As you should be understanding by now, golf is a game of parts; from small to big we have: putting, short game, iron game and long game. They all can be viewed and practiced separately but once you get on the golf course, you will be using most of them on every hole.
If you have a passion for this game as well as a respectable junior coach, your iron game and long game will eventually get very good just with your instructor´s advice and constant practice. It will be just as good as anyone else´s to hit greens and fairways.
The other 2 parts however (putting and short game), even though they are significantly closer to the hole, their target is much smaller, with a narrower margin for error, and a mistake here is rarely recoverable during your round. For example, you are playing a mid-length par 4; if you hook your tee shot right into a fairway bunker (mistake), you can still get the ball close enough to the green to up and down for a par right? Now, lets say you bomb your drive right down the middle of the fairway and your second shot lands 20 feet right from the pin, after this you misread the green and end up three-putting (mistake). Which mistake caused more damage to your score?
So what`s the take on this?
Lets just say that you can afford to have several off days of ball-striking and still have a very decent round of golf, but you can be striking the ball beautifully and if your short game/putting skills are just a tad off, it can be a recipe for disaster.
If you spend just a few more minutes on the chipping/putting green every time you practice you will see the difference! A few benefits of having a strong short game can be:
- Increased Confidence: Watching a couple of greenside bunkers or a sloped green will mean nothing to you now. You know that practically wherever you land the golf ball off the green, an up and down is coming out of it.
- Increased Creativity: You will learn different ways to get the golf ball to the same place and this artsy perspective will translate into other areas of your game
- Better Tempo: Smooth and peaceful swings are necessary to perform accurate short shots, there is no doubt that this will positively impact your full swings.
- Fun: Once you have pretty decent short-game and putting skills, it is amazing how fun it can be to set up challenging shots with your friends! Also, you will feel excited rather than scared whenever you face a tricky shot out on the course…
By: World Junior Golf