Improving your short game is without a doubt one of the quickest ways to see you lower your scores. Many amateurs lose shots through poor decision-making and are fighting an uphill battle before they have even taken hold of the club. Here, we are at the back of the green on Hole 16 at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai. The shot we are tackling in this scenario sees us facing a delicate chip from the back of the green from a very firm tight lie. The undulations leave us with a decision to be made with a number of different potential landing points. This is a challenging situation we often find ourselves on courses in the UAE, especially here at Trump International Golf Club where the Bermuda Tiff Gran grass is mowed extremely short to promote tight and firm surrounds and approach areas.
More often than not in this scenario many players will reach straight for their most lofted club (1) and try to land the ball on the green. If played correctly this can be extremely effective. However, the margin for error is dramatically decreased making it a potentially risky choice.
Shot #1: Club Chosen – 58° Wedge
We have plenty of loft on the club and are concentrating most on creating a positive strike. The initial set up position is key for this shot and will directly impact your ability to achieve the strike pattern:
Shot #2: Club chosen – 8 iron
Here we are aiming to advance the ball forward into the slope and let the ball roll down toward the hole. The difficulty here is the vision and judgement required. The ball will gather speed as it rolls toward the hole so a solid strike is needed to control the ball speed and trajectory from impact.
Shot #3: Club chosen – 19° Hybrid
Here we are very much trying to recreate a putting action. The loft of the hybrid will help the ball roll on the slightly longer approach surface before it reaches the green.
In summary there is no set way to play any given short game shot. Your club and shot choice should be made after a complete assessment of the external factors that could affect the result. Consider your lie, visualise different trajectories and how the ball may react on its route to the hole. Most importantly make the shot as manageable and easy as possible and commit to your choice.
If you would like to learn more about the shots covered here we would be delighted to see you at the Trump International Golf Academy soon.