golf practice tips

How to Practice Short Game to Lower Your Golf Scores

Have you ever wondered what it takes to improve your golf score substantially?

Well for starters…you definitely want to work on your short game. You knew that! This is the area of your game that can shave strokes off your score the quickest because think of all the failed up and down attempts, failed lag put attempts, short putts you should have made, and so on. This probably adds up to at least 3-6 strokes per 18 hole round of golf.

Below you’ll find a list of the areas you should be striving to improve at in your short game.

Our 12 week practice plan covers all of these areas of putting and chipping listed below so that you become a better putter all around, a better chipper, and discover certain areas that are a weakness to your short game.

Each week of our 12 week plan we will briefly outline what areas our putting drills will be covering so be sure to read the overview and instructions before completing the drills to learn why you are doing them.

If you’d like to check out this 12 week practice plan, visit our page here. You’ll get to decide on a 12 week practice plan based on your current scoring average as I’ve designed 3 different plans for those trying to break 90, break 80, and break 70.

Without further adieu, here are the areas you should structure your short game practice around!

Putting Areas to Improve:

  • Close Distance Putting (2 feet – 10 feet)
    • Goal is to make 70% or more consistently at different distances from the hole
  • Lag Putting (from 20ft away from hole and beyond)
    • Goal is to get 70% of putts within 3 feet of the hole from various distances
  • Breaking Putts
    • Goal is to make 70% of putts for putts that break left
    • Goal is to make 70% of putts for putts that break right
  • Downhill Putts
    • Improve your make percentage and confidence for when you get above the hole and face a downhill putt
    • Goal is to make 70% of downhill putts from various distances while controlling speed so misses are still makeable
  • Pressure Putting (makes in a row)
    • Drills that force you to face some pressure such as making a certain amount of putts in a row
  • Up and Down Completion Putts
    • Improving your ability to save par with a one putt after chipping it onto the green in the previous shot.
    • Goal is to convert 70% of up and downs by making the par saving putt
  • Score Putts (putts for birdie, par, bogey)
    • Drills to simulate situations where you face a birdie putt, par putt, or bogey putt so that you increase your makes out on the golf course in a live round
  • Fringe Putting
    • Goal is to improve the amount of putts you get close to the hole when putting from the fringe
    • Goal is to improve the amount of putts made when you are putting from the fringe

golf short game practice drills

Chipping Areas to Improve:

  • Fringe
    • Improving your ability to chip from the fringe for situations where you are unable to putt
  • Greenside rough (shots 1ft to 5ft from the edge of the green)
    • Improving your ability to get chip shots close to the hole from the rough when you just miss the green by a few yards or less.
  • Distance from green chips (Shots from 1 yard to 20 yards away from green)
    • Goal is to get 70% of chips within 3 to 6 feet from various distances away from the green and not just the close distances.
    • Goal is to extend your range so you feel confident chipping from 15 yards away and still believe you can get the ball next to the hole for an easy putt
  • Distance to hole
    • Being able to chip 70% of shots within 3 feet to different distance holes on the practice green.
    • You’ll face holes that are close to your position from the rough, holes that are in the middle of green, and holes that are on the opposite side of the green as you.
    • We call holes about 10-15ft away “short holes”
    • We call holes about 20-30ft away “medium” or “middle” holes
    • We call holes about 40ft and beyond “far” or “long” holes
    • Remember these terms when reading through the practice plan
  • Flop Shot
    • Improving your confidence in using the flop shot for certain situations where green space is limited and the ball needs to stop fast with little roll.
  • Bump and run
    • Improving your ability to hit low shots that roll the majority of the way to the hole when you have a lot of green space to work with
  • Multiple wedges
    • Improving your chipping ability with different lofted wedges to allow you to use creative shots for tough situations

Thanks for growing your education of golf with me today. Looking forward to your improvement. Stop by my social media accounts and let me know how you are doing! Check out our how to break 80 practice plan here.

Additional Articles to Read:

Golf Practice Routines to Score Lower

Here are several golf practice plans we offer with lots of worksheets and bonuses that come with your program. Click the links to learn more about each training plan.

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indoor golf practice drills