Sharpen Your Short Game With These Pro Tips

The quickest way to lower your scores is to master chips and putts.


Recent course renovations throughout Westchester have created many new collection areas around the greens, often in place of bunkers or rough. This might be a relief to some golfers, but the closely mown turf creates its own plague of chunks, skulls, and other unmentionables.


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Nelson Long, Century CC head pro

Century CC head pro Nelson Long says you can use four different clubs from a tight lie: putter, short-iron chip, wedge chip, or a hybrid. “During practice,” he recommends, “hit a half-dozen shots with each club and see what works best for you.”

With the hybrid, use your putting grip and putting stance, and rock your shoulders just like a putt.

Take a controlled backswing, but accelerate through the stroke. This allows you to get the ball off the ground for a few yards before it runs the rest of the way on the green.


Brian Giordano, Sunningdale CC teaching pro

​Sunningdale CC teaching pro Brian Giordano explains three keys to good putting: comfortable setup, center strikes, and perfect tempo. “Anything that reduces tension in your setup is helpful.  A little knee flex helps. So does a pre-shot routine that leaves you comfortable over the ball.”

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“You need to make contact with the center of the ball on the center of the putter. The clubface needs to be square to the line of the putt at impact.”

“It should take you twice as long to go back as it does to go through the ball.  If you can control your timing, your odds of success increase, and you will become more consistent. You may go a little farther back and a little farther through, but the two-to-one timing ratio is the same for all distances.”

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