Golf Digest editors picks

Breaking 100/90/80

Work on your short game to improve your full swing

September 2008

Even when I explain to my students that roughly 65 percent of their shots are within 60 yards of the green, they'd still rather stand on the range and hit drivers. Truth is, you can break 100, 90 or even 80 without grinding for hours practicing full shots. While you still need to practice with longer clubs, the basics of chipping and pitching can also hone an effective full swing. Look at this photo here. No matter whether I am chipping, pitching or hitting a longer shot, the only difference in the follow-through is how much my body and club have rotated. Essentially, your short game is the foundation for your full swing.

Read on, and I'll show you how to turn your short-game practice into full-swing results.

Want to know how tour pros pure their irons? Try this chipping setup, which is very similar to the position a tour pro reaches at impact with a proper full swing.

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Another similarity between the chipping setup and full-swing impact is eye alignment. Level eyes give you the best chance to put the bottom of the swing just ahead of the ball, resulting in solid impact.

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On full shots, most amateurs take the club back too far inside and then swing down too steeply. But a good takeaway increases your chance of keeping the club on the correct plane and hitting solid shots.

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Jason Guss, 31, selected as one of the top-20 instructors under 40 by Golf Digest and ranked by his peers No. 6 in Michigan, is lead instructor at the Rick Smith Golf Academy at Treetops Resort in Gaylord.
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