Short Game Basics Every Golfer Can Master

Short Game Basics Every Golfer Can Master

Many golfers often concentrate on how far they can drive the ball, neglecting one of golf’s most critical parts… the short game. Improving your skills around the greens is an absolute must if you want to take your game to the next level and better your scores.


Sign up for Golfmate news


Basic Pitch For this shot set your shaft more vertical to help the clubhead glide along the turf. Your arms, club, and chest should turn back together and finish with your hands being in front of your chest. 


When to hit pitch shots:

– Typically when a player has some sort of obstruction e.g. bunker shot or pond

– If ground conditions aren’t favourable 

– If you need the ball to land softly with a lot of backspin


Stock Chip

Chipping shots are usually required when you have missed a previous shot. These shots are typically called approach shots. Put your weight forward with the front of your shoulders over your lead foot. Your arms should be in a triangular position. Move the triangle formed by your arms and shoulders then back through. Remember to continue turning your body to ensure the club’s shaft and lead arms are in line upon impact. 


When chipping it’s important to consider:

– The Distance 

– The Ground Conditions


In the Rough

This is one of the more difficult shots on the course. Next time you find your ball in deeper grass, allow your trail arms to fold as your swing back, Use a sharp angle between your lead arm and club. By doing this it allows you to hit down sharply on the ball. Swing high to low and ensure you have a little follow-through. To get more solid contact ensure you hit the ball with the centre of the clubface, setting the leading edge with the bottom of the ball and not underneath it! 



We see many amateur golfers hit the same pitch or chip shot time and time again. Even though this works sometimes you may want to try a different approach. One of those is the Bump-and-Run. For this shot use a 9-iron and chip the ball with some hook spin. Take the club back more inside the target and let the face close through impact. If you are attempting to do this shot on a slope try to land the ball halfway to kill its momentum so it stops before the green and not after it!

Here are some reasons you may want to hit a bump-and-run shot:

– Wind

– Trees

– Tight Lies

– A lot of Green to work with


Bunker shots Easily one of the more dreaded shots on the course. For this shot take a gap wedge or sand wedge and make your swing three times harder than what is required from the fairway. E.g. For a 30-yard shot, make your 90-yard swing. For a standard greenside bunker shot try and play the ball of your lead feed and set up your clubface to about 45 degrees. Once you overcome the mental blocks and learn the fundamentals of how to approach greenside bunkers you will become a great bunker player! 


Always remember to:

– Change your address position

– Adjust your weight (60-70% of your weight on your forward leg)

– Widened stance

– Lower your hands

– Position the ball in front of the centre 

– Open the club Face


Flop Shot:

In order to get the ball higher, take an extra-wide stance and play the ball slightly in front of your centre stance. Keep your train arm under the lead arm through impact and remember to hold the clubface open and pop the ball up. 


Always remember to:

– Assess the lie

– Open your flop wedge and face your body left

– Put 70% of your weight on your forward leg

– Keep the clubface open

– Accelerate through the shots using a 1-2 tempo.