Home Drills to Improve Your Short Game

By Ryan Watson

Silver Wedge Golf Club Beside Ball


While driving and long approach shots are important to practice, the easiest way to drop your scores are by working on your chipping and putting. Luckily, there are some fun and easy drills you can complete at home to sharpen up your short game. 

 

Chipping


The easiest way to practice chipping at home is with a chipping net in the backyard. However, for golfers without a net or a yard, you can still practice short chips other ways. Using baskets, rugs, buckets, or other targets will help you get an effective feel for chipping. Try using your wedges from various distances to really hone in on your range. If outdoors is not an option, practice balls can still be utilized indoors that will help build up muscle memory. Some folks choose to use real balls inside while using carpet or a rug, but that is only a good idea if you have an empty room to practice in that is free from breakables (and thin drywall). 

 

Bonus Drill


Place down 2 lines of tape, approximately 2 feet long and as wide as your clubface. Set up as if you were hitting a ball in the middle of the lines of tape. The tape acts as a guideline to make sure you are swinging straight. After making sure that your swing is straight, place the ball in the middle of the lines and practice your chip.

 

Putting


A putting green is the best way to train your putting at home, but even without one there is plenty of work that can be done with household objects. For example, using a plastic cup, corner, or chair leg as a target to practice on will work just as well as the hole on a putting green. The point is to get in the repetitions that allow you to build muscle memory in order to putt consistently. Try putting on a variety of surfaces like hard floors, rugs, carpets, and grass (if available) to help get a feel for different speeds and learning how to make adjustments. This is key because greens can run fast or slow and you need to adapt to your daily conditions. 

 

Bonus Drill


Accuracy isn’t everything in putting, you also have to have a soft touch. A putt with too much muscle behind it is much more likely to pop in and then out of the cup or skirt on the lip and head away from the hole. To practice a soft touch, set up a spare golf ball on top of a quarter. This is your target. The object of this drill is to putt your ball so that it hits the ball stacked on the coin but does not knock it off. Sounds easy? It’s not. But it’s great practice at home. 

 


 

About The Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.

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