If you’re a single-digit handicapper, you’re pretty close to having your long game where you need it. But even then, your short game is… how do I break this to you gently?... probably a million miles off.
With less practice, I started to concentrate on what time I did have time for: 100m and in broken down to putting, chipping and pitches in 10m increments from 100m to 20m.
This also changed how I consider practice. No longer will I go to the range or practice ground at my club. I’m going to actually build a short game area in my back yard.
I’m fortunate enough to have a section large enough that I can squeeze in a 5m x 4m putting green. For about $3000 I can get an artificial putting surface installed at my home; and this is where I will concentrate about 80 per cent of my practice from now on.
Short putts, I’ll be concentrating on hammering them in from 6ft. Just a few minutes every day rather than hours beating range balls. I’m adamant I can drop at least four, maybe all five shots a round off my game this way.
One thing that has come home to roost is just how important the short game is to good scoring. A tweet by world No 1 Jordan Spieth spells this out. After a season where he dominated, Spieth took a couple of weeks off towards the end of last year, and just before his first week back he posted a photo of his practice putting regime on social media — a 6ft putt where he’d actually spent so long there he’s worked a track into the putting green.
You could spend $3000 at the range relatively quickly on balls and lessons. But by building a putting green you’re investing in the proper part of the game and it’s right there whenever you need it.
Just a few minutes a day, that’s all you need to do. The results will shock you.