Short Game

Control The Scoring Clubs

By Keegan Bradley Photos by J.D. Cuban
November 25, 2012

It's such an advantage to be able to hit short irons low on command. When it's windy, you'll hit more greens. But low shots are a great strategy in calm conditions, too: The less time the ball hangs in the air, the less time it has to stray off line from the flagstick.

To flight approach shots lower with the scoring clubs--what I consider my 7-iron through wedges--I stand two or three inches closer to the ball than normal. So my arms still hang naturally, I choke down on the grip some and play the ball a little farther back in my stance. Other than that, I don't get real technical. Especially in wind, each shot and stance can feel different, so it's important to first get comfortable.

From there, I make a shorter backswing, but still hit the ball hard. The big key for me is to keep the right heel planted on the ground longer through impact. Because I'm standing closer to the ball, I'm less likely to rotate up onto the toes of my right foot. So I stay down, which keeps the ball down.

Par-3 average: 2.99 (second)
Birdies per round: 3.91 (ninth)
Scoring average: 69.98 (18th)
Greens in regulation: 66.5 percent (51st)

Keegan Bradley has three PGA Tour victories, including the 2011 PGA Championship.