golf short game practice drills

Simple Golf Chipping Practice Routine:

In golf, the most important area of your game to practice is the short game. This includes chipping and putting, but also includes pitching and bunker play.

Chipping is when you’re close to the green (usually within 10 yards or less). Pitching is when you’re facing 15, 20, 30 yard shots to get the ball to the green still.

In addition to these areas of the short game, you also have different ways to practice.

Some golfers like to practice for set periods of time, while others practice for a specific number of reps. For example, you hit 200 putts and you go home vs you putt for 2 hours and you go home.

Whichever practice style is more appealing to you should be the chosen method so you stay consistent and put in lots of hard work on your golf practice days.

Here are some simple drills you can include in your practice routine. Feel free to customize your own practice schedule and routine by mixing and matching these drills with other golf drills you find online.

Long Distance Chipping Practice

If there is one area in the short game that most golfers struggle with it is longer distance chip shots. We like to classify long distance chipping as any chip shot where the hole is on the opposite side of the green.

This drill is easy to set up and complete. You’ll find a practice hole that is the opposite side of the green from where you’ll be chipping.

#1: Walk over and place ball markers or tees in a 3-foot circle around the hole to give yourself a target zone to roll chip shots inside of. I like to use my putter to measure the 3 feet.

#2: Walk back across the green and drop 5 balls or so in the rough. Begin chipping the 5 balls one at a time trying to get all 5 within the 3-foot circle zone you made around the hole.

Total practice time for this drill should be 10-15 minutes or if you go by total reps try to chip 50 times to a far distance hole to work on your wedge control.

10 reps won’t be enough to build skill. Aim for 50 reps each day for a few weeks to build consistency.

Here is the video tutorial of me completing this drill:

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Medium Distance & Short Distance Chipping Practice

Medium distance chipping is usually when the hole is in the center of the green and short distance chipping is when the hole is close to the edge of the green on the same side you’re chipping from.

Short range chip shots are much easier than medium and long distance chipping so spend more of your practice time hitting reps to holes further away.

Learn how your wedge and ball spin work together for different distances you carry the ball in the air. Practice both low runner chips and higher, longer flying chips that stop quickly.

Resource: Download our bonus 15 golf practice drills here

Alternate Distance Control Chipping Drill

The above 3 golf drills have you focus on high volume of reps to each individual hole in bulk.

So you’d set up and hit 50-100 chips to a long distance hole. Then you’d set up and hit 50-100 chips to a middle hole, and so on until you worked on all 3 distances in bulk, but separately.

In this chipping drill, however, you’ll be rotating one shot to each hole.

Hit one chip to the far distance hole, then hit a chip to the short distance hole, and then finish with a chip shot to the middle hole.

The goal is to successfully get all 3 chip shots within 3 feet of their respective holes.

Then walk to the other side of the green and pick a spot in the rough to chip from and hit to these same 3 holes again but now the distances have changed by switching sides of the green.

Repeat this drill moving around the green so you practice chipping from all different angles. This will help you learn distance control for a variety of shots and your ball will break different based on the green slope and angles your chipping from.

Those are the basic 4 high rep / volume chipping drills to build your distance control with your wedge:

  1. 50 reps to a far away hole (long)
  2. 50 reps to a middle hole (medium)
  3. 50 reps to a nearby hole (short)
  4. 50 reps alternating distances from various locations around green

Next, we move on to pressure chipping drills to build mental toughness.

Up & Down Chipping Practice Under Pressure

In this chipping drill, you’re going to simulate a real case scenario you may face on the golf course. Grab one golf ball, grab your wedge, and grab your putter.

Imagine you’ve just hit your approach shot from the fairway and you missed the green by 10-15 feet.

Now you must chip the ball onto the green and try to make the putt to save your par. This is known as an up & down in golf terminology.

This drill simulates “up & downs” by pressuring you to successfully chip your 1 golf ball close to the hole since you only have 1 ball to practice with. You don’t get to redo the shot by having 5 balls sitting on the ground in case you screw up the chip.

Spend 30 minutes working on up & downs by dropping your ball in random places around the green and picking out a hole to chip to. Then grab the putter and try to sink the putt.

Keep track of your attempts vs successes to see your up & down conversion rate. Aim for 80% or better.

indoor golf practice drills

Up & Down 18 Hole Game

Like the last chipping drill, this short game practice drill will again have you using only 1 golf ball to simulate pressure. Instead of focusing on time and high volume of reps, you get to play a fun 18-hole game simulation.

Repeat the game until you successfully pass it, that’s when you get to stop!

How to Play this Chipping Golf Game

Create 18 different chipping scenarios by dropping your golf ball different locations around the green and with different types of lies (buried, clean, fluffed up, etc.).

Pick out different holes as you go so, you’re not hitting similar chip shots.

Treat it like an 18 hole round where you miss all 18 greens in regulation. The only way to score par 72 is to successfully get all 18 up & downs.

RESOURCE: Golf Practice Plan to Break 90, 80, 70

It will be challenging and put pressure on you not to screw up which will help you immensely out on the golf course when you face real life up & down situations.

To win this game, successfully complete all 18 up & downs in a row.

If you’re a beginner and not very good at chipping or putting, then you may not be able to complete this game so instead set a 1 hour time limit to pass it or else you get to quit and move on to other golf short game drills.

Golf Practice Drill Recap:

Today we gave you some simple chipping drills to build your golf practice routine around. These included:

  • Long Distance Chipping Practice (High Repetition to Build Skill Memory)
  • Medium Distance Chipping Practice
  • Short Distance Chipping Practice
  • Alternate Distance Control
  • Up & Down High Volume Repetition
  • Up & Down Pressure (18 Hole Game)

Again, you decide how to complete these short game drills. Are you going to do them for a certain amount of time like 30 minutes each to create a 3 hour golf practice.

Or are you going to complete a set number of repetitions like 50 chips for each drill, 300 chipping reps for the whole practice session?

The analogy for this practice style I always use is Michael Jordan shooting 1,000 jump shots a day to build skill from high volume repetition. Same with golf.

Putt in the reps and time and you’ll get better. It’s that simple.

Drills are just tools to help you give practice structure and judge your time spent over weeks and months of practice!

Before you go, make sure to check out these golf practice plans! Each has proven drills to help you improving your scoring and build a strong short game!

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indoor golf practice drills