Ask any scratch golfer, and he or she will tell you that the fastest route to par is honing your short game. Westchester’s two Golf Digest 50 Best Women Teachers—C. J. Reeves, from Century Country Club, and Debbie Doniger, from Glen Arbor Golf Club—explain how to get the ball onto the green and into the hole with the fewest strokes possible.
1. Visualize your chip
Commit to the club that’s best for the shot you see in front of you. An eight iron will fly about one-third of the distance to the hole and roll the rest of the way, while a wedge can be expected to roll as far as it flies. For crisper shots, stand a little closer to the ball, and keep the club shaft more vertical so the heel is slightly off the ground.
2. Relax and rotate in the bunker
Bunkers can be intimidating—but they shouldn’t be. Just relax your grip, make a smooth backswing, and use your lower body to start the downswing. Imagine throwing the sand under your ball to your target on the green—that’s how hard you need to swing. And finish with authority!
3. Believe in your putting stroke
Most short putts are missed because of head or body movement. Stay still, and keep your weight toward your left side. Look at the hole to visualize the ball going in, then look back to your ball. Stroke through the ball, keeping your head steady until you hear the ball drop into the hole. Above all, believe you can sink it—and you will.
Routine is just as important in the short game as it is in the long. Always pick out your target before you address the ball, visualize the shot you’re going to make, then aim and fire. The more disciplined your routine, the more consistent your shots will be. Consistency builds confidence, which in turn helps you take dead aim at the hole.