Mexico Open at Vidanta

Vidanta Vallarta


Bad-Ass Short Game: Chip, Pitch and Putt like a Champ

January 31, 2018
bad-ass short game

You can grab a couple buckets of balls and set up on the range for an hour or two to work on your swing, but if you’re serious about lowering your scores, that’s probably not going to help as much as you think. What you should be working on are the shots you need around the greens—that’s where you spend the majority of your time in any round you play.

Why does the short game get short shrift? Why are most golfers way more interested in belting drivers than they are in practicing shots from 100 yards and in? For one, mistakes in the short game aren’t quite as soul-crushing as slicing your tee shot into the trees or topping your approach into the water. (Ironically, your short-game gaffes are even more costly on the scorecard.) Another thing is the enjoyment factor: Nothing beats that feeling of grooving your driver at the range. Oh wait, one thing does—shooting lower scores.

So now we’re back to the short game. But let’s look at it in a different way; call it short game with an edge. We’ve created a video program with Jeff Ritter, one of Golf Digest’s top-ranked teachers in California, called “Bad-Ass Short Game.” In this five-video series, you’ll learn the secrets to all the vital short-game shots: bunker shots, chip shots, pitches, the dreaded half-wedge, even putting. And Ritter gives it a little attitude, a little California cool. It’s not your grandfather’s swing advice.

This series is not only about understanding shot mechanics. It's getting into a mind-set, so you can get the ball to do what you want it to do. That’s where Jeff’s expertise delivers. He really understands how the body works and the keys to high performance. He’ll show you how to tap into your natural athleticism and utilize a common-sense approach to how and when to play each short-game shot. Jeff also gives you loads of simple tips and practice drills, so you can improve quickly.


Here’s a great drill from “Bad-Ass Short Game” to get you on your way to hitting better wedges from 40 or 50 yards out (see above). Grab your most lofted club and tee a ball an inch off the ground. Now try to hit it solidly off the center of the clubface and make it fly on a relatively low trajectory (think below the tree line). To do that, you have to make a shallow, sweeping downswing and deloft the club at impact, or else you’ll swing right under the ball. Take the club back keeping your arms long with minimal wrist hinge, and swing down and through with the handle leading the clubhead through impact, taking off some loft. Once you get a feel for this shallow angle of attack, you’re ready to attack the pins from these half-wedge distances.

Click here to check out “Bad-Ass Short Game” for more great, easy-to-use instruction that gives you immediate feedback for fast results. Get a better handle on the scoring shots, and leave it to your buddies to get winded ripping drivers on the range.