Short game thoughts: How many shots could you save?

Think of the last round of golf you played. How many total putts did you have? How many times did you get it up and down for par (or birdie)?

Another way to take a big view of it is look at Tour stats and see where you stack up: Stats courtesy of CBSSports.com

Greens in Regulation:
PGA: 65%
LPGA: 67 %

Putts/Round
PGA: 29.2
LPGA: 30.6

Tour players need a great short game on those 6 greens they miss to chip/pitch the ball close enough to the hole to save par, or make birdie on par fives. How’s your short game? Do you have a favorite club you tend to go with? Are you a “fly the ball to the hole” player or a “bump & run” type?

I was fortunate to play 18 holes on Saturday morning in fairly benign weather, just a few layers of clothing. Good walking weather. I drove the ball well, missing only two fairways. Iron play was decent as well, hitting 11/18 GIR’s. Shot 75 with three birdies. Yup…..short game sucked. The greens I missed were not by much. The 3-putt double on #2 was an especially ugly early round miscue. So yes, the short game can have a big impact.

I know that if I want to get past the golf plateau I’m stuck on right now, my short game needs to improve a HUGE amount (along with my physical stuff). Too many times I’ll be 8′ off the green in two shots with 60′ to the hole, have a straight forward chip with my SW or PW…..and leave myself ten feet long or short. My contact points are way off (towards the toe) and my touch seems non-existent. Definitely time for a lesson. Recently I’ve been playing a lot of practice shots with the 7 iron around the green as well as little bumps with a hybrid from thick collar areas. Different feel, pretty fun.

For the record, I like to get the ball on the ground and let it run. The more I have to rely on flying the ball a particular distance to a spot on the green and trying to figure out how much it will roll out brings too much complexity. I like it simple for me. Or as simple as it can be….and that’s never simple enough, is it?

And yes, you can catch me hitting huge flop shots at the practice facility. I won’t use that shot much on course, but it’s a great one to practice!

The picture is of my birdie putt on the 8th green at IVCC yesterday. About 15′ uphill, a bit left to right. Missed it, but left a tap-in for par. Go play good, fun golf!

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