GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

Bad-Ass Short Game

1  of  5

Lesson 1: Bad-Ass Putting

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Putting makes up roughly 40 percent of the strokes taken in a round, so it makes sense that if you become a bad-ass putter, your scores are going to drop. In this video, teacher Jeff Ritter explains the keys to making short putts and getting the long ones within tap-in range.

SWING THOUGHTS

Adjust the way you putt based on the situation
To keep the putterface square, focus on the movement of your hands
For better long putting, stand taller and remove rigidity from your body
Learn by watching the styles of the great putters

DRILLS

The Balance Drill

  • Pick a putt of 10 feet or less.
  • Roll up your golf towel and place it on the green.
  • Stand on the towel so it’s under the arches of both feet.
  • Hit putts trying to maintain your balance on the towel.
Lesson 2: Bad-Ass Chipping
2 Lesson 2: Bad-Ass Chipping
  • How common advice can betray you
  • The big myth about shaft lean
  • How to make solid contact every time
  • Practicing to build your confidence

Bad-Ass Short Game

2  of  5

Lesson 2: Bad-Ass Chipping

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Many time-honored tips for hitting good chip shots can actually hurt your ability to be a bad-ass chipper. In this video, teacher Jeff Ritter debunks many myths about chipping and offers a simpler, more efficient way to hit these stroke-saving shots consistently well.

SWING THOUGHTS

In chipping, don’t lean the shaft much toward the target
On chip shots, set your shirt buttons just ahead of the ball for solid contact
On chips, slide the club along the ground through impact; don’t try to hit down
The secret chipping move: Fold the lead elbow in the setup

DRILLS

The In-Between Drill

  • Adjust the clubface and swing path to intentionally hit a chip right of your target.
  • Adjust the face and path again, this time hitting a chip left of your target.
  • Now adjust the face and path to hit a chip between those two extremes.
Lesson 3: Bad-Ass Wedge Shots
3 Lesson 3: Bad-Ass Wedge Shots
  • Why half-shots are difficult to execute
  • How to hit short wedges like a tour player
  • The key move for controlling distance
  • Using tee drills to groove your mechanics

Bad-Ass Short Game

3  of  5

Lesson 3: Bad-Ass Wedge Shots

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Let’s face it, most golfers hate less-than-full shots. But to be a bad-ass wedge player, you need to be able to get the ball close from any distance when you have a wedge in your hands. In this video, teacher Jeff Ritter shows you the proper technique to master partial wedge shots.

SWING THOUGHTS

Play the ball in the middle for wedge shots
With the wedges, lean your entire body slightly toward the target at address
On half-wedges, don’t let the lead arm go past parallel to the ground on the backswing
On half-wedges, accelerate through impact with the trail arm getting parallel to the ground
Brush the grass with the clubhead—don’t dig—as the club strikes the ball

DRILLS

The Tee Drill

  • Tee the ball an inch or so off the ground.
  • hitting short wedges trying to clip the ball off the tee with a shallow swing.
  • Contact the ball solidly with the clubface delofted slightly at impact.
  • If you pop the ball up, your downswing was too steep, or the clubface had too much loft.
Lesson 4: Bad-Ass Pitching
4 Lesson 4: Bad-Ass Pitching
  • Turning fat shots into pure strikes
  • The secret to pitching success
  • How throwing will help you improve
  • Developing feel: the ultimate drill

Bad-Ass Short Game

4  of  5

Lesson 4: Bad-Ass Pitching

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Even the best players miss at least a handful of greens per round. And just like them, you’re going to be in situations where you have to pitch the ball onto the green to avoid bogeys or worse. In this video, teacher Jeff Ritter explains the two secrets to being a bad-ass pitcher and why this swing is the foundation to all short-game play.

SWING THOUGHTS

On pitch shots, play the ball middle, and lean your body slightly toward the target
Keep the backswing short on pitch shots
On pitches, start the downswing by moving the clubhead first
As the club impacts the ball on pitch shots, let your body rise up

DRILLS

Clear the Range

  • At the range, throw a bunch of balls down in random lies.
  • Using your dominant arm only, “clear the range” by hitting the balls one-handed with a wedge.
  • Don’t think about technique; just hit the balls as fast as you can.
  • Gain a feel for how the clubhead swings naturally back and through and repeat that feel on pitch shots.
Lesson 5: Bad-Ass Bunker Play
5 Lesson 5: Bad-Ass Bunker Play
  • Why you should forget old-school tips
  • How to take consistent sand divots
  • The keys to setting up properly
  • Two easy ways to control shot distance

Bad-Ass Short Game

5  of  5

Lesson 5: Bad-Ass Bunker Play

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW

Pros often say the bunker shot is the easiest in golf. Teacher Jeff Ritter thinks it’s the hardest because it’s unlike any other shot, especially the concept of intentionally swinging under the ball and missing it entirely. In this video, Ritter simplifies this shot so that bad-ass sand play becomes routine.

SWING THOUGHTS

For greenside bunker shots, set your body square to the target, not open, and play the ball off your front heel
In greenside bunkers, set your weight in your front leg and your shirt buttons slightly behind the ball
On bunker shots, soften your elbows and let your arms fold as you swing back
On bunker shots, swing down and through the sand entering inch behind the ball
Regulate distance from greenside bunkers by changing the pace of your swing or by switching clubs

DRILLS

Walk the Line

  • Draw a line in the sand, and take your address straddling the line.
  • Simulate bunker swings trying to hit the line as you swing down and through.
  • Finish the swing by feeling as if you’re throwing sand to the target with the clubhead.

Bad-Ass Short Game

Lesson
1 / 5
Lesson 1: Bad-Ass Putting
2 / 5
Lesson 2: Bad-Ass Chipping
3 / 5
Lesson 3: Bad-Ass Wedge Shots
4 / 5
Lesson 4: Bad-Ass Pitching
5 / 5
Lesson 5: Bad-Ass Bunker Play
Bad-Ass Short Game INDEX
Lesson 1: Bad-Ass Putting
1/5
Lesson 1: Bad-Ass Putting
  • Learn to adjust your stroke, like the pros
  • How to control the face on short putts
  • How to add more hit on long putts
  • Simple drills for rapid improvement
  • Learn to adjust your stroke, like the pros
  • How to control the face on short putts
  • How to add more hit on long putts
  • Simple drills for rapid improvement
Lesson 2: Bad-Ass Chipping
2/5
Lesson 2: Bad-Ass Chipping
  • How common advice can betray you
  • The big myth about shaft lean
  • How to make solid contact every time
  • Practicing to build your confidence
  • How common advice can betray you
  • The big myth about shaft lean
  • How to make solid contact every time
  • Practicing to build your confidence
Lesson 3: Bad-Ass Wedge Shots
3/5
Lesson 3: Bad-Ass Wedge Shots
  • Why half-shots are difficult to execute
  • How to hit short wedges like a tour player
  • The key move for controlling distance
  • Using tee drills to groove your mechanics
  • Why half-shots are difficult to execute
  • How to hit short wedges like a tour player
  • The key move for controlling distance
  • Using tee drills to groove your mechanics
Lesson 4: Bad-Ass Pitching
4/5
Lesson 4: Bad-Ass Pitching
  • Turning fat shots into pure strikes
  • The secret to pitching success
  • How throwing will help you improve
  • Developing feel: the ultimate drill
  • Turning fat shots into pure strikes
  • The secret to pitching success
  • How throwing will help you improve
  • Developing feel: the ultimate drill
Lesson 5: Bad-Ass Bunker Play
5/5
Lesson 5: Bad-Ass Bunker Play
  • Why you should forget old-school tips
  • How to take consistent sand divots
  • The keys to setting up properly
  • Two easy ways to control shot distance
  • Why you should forget old-school tips
  • How to take consistent sand divots
  • The keys to setting up properly
  • Two easy ways to control shot distance