Short game lessons??

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Newman21

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I lost so many strokes yesterday from my short game. I had 4 birdies but 3 DOUBLE BOGIES!!! 2 of the double bogies were 30 yards and in and the other was 70 and in. The other day I purchased a chipper hoping that would help. It’s a 55* chipper that would be a bit more versatile than the standard 45*. That helped a bit maybe but the score is the truth. I was thinking I had a bit of the yips with the short shots, especially 30 and in. My putter was a bit off yesterday also.

Do pros really look to help in short game lessons? Do I just need to figure it out myself and practice?
 

TheDoctor

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Any decent instructor should be able to help with all aspects of your game, including short game and putting
It could be something as simple as technique, so a lesson to have them look at it is well worth the money in my opinion

Had a couple lessons myself in the past with my instructor solely on chipping and putting, working on technique and it opened my eyes to how much easier it can be - it also showed how much the old style of forward shaft lean to generate spin isn't necessarily the best way to go, and that by using a much shallower swing you can generate just as much, if not more, spin on your shots with a much bigger margin for error in terms of making contact with the ball
 

5150

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I can’t think of a single lesson that helped me more than the short game lesson I had with my instructor a couple years back.

We worked on nothing but shots inside 100y: full swings with wedges, partial swings with wedges, pitches and chips.

If you don’t have an instructor or access to one, here are a few videos:

This is a quick-hit 10 minute deal… Kevin Kisner fixes his buddy’s chipping:


Much longer investment of time here, but if you want the whole enchilada, there is no one better (in my opinion) around the green than Phil:

 

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I took a short game lesson back in Spring of 2019, was a game changer for me.
He showed me how to make those chips out of the thick greenside rough and how to play the slope of the green to allow the ball to roll out. Different techniques for different shots. A good teacher should be able to get you squared away pretty quickly.
 

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I lost so many strokes yesterday from my short game. I had 4 birdies but 3 DOUBLE BOGIES!!! 2 of the double bogies were 30 yards and in and the other was 70 and in. The other day I purchased a chipper hoping that would help. It’s a 55* chipper that would be a bit more versatile than the standard 45*. That helped a bit maybe but the score is the truth. I was thinking I had a bit of the yips with the short shots, especially 30 and in. My putter was a bit off yesterday also.

Do pros really look to help in short game lessons? Do I just need to figure it out myself and practice?
Well, to cover your question in an umbrella kind of response: the pros have lessons and coaching on every aspect of their game.

I've had short game lessons, from a couple of different teachers, and, while their teaching varied slightly on small facets of the short game, the vast majority of it was the same.

You can't go wrong with a good teacher. Just be prepared for the hours of practice you'll need to do for their lessons to become your habits.
 

Snowman

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I can’t think of a single lesson that helped me more than the short game lesson I had with my instructor a couple years back.

We worked on nothing but shots inside 100y: full swings with wedges, partial swings with wedges, pitches and chips.

If you don’t have an instructor or access to one, here are a few videos:

This is a quick-hit 10 minute deal… Kevin Kisner fixes his buddy’s chipping:


Much longer investment of time here, but if you want the whole enchilada, there is no one better (in my opinion) around the green than Phil:

^ Those two videos (along with some practice) helped my short game more than anything else ever has. But the practice really is key - once you have the technique down, so much of the short game relies entirely upon feel. I can tell when I haven't been practicing my short game, the feel goes away and all of a sudden I'm struggling a lot more with it.
 

Newman21

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Thank you everyone!! I have definitely been one of those players that puts the ball further back in my stance and spins it to the hole, BUT as you all know if I am just a hair off, its a chunk or a blade. The odds are against me. Thus, the yips. I have some fear I believe.
 

TheDoctor

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Thank you everyone!! I have definitely been one of those players that puts the ball further back in my stance and spins it to the hole, BUT as you all know if I am just a hair off, its a chunk or a blade. The odds are against me. Thus, the yips. I have some fear I believe.
See if you can find an instructor who promotes the shallow swing, or watch some videos to get an idea of how to play the shot with less shaft lean as it is just as effective

Find the TXG videos with Gareth Raflewski as they were around the short game as well and showed how much you can hit behind the ball and still hit a reasonable shot
 

5150

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Thank you everyone!! I have definitely been one of those players that puts the ball further back in my stance and spins it to the hole, BUT as you all know if I am just a hair off, its a chunk or a blade. The odds are against me. Thus, the yips. I have some fear I believe.
And that's not a bad shot, putting it back and spinning it, but it's not the right shot for each situation, right?

Like a tight pin, maybe over a bunker. When there's not enough room to hop-and-stop, then you need a different shot, something with higher trajectory.

You'll need more than one shot you can trust around the green if you want to get up/down regularly.
 

5150

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^ Those two videos (along with some practice) helped my short game more than anything else ever has. But the practice really is key - once you have the technique down, so much of the short game relies entirely upon feel. I can tell when I haven't been practicing my short game, the feel goes away and all of a sudden I'm struggling a lot more with it.
Absolutely... the technique is helpful, but it is a feel thing, and I do have to practice it to stay sharp.

My favorite short game drill: take 5 balls, just off the green, and chip/putt until I get up and down with all 5 in a row.

When I'm sharp and have been practicing I can get it done fairly quickly. If I've been negligent, it could take all afternoon.
 

Newman21

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And that's not a bad shot, putting it back and spinning it, but it's not the right shot for each situation, right?

Like a tight pin, maybe over a bunker. When there's not enough room to hop-and-stop, then you need a different shot, something with higher trajectory.

You'll need more than one shot you can trust around the green if you want to get up/down regularly.
So true. My problem greens yesterday were greens that were built up from 2ft to 10ft above my feet. I didn't have that shot. It was too high for me to hit into the side of the hill/green and have it jump up. I needed to fly it. Didn't have that shot.
 

McLovin

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I lost so many strokes yesterday from my short game. I had 4 birdies but 3 DOUBLE BOGIES!!! 2 of the double bogies were 30 yards and in and the other was 70 and in. The other day I purchased a chipper hoping that would help. It’s a 55* chipper that would be a bit more versatile than the standard 45*. That helped a bit maybe but the score is the truth. I was thinking I had a bit of the yips with the short shots, especially 30 and in. My putter was a bit off yesterday also.

Do pros really look to help in short game lessons? Do I just need to figure it out myself and practice?
yes a good one absolutely does.

my journey is documented ad nauseum on my thread here on thp, but one of the things i don’t talk a lot about is the instructor i had prior to my guy.

my last instructor is a nice guy, but ultimately our thoughts on the swing didn’t click. where we really struggled was short game. he would hit the shot then basically tell me to do what he did. he gave me a few thoughts, all of which were either wrong or i’m now actively trying to undo.

the guy i’m working with now has so much more knowledge, and is flat out a better instructor. we recently had a short game breakthrough and i’m seeing unbelievable improvements. i’m not scared. i’m getting the ball on the green. i’m getting up and down! and i have the clearest understanding i’ve ever had of what i need to be doing.

so yes, a good pro can absolutely help you. but it may take a bit of searching to find the best fit for you.

side bar: i cannot emphasize enough my advice against youtube videos. never in a million years would i have successfully diagnosed what my issues were. even then, i would not have known how to fix them and which videos to consume and practice. youtube golf videos are like webmd.
 

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So true. My problem greens yesterday were greens that were built up from 2ft to 10ft above my feet. I didn't have that shot. It was too high for me to hit into the side of the hill/green and have it jump up. I needed to fly it. Didn't have that shot.
Watch the Mickelson video that @5150 linked to above - he shows how to hit a variety of short game shots. Fast forward to 34:17 to get past all the putting stuff and into the good stuff.
 

5150

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side bar: i cannot emphasize enough my advice against youtube videos. never in a million years would i have successfully diagnosed what my issues were. even then, i would not have known how to fix them and which videos to consume and practice. youtube golf videos are like webmd.
I would agree, which probably seems like a contradiction since I posted a couple above, haha...

I'm not looking to Kisner or Phil to diagnose any problem with my particular swing - instead just for basic concepts from guys who hit a million shots a year or whatever they hit.

Any video with THE SECRET! or FIX YOUR CHIPPING FOREVER! in the title is usually not worth your time.

And there is no substitute for an in-person lesson, with a competent instructor with whom you have a solid connection.
 

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I was gifted 9 hrs of sg lessons many years ago. This was way before the pros started using that "strokes saved/lost" statistic I believe. I know it had not reached the amateur ranks yet.

My instructor at the time taught me the many facets of the short game, and we even designed the practice routines I still use today.

Shots from <100 yards, green reading, ball lies, club selection, and hitting from good/poor lies. Saved me a lot of strokes back then.

The only thing I changed since then, is my chipping, and shorter pitching strokes. I now use Paul Runyon's chip/putt stroke instruction. This is nothing more than chipping, using my putting stroke. I found it to be more accurate for me than the traditional chipping stroke.
 

5150

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So true. My problem greens yesterday were greens that were built up from 2ft to 10ft above my feet. I didn't have that shot. It was too high for me to hit into the side of the hill/green and have it jump up. I needed to fly it. Didn't have that shot.
Yep... gotta have more than one way to approach it... the game is full of variables, which is why we love it, right? We can play the same course every day and never have the same round twice.

I look at club selection for chipping the same way. I don't have a go-to club for chipping. All depends on the shot.

I'll use anything from a 58 degree up to my 4 hybrid around the green depending on the situation, haha... I like the hybid if I want to putt from just off the green, but want the ball to carry over some thicker stuff on the collar. 7i works great for that too.
 

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The Kisner video I'm good with. The Phil video, not so much. Phil uses a lot of advanced techniques which can be absolutely brilliant in the right hands, but most amateurs don't have the right hands.

As others have said, a short game lesson can be life-changing.
 

McLovin

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The Kisner video I'm good with. The Phil video, not so much. Phil uses a lot of advanced techniques which can be absolutely brilliant in the right hands, but most amateurs don't have the right hands.

As others have said, a short game lesson can be life-changing.
i'd even go so far as to say phil is incorrectly articulating what he's actually doing. "hinge and hold" is not hinging and holding. he's hinging, RELEASING, but stopping the hands very early so the club releases and the bounce engages but by stopping the hands early the club does not travel very far past impact. hence the "hold" part. but he's not setting an angle and then rotating his body to make contact. if you hinge and never release, contact is damn near impossible without a ton of body movement. this is basically what i've spent the last few months trying to undo. i've spent YEARS trying to take my wrists out of the short game, when in fact the short game cannot happen WITHOUT wrists.
 

Hamfist

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yes a good one absolutely does.

my journey is documented ad nauseum on my thread here on thp, but one of the things i don’t talk a lot about is the instructor i had prior to my guy.

my last instructor is a nice guy, but ultimately our thoughts on the swing didn’t click. where we really struggled was short game. he would hit the shot then basically tell me to do what he did. he gave me a few thoughts, all of which were either wrong or i’m now actively trying to undo.

the guy i’m working with now has so much more knowledge, and is flat out a better instructor. we recently had a short game breakthrough and i’m seeing unbelievable improvements. i’m not scared. i’m getting the ball on the green. i’m getting up and down! and i have the clearest understanding i’ve ever had of what i need to be doing.

so yes, a good pro can absolutely help you. but it may take a bit of searching to find the best fit for you.

side bar: i cannot emphasize enough my advice against youtube videos. never in a million years would i have successfully diagnosed what my issues were. even then, i would not have known how to fix them and which videos to consume and practice. youtube golf videos are like webmd.
In response to your sidebar, I agree that there is a lot of chaff, and little wheat. One I have found is Mark Crossfield's chipping videos (there are 2). He's a professional instructor, and he explains the mechanics of the chip very well.
 

wadesworld

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i'd even go so far as to say phil is incorrectly articulating what he's actually doing. "hinge and hold" is not hinging and holding. he's hinging, RELEASING, but stopping the hands very early so the club releases and the bounce engages but by stopping the hands early the club does not travel very far past impact. hence the "hold" part. but he's not setting an angle and then rotating his body to make contact. if you hinge and never release, contact is damn near impossible without a ton of body movement. this is basically what i've spent the last few months trying to undo. i've spent YEARS trying to take my wrists out of the short game, when in fact the short game cannot happen WITHOUT wrists.
A great example of "feel isn't real." I'm sure to Phil, it feels like he's hinging and holding as he rotates.
 

tequila4kapp

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Short game lessons are the best. Definitely consider taking them. Any pro that doesn't want to work on short game is someone you shouldn't want to work with.
 

5150

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i'd even go so far as to say phil is incorrectly articulating what he's actually doing. "hinge and hold" is not hinging and holding. he's hinging, RELEASING, but stopping the hands very early so the club releases and the bounce engages but by stopping the hands early the club does not travel very far past impact. hence the "hold" part. but he's not setting an angle and then rotating his body to make contact. if you hinge and never release, contact is damn near impossible without a ton of body movement. this is basically what i've spent the last few months trying to undo. i've spent YEARS trying to take my wrists out of the short game, when in fact the short game cannot happen WITHOUT wrists.
Fair enough. Different strokes for different folks (pun intended). I personally find keeping the wrists quiet through impact works quite well for me.

I will say that I found Kisner's take on it a lot easier to digest, and that focusing on turning my sternum thru the shot with my hands (without flipping my wrists) is very helpful in my situation.
 

SkiBumGolfer

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My results of late have really crystallized for me that I need to do the same. My short game has improved leaps and bounds over the last 5-6 years, mostly just through sheer force of will. I can reliably make a solid chip with a semi-appropriate amount of roll, I know how to vary club choice and shaft lean to achieve different rolls, I can get out of greenside traps >90% of the time, and I even have a semi-reliable flop shot. However, there are still shortcomings that glare at me - I'm still not really consistent enough with any of it to be giving myself makeable 1-putts most of the time, especially out of the sand, and my lag putting needs a lot of work, especially on unfamiliar greens. Some of it is just reps, but I'm certain a professional eye could really speed up my improvement. The full swing is generally in really good shape, but it's really bad when I hit around 50% of greens and I still can't get under 80 on the card a lot of the time.

I really hope you decide to set a lesson up, and if you do definitely share your experience on here! I highly doubt you will regret it.
 

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A good pro should absolutely be able to help with your short game. I played some of my best golf after I went to a golf school and spent a lot of time working on short game. I would suggest some time making sure you have the proper technique for a the different shots then a playing/situational lesson on making the correct shot decision for different shots. I find that people tend to make the wrong choices frequently around the greens.
 

5150

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A good pro should absolutely be able to help with your short game. I played some of my best golf after I went to a golf school and spent a lot of time working on short game. I would suggest some time making sure you have the proper technique for a the different shots then a playing/situational lesson on making the correct shot decision for different shots. I find that people tend to make the wrong choices frequently around the greens.
Very well said; myself included.

The bad misses for me around the green tend to boil down more to choosing the wrong shot than they do to poor execution.

Case in point, last week I had a downhill chip from the rough to a somewhat tight pin. I had a fluffly lie.

I chose to try to bounce it in the fringe and roll it down close.

I executed the shot I wanted, it hit my spot and... rolled 15 feet past.

In hindsight the better choice would've been to carry it almost to the hole and use trajectory to stop it rather than try to run it down the slope.

It's funny sometimes to hit a good shot, only to sort out that it was the WRONG shot, haha.
 

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