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.

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