In a recent blog post, we focused on your long game and the types of shot you'll use when playing at a distance. The other shots you’ll need to consider on your route from the tee to the green all fall within the short game category.
When you're less than 100 yards to the pin, you'll need shots like the pitch, chip and flop. Once your confidence increases, you’ll be able to plan a run and bounce with these too.
To help you select the right shot, here’s a guide and some tips to help you reduce the shots you take on your next round.
This lofted shot aims to get a high lift on the shot so that it lands softly on the green with minimum movement once the ball has landed. You'll be looking to pitch a shot if you are roughly between 25 to 100 yards from the green.
One of the main aspects of pitching is controlling the distance. Try standing with your feet closer together or limiting the length of your swing to reduce the distance. As you get nearer to the green you can even try gripping further down the club and shifting the weight balance so that you are leaning towards your front foot.
To get a feel for the different stances and how your range changes, head to the driving range and take five shots with your standard setup. Keep a note of the distances reached and then take another five shots but change one element, for example your grip on the club. Keep repeating and practising, and you’ll soon build up a much better understanding of which setup you should use when out on the course.
Within 25 yards of the green you're like to need a chip shot. The aim of the chip shot is to use a high lofted club and land it onto the green with a slight roll - preferably towards the hole.
To chip effectively, you need to limit the length of the swing. You may find it easier to swing as if you were putting. The best technique is to limit your wrist movement, take most of the motion from your shoulders and upper body, and ensure that you complete the follow through. You’ll want to control the distance by limiting your backswing.
Just like pitching, the best advice to give is that practice makes perfect. Head to the practice greens and pick a pin to chip towards, break your practice into sets of five shots and make an adjustment every five shots to see what difference it makes to the accuracy.
Our top tips for chip shots are to loosen your grip slightly and try your hardest not to scoop the ball. Let the club do the work with the lift.
The Flop (or Lob)
A lob shot comes in handy if you’re within chipping distance but have obstacles in your way. The idea of this shot is to lift the ball high, to limit the movement when it lands and avoid any obstructions such as bunkers, water or trees. Warning: it’s not easy and if you aren’t confident with it then it can easily add shots to your round. Only try this one if you're on a very good lie.
The lob shot technique is different to the other shots we've discusses. You’ll need to open the club face almost to the point where you could balance something on it. This makes it feel as if you're aiming to the right (or left if left handed), and your body needs to aim in the opposite direction to make up for that. We’d also suggest gripping a little further down the club to help control the distance.
With 16 golf courses across the UK, five with driving ranges, Mytime Active can help you fine tune your short game and trim shots off your round.
Find out more about our golf membership options, which offer unlimited golf at all our courses, unlimited use of the driving ranges and full membership access to all Mytime Active leisure sites, as well as many other deals.