2013 Goals for the Season: Focus on the Short Game. Who's with me?

Started by : Mike D., Team Titleist Manager |

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Mike D., Team Titleist Manager

My plan is to focus on the short game this year and as part of this journey, my plan is to experiment with my practice and focus a large majority of the time solely on the short game. Hopefully this results in lower scores and more birdies.

The plan is to post updates and share progress throughout the year right here... so feel free to jump in, share your stories, any tips or advice for honing the short game...

So who's with me? And let's get this experiment started...


Count me in. I know that my short game is by far the worst part of my game and is probably the reason I dont shoot under par more often. I am a very good putter but my chipping and pitching is just awful. I have put a lot of time in the last few months and it has paid off big time. So this is going to remain my focus until I have the confidence I used to have when I missed a green I wouldnt even bring my putter becuase I knew it was going to be inside 3 feet.


Cole W

Definatly in, the short game is what seperates the good players from the great players.  If you look on tour, the biggest difference between pros and a good am is 100 yards in, chipping and putting.  A lot of the tour guys don't hit it a lot further but their proximity to the hole and ability to read and make longer putts consistently is the separation.  I am devoting a majority of my practice time to short approach shots, chipping, bunker play and putting to try and make some big improvements this year, good luck to all.

John W

Follow up to my first post.  Had a lesson today and the pro realized that my left wrist breaks down so adding loft.....the practice he suggested...chipping and pitching.    Help for the short game and then the long game..double win.

Pete D

I'm in too. 2011 was a good year, got my index down to an all-time low of 1.2 thanks in large part to a focus on regaining lost flexibility, and an awesome new set of Titleist AP2 irons!

I was hoping for continued success In 2012, but it just didn't happen. I got a bit lazy with my winter workouts and I just couldn't score. With a late season hand injury, finished at 5.2, so I'm very motivated to get back out there!

I just finished reading Unconscious Scoring by Dave Stockton - a great read! He really makes the short game simple, breaking it down to a simple "high shot / low shot" decision. I'm 50 now and can't wait to get back out there!

Quintin H

Its not an experiment for me, its a way of life.

My practice time is at the pitching/bunker green. My range time is limited to early season and that is only 2-3 buckets total. Use to be I would get a severe case of the hooks and I would go to the range, but I have found the cure for the hooks(knock on wood).

I do practice rounds where I may drop a ball and hit again, still yet, it is mostly short game practice.

I spend hrs at the practice pitching green, and days when the course is closed for scramble I may be there all day, pitching is just fun.

Allen P

Good idea. I am with you on this. My focus will be targeted at GIR. My stats on fairways and putts are better then average but miss too many greens thus taking birdie opportunities out . My short game has been good after spending a session at the Carl Rabito Golf Academy. With better approachs to the green my scores should significantly improve.

Geoffrey B

I am with you Mike!

james o

I couldn't agree more Mike.  I have been wanting to start shooting in the low 70's so this year I have resolved to spend more time on the wedges and the putter.  I've had great success already this season with my vokey 64 degree, I've been working on hitting it low into the greens and have been able to attack the pins like never before.


I am definitely with you!  Biggest weakness in my game.


Mike, Great decision! More shots are lost within 75 yrads of the green than any other place on the course. I bet that if you looked to inprove your sand game it may save a shot or two a round. the other common mistake is that players always reach for a wedge around the green. Get a bit more creative and keep the ball on the ground if you can. You will be surprised how many stay closer to the hole and some actually go in!

Jayme G

That is totally my goal for the 2013 season. Last year I was able to drive the ball consistently and my iron play was solid but around the greens I just couldn't get it done. I recently purchased a set of new wedges and i'm trying to adjust to them and learn which club to hit at the right time and shot. So yes i'm going to be working very hard this year on my short game to get the ball in that cup!!

Marc H

Not so fast.


People who have really studied the statistics of golf all conclude that iron play is the key to lower scores.  Dr. Mark Broadie, Lou Riccio, Alastair Cochran, and Shotlink all conclude that the difference between pros and the other golfers is GIR and proximity to the hole from the approach shot.  Look at the top money winners and scoring leaders and they all are near the top in GIR.  When AS was killing everyone, she was 81% GIR which was a good 4-5% higher than anyone else.  That's the key.  Work on your iron play.

Luckily, Titleist has some swinging good irons. 

As Ben Hogan said to someone complaining about their putting, "Why don't you hit it closer to the hole?"

Carlo Angelo

Great idea and plan, Mike!!!  Putting... Chipping (fringe)... Pitching (inside 20yds)... Bunker play (around the green).  These are just a few things that I've worked on and will continue to practice.  Not to mention the 120 yards and in!!!  I'm only 5'6" and just drive the ball fairly decent, I have to make it up on the other aspects of my game...

My local nearby course has a small driving range area, 150yds max with two target greens at about 100 and 140.  We are allowed to use it as long as you bring your own balls.  This is were I practiced a lot last year before taking my PAT, and it helped.  My younger son is in school for 2.5 hours... enough time for a quick 9 holes or practicing my short game for the period until my boys get out from school.  One just has to find time to practice, working around the schedule our daily lives give.

Hardwork and discipline are what's very important.



Yesterday my wedge play killed my score. Many pitches were too long, a couple too short, and one pulled flop. Also, I need to go down about 2 clubs for chips that land on a lower green. My drives weren't great, but my irons and full wedges were awesome. But anything inside 100 yards was mearly a guess.