Help for a Short Game that has no Touch
I have no short game touch, and I’m a good athlete. Everything I hit feels like a jab or punch, and too often my playing companions remark that I have hands of stone. If you ask me, it has to do with technique because with most shots I don’t even see how the club I’m using could possibly work. I’ve been playing for less than a year, by the way. Any help?
Jitterbug Gang Fan
Too many golfers, especially those new to the game, experience the same troubles you describe.
You see, in all short game shots, the ball must be struck neatly for even mediocre results. Said another way, great “touch,” as exhibited by those who have it, is most attributable to club and ball meeting correctly. Accordingly, the fundamentals surrounding short game technique have less to do with “This is how hard you should swing,” and more to do with arriving at a posture and method of movement that make contacting the ball squarely easier to achieve.
Basically speaking, if you’re having trouble making consistently clean contact, you’ve got extra movement. It’s either movement in the wrists, the body, or both. Go find yourself a qualified pro to teach you how to stay still over your short shots. In no time, you’ll find you have more touch than anybody ever gave you credit for.
From what I’ve seen, beginner golfers who suffer from short game difficulties are most plagued with the habit of taking too short of a backswing. Rather than taking the amount of backswing necessary to glide into the ball, beginner golfers naturally take the club back an insufficient distance. Sensing the need to make up the difference, they employ violent punch, empty of grace and rhythm.
The result is less-than-crisp-impact, and a great deal of anxiety, even on the rare occasion when the shot finds the vicinity of the hole.
My advice to all golfers, especially those eager to make short game progress, is they swing big enough to simply flow through their shots.
Ask Jitterbug - Golf Advice Column by Bobby Steiner
About the Author
The following are a list of golf teaching columns generously donated to us by teaching professional and author Bobby Steiner. Bobby teaches golf at The Practice Tee in East Asheville during the summer months, and at The Westin Mission Hills Resort during the winter.
You can reach Bobby at: www.bobbysteiner.com or email@example.com
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