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Being a Golf Coach I push the importance of the short game, especially for any golfer wanting to get the best out of their game.
I am not saying the Long game is not important,
If you are missing the fairway and putting for a 6, you can have the best short game in the world but you can’t be a good golfer. The long game is the part of your game where you are always looking for small improvements and is the part of your game that gives you the opportunity to have good scores.
But these small improvements don’t give you what you want and this is where the short game comes in. The short game provides you with the good scores!!
I was lucky enough to play alot of golf with Tim Wilkinson and travelled with him when we played in New Zealand Teams together and when we first turned Professional at the end of 2002.
A few years before this we were playing in the Tower Men’s Interprovincial in 1999 at St Andrews Golf Club in Hamilton, and I remember hearing a statement from Mal Tongue to Tim Wilkinson.
Mal at the time was the New Zealand Head Coach and he was never afraid of letting you know what he thought about your game. After watching Tim play one of his rounds, he said to him "if your long game was as good as your short game you would be a great player".
Now the thing was Tim was a good player then, and was playing No 1 for Manawatu/Wanganui but is small in stature and he was a very short hitter, so his strength and distance was holding him back!!
Over the next few years Tim worked hard at the gym to get stronger but he didn’t change his practise!!!
Before touring professional, Tim worked full time and only had 1 hour per day to practise (which he did in his lunch break) and he said to me he only practised has short game and this was from 60 m and in.
I have been watching what Tim has done this year and I was looking to see why he has been so well this year. The old saying stats don’t lie;
Tim is is No 1 in scrambling and No 2 in putting and is No 2 in scoring averages (68.80) on the Web.com Tour this year!!
Check out link below
Now the reason I am giving Tim as an example is that I want to show the importance of having a good solid short game. Everyone wants to be more consistent and the only way this is possible is with having a short game you can be confidence in!!!
Once you have this then it is all about maintenance and this is where your practise comes in.
If you feel like you are not getting the most out of your game, I would recommend you to look at your practise and the amount of time you are putting into each area. The golden rule is you should be spending 60% of your practise time from 60m and in. This includes putting, chipping, pitching, lob shot and bunker shots.
Let’s take the advice of the 2 of the greats, Sam Snead has most PGA Tour victories of all time said "if I could do it all over again I would only practise Tee shots and from 100 yards in, that is all that matters"
To quote Sir Bob Charles “the closer I got the hole the better I wanted to be"
I would have to agree.