Traditionally, the top tips for a good short game are:
• Narrow stance
• Grip down the handle
• Ball positioned back in the stance
• Hit down to impart more spin on the ball
• Weight on front foot
However, recent studies have shown a few pitfalls to these methods:
• Narrow stance – Reduces balance.
• Grip down the handle – Changes posture negatively.
• Ball positioned back in the stance – Reduces loft and bounce uncontrollably and misaligns the ball with the natural strike point.
• Hit down to impart more spin on the ball – Unpredictable ball flight and speed.
• Weight on front foot – correct - but doesn’t work with the above.
So what should you do instead?
Try the following…
• Wider stance – Maintains balance.
• Grip the handle as normal – Maintains consistent posture.
• Ball positioned forward in the stance – Maintains loft and bounce consistently and aligns the ball with the natural strike point.
• Use the body to control the swing on a shallower path – Bigger muscles move with less variation and the club will stay connected with the body.
• Weight on front foot - and works with all of the above.
• More consistent strikes
• Predictable ball flight
• Greater control on short shots and softer ball flights
• Increased spin
• Shallower divots
• Better strikes from all types of lies including tight lies!
Remember, there are no guarantees! Although these are guidelines that you can have in your head, it does not mean that your body will automatically follow. It may take time to adjust and regain feel for this technique. This method is designed to improve performance over a period of time - NOT to make each and every shot perfect.
Above all, remember that your grip pressure is key to hitting shots well with ALL clubs. A grip pressure of 4/10 will allow the club to work with gravity and give you more consistent results and increased club head speed. Grip your club as tight as possible – this is 10/10. Loosen it a little bit at a time and count down until you reach 4. Try taking a few different shots with this grip and see if it makes a difference!