5 Short-game Rules For Golfers

Short-game Golf Rules

In golf, the short game refers to any shots made from close to (or on) the green. The short game accounts for around 70% of golf shots so it’s important to focus on playing well here. If you play a great short game, it's going to lower your score &  take the pressure off your long game. Sounds good right? 

Every shot you hit near the green requires a different technique, so you need to have many tools in your arsenal to play at a better level. In this blog I've put together a list of basic rules & guidelines for the shots you hit near the green.

#1. Stand still when putting

A key factor on the greens is distance control. Being able to lag the ball close is essential for scoring well & something the best players excel at. Of all the variables that determine distance control, backstroke length is the most important because different length strokes produce different speeds. Standing still when you make your putt allows your body to stay balanced throughout the stroke, to avoid other variables coming into play.

#2. Glide, don’t dig in

Another thing to consider is that the square clubface often looks open on higher pitch shots. This is because you need to open the clubface slightly to make solid contact & engage the bounce of the club. You want the club to glide across the ground rather than dig into it. Practice using the bounce of the ball to improve your short-game shots.

#3. Lean in when chipping

For lower trajectory shots, try to lean in & keep your weight slightly forward. Leaning towards the target will help your upper body match up with the angle of the shaft. If the shaft leans more than your body, you’ll likely catch the leading edge in the turf. This may cause an excessive dig, which you want to avoid. Keep the end of the grip pointing towards the centre of your body as you lean forward. This helps to keep the ball lower & places the bottom of the swing arc on the target-side of the ball, to help you make ball-first contact.

#4. Shorter swing & narrower stance for less distance

As a general rule; the shorter the backswing, the less distance the ball will travel. If you’re one of those golfers who don’t like using small strokes, here is an alternative technique to help you. Use a narrower stance & grip down further on the shaft. It’ll be much easier to make a smaller swing & control your club.

#5. Strike down to hit up

As counterintuitive as it sounds, you need to hit the ground to launch the ball into the air. Many players (especially the newbies) try to scoop the ball up to get it airborne. What you want to do is the exact opposite! Strike down on the ball & create a divot to get the ball high.

While I can’t guarantee that these techniques will work everytime, it’s good to get into the habit of focusing on your short-game. Yes, the long game is where you can make the most impressive shots but actually, your short-game is more important in the long run. 

Thanks for reading & I hope to see you out on the green sometime.

Scroll to Top