Build A Golf Short Game Routine


Build A Golf Short Game Routine

Practice, Practice, Practice!!

Practice makes perfect, practice till you puke, practice, practice, practice.  We have all heard these cliché’s.  Who has time to practice that much? How can I improve without spending hours and hours practicing?  The answer is to Build A Golf Short Game Routine.

Build Your Routine

Build Your Short Game


Seeing how it’s now the off season for golf, it’s a great time to begin to build your routine.  Once you build a golf short game practice routine, then you can continue to use it during your golf season.  You can bring your practice routine with you to the course as part of your pre-game warm up.

Your golf short game evolves over time and your routine should as well.  Tracking your progress on the range and on the course will show you which types of shots work for your game and which do not.  Perfecting the ones that do will improve your short game.

Remember, this is just a guideline.  You can modify these principles to suit your needs and talents.


Elements of a Golf Short Game Routine


My suggestion is to begin your routine on the practice putting green.  Spend 20-30 minutes putting from various distances such as; 5 feet, 10 feet and 20 feet.  This will help you get a feel for how fast or slow the green is rolling.  Try to get all your putts within a foot or two from the hole, or better yet sink it.  Once you have gotten a good “feel” for the speed of the green, it’s time to move on to the short game practice area.

Come back to the practice green following the other elements to hone your putting skills once again.  This time spend 20-30 minutes focusing on making short putts less than 5 feet.  Pick 1 or 2 putting drills that are easy to remember and do them over and over again until your time is up.  Try to sink as many putts as you can during this time to build up your confidence and perfect your technique.


Next, head over to the short game practice area.   Drop 30 balls down approximately 30 yards from the practice green.  If you are like me and have to practice indoors, pick a target that is about 30 yards.  Using a rangefinder is a more precise way to choose distances that may you need to work on.  Choose your three highest lofted wedges from your set and hit ten balls with each one.  Pay attention to how long your backswing is, and work on getting a consistent feel, with each club.

Start with your pitching, gap or utility wedge and try to land the ball near the front of the green as the ball will roll out quite a ways after it lands.  Really pay attention to how far it rolls out after landing.  A lower lofted wedge is ideal for when the hole is cut near the back of the green.

Now, hit ten balls with your sand wedge.  Try to land the ball half way between the front of the green and the pin.  This middle lofted wedge is ideal for when the pin in situated in the middle of the green.  Pay attention to how much less the ball rolls out with this club.  This club can be your go to when the pin is tucked away and you just want to get the ball on the green safely.

Lastly, hit ten balls with your most lofted club.  Try to get the ball to land almost all the way to the pin.  Your lob wedge will send the ball high and the ball will land softly with little rollout.  This is the club you can use when there is a hazard between you and the hole.  It is also good for when the pin is near the front of the green.

If you have time, repeat the process again focusing on how each clubs feels when you contact the ball.  Concentrate on transferring your weight to your front foot and making ball first contact.  The more you practice this “feel”, the more confident you will be with your wedge play.  Vary the distance of your targets occasionally to keep things interesting and hone your skills even further.


The goal when chipping is to get the ball rolling on the green as soon as possible.   Chipping is most effective when there isn’t any obstacles between you and the pin.  Club selection requires some thought when planning a chip shot.  If the hole is cut on the far side of the green from where your ball sits, choose club with a lower loft, such as a 7-iron or 8-iron.  The closer the pin is to you, the higher loft you can use.

This time start with your sand wedge.  Choose a target that is around 10 feet from you.  Hit ten balls using the technique shown in the video above.  Pay attention to the ball flight and how far the ball rolls.  Try to land the ball as close as you can to your target.  A sand wedge will cause the ball to roll out about the same distance as it was in the air. (1:1)   Ideal for when the pin is close to you on the green.

Next, grab your 9-iron.  Hit ten balls to the same target you chose with your sand wedge.  Use the exact same swing as your previous ten shots.  Pay attention to the ball flight and you will notice that the ball will roll twice as far as it did before.  (1:2)  The key here is get a feel for the chip shot and train your muscles to do the same thing over and over.  Use this club when the ball is roughly in the canter of the green.

Finally grab your 7-iron.  Hit ten more balls to the same target.  Again, use the same swing length as the previous 20 shots.  You will notice that the ball will roll four times farther from your target than your sand wedge.  (1:4)   Pay attention to the ball flight as well.  This chip shot is ideal for when the pin is cut at the far side of the green.

Experiment with chipping with different clubs and different distances.  Remember, on the golf course you will never have the same shot to play around the green.  Each shot around the green will require you to access your full arsenal of weapons and techniques.  Using this golf short game routine will give you the confidence to play almost any shot around the green.

I’d love to hear from you about your routine and any other comments you have.  Please leave me a note.

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