if I would have put all that time and energy into my wedges and putter!
Do you find yourself only working on your long game and neglecting the most important part of golf? Then be sure to listen up and take this advice to really make a positive impact on your game this year.
Different Ways to Improve Your Short Game
I am going to break down this section into indoor and outdoor methods, because some of us do not have the luxury of practicing outside year-round. Even if you are in a great climate, you might even prefer to use some of the indoor methods to improve your short game.
Indoor Methods to Improve Your Short Game
Before I get into the best ways to improve your short game while inside, it is important to make sure that your area is clear of anything within your swing radius and to never cut it close. Always be aware of your surroundings to avoid damaging anything, especially when practicing golf at home!
1. Purchasing an Indoor Golf Simulator
A perfect solution for people that do not like doing drills and training inside is to purchase a golf simulator that you can put in your home!
Nowadays, the technology that golf simulators have is incredible. The realism that simulators offer is certainly up to “par” with golfing outside and you can even play famous courses like Pebble Beach on a quality indoor simulator.
Check out this guide on the best indoor golf simulators.
2. Improve Your Putting Stroke
It may seem like you are micromanaging your game, but if you have any errors in your stroke it could cost you when you get on the course.
After taking some time to analyze your path, you might find out that you have an awful putting stroke path. All that you really need to review this is to perform your normal stroke and record yourself.
If you see that you are not consistent or making the right movements, then you know it needs to be addressed! There are even devices on sites like Amazon that have been proven to improve golfers putting strokes almost overnight!
Check out this guide on the best indoor putting mats and greens.
3. Chipping with Safe Golf Balls
The best way to stay sharp indoors with your feel and touch with your wedges is to use safe golf balls and set up targets to chip to. Not only will this keep your touch intact for when you can get on the course next, but it can really be a great time to build consistency and muscle memory with your wedges.
I personally like to chip at an object like a plastic cup or anything else that I can find laying around the house. Although it sounds like a no-brainer, just chipping around in your house can be a great way to build consistency and feel with your wedge.
4. Putting Distance Drill
Going back to putting indoors, I call this the Putting Distance Drill. There are a lot of names for it but I like to keep it simple. The first thing you need to get is a fake golf hole or you can just use a cup and put it on its side.
Next, measure out 3, 6, and 9 feet from your makeshift hole. You can even go, father, if you are lucky enough to measure out to around 20 feet for this drill. You are going to hit 5 putts from each distance and keep track of your results.
Any great drill that you do is going to involve a competitive aspect so that you are always competing with your previous score. By keeping track of how many you make each run, then you know what to beat and you are constantly chasing a goal.
I have always done this drill whether it was indoors or outdoors, and it is one of the best ways to improve your short game for your next round!
Outdoor Methods to Improve Your Short Game
1. Extended Shaft Drill
The first outdoor drill that you need to try out is called the Extended Shaft Drill. The goal of this drill is to give you the muscle memory to be better at chipping around the green. It is important to perform it regularly so that you can maintain the perfect form of chipping.
The instructions are pretty easy, all you need to do is grab an alignment stick and grip it with your wedge. Have a bit of the stick closer to your body and perform your normal chip form around the green.
If you do not hit yourself with the stick, then you have great form most likely!
If you are hitting yourself with the alignment stick, then you are not hinging your wrists correctly. If you start to chip correctly with hinged wrists you will notice a drastic change in your short game!
You can check out the drill here.
2. Mini-Golf Course Drill
My personal favorite way to improve my short game is this drill right here. The best part is that it is very flexible and all that you need is a practice putting green at your local golf course.
The way that I like to perform the drill is to make up 9 different spots that are your new “tee boxes.” Each tee box is off the green and you have to get up and down to get par for the hole.
Keep track of your results and keep on trying to improve. That’s it and you will surely start to improve. Especially if you are combining it with the other methods in this post, you should see amazing results to start killing it out on the golf course!
The best part is that when you get bored with one of your mini-golf course drills, then you can just come up with a whole new course layout. Getting up and down is one of the most important things in golf and this method is a surefire way to get better in my opinion.
3. Bucket Golf Drill
The final drill that I am going to point out for you to improve your short game is something I call the Bucket Golf Drill.
The drill puts a focus on your chipping abilities and can even be used for your wedge game within 50 yards.
All that you need is a large grass area and your normal golf equipment. What is pretty great is that you can practice chipping with different shots into your 5-gallon buckets. You can work on low trajectory chips and also practice more advanced things like a flop shot to get it to land in the bucket.
Working on your golf game outside with the golf bucket drill will let you see a massive improvement in your short game.
4. Get Out There and Improve Your Short Game
In the sections above, those are just some of the incredible ways that you can improve your short game indoors and outdoors. I could go on and on about more ways to improve your short game, but the bottom line is that you must put the work in on the practice green and indoors.
I saw a massive change in my overall golf game after I improved my short game with the methods and drills above. If you want to see incredible progress in the next weeks, months, and years, it all starts with your short game
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.