DON­ALD’S DO’S & DON’TS FOR A BET­TER SHORT GAME

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Short Game Success Donald’s Do’s & Don’ts For A Be -

Put as much vari­ance into your prac­tice as pos­si­ble. Don’t just dump 50 balls and hit the same shot to the same pin. You are bet­ter off tak­ing five balls to a chip­ping green and pitch­ing one to five dif­fer­ent pins. If your brain gets too en­gaged do­ing the same thing over and over again, it’s not very ben­e­fi­cial. The more you can vary your prac­tice, the bet­ter.

Don’t get up hung up on the length of your swing for those in-between shots. I try and stay away from the clock face sys­tem or writ­ing down yardages for dif­fer­ent lengths of swing. That kind of stuff re­quires too much in­ner think­ing. I feel like the brain works best when it is sub­con­sciously work­ing, rather than to­tally grind­ing on num­bers.

Try to cre­ate feel through prac­tice. There is a time for work­ing on fun­da­men­tals, but I also be­lieve in repli­cat­ing sit­u­a­tions out on the course and us­ing proper greens. If it is not that busy, find an empty hole and throw down some balls from dif­fer­ent dis­tances. Ex­per­i­ment how you can hit it high and low, and how you can spin it a bit more.

If you are strug­gling for con­fi­dence, prac­tise some bump and runs from off the green and see if the re­sults are more con­sis­tent than us­ing a lofted club. At home, I spend three quar­ters of my prac­tice from 100 yards and in. I might hit a few pitch and runs where I have a lot of green to work, and then up the dif­fi­culty by chip­ping to a pin where I’ve got lit­tle green to work with. I’ll also hit some shots from the rough, and then set my­self tar­gets and keep a tally of my re­sults. I think that’s re­ally im­por­tant be­cause it gives you some­thing to aim for and mea­sures your im­prove­ment.

Ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent bounces and see what works best for you. If you have a good tech­nique, I feel like you don’t need as much bounce. I have eight de­grees on my 54, which is less than most peo­ple have, but it al­lows me to spin the ball a lit­tle bit more. Again, it comes down to what you are look­ing for and what works for you. If you’re a higher hand­i­cap, I think more bounce is eas­ier to hit with and cer­tainly helps with bunker shots.

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