Best golf short game drills

The short game in golf is often considered the most important aspect of the game. It involves shots played from within 100 yards of the hole, including chipping, pitching, and bunker shots. Mastering the short game can greatly improve your scores and make a significant difference in your overall game.

To enhance your short game skills, it is crucial to practice drills that focus on specific techniques and shots. These drills help develop your feel, touch, and consistency, allowing you to execute shots with precision and confidence. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced golfer, incorporating these short game drills into your practice routine can help take your game to the next level.

One effective short game drill is the “Ladder Drill.” This drill involves setting up several balls at increasing distances from the hole, starting from a short chip or pitch and gradually working your way back to longer shots. By focusing on each shot individually, you can refine your technique and gain a sense of distance control, ultimately improving your ability to dial in the correct yardages.

Improve Your Golf Short Game with These Effective Drills

Improve Your Golf Short Game with These Effective Drills

Golfers know that the short game is crucial for a successful round. It’s where you can save strokes and make up for any mistakes made on the fairway. To improve your short game skills, it’s important to practice specific drills that target different aspects of your chipping, pitching, and putting. Here are some of the best golf short game drills that can help take your game to the next level:

1. Chipping Drill: Distance Control

One of the most important skills in chipping is distance control. To practice this, set up several targets at varying distances from your chipping area. Start by chipping to the closest target and then gradually work your way to the farthest one. Focus on landing the ball at each target with the right amount of force to achieve the desired distance. This drill helps you develop a feel for different distances and improves your ability to judge the strength of your chipping shots.

2. Pitching Drill: Up and Down

Being able to get up and down from around the green is crucial for any golfer. This drill involves hitting a pitch shot onto the green and then trying to make the putt with one shot. Set up different scenarios with varying distances and obstacles to simulate real game situations. This drill helps improve your pitching accuracy and your ability to convert those crucial up and down shots.

3. Putting Drill: Gate Drill

3. Putting Drill: Gate Drill

For better putting accuracy, the gate drill is a great way to practice. Set up two tees or alignment sticks a few inches apart on the green, creating a narrow gate. Place a ball in between the tees and practice rolling the ball through the gate without touching the sides. This drill helps improve your putting stroke and your ability to consistently hit the ball on the intended line.

By incorporating these drills into your practice routine, you can significantly improve your golf short game. Remember to focus on specific aspects of your chipping, pitching, and putting and tailor the drills to your individual needs. With regular practice, you’ll see an improvement in your short game skills and ultimately, your overall golf performance.

The Clock Face Method: A Simple and Effective Pitching Drill

One of the most important skills in the game of golf is having a strong short game, especially when it comes to pitching. The ability to control the distance and accuracy of your pitch shots can make a significant difference in your overall score. One effective drill to improve your pitching skills is the Clock Face Method.

The Clock Face Method is a simple and intuitive way to train your pitch shots and develop a consistent swing. The goal of this drill is to visualize a clock face around the hole and use different clubs to hit shots to different positions on the clock face. By practicing this drill, you can improve your distance control and develop a better feel for the clubface.

To perform the Clock Face Method, start by selecting a target hole and imagine a clock face around it. Then, using different clubs, try hitting shots to specific positions on the clock face. For example, hitting a wedge shot to the 9 o’clock position would mean aiming left of the target and hitting a shorter swing. Hitting a shot to the 3 o’clock position would mean aiming right of the target and hitting a longer swing.

This drill not only helps you improve your pitch shots, but it also allows you to develop a better understanding of how different clubs and swing lengths affect the distance and trajectory of your shots. It’s important to practice this drill with different clubs and experiment with different positions on the clock face to challenge yourself and improve your overall short game skills.

Chipping Drill: One-Handed Chip

One of the best drills to improve your chipping technique is the one-handed chip drill. This drill focuses on developing touch and control, as well as improving your overall feel for the short game. It helps you develop a consistent and repeatable chipping stroke by eliminating any unnecessary hand and wrist movements.

To perform this drill, grip your club with only your lead hand (left hand for right-handed golfers, right hand for left-handed golfers). Take a narrow stance and position the ball in the center of your stance. Make a small backswing and then use your lead hand to guide the club through impact, aiming to maintain a compact and controlled swing motion. Focus on keeping your lead arm straight and using your body rotation to generate power and control the distance of your chips.

This drill is particularly beneficial for improving your distance control and touch around the greens. It helps you develop a better feel for the proper amount of power needed for different chip shots, whether it’s a short chip or a longer pitch. By relying on your lead hand, you learn to rely more on your body rotation and maintain a consistent swing motion.

Practicing this drill regularly will improve your chipping technique and enable you to chip with more accuracy and control. It will give you a better understanding of how to hit different chip shots and improve your overall performance in the short game. Remember to practice with both hands to maintain balance in your chipping skills.

Putting Drill: The Gate Drill

One of the best golf short game drills to improve your putting accuracy is the Gate Drill. This drill is designed to help you create a consistent and straight putting stroke by focusing on your aim and alignment. It can be done on the practice green or even at home with a few simple props.

To set up the Gate Drill, you will need two tees or alignment rods. Place the first tee in the ground just outside the heel of your putter, and the second tee a few inches in front of the putter head. The distance between the two tees should be slightly wider than the width of your putter head.

Here’s how to do the Gate Drill:

  1. Position yourself in front of the first tee, with your putter face parallel to the intended line of your putt.
  2. Focus on keeping the putter head between the two tees as you make your stroke. This will help you maintain proper alignment and prevent any unwanted movement.
  3. Make your putting stroke, ensuring that the putter head moves smoothly and straight through the gate.
  4. Repeat the drill several times, paying close attention to your aim and stroke. Take note of any inconsistencies or deviations from the desired path.

The Gate Drill is a great way to train your muscle memory and develop a more accurate putting stroke. By focusing on your aim and alignment, you can improve your ability to consistently hit putts on the intended line. Practice this drill regularly to see noticeable improvements in your putting performance on the golf course.

Bunker Shot Drill: Ball Position Variation

Bunker Shot Drill: Ball Position Variation

One of the key aspects of a successful bunker shot is the proper ball position. By utilizing different ball positions, golfers can develop better control and consistency in their short game. This drill focuses on varying the ball position in order to improve bunker shot technique.

To start the drill, first understand the concept of ball position in relation to the stance. The ball should be positioned forward in the stance, closer to the front foot, to promote a descending strike on the sand. This helps create the necessary loft and spin to pop the ball out of the bunker. However, the exact position can be adjusted depending on the desired shot trajectory and distance.

Begin the drill by placing a ball in the middle of the stance, maintaining a neutral ball position. Take a few practice swings and note the trajectory and distance achieved. Next, move the ball slightly forward, closer to the front foot, and take more practice swings. Observe the changes in trajectory and distance resulting from the different ball position. Experiment with varying positions to understand the impact on the shot.

This drill serves as a great tool for golfers to develop an understanding of the importance of ball position in bunkers. By experimenting with different positions and observing the effects on trajectory and distance, golfers can improve their ability to execute successful bunker shots. Practice this drill regularly to fine-tune your short game and gain confidence in bunker play.

Flop Shot Drill: High Launch Technique

1. Set up your practice area:

Create a designated practice area where you can work on your flop shots. Use a synthetic turf mat or find a patch of short grass where you can place your balls. Make sure you have enough space to hit shots without any obstructions.

2. Start with a high lofted wedge:

Begin the drill by selecting a high lofted wedge, such as a lob wedge, to practice your flop shots. This club will provide you with the necessary loft to hit high launch shots.

3. Position the ball in the front of your stance:

When setting up for the flop shot, position the ball ahead of your stance, closer to your front foot. This will help you achieve a higher launch angle and generate more height on your shots.

4. Open your clubface:

To further enhance the launch angle, open the clubface of your wedge slightly. This will add more loft to your shots and allow the ball to pop up higher in the air.

5. Focus on a high follow-through:

During your swing, concentrate on a high follow-through. Extend your arms fully and allow the club to continue its upward motion after impact. This will help you achieve maximum height on your flop shots.

6. Practice hitting shots with a high trajectory:

Once you have set up your practice area and adjusted your stance and clubface, start hitting flop shots focusing on achieving a high trajectory. Experiment with different swing speeds and club angles to find the technique that works best for you.

By regularly practicing this flop shot drill, you can improve your ability to launch the ball high and hit effective shots around the greens. Remember to always adjust your setup and swing to achieve the desired trajectory and develop consistency in your short game.

5 Best golf short game drills

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Question and answer:

What is a flop shot in golf?

A flop shot is a golf shot played with a high lofted wedge, typically used when the golfer needs to get the ball high in the air and land it softly on the green.

Why is a high launch technique important for a flop shot?

A high launch technique is important for a flop shot because it helps the ball get up in the air quickly and land softly on the green, minimizing roll and maximizing control.

How can I practice a high launch technique for a flop shot?

You can practice a high launch technique for a flop shot by using a flop shot drill. One drill involves setting up a ball just off the edge of the rough and focusing on hitting the ball high and landing it softly on a target.

What are some tips for achieving a high launch on a flop shot?

Some tips for achieving a high launch on a flop shot include opening the clubface, positioning the ball forward in your stance, and making a smooth, accelerating swing with a steep angle of attack.

Should I use a lob wedge for a flop shot?

Yes, a lob wedge is typically the best club to use for a flop shot due to its high loft. It allows for a higher launch and softer landing compared to other wedges.


In conclusion, the flop shot drill is a valuable tool for golfers looking to improve their high launch technique. By practicing this drill, golfers can develop the proper mechanics and feel for hitting a high, soft shot around the green. The key to success is using an open clubface and a steep, downward strike to generate the necessary loft and spin. By incorporating this drill into their practice routine, golfers can become more proficient at hitting difficult flop shots and ultimately improve their scoring ability around the green. So, next time you find yourself in a tricky short game situation, remember the flop shot drill and give it a go!

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