When a student I'm teaching hits a bad shot, I always ask the same question: "What were you thinking of there?" The amount of stuff that comes back is mind-boggling, from mechanical positions to mental cues to what could go wrong. If you hit a decent shot when you're thinking about 16 things, you just got very lucky. Here I'm going to give you one thing to focus on for each of the basic short-game shots: pitch, chip, sand and putt. This key is not a cure-all for everyone, but it's the one move that will help the most golfers.
Gimme One Thing
On pitch shots, many golfers try to help the ball into the air. To do this, they drop the right shoulder and flip the hands through impact, which leads to hitting behind the ball. To make good contact on pitch shots, concentrate on turning your left shoulder more level on the through-swing.
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Better players tend to have stronger grips, with the left hand rotated farther away from the target. But for a lofted pitch, a weaker grip works better. Try taking your setup, then putting the back of your left hand against your left thigh and taking your grip again.
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For more than a decade, Golf Digest, the PGA of America and Golf Channel have been teaming up to present PGA Free Lesson Month. To set up your free 10-minute lesson from a PGA/LPGA professional during the month of May, consult the list of participating teachers at PlayGolfAmerica.com.