GOLF DIGEST SCHOOLS

The Ultimate Guides: Short Game

1  of  5

Lesson 1: Making Solid Contact

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

Hitting greens in regulation is arguably the most challenging part of the game for most amateurs. This means most players must rely on their short games to try to save pars and shoot lower scores. One of the most basic parts about having a strong short game starts with making solid contact with the ball. A skulled or chunked chip can quickly turn a potential par save into a double or triple bogey. In this video, Golf Digest Best Young Teacher Corey Lundberg shares his simple keys for making consistent strikes.

SWING THOUGHTS

For ball-first contact on greenside shots, set up with your spine vertical and over the ball and shift your weight and the club’s handle slightly forward
On greenside shots, your swing path will affect contact. Don’t take the club too far inside or to the outside
Around the green, feel the sole of the club gliding off the grass; no digging

DRILLS

Swing path

  • Stick two alignment rods in the ground a foot apart and directly behind you, like field goal uprights
  • Swing the club straight back between the rods for proper swing path
  • If you go too far inside or outside, you’ll hit a rods and know your path is off

Face rotation

  • Put on a golf glove
  • When you take the club back a few feet, if the logo of your glove is pointed down, your clubface is too closed, and the club will tend to dig at impact
  • To avoid this, let the clubface open going back so the logo is pointed up. This will allow the club’s bounce to glide along the turf at impact
Lesson 2: Controlling Trajectory
2 Lesson 2: Controlling Trajectory
  • The two keys to varying loft
  • Learn to pick the right club every time
  • How to adjust for different shots
  • Develop a simple shot process

The Ultimate Guides: Short Game

2  of  5

Lesson 2: Controlling Trajectory

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW SWING THOUGHTS DRILLS

OVERVIEW

When players work on their short games, the tendency can be to keep repeating the same shot over and over. While repetition can be good, not every shot on the golf course will require the same trajectory. Using different clubs can help, but you also need different techniques. In this video, Corey Lundberg shows you how to control your trajectory in a variety of ways and adapt to unique situations you face on the course.

SWING THOUGHTS

If you’re a good short-game player, you may be able to hit a variety of greenside shots with a single club. If you struggle, switching clubs is easier
To hit low greenside shots, play the ball back; to hit medium-height shots, play it in the middle; to hit high shots, play it forward
To hit low greenside shots, don’t let the clubhead pass your hands much after impact; to hit it slightly higher, let the clubhead release past your hands a bit farther; to hit high shots, release the club head well past your hands
Keep your energy and weight forward; don’t try to help the ball up

DRILLS

Use your belt line

  • For low shots, play the ball back and as you swing to the finish, make sure the club’s butt end points above your belt line
  • For medium-height shots, play the ball in the middle, and as you swing to the finish, make sure the club’s butt end points below your belt line
  • For high shots, play the ball forward and as you swing to the finish, make sure the club’s butt end points down to the ground
Lesson 3: Developing Touch
3 Lesson 3: Developing Touch
  • What the great feel players know
  • The concept of swing symmetry
  • Dialing in the right amount of swing
  • The best drill for distance control

The Ultimate Guides: Short Game

3  of  5

Lesson 3: Developing Touch

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW

We’ve all hit chips that feel and look good off the club, but if they don’t get close to the hole, we’ve wasted an opportunity. Great short game players have superb touch around the greens and know how to control their distance. Corey Lundberg’s tips for developing touch will help shave a few strokes off your score.

SWING THOUGHTS

To gauge distance on greenside shots, match your backswing length to your follow-through length
For a good rhythm on pitch shots, feel a slight pause at the top of the swing
To hit high pitches, you need an open clubface: Feel like the clubface is looking back at you on the backswing and back at you again at the finish
Keep your grip light on greenside shots: On a 1-10 scale, no more than a 5

DRILLS

Symmetry

  • Use your body segments as check points
  • Practice swinging back to knee high and through to knee high
  • Then practice hip high to hip high
  • Then shoulder to shoulder
  • Make sure you’re swinging with a consistent rhythm each time

Scales

  • Set up three different landing spots with targets
  • Place the first target a few feet onto the green and each successive target a few paces farther on
  • Start by trying to hit the close one, then middle, then far. Then reverse the order
  • Repeat the entire process three times

Chipping made easy

  • Using a 9-iron, set up close to the ball so the club’s heel is off the ground
  • Feel like the handle is high
  • Practice hitting chips from this setup
  • Consider making this simple technique your go-to shot
Lesson 4: Taking it to the Course
4 Lesson 4: Taking it to the Course
  • How to handle different lies
  • Master the art of clue collection
  • Learn to make good decisions—quickly
  • When to add steep or shallow

The Ultimate Guides: Short Game

4  of  5

Lesson 4: Taking it to the Course

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW

You can practice for hours upon hours at your course’s short game area, but if it doesn’t translate to the course, what’s the point? Different on-course situations present more challenges than golfers tend to simulate during practice. Corey Lundberg has a few tips on how to take the basic versions of your technique to the golf course.

SWING THOUGHTS

On a deep greenside lie, steepen your angle of attack. If your ball is sitting up, your angle of attack should be shallower
When you need a steep greenside swing—buried or downhill lie or ball below your feet lie—widen your stance, shift your weight left and lean the shaft forward
When you need a shallow greenside swing—perched or uphill lie or ball above your feet—set up tall and make a wider swing with less wrist hinge
For short-game success, consider how the ball will come out of the lie and what it will do when it lands and rolls

DRILLS

Decision-making

  • When practicing, hit from different lies
  • Move to different spots around the green and different hole locations
  • Practice your decision-making, not just your technique
Lesson 5: Starting Putts on Line
5 Lesson 5: Starting Putts on Line
  • The one variable you have to get right
  • How to develop a reliable stroke
  • What to focus on over the ball
  • Drills to build your confidence

The Ultimate Guides: Short Game

5  of  5

Lesson 5: Starting Putts on Line

video breakdown

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OVERVIEW

You’ve hit your tee shot, missed the green on your approach and played a solid pitch near the hole. It has taken a lot of physical and mental energy, but you’ve got one piece left. Making the big par saves comes down to putting, and the biggest key with short putts is starting them on the correct line. In this video, Corey Lundberg’s tips will get you rolling the ball in the right direction so you can hole the putts that make or break your round.

SWING THOUGHTS

A square putterface at impact, not a perfect swing path, will put the ball on line
Let the putting stroke happen; don’t try and guide the face of the putter
Make stability your focus in putting: think about your lower body staying still

DRILLS

Goldilocks

  • Feel extremes: Exaggerate the putterface opening and closing as you go back and through
  • Then do the opposite: Prevent the face from rotating at all
  • Finally, feel “just right” and use this natural face rotation when you putt

Two tees

  • Place two tees a foot in front of your ball on the line of your putt
  • If your ball hits the left tee, you under-rotated the face going back or closed it at impact. If you hit the right tee, you over-rotated it going back or held it open at impact
  • Seeing the ball go through the tees and into the hole repeatedly will help build confidence

Master the left-to-right

  • Find a left-to-right putt on the practice green
  • Place a ball marker halfway between your ball and the hole
  • Practice hitting putts so the ball rolls left of the ball marker (high side)

The Ultimate Guides: Short Game

Lesson
1 / 5
Lesson 1: Making Solid Contact
2 / 5
Lesson 2: Controlling Trajectory
3 / 5
Lesson 3: Developing Touch
4 / 5
Lesson 4: Taking it to the Course
5 / 5
Lesson 5: Starting Putts on Line
The Ultimate Guides: Short Game INDEX
Lesson 1: Making Solid Contact
1/5
Lesson 1: Making Solid Contact
  • Learn the keys to consistent strikes
  • Simplify your chipping technique
  • What is bounce—and why it matters
  • Stop hitting chunks and skulls
  • Learn the keys to consistent strikes
  • Simplify your chipping technique
  • What is bounce—and why it matters
  • Stop hitting chunks and skulls
Lesson 2: Controlling Trajectory
2/5
Lesson 2: Controlling Trajectory
  • The two keys to varying loft
  • Learn to pick the right club every time
  • How to adjust for different shots
  • Develop a simple shot process
  • The two keys to varying loft
  • Learn to pick the right club every time
  • How to adjust for different shots
  • Develop a simple shot process
Lesson 3: Developing Touch
3/5
Lesson 3: Developing Touch
  • What the great feel players know
  • The concept of swing symmetry
  • Dialing in the right amount of swing
  • The best drill for distance control
  • What the great feel players know
  • The concept of swing symmetry
  • Dialing in the right amount of swing
  • The best drill for distance control
Lesson 4: Taking it to the Course
4/5
Lesson 4: Taking it to the Course
  • How to handle different lies
  • Master the art of clue collection
  • Learn to make good decisions—quickly
  • When to add steep or shallow
  • How to handle different lies
  • Master the art of clue collection
  • Learn to make good decisions—quickly
  • When to add steep or shallow
Lesson 5: Starting Putts on Line
5/5
Lesson 5: Starting Putts on Line
  • The one variable you have to get right
  • How to develop a reliable stroke
  • What to focus on over the ball
  • Drills to build your confidence
  • The one variable you have to get right
  • How to develop a reliable stroke
  • What to focus on over the ball
  • Drills to build your confidence